Edwards Lifesciences Transcatheter Heart Valve Global Marketing Team
Agency Partner: Heartbeat
A Different Approach to Pharma TV & Beyond
As the global market leader and first company to commercialize the revolutionary transcatheter aortic heart valve replacement (TAVR) technology, Edwards Lifesciences attracts top talent. The TAVR marketing team has proven to be no exception as they elevate TAVR as a therapy choice for patients with severe aortic stenosis, which is the narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart.
Think of a heart valve like a gate. Problems arise when it fails to open and close properly. Eventually the aortic valve must be replaced, and for decades, the standard treatment was open-heart surgery to cut out the damaged valve and sew in a tissue or mechanical valve. For appropriate patients, an alternative to open-heart surgery is TAVR, a procedure that uses a catheter inserted into a patient’s leg to deliver a replacement valve into the heart while it continues to beat. This means some patients can return home the day after having their valve replaced, instead of spending days in a hospital with weeks of rehabilitation.
In Q1 2019, the TAVR marketing team faced a simultaneous EU and U.S. launch for the newest iteration of their proven technology—the SAPIEN 3 Ultra Valve. The launch posed several challenges—a need to differentiate due to increased competitive pressure from companies with larger resources; vastly different EU and U.S. marketing environments, including the number of competitors and the reimbursement/pricing landscape; and internal marketing alignment across two continents, with differing cultures and treatment beliefs, as well as myriad stakeholders.
The solution was to capitalize on Edward’s category leadership in structural heart innovation. The global, multichannel campaign focused on Edwards’ innovation and showcased “Edwards Engineering for tomorrow’s TAVR,” including sales force initiatives, digital surround media, and a robust congress booth presence.
The U.S. launch was a 360° customer exposure experience at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) annual scientific session; a major meeting for U.S. cardiologists. Physicians were exposed to the campaign the moment they stepped off the plane at the airport, while waiting for taxis, arriving at their hotels, in the welcome area of the convention hall, and ultimately the full brand experience at the booth itself. Digital surround elements were also implemented with Twitter, banners, and emails for the full 360° effect.