Finding cofounders · Investor pitch

Marketing Idea: Free E-brochure Device redeemable for Lunch - Thoughts?

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

Last updated on May 21st, 2019

ChemoKey is a startup that does cancer biopsy characterization so doctors can deliver precision oncology (eg. tuned-in chemo per patient). Accessing oncologists for support, especially 1-to-1, is super challenging. They're too busy to see patients more than 5 minutes, let alone a stranger with an idea. And ... the gatekeepers in these offices are like a mother bear.

My thinking was to drop off a tablet (used color kindle or nook $20 ebay; battery-extender https://ebay.to/2JVvCph $5 + batteries $2) with the gatekeeper. $27 each. It will be preloaded with my [mind-blowing] interactive video pitch which autoplays as soon as it's turned on.

It's kind of like where Mr. Incredible discovers the tablet offering him a job from Syndrome.

Except mine doesn't self-destruct at the end. Instead it tells them they can either keep the tablet, or it's redeemable for a free lunch or meeting with myself and discuss opportunities to become a stakeholder in the venture.

Do you think the response will be positive (presuming the pitch was top notch, note this is a game-changing tech, but they all are right)? I would be looking at a campaign cost of $540 total for 20 systems (20x$27), in hopes that I'd get maybe %50 returned. 3 rounds of that should give me an 1-to-1 audience of about 17 (20/2 + 20/4 + 20/8). So this is a net cost of about $32 for each 1-to-1 meeting. Which is still pretty good for this demographic.

Thoughts? What could go wrong? Note that I do have a bit of an "in", as I've been recommended to them from a very well respected doctor who is president of a professional network they're in. It's just not enough of an "in" to get me personal phone numbers, so I still need to negotiate some way past the gatekeeper and this seems a possibility.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

Last updated on May 22nd, 2019

So I spent 9 years marketing to physicians in private offices. You're right that the gatekeepers have to be staunch or everyone will try to walk through the door. Our method was to establish an advisory board of academic physicians with trusted reputations to endorse the products. They were the key to unlocking the door with the gatekeepers, not promises of free lunch. Trust me, everyone offers free lunch or equivalent so it's not special.


And yes, we still bought lunches. But it was one physician calling another and asking them to take the appointment because (of science) that made headway. Our medical advisor frequently had to pick up the phone and make an introduction before a salesperson could get through to schedule a practice group appointment or an individual physician appointment. Docs will talk to other docs. They will not talk to salespeople.


You need to show them how they're going to make (or save) money with your tool, not how it will save them time or complexity. They don't care about features. They care about benefits. And they want immediate proof of results with scientific backing.


My recommendation is to go meet with the academics and find out who you can build an advisory board with so they can spread the word on your behalf and open those doors for you. Knocking with sandwiches isn't going to be enough of a temptation. The academics should also help you shape your product so it will get a rubber stamp of approval.