Uncovering global human truths

Medtronic is one of the largest medical device companies in the world, operating in 140 countries, with treatments that help over 47,000 patients with more than 70 different health conditions.

Business Objective:

With two important new treatments of varicose veins in the pipeline, Medtronic needed to identify the most appropriate business model and communications framework to successfully launch their ClosureFast and VenaSeal treatment options across EMEA.

Research Objective:

For the research itself, the first challenge was that the audience Medtronic had been dealing with for many years was just too broad - essentially any person with varicose veins, equating to some 30% of the global population at any one time. Because of this, more effective segmentation would be required before challenging the wider research objectives of:

  • Identifying real drivers and barriers to seeking out treatment and treatment selection
  • Identifying the communication territory they should play in to maximise interest in their treatments.


Being a totally new approach, we had to educate the broader team on the methodology and what they could expect, as well as letting them see how things were going, and have their own input to the process, so that everyone felt invested and listened to.

To do this, we implemented feedback loops and presentations along the way, not only with the core global team but with the sales and organisational leaders of the EMEA markets, the digital team and the PR team.

For the segmentation requirement we worked closely with our statistician to design a paired down approach by identifying several possible attributes that could drive segment differences and leverage factor and correlation analysis to understand the determinants that would enable us to split the total market into the most homogenous segments, ultimately identifying two key consumer segments.

From there, we could then tackle the objectives of identifying the drivers and barriers to seeking out treatments, learning:

  • How patients live with Varicose Veins
  • How the condition affects them
  • How it stops, or changes how they live their lives
  • Their hopes, fears, expectations, and current feelings towards the condition
  • Treatments they seek and barriers to that treatment
  • The role their medical professional plays

But that was only half the challenge complete. Knowing that the organisation just wouldn’t blindly accept these territories on face value, we then ran a series of workshops with the stakeholders to get their buy-in to the process, the findings, the insights and the recommendations.

Meeting with 15 product and sales leaders of the main EMEA markets, uninitiated and inexperienced in the approach we were taking, we worked with them towards the territory that would be best for their audience, and ultimately, got them across the line in terms of the big shift in mindset. Once made, developing a global toolkit to provide consistency of message in all markets would be far easier.


This was the first time Medtronic would be building out a global, patient led, toolkit. It was emotional rather than functional and had local guidelines with the specific do’s and dont’s for each market as opposed to each working on their own. This was a fundamental shift in terms of how Medtronic now thinks about bringing a product to market. And what this project did was to identify that those human truths that exist across the globe are powerful enough to be able to build a global toolkit which ultimately will give Medronic much more control and huge efficiency gains.

It’s proven to them that a patient centric approach to certain parts of their portfolio are a better way of working than they did previously