Communication Strategy & Execution


The Project

  • Communications strategy and plan development
  • Ongoing project management (including weekly team meeting facilitation and follow-up, timeline management, sales meeting support)
  • Liaison between internal and external partners to deliver approved tactical elements
  • Content development, creative design direction and collaboration with client design and IT staff.

Client Challenge

How do we withdraw a key product while successfully maintaining relationships and protecting our position as market leader with a 75 percent share?

To support the discontinuation of its enteral feeding device business in the U.S. market, our client needed to develop a strategy and integrated plan to communicate their decision to exit the device business both internally - to employees and key manufacturing and distribution partners - and externally to customers.  Planning was further complicated by several key factors: 

  • A tense competitive environment where a formidable competitor had been trying to gain market share
  • Multiple audiences with distinct needs and interests: employee groups, distributors, group purchasing organizations, long-term care and acute care customers
  • Concurrent launch of a new system for safer delivery of therapeutic nutrition to patients that required significant awareness and education
  • A time-sensitive exit that required customers to not only transition to a new supplier, but also return existing device inventory within a four- to six-month time frame.

IMS Approach / Solution

IMS developed a discovery and planning session with leadership to:

  • Understand key objectives
  • Develop competitive scenarios
  • Segment critical audiences; define key messages and communication objectives for each
  • Determine communication channels and timing
  • Define critical tasks and identify assumptions and knowledge gaps

Following the session, IMS developed an integrated communications plan, including program messaging by audience, that was then vetted and refined with key leadership and sales management.

IMS managed the implementation of the communications plan over a period of one year.  We developed:

  • Comprehensive communications for all key audiences: web design/content, email communications, videos, PowerPoint presentations
  • Sales team program playbooks – providing comprehensive, clear direction on key customer messages, scenarios and corresponding actions (by segment)
  • Sales team and call center scripts for phased customer communications
  • Regular leadership and sales program update presentations

IMS also developed a system for sales teams and executive leadership to continuously monitor and report on potential business risks for key accounts. The ability to quickly respond to key customer trends contributed significantly to the overall success of the plan.


Business & Marketing Outcomes:

  • Zero key account losses
  • Message clarity: Concurrent with the launch of a new enteral nutrition delivery system – two distinct and possibly conflicting messages – we were able to clearly segment each initiative through a channel strategy with phased messaging

Process Outcomes:

  • Integrated, phased roll-out of program communications across leadership, sales and service
  • Ongoing program communications updating internal and external stakeholders on the status of each major account
  • In process adjustments resulting in market share retention

Organizational Outcomes:

  • Seamless transition for sales teams, facilitating continued focus on therapeutic nutrition sales
  • Intra-company communications to facilitate proper execution
  • Senior executive management engagement

"I want to thank you and your team for the dedication, collaboration and in the end very positive results of the device exit project. I must say it was quite a journey and I am glad we had a partner like IMS to help us through it! Thank you." -Client