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Kevin J Clancy - Marketing Transformation
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Hall of Fame


Ethicon Endo_Surgery

From a virtual unknown to winner of the
Johnson & Johnson “Bell Ringer Award”
in less than 3 years


  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s (A Division of Johnson & Johnson) Mammotome Breast Biopsy System is a more efficient system for performing minimally invasive breast biopsies. It is an alternative to core needle biopsies (also minimally invasive but less efficient) and open surgical breast biopsies.

  • The Mammotome has three key stakeholder groups along the patient
    • The patient herself
    • The referring physician (usually a gynecologist or GP), who refers the patient to a breast biopsy physician
    • The biopsy physician (a radiologist or surgeon)


  • DTC information about minimally invasive breast biopsies was relevant only to those women who were about to have a breast biopsy, and generally, these women were less concerned about the biopsy itself than about getting a rapid and accurate diagnosis.

  • Further, even if women did ask their gynecologist or primary care physician about Mammotome, these referring physicians were often unfamiliar with the procedure or with biopsy physicians who use Mammotome.

  • Among biopsy physicians, radiologists already using Mammotome were considered fully penetrated, and so most activity was focused on encouraging surgeons to start using Mammotome.

Strategic Research

  • Led by Tom Harper, Group Product Director, Ethicon Endo-Surgery undertook three separate consulting and research engagements:
    • Among biopsy physicians
    • Among referring physicians
    • Among likely breast biopsy patients
      (women age 40+)

  • The needs, problems, and motivations of each group were studied, as well as their awareness and perceptions of different biopsy procedures.

  • Most importantly the most profitable segments were identified and, for each, the most compelling messages to communicate to physicians and patients.

Strategic Options

  • Build growth by having sales reps focus on increasing Mammotome penetration among surgeons.

  • Bypass referring physicians, and revise DTC communications to include how to find biopsy physicians who perform Mammotome.

  • Abandon DTC activities, and instead, educate referring physicians about the benefits of Mammotome and local biopsy physicians who perform Mammotome.

Strategic Choice

  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery redirected marketing dollars from DTC advertising to education programs for referring physicians, recognizing them as a key influencer of the type of breast biopsy that their patients receive.

  • A computer program was developed and rolled out to all sales reps to identify biopsy physicians who represent the greatest likely Mammotome volume, based on seven questions.

    • This program identified current users of Mammotome who are underpenetrated and whom sales reps should develop, as well as those physicians who are unlikely to ever use Mammotome, and for whom sales reps should
      minimize their energies.

Performance Results

  • The Breast Care division became Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s second fastest growing franchise, growing by 75% within two years.

  • Their consumer education website ( became an overnight sensation, talked about throughout the industry.

  • This division was awarded the Johnson & Johnson Bellringer Award for Outstanding Marketing for its contribution to the bottom line.


Selected Case Histories

  Air Products
  Citizens Bank
  Ethicon Endo-Surgery
  Green Mountain Energy
  On The Run