Tag Archives: MRX

Live From #TMRE13: How to Defend Market Share from Disruptive Category Entrants

At TMRE 2013 in Nashville this afternoon, Anne Hale, Ph.D.,
BAI US Specialty Care Lead, Pfizer and Chet Zalesky, President, CMI spoke about
informing brand strategy in the pharmaceutical industry.
Today, in the pharma industry, you simply can’t hide from
your competitors as there are very few of them. A few years ago, Pfizer had a brand
that was competing in a market that was not dynamic. The company was confident
that its segmentation was very effective and its share remained stable over
time.
‘We were feeling very comfortable with business as usual strategy,
but there were disruptive elements on the business horizon,’ explained Hale. We
can predict the future far more accurately than most industries.’
According to Hale, you have to figure out what will be a
game-changer vs. something like a ‘little pebble in a pond’. In the pharma
industry this process must be begin years before the launch of a product because
it needs a long lead time. ‘We realized we didn’t have a plan in place for this
game-changer, and we could take a substantial hit,’ said Hale.
So, what did Pfizer do? It wanted to proactively refine the brand
strategy in anticipation of the disruptive event. The company needed to do
several things including target opportunistic segments, prepare differential
messaging, create new sales aids, and train the sales force.
Then, Pfizer held workshops to help frame the decision pathways
it was thinking about, move to a quantitative study, and further, to a
segmentation. Almost a year and half out, the company had develop all of the possible
profiles and what it needed to be concerned about for the final process ‘ and finally
pull all the pieces together.
There are a lot of reasons people do something. Pfizer
wanted to understand the different triggers to know why exactly they happen. According
to Hale, Pfizer used the Decision Pathway Process to take the specific pathway created
and find out what physicians are making decisions in a similar way. This allows
for differential messaging to target the trigger points on their decision pathway,
and ultimately, move from triggers to segments.
For Pfizer’s path, a lot of the variables had a lot to do with
the patients. Hale said, ‘We got an idea what the market looked like (patient-centered,
low risk, and key opinion leader), then we needed to look at what our segments
looked like to develop a strategy.’

About
the Author:  Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
Analysts
. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a
Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the
technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow
her at 

Live from #TMRE13: 5 Game Changing that will drive trends today and in the future

Consumers are taking control of their lives. They are
rearranging their lives to their own satisfaction for the better of their home
and family. Companies can benefit from this as they offer cusotmized solutions to these “game changing trends”, found by Campbell’s Soup.
My ROI: Consumers are taking a personal return on investment
approach to assessing. But now good value is not about paying the lower price.
Consumers are willing to pay for experiences that will matter more for them,
that fit them better individually. Service is back ‘ as people want better
value for their money.
iHealth3.0: Consumers are more concerned about health, image
management, and the general wellbeing, given the overall statistics of being
overweight, and consequential expenses.
Energy Management: Consumers are overall tired, and
consequently cranky. Energy emerges as a highly sought need, now the highest
sought commodity, ranked higher than money and time. Consequently opportunities
are like virtual supermarkets to avoid traveling and energy consumables.
The Desire to Feel Alive:  Help consumers break free and enjoy moments that
reward themselves. How can brands do this? Across ages and genders there is a
desire to be more lively, and opportunities are present in multiple consumer
and healthcare industries.
Digital is resetting expectations: Digital is an integrated
and integral part of life, and not a distraction. This affects everything from
DIY, to shopping, to connecting with others.
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM,
an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in
engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the
Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing
and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management
consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be
found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a
fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Can healthcare companies learn about social media from consumer products?

Given that we live in a consumer savvy world, its logical that social media uptake is heaviest by consumer brands. However, despite my own consumer focus, I do have a background in healthcare and have often wondered how this regulated industry can navigate the social space by learning from its consumer counterpart. Having been published for this topic before, these are four things I hypothesize.

Listen Carefully

In the world of social media ‘listening,’ there is virtually
no end to the ways you can slice, dice and cull social media content. This
makes it easy to filter out valuable competitive insights by listening too
narrowly, such as by ruling out content from rogue bloggers and advertisements
that could prove useful. Healthcare brands can benefit from listening to patient and
provider reviews of themselves and their competitors, perusing online ads, and
monitoring the blogosphere for competitive intelligence. Social media is also a
great way to keep up with the industry reaction to regulatory changes including
interpretations and opinions.

Engage
Brands love to love themselves, and social media lets them
do it on a grand scale. However, CPG brands have learned that the key to
mutually fulfilling social media relationships is to give and take. By actively engaging stakeholders in a two-way dialogue
through various platforms. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals are particularly
segmented industries with complex decision-making ecosystems. Whereas in the
‘real world’ this presents a marketing research challenge, social media is the
perfect place to find self-segmented groups. Physician groups, disease-specific
support groups and health care news aggregators are online right now,
exchanging unedited, unfiltered insights. Those insights are an invaluable
complement to traditional marketing and advertising. 
Develop Thought Leadership
Personal care CPG brands know the value of using Twitter to
share a beauty tip, not just a coupon. Social media thought leadership content
is all about enlightened self-interest. Healthcare brands have an opportunity
to share highly relevant, altruistic content with highly segmented audiences
that have ‘opted in’ to what the brand has to say. And by sharing high value
information, the notion of ‘benefits before brands’ can really strengthen a
brand’s credibility. In order to provide quality healthcare in our fast moving
modern world, healthcare professionals have to stay on top of an almost
overwhelming amount of information. Social media is already being used as a
tool that filters, aggregates and delivers information that is specifically
relevant to various practitioners. In return, they are contributing to the
conversation. 

Discover Opportunities
Classical research usually delivers insights based on a brand in the
absence of competition, or within a constructed, stagnant competitive
environment. The insights are usually brand-specific, and a function of the
questions asked. But social media lets marketers see the whole, dynamic
competitive ecosystem, as everybody chats about everything. And since everyone
in this ecosystem has access to the exact same information, the first to stake
a claim wins. The healthcare industry still has lots of unclaimed territory on
the social media space. While several studies have revealed that over two
thirds of medical practitioners utilize social media weekly for professional
purposes, the activity can be harnessed by patients or brands alike. 
Over time, I feel that healthcare will overcome many barriers that consumer has learned to conquer via practice. But the industry is perfectly poised to uptake social media in a stronger way. For at the end of the day, even a healthcare consumer is a consumer, after all.

 

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at
s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.
 

The Key to Branding: Evoke Love and Respect

Being a fan of consumer behavior, it is no wonder that I have discovered, having worked with a plethora of brands, that brands should always provide both love and respect for their consumers. Having blogged about my passion for the subject at length, here is one of my favorite two by two matrices on branding.

The key to strong branding is ensuring that it sustains through the
test of time. Branded products that rigidly hold on to their
positioning, contrary to what one may believe, are not the ones that are
most successful. Being rooted in your origins and true to what your
identity is different from having the same associations and execution
throughout generations. Branded products must connect with the consumers
in such a way that they evoke both love and respect.

This is by far the best marketing matrix I have come across, for
every product that I eat, use, see, feel and experience can easily fit
into one of the categories. It identifies the crux of what I, as a
consumer, will think about when using or consuming a product, and
ignores other linguistic and technical jargon, by focusing only on my love and respect for it.

Most branded products fall high on the love, but only momentarily, or at most, for one generation. These are fads, which are aptly described as a craze for a brief period of time.
Crocs, which are quickly languishing, or AOL Instant Messenger, are
good examples. Fads have a short shelf life. True, they are created by
the age-old principle to make hay while the sun shines, and if one is
content with this, then it is an apt strategy.

Others ape the trends of the present generation, without
differentiating themselves from competitors. The many celebrity colognes
that flood the market, or better yet, the clothing brands we have, fall
into this category; Express, Gap, you name it! [I do quite like some of
these well defined brands, but as they say, my love is disloyal to most
of them, despite my high respect for their
competitive/vibrant/social-media-friendly advertising]. Brands tend
to get lost in a competitive landscape, where they employ ancient
strategies to offer slight differentiation, without any aptitude for
risk or creativity. Whilst not as temporary as fads, they may not garner
as much attention. Perhaps the archaic definition of trademark, or related negative associations of the word ‘brand’, are what contribute to this category being low on love and attachment.

Lets not talk about products who, in a perfectly competitive market,
are equally substitutable, without offering any unique value
proposition. These would be the reason that our grocery stores have
entire aisles for things like pasta sauce, or cereal.  Commodities, as the derogatory tinged word suggests, are simply that; perfectly substitutable products. Cost leaders will often lean towards this strategy.
The ones that retain themselves in our minds and lives are those
which rise to more respectful levels than fads, and feel closer to our
hearts than brands. These, as Roberts rightfully put it, are lovemarks.
Despite the teasing compound word, it fits the emotional association of
its meaning. I have bucket fulls of examples of these in my bedroom,
bathroom, kitchen, and garage! But it’s not by coincidence that they
make it to this stage. These must a) entail real value propositions, b) retain the core identity, and c) evolve brand positioning to keep up with evolving trends and demographics, as I believe that these are the three primary principles to create lovemarks.

There is an element of cyclicality that I would like
to suggest to this matrix. For instance, over time, a fad may become a
commodity, or if its execution becomes more apt, it may become a brand.
And with the right promotion and product mix, it could become a
lovemark. Similarly, lovemarks could topple down as brands without
sustained interest. So, in addition to fulfilling the aforementioned
three principles, branded products must consistently race on a
treadmill, which in turn is on a slippery slope.

Welcome to the world of branding!

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at
s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Want to Win a Free Pass to The 2013 Market Research Event? #TMRE13

You can enter to win an all-access pass to the 2013 Market Research Event on the website simply tweeting and helping us share the event with your colleagues and network. Just be sure to tag your posts with the hashtag #TMREWIN.

You can enter to win a free pass, a signed copy of Keynote Speaker Malcolm Gladwell’s David & Goliath or a free TMRE Workshop with a legendary country music songwriter.

In 2013, TMRE explores the intersection of the art and science of consumer understanding where industry best practice meets executive development. TMRE is the industry’s most trusted and supported event accelerating executive development through practical visionary learning which future proofs the industry.

Good luck!

The 2012 TMRE Executive Summary is Available Now

The 2012 TMRE Conference brought together more than a thousand researchers to learn, network and
discuss many key topics. It truly is a great time to be in research, with things evolving ever faster and offering
even more and better opportunities to impact our companies’ businesses.

We compiled an executive summary which highlight the key points and overarching themes of the 2012 TMRE conference. In 2012,The Market Research Event was a tremendous showcase for great work and new trends focusing (importantly) on the ability of Market Research to lead a company’s path to success. We found four overarching themes emerged from the keynote sessions, track breakouts, and networking discussions:

  1. Understanding and Influencing the Customer Journey
  2. Brand is Still King
  3. Burgeoning Data: New and BIG
  4. Social Media coming of age

We would like to share the executive summary with you here.

Live from FOCI 2013: Big Data, Little Data, New Data. aka Evolution

Always nice to get a big picture style history session: market research started because the data needed to make decisions was rare, which then transitioned into specialized skill sets revolving around analysis and such.

So then when did things blow up into big data?

Fast forward to today, and you have long surveys, declining responses rates, flat lined metrics, very little tie in to business performance and very low actionability. The reason for this is that data is not rare. Exponentially growing with population, it has exploded as both a challenge and an opportunity.

As Larry Friedman pointed out, its an evolution that now needs a new mind set. Old approaches are not necessarily right, and the assumption of truth is often wrong. Its almost like parenting and the generation gap, only applied to an industry. Technology will play a big role here, as he mentioned that SPSS and the likes may not work so well anymore. Multi source versus single source data will be necessary for modeling. Social media monitoring and discussion makes it easier to monitor and track responses to questions that need not be asked anymore, mostly psychographic or tracking related. What people say is acquired from social media, while tracking and timing behavior is found from other sources.

Ultimately its about the integration of different data sources – of which only one is on a survey. Evolution has never been as apparent as it is now.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

A Video Retrospective of the Insights Industry

The world of marketing research, analytics and insights is evolving continuously and we are constantly focused on the future but, let’s examine what brought us here today.

From straw polls to in-home interviews, to telephone and online research, see where the industry has been and where it’s going. Visit The Future of Consumer Intelligence to explore the progression with us.