Tag Archives: Pharma

Market Research and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Immersion in the Customer is Key

The pharma industry is going through a crisis right now that’s not dissimilar from the crisis the market research industry is experiencing – dramatic and sudden change and upheaval. Amy Marta, Principal of ZS Insights writes: ’15 years ago, pharmaceutical companies brought many products with tremendous value to the public, but a lot of those products are going generic. Not all new products are providing improved benefits or better outcomes than generics that are less expensive.’ Upheaval has come to the market research industry in the form of incredible changes in the way we’re measuring consumer consumption and engagement now that digital has become so ubiquitous.

“It’s about integrating all that information together”

Susan Kavnik Senior Director within the Healthcare Practice at Point B, a Management Consulting Firm, had this to say in her article Applying Lessons from the Retail World to Health Care: ‘As patients put on their consumer hats they are expecting the same level of service they would receive in retail environments.’ The article advises that patients’ perspectives have changed, and healthcare (and in our case pharma) needs to evolve or risk losing customers. Much of this involves figuring out the right channels to reach consumers and providing the content they need.

Amy Marta of ZS Insights echoes Kavnik’s sentiments as far as customer-centricity: ‘The proof of a good research organization is in how researchers do their jobs’they’re immersed in the customer. They’ve learned about customers over time, and learned about them through different research approaches. They use ethnography, social media, secondary data, and a whole host of other information. It’s about integrating all that information together.’

But how to do all this as the research becomes ever more complex, and as Marta notes, research budgets in the pharmaceutical industry are being shrunk? Marta advises that less is more. She writes: ‘I prioritize research relative to the business issue at hand, and recognize there’s already a base of knowledge to leverage. I need to work with my clients to elicit what they already know to be true versus where there are genuine, relevant gaps in knowledge.

The best companies realize they can recycle. It’s not a word you hear a lot in research; it essentially comes down to knowing what you know. It’s going back and reflecting on prior research’customers generally don’t change that quickly. There’s information that you spent $200,000 to discover a year ago. The first step should be going to see what you can extract from that research. If the research was well designed, capably executed and synthesized skillfully, it’s likely that there are findings and insight that are still valuable to you today.”

Marta continues: ‘The industries that do market research the best, like consumer packaged goods, have set the standard and established their market research organization as king’they’re contributing a tremendous amount of momentum for the company. Their industry is driven by market research.’

The Market Research Event this October 17-20 in Boca Raton, Florida will have several market research representatives from the pharmaceutical industry sharing their insights on everything from apps and digital health (Janssen) to qualitative segmentation (Noven Pharma). Other pharmaceutical companies with representatives scheduled to speak include Eli Lilly and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Live from #TMRE14: How Will You Use Communications to Inform & Influence Consumers in 2020?

Steven Tramposch, VP of Consumer Market Intelligence at Heineken USA, Will Lehman, Central Nervous System Market Research, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Jee Ahn, Senior Manager, Consumer and Shopper Insights, the Clorox Company discussed how communications is changing in a panel moderated by Sourabh Sharma, Senior Manager, Strategy Consultant and Social Media Expert, at SKIM.

5×5 Reality:

Key Criteria:
Promise Value
Be specific
Put the benefit first
Set yourself apart

Avoid Pitfalls:

Be Positive
Be respectful
Avoid jargon

While CPG tries to showcase a more emotional pull, Heineken sees itself promoting more functional aspects and Pharma falls in between.

In the future, Pharma sees itself empowering the consumer to make their own choices rather than being completely dependent on Physicians’ message.

For Heineken, they see information democratizing consumers so they need to be clearer, crisper, and better at communicating emotionally so that they stand out among all the choices in the category, especially with craft beer accelerating.

For Clorox, the future holds the ability to micro-target based on consumer needs and relevant messaging. There will more information to leverage.

As researchers, it will be incredibly important to figure out the drivers, habits, influencing aspects of each market.

Social media is a huge repository of work waiting to happen for researchers, especially regulated industries like finance and pharma. The role of pushing products is going away whereas seeking out and finding the person who NEEDS your product to better their lives is what will be key for success in the future.

There is no perfect strategy for social channels, each platform is different, you can reach people on different occasions on different mediums. You just need to figure out how to be on the right one at the right time with the right message.

Stay true to the core truths of your brand’s principle.
And watch how you communicate your product’s benefits
We don’t leverage visual aspects enough to showcase benefits

As you move forward, consider complexity, and more tools for research, more content across platforms, be faster, work in stack sized chunks, be willing to take risks and fail fast. Don’t let data stand between you and your customer.

Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding fundamentally your consumer. You won’t have to test as much if you gets this right rather than go through 10 different tactics to see what sticks.


Valerie RussoFormerly a senior copy editor at Thomson Reuters, a research editor at AOL,  and a senior web publicist at Hachette Book GroupValerie M. Russo is editor at large of The Front End of Innovation BlogThe Market Research Event BlogThe World Future Trends Tumblr, the Digital Impact Blog, and also blogs at Literanista.net. She is the innovation lead and senior social media strategist for the Marketing and Business Strategy Division of the Institute for International Research, an Informa LLC., and her poetry was published in Regrets Only on sale at the MOMA Gift Shop. Her background is in Anthropology and English Literature. You can reach her at vrusso@iirusa.com or @Literanista.

Improving Patient-Physician Communication through a Novel Digital Portal: Challenging the Status Quo: Free Webinar

Many in the pharmaceutical and medical technology space today aim to make patient communication both more efficient and transparent.  PokitDok, which serves as a sort of healthcare marketplace, is a service that makes pricing more transparent and open.  MedXCom is improving doctor-patient communication by transcribing cell phone conversations for the patient’s reference.  One of the latest examples of these companies is My GI Health
The effort began in 2011 when a team from UCLA and the University of Michigan, supported by Ironwood Pharmaceutical, set out to improve communication between physicians and patients suffering from gastrointestinal (GI) disease.  Working with a multidisciplinary team of health education experts, computer scientists, psychologists, patient representatives, NIH researchers, and physicians, they created My GI Health ‘ a first-of-breed app that re-imagines how doctors and patients can engage in dialogue.
The team worked from the premise that computers aren’t supposed to make things more complicated. Instead, they are supposed to simplify the process of sharing information.  They saw a need to start using them to strengthen doctor-patient connections.  With this insight as a springboard, the team developed a new and innovative system that re-defined the way patients and doctors connect with one another.  Join us for a free webinar on June 11thas we explore the journey of this industry-academia alliance and how they pioneered My GI Health.  We take a look at the impact this innovative program may have on physicians, payers and the delivery of patient care.
In less than an hour, you’ll learn
‘ How a unique alliance between industry, academia, EHR vendors, and professional societies created a novel, evidence-based digital resource to improve population health
‘ Study My GI Health as an example app that bridges patients and providers using novel, credible functions
‘ How an external, patient-facing healthcare app can tie into an EHR to improve outcomes and efficiency in the clinical environment
‘ Advantages of creating a platform-agnostic, flexible, and adaptable digital resource suitable for broad distribution  
Presented by
Brennan Spiegel, Professor of Medicine and Public Health, UCLA; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Tom McCourt, CCO, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals
Date: Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
System Requirements: Windows?? 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac??-based attendees: Required: Mac OS?? X 10.6 or newer
Mobile attendees: iPhone??, iPad??, Android’ phone or Android table
Now, you can save 15% on ePharma West when you register and attend this webinar*.  Register now and use code XP1956DIGI.
Save the date
ePharma West 2014 | September 22-24 2014 | San Francisco, CA
Register with discount code XP1956BLOG and SAVE $100 off the current rate
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