Market researchers within the healthcare industry are tasked with converting a sea of data into actionable customer insight in the medical field. Particularly for the pharmaceutical industry, careful and targeted analyses can illuminate opportunities, clarify relationships, and offer strategies which maximize asset penetration (and value) in this highly competitive field. Below are four ways customer insight can help biomedical groups respond to the unique challenges of this industry, guide decision-making, and provide outcome-based solutions for pharmaceutical customers.
- Both qualitative and quantitative research gives customers a competitive edge
Gone are the days when quantitative market analyses alone could provide pharmaceutical groups adequate information to remain highly competitive. Unique methods of qualitative analyses now provide customers with invaluable information to help guide administrative decision-making and asset development, including:
- Drivers of behavioral change
- Values and beliefs of prescribers and providers
- Reactions and insights in non-clinical environments
Pushing the boundaries of qualitative research means always striving for creative applications to develop research opportunities – opportunities that help pharmaceutical groups predict behavior, influence decision-making, and move assets through the pipeline. How exactly does qualitative research support this movement? It builds asset value at all levels. Stakeholders are becoming increasingly critical of asset value as more and more drugs move through approval applications, and qualitative research findings can help pharmaceutical companies grow particularly in commercial value and patient value through unique insights on the patient journey and stakeholder perspectives.
While qualitative research provides pioneering and innovative techniques, strong quantitative research remains the backbone of some of the most powerful insights in the healthcare industry. The challenges quantitative research poses, however, can dismantle the efforts if not handled correctly. Statistical errors, issues with confounding, poor samples, and more plague effective quantitative research, which highlights the importance of high-quality scientific methods for quantitative research. It goes without saying that strong quantitative support directly builds not only the scientific value of an asset, but the ever-important clinical and commercial value as well, which stakeholders are going to be looking for.
- Behavioral research helps customers reach more people
Today, pharmaceutical customers rely on behavioral research. A fast-growing field, behavioral research is built upon the study of behavioral economics, which is simply the psychology behind why people make the decisions they do. For pharmaceutical customers, there are obvious implications with regard to gaining support from stakeholders, positioning the asset beneficially to maximize commercial value, and aligning launch plans with the patient journey.
In fact, behavioral research can affect a customer’s relationship with nearly all stakeholders in the target audience. Identifying the entire target audience, from investors, to patients, to payers, to providers, prompts opportunities to enhance and expand asset dissemination to larger and larger numbers of people. Increasing penetration at all market levels, whether it’s through prescribers, insurers, or the patients themselves, not only gives an asset its best chance at optimization and establishes improved asset value, but it also provides pharmaceutical companies with a unique advantage: behavioral research provides insights into both predicting and altering behavior of stakeholders. This capacity has enormous implications for the commercial value of an asset, especially in early asset development, many years before launch.
- Research is tailored to an asset’s lifecycle position
Customer insight is only valuable if it is applicable. Therefore, research tailored to an asset’s specific lifecycle position is more valuable than vague or overgeneralized information. For example, very early asset development years away from launch relies heavily on strong clinical and economic projections. At this stage, actionable insight can yield simple “Go” / “No-Go” guidance. This same kind of market research, however, would be less effective for a product close to launch. Instead, this type of asset would much better benefit from patient pathway research that reflects product lifecycle and flow for both providers and patients, or from research on competitors to maintain commercial value of the asset. Finally, research that monitors the efficacy of post-launch products is critical for making further asset lifecycle decisions, for process auditing, compliance, and more.
- Patient research provides end-to-end insight
Post-launch, it’s easy for muddled data to cloud research interpretations (and therefore conclusions) for pharmaceutical groups. The solution is to achieve clarity through patient research which optimizes the asset’s entire journey. Starting with diagnosis and moving through treatment, end-to-end patient research can offer customers information such as:
- True patient value
- Comprehensive burden of disease metrics (for both patients and their families)
- Gaps in asset lifecycle or knowledge
- Gaps in target audience engagement
- Patient ecosystem mapping
It is not difficult to envision how this kind of valuable information can lead to actionable customer insight for R&D or pharmaceutical groups looking to move an asset through the pipeline. Ultimately, these insights pave the way to improved value of an asset for stakeholders at all levels of development, which supports the likelihood that an asset will experience a successful launch and entrance into the market.