Challenges continue to mount for pharmaceutical market researchers in a healthcare market where it is increasingly difficult to reach properly qualified healthcare providers and patients. Lack of appropriate market research respondents makes it difficult to piece together the “big picture” of how a treatments are perceived and utilized by payers, healthcare providers, and patients. This also makes understanding local or regional differences that enable pharmaceutical brands to achieve their full potential all the more difficult. Accounting for regional variances is considered by many to be the “holy grail” of pharmaceutical market research – in a saturated market consisting of over 20,000 prescription medicines FDA approved for marketing.
Well conducted, in-depth pharmaceutical market research provides insights into the complexities associated with how the manufacturer can best use resources to manage a product through all phases of it’s lifecycle. Effective pharmaceutical market research requires thorough planning and timely execution to inform better decision-making and deliver actionable insights to marketers. To gain the most valuable market intelligence, pharmaceutical companies should adopt sound and reliable methodologies and practices used by experts in the market research field. What follows is a comprehensive look at the two core components of effective market research: thorough planning and timely execution.
Keys to Effective Planning
Effective pharmaceutical market research starts with a well-designed plan. The goal is to collect information that will help the pharmaceutical company effectively build and enhance the product marketing plan. However, there are a few aspects of the planning phase of market research that should be addressed.
Targeting the Right People for Pharmaceutical Market Research
Market research begins with a clearly stated objective – and attentiveness to details associated with Who? What? When? Where? and How? data intelligence are collected. Planning for the appropriate respondent type – whether to target ThoughtLeaders (TLs)/Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), community-based clinicians – or both, must be considered. In short, your targets for information (healthcare professionals) should and have a keen understanding of the disease area, patient types, and available treatment options.
Qualification using thorough and succinct screening criteria to identify appropriate clinicians or experts is a key ingredient to the planning process. Establishing the proper minimum requirements for inclusion in research is needed – but be respectful of their experience and time in doing so. A few examples of things that will be helpful to know as you screen your target clinicians might include:
- Years of experience in practice
- Patient volume and disease familiarity
- What type of institution are they affiliated with?
- How much influence do they have in treatment selection?
Keys to Effective Execution
And of course, a very important element to an effective market research plan is the execution. Below are some important steps to take to ensure effective research plan execution.
Work with the Right Pharmaceutical Market Research Service Partners
The right tools and partners make it possible for a market research plan to be carried out effectively, regardless of the size and scope of the plan. Therefore, it is critical to work with market research service partners that are capable of reaching the right respondent types for your research need – whether ThoughtLeaders or clinicians. Ideally the market research partner organization will have KOLs or ThoughtLeaders that they interact with regularly or pre-qualified clinicians in the disease areas of interest from which to draw an adequate respondent sample.
It is also important to work with partners that have a significant reach when it comes to geography. A reliable partner will have the ability to draw qualified sample to meet market needs by specific geography – local or regional, national, or multi-country coverage should be considered. A partner that has reach with a varied network of TLs and clinicians is an important determining factor in executing on your market research objectives.
For example, the platform from MDoutlook’s LUMINEER® supports best-in-class research when it comes to finding TLs and clinicians in specific disease areas and experiences. LUMINEER® establishes and maintains network connections, regularly updating intelligence associated with TLs and clinicians both — at local, regional, national, and global levels.
Make Use of Pulse Research
Pulse Research provides the pharmaceutical marketer and market researcher with the opportunity to dig into a specific topic, region or institution to rapidly gather key information that is time sensitive and not currently known. Insights that are gathered via pulse research are only if the research is carried out in a matter of days (instead of weeks), insights provided by quality respondents. pulse research is an agile approach to fill in knowledge gaps that other market research misses.
Maintain Consistent Communication
Communication is key throughout the market research process. Implement a role-based, real-time reporting system so everyone involved in market research has access to the data. This allows like pharmaceutical product marketing teams to address key issues and take the initiative to put feedback to work. Need help getting your pharmaceutical market research strategy off to the best start? Let’s talk about how precision intelligence from MDoutlook can help.