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Predicting Commercial Success, Not Revisiting the Past

Executive Summary

The pharmaceutical industry is facing increased pressure to improve its performance and efficiency as the challenges of an increasingly dynamic and complex marketplace have conspired to erode the robust sales and profit growth of the 1990s. Marketers' measurement tools often don't help them improve productivity because they track past performance of existing programs. Rather, marketers need tools to help them predict which programs will be the most effective in the future. Marketers should combine refined adoption funnels and more sophisticated segmentation, to help identify factors that drive key physician segments to prescribe.

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Leveraging Patient-Centric Information for Market Success

Traditional databases marketed by IMS and NDCHealth are not patient-centric and therefore can only describe what happens to a prescription, not a patient. But managed care, driven by the Medicare Modernization Act, will force drug companies to focus on a new view of customers-and in particular, keeping them longer. But drug companies aren't by and large using the new patient-centric data available in a variety of forms from a variety of vendors. The problem is as much habit as awareness.

Activating Consumers

A new survey shows top drug executives still question their ability to exploit consumer promotion. They've got good reason: while consumer promotion clearly works in driving patients to doctors, increasing diagnosis rates and increasing patient requests for specific products, large numbers of their switch requests are denied. To give consumers sufficient power to influence their physician's prescribing behavior--Effective Voice-companies need a deeper understanding of physician attitudes towards requests in general, the specific therapeutic area and the product vis-à-vis competition.

Belief-Based Marketing: Anticipating, Not Just Analyzing Behavior

In pharmaceutical marketing, three industry/structural conditions have combined so that companies compete by outspending: the R&D monotony of chasing after the same targets in the same markets; monotony of information--using the same market and customer information to make identical prioritization decisions; and application monotony, in which regulatory oversight, consumer privacy issues and established industry practice cause marketers to create similar commercial programs against the same targets. Marketers can outsmart, rather than outspend, by exploiting the belief structures of physician or consumer targets, to develop differentially targeted and segment-tailored campaigns that greatly enhance ROI.

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