The volume of data available to businesses has never been larger; companies in all industries must use this data to support their product launches or risk falling behind. Nowhere is this more important than in the life sciences industry, where increased competition is putting businesses of all sizes under increasing pressure.
Pharmaceutical companies are developing and launching more products than ever before. In the past, a company might have had one big launch every few years; today, many companies are managing multiple launches each year.
Additionally, most launches involve highly specialized products aimed at a smaller portion of the market. Unsurprisingly, these launches will have a relatively low expected revenue when compared to past projects.
The highly targeted marketing campaign these launches require is impossible without the right data. Life sciences businesses must know who their target market is, how that market finds and chooses their products, and how they can reached.
The specifics of this will vary wildly: a launch for an over-the-counter product will differ from one for a specialist prescription medicine, and neither will have the same audience as a launch of a piece of equipment for hospitals. All the campaigns will require data to be effective, however.
When a product is specialized in nature, it is very important that the marketing spend is directed at the right audience. In this scenario, a broad campaign would be inefficient – but so too would a narrower campaign aimed at the wrong people.
For example, historically, pharmaceutical companies have targeted doctors to encourage them to use their products and patients to get them to ask for them. Recent data suggest this approach is becoming less effective. Research reveals that 84% of physicians either always or usually follow formulary guidelines in preference to choosing their personal first-choice drug.
In this scenario, a company could target the right doctors and patients but still experience a failed launch, because these aren’t the decision-makers. Instead, the campaign could be aimed at the individuals and companies who set the guidelines these physicians follow.
Data and research will be needed to identify the right targets, research their decision-making process, find the events they attend and discover the channels through which they can be reached. With this information in hand, a business can then create an effective marketing campaign.
An effective marketing campaign will cover multiple channels. The use of events to meet and market to prospects is still common, but this should be one part of a campaign. The data from those conversations and meetings should be used to create targeted online campaigns that address the issues that interest them.
For example, after a conference, potential customers could be sent a series of articles or videos expanding upon the conference topic, providing more value, establishing further credibility, and keeping the launch product top of mind.
The large volume of data one can collect during a campaign means marketing is as much a science as an art. Life science marketers can employ statistical methods and data-backed analysis in a not too dissimilar way to their colleagues in the lab.
Marketing campaigns can track email open rates, clickthrough rates, and other criteria to assess how their target market is reacting to their campaign. By tracking this data, marketers can continually improve their efforts, and consequently, the marketing for the product launch should improve over time.
With the right data, life sciences businesses can create better product launches, deliver greater value to their target market, and set themselves apart from the competition. However, this is impossible without the right tools and partners.
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