As its brand planning season in the Pharmaceutical world it is a useful time to reflect on how this process can be used to deliver a “patient centric” orientation. Do you have adequate knowledge of the patient? Consumer segmentation can inform on patient behaviours and norms to drive incremental growth opportunities for Pharma Marketeers. The world has moved on and brand interactions are no longer only with physicians, in the modern world with multi channel, multi-format communications an engagement strategy is essential in a commercial marketing plan. Whilst there is a lot of effort & time put behind segmenting Physicians from their behaviours, there is also a job to be done on getting under the skin of healthcare consumers and patients, understanding how they use medicines in the real world.
At a brand level there are stages that can be taken to plan & optimise the insight that can be gained from patient insight:
SITUATION ANALYSIS: Patient journey findings – cross sectional and longitudinal, usage findings, competitor analysis
ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY : both direct and indirect channels
MEASUREMENT: benchmarking to be put in place
TACTICAL PLANNING: touch points, projects
Using consumer segmentation will support the understanding of characteristics for discrete typologies of patients & what their current/future needs will be. Through this information there are clear benefits:
1. Understand what makes healthcare consumers different
2. Identify opportunities from different segments
3. Understand the size and value of attitudinal segments
4. Evaluate effectiveness of messaging or campaigns against segments
5. Personalise messaging and product development
Measurement and benchmarking shouldn’t be an after thought in brand planning , measurement is key to seeing a strategy through once segments have been identified and understood as a framework for driving growth opportunities.