The pharmaceutical industry is navigating an ever-changing landscape, where precision and efficiency are not just goals but necessities for success. In this realm, understanding the depth and breadth of pharma marketing analytics can transform your strategy and execution of marketing campaigns, ultimately leading to an increase in the value of that investment.

As pharma companies embark on this insightful journey, we encourage you to consider critical questions that could significantly impact the success of your commercial investments.

  1. Do you understand the expected effectiveness of the tactics that you’re leveraging in the first year of the campaign ? Are expectations realistic when compared to industry benchmarks?
  2. Is your organization realizing the value of the investment in pharma marketing analytics or will activity be “business as usual” once the results are available and understood?
  3. Are marketing activities targeted with enough precision to ensure action by the highest value prescribers?
  4. Is a measurement platform in place to track the specific value achieved vs. expected value?

Understanding the Importance of Pharma Marketing Analytics

Implementing a targeted, high impact pharma marketing analytics strategy is an essential part of commercial activities from sales force and detailing, samples, speaker programs, HCP and DTC communication, etc. In an industry where timely patient treatment and broad community awareness is critical, leveraging data to make informed marketing decisions can make all the difference.

Marketing mix modeling (MMM) also known as “commercial effectiveness,” enables companies to gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Marketing mix modeling solutions analyze a wide and holistic range of data sources, including script data, claims data, formulary changes, sales force, detailing, in-office, treatment news, trends, and competitor activities. By analyzing these data points, pharmaceutical companies can identify which marketing activities are driving the most significant impact on physician acquisition, patient adoption/adherence and adjust their strategies accordingly.

This data-driven approach allows companies to allocate their marketing budgets in a fact-based manner more effectively, focusing on tactics that yield the best patient and/or physician outcomes and driving the highest return on investment. Additionally, pharma data analytics can help identify untapped market opportunities, target specific customer segments, and track the success of marketing campaigns over time.

Building a Media Plan Based on Data and Facts

Data is the fuel that powers effective fact-based pharma marketing campaigns. Without data, marketers are in the dark, relying on history, guess and gut work, and assumptions. Analytics-driven marketing plans leverage the power of data to make informed and targeted decisions that drive enhanced, measurable results.

By analyzing HCP and patient behavior, market trends, and campaign performance, pharmaceutical companies can gain valuable insights that inform their marketing strategies and allow for swift course correction. These insights enable marketers to target the right audience, deliver personalized content, and optimize their campaigns for maximum impact.

While data drives marketing mix modeling, it doesn’t do so in a vacuum. To create effective analytics-driven marketing plans, there are several key components you need to consider:

  1. Define your goals and objectives.
    You need solid alignment with what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts. Whether it’s increasing unbranded or brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting sales, clearly defining your goals will provide a roadmap for your analytics planning.
  2. Collect and analyze marketing data.
    This step involves gathering relevant information that indicates the performance of your tactics which you can then measure against the campaign goals (sales, new patient starts, new accounts, etc.). At this point, marketing mix and attribution models will help you understand the effectiveness of your efforts and optimize your tactics and budget spend.
  3. Understand the challenges.
    The most common challenges involve the availability, timing, and quality of data. Not all businesses have access to comprehensive data, and even if they do, the data may be incomplete or inaccurate. This makes it difficult for your analysis to drive informed, defensible, decisions.

This is where a data roadmap is crucial, identifying strengths but also gaps in data readiness. Another challenge is the complexity of data analysis. Analyzing large volumes of data requires solid data science infrastructure, including both technology and talent. You need a partner who is well-versed in what data is needed, how to assess the data and know of proxies that can overcome data sparsity issues.

Best Practices to Overcome Pharma Marketing Challenges

  1. Set clear goals and objectives:
    Clearly define what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts, so you can work in a consistent direction and maintain focus on outcomes. Share this up and down the organization with full transparency so everyone is aligned.
  2. Invest in data collection and analysis:
    Ensure you have a data strategy that works for your business, that allows for dynamic use cases and is readily accessible. This may involve strategy development, investment in internal technology, staff training, and establishing relationships with trusted external partners.
  3. Focus on data quality:
    Ensure that the data you collect is accurate, relevant, and complete. Regularly clean and validate your data to eliminate errors and inconsistencies.
  4. Fail fast when developing measurement techniques:
    Every business is different, and you need to have an exploration mindset when establishing your measurement frameworks. It will take some trial and error to find the right marketing mix models for your business, so don’t be afraid to try multiple methods and abandon ones that are not relevant.
  5. Continuously monitor, measure, evaluate and optimize:
    Data driven marketing is an iterative process. Continuously monitor, measure and evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns and make data-backed decisions to optimize your strategies. Use the outcomes of this process to recalibrate the pharma marketing analytics to drive even more targeted and accurate results.

Case Study: Pharma Mix Optimization for Mature Product

Marketing strategies change as pharma products mature and the market dynamics shift over time. The lowest hanging fruits are often quickly harvested and additional gains from promotional efforts become increasingly difficult to achieve. If we maintain the same strategies and assume our effectiveness is the same as years past, then opportunities can be missed to maximize the impact of marketing investments.

Ipsos MMA recently helped a mature pharma brand optimize their marketing spend to drive incremental revenues that could be validated through the measurement and analytic processes. The client faced a mid-single digit revenue growth target on top of $20+ billion in annual sales. The goal was to achieve more than $10 million in revenue through campaign optimization. The Client and Ipsos MMA worked together to evaluate their omnichannel marketing efforts through marketing mix analysis, at a highly granular level, enabling the client to see, measure and validate the impact of spending changes within their tactics.

To quantify the impact the baseline level of sales that the brand will achieve in the short run without sales and marketing efforts was determined. Think brand equity and contractual momentum. Mature products that have been in market 5 to 10 years will generally see a 65% to 75% sales base and sales/marketing efforts drive the rest. The base is also maintained by continuous marketing efforts. Think of it like riding a bike, it is most difficult to pedal to get up to speed. Once you are up to speed you can coast for a while, but you still need to pedal to maintain momentum and harder if you want to go faster. That is similar to how companies build and maintain brand equity while driving towards increasing growth targets.

We then established the relationship between promotional activity and sales, or in this case, new prescriptions. New prescriptions are closer to the decision moment and more directly relate to promotional efforts. When all was said and done, we found mostly positive impact on sales at a tactical level but had to recommend reduction in spend in some tactics that were returning less than others at the same point in the customer journey. For example, investment was pulled from two of three tactics within the online video channel and redistributed to the best opportunities in digital display and streaming TV.

There were several changes to budget distribution to maximize returns, but context on a couple of tactics indicated they shouldn’t be changed. In this case, the marginal return on investment (mROI) for broadcast TV was fairly close to $1 returned for $1 spent. We could have considered reducing spend but competitor investments in the channel made it a high-risk proposition. In order to optimize pharma marketing budgets, it was necessary to look at the mathematical analysis and match it up with context on the market and tactical saturation (among other things) to land on an optimization strategy that provides the highest incremental benefit.

In the case of the client, the optimization recommendation created enough incremental revenue that they exceeded that $10M stretch goal they were targeting.

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Marketing Efforts

Mastering the art of customer engagement in the right places, with appropriate content, and perfect timing is much more likely with a fact-based, data driven marketing analytics strategy that can be validated.

By leveraging the power of data, marketers can gain valuable insights that optimize their campaigns for maximum impact. By setting clear goals, collecting, and analyzing data, implementing data-driven strategies, and measuring success with pharma marketing analytics, you can unlock the full potential of your marketing efforts.

Ipsos MMA has identified common struggles pharma companies face with allocating marketing spend, realizing value in analytics investments, and ensuring there is sufficient precision in the analysis and efforts to reach the right audience. The fundamentals discussed in this article on data driven marketing address all three of these issues. Clean data, objective analysis, and frequent attention to marketing effectiveness are the keys to marketing success.