Step 1: Isolating your Brand’s Key Issues
When we first start working with a new client in developing their Campaign of Interactions for their advisory board or working committee program, we like to take a step back and take a 40,000 foot view on their product. Some managers can get trapped in “group think” and the organizational lingo and expectations brought on by their senior leadership around their product. This can cloud imagination and creativity and sometimes stifles the strategic process of really getting “back to basics“. Managers who look for the obvious “instant gratification” junction points, where they think they can quickly engage with their customers, can miss the mark on the baseline fundamentals of what really needs to be addressed. Often, these contact points are not really implemented to gain new insights, but rather to gain “buy-in” on ideas already conjured up by the brand or cross-functional team.
When resetting the strategic plan, we like to go through our comprehensive Value Creator Process. The first step is a “ranking and prioritizing” exercise. We go through a very specific process of evaluating product and market considerations and then helping our clients to tease out the top 3-5 key issues that are preventing them from achieving “100% market share“.
So instead of populating a series of touchpoints based on the latest data release from a specific conference, we inspire our clients to think of the other primary reasons for their product’s most basic challenges.
- Is there anything intrinsic about your product that is impacting revenue growth, and if so, why? What attributes are the most concerning or elating to prescribers, allied health care professionals, payers, or patients? How is your value proposition, differentiation, messaging, and branding affecting your growth? Is your mechanism of disease or product mechanism considered clinically relevant?
- What specifics within your product label or indication (contraindications, warnings, optimal use cases, special restrictions, inclusion of non-medicinal ingredients, drug-drug interactions, or use in special patient subsets) can be positively leveraged? What is concerning and what options are there in order to rectify these concerns?
- What practical qualities of the product from a storage, handling, stability, dosage form, packaging, and administration standpoint are helpful or hindrances to your brand growth? What questions remain unanswered around these product specifications for you and your team?
- Is your drug’s route of administration or strength options an advantage or disadvantage from a competitive or usability standpoint? What creative interventions can be made in the short term? Are there any long-term fixes?
- What key efficacy and safety factors are impacting your brand growth and how is it faring to present or future competitors?
- Is there anything that can be done about your product’s intrinsic challenges in the short, medium, or long term? Who needs to be involved? Where is this on the priority list or your circle of influence? How much will this cost?
Think about how the following factors are positively or negatively impacting your brand and determine what short-to-medium term interventions can influence the trajectory of your brand growth from both a revenue and market share standpoint:
- Clinical trial development plans (global, regional, investigator sponsored)
- Regulatory issues, labels, timing, rebuttals, and other conditions that will affect launch timing, funding gates, and other strategic decisions
- Pricing and market access, unmet medical need, value proposition, risk and cost sharing programs, co-pays, patient support programs, legislation issues, approval and payer bodies
- Guidelines and protocols (global, national, regional, institutional)
- Customers and segmentation into geographical, language, specialty, issues, interest and attitudinal/ behavioral categories
- Data and key conferences, impact of competitor activity and data
- Product life cycle planning
- Marketing strategies and tactics, channel strategies, digital integration and streamlining interfaces and customer selection and engagement
- Impact of patient empowerment and personalized medicine on customized patient journeys, integration of customer-centric approaches into the marketing mix
- Big data thinking and analytics from social listening, wearables, apps integrating with hospital electronic medical records, patient portals, and thinking “beyond the pill”
When taking a widescope, holistic approach to both the product and market considerations, it allows us to assist our clients into isolating their top 3-5 brand issues where they know they will have control and a sufficient budget to impact product growth in the short-to-medium term. We help our clients to steer away from the “filtered” immediate “hot topics” or perceived issue at hand and channel them into larger objectives that can be clearly articulated, implemented, tested, and measured.