Step 2: How to bridge the insight gap for your brand
In “Step 1: Isolating your brand’s key issues” we discussed the first step in our Value Creator Process when developing a Campaign of Interactions for your advisors. It is comprised of considering all the possible product and market factors impacting your brand and isolating the top 3-5 issues that are preventing you from capturing “100% market share”. It requires a process of stepping out of the day-to-day immediacy of the concerns of the moment and going back to basics. Why is your brand where it is today?
Describing the Insight Gap(s)
The next step in this process is taking these fundamental brand issues and isolating what knowledge or insight gaps remain. What is keeping you up at night? What questions still keep you scratching your head? We often don’t realize how many assumptions we make in our daily activities and customer interactions. We do this simply because there is not enough time or because we just assume we already know the answers. Sometimes the issue is that we have not taken the opportunity to clearly articulate the questions. We have not formulated in our minds what is still not known. Or more importantly, to concretely describe the queries. This takes a very holistic approach to your brand and does take our attention back to the big picture and sometimes beyond the obvious data, statistics, and dashboards of the day. Often, it can inspire us to ask bigger and more provocative questions that go even beyond the “pill” we are marketing or the diagnostic in question.
Describing your Methodology
After the questions and insight gaps have been identified, the next step is to determine how you are going to answer these questions. Will you be working internally to solve some issues? Will a new clinical trial be required or meetings set up with global, medical, cross-functional, or leadership teams? Or do you need some holistic insights that can be derived through market research or focus groups? Perhaps you need to engage with physicians, advisors, consultants, co-authors, patients, payers, or other healthcare stakeholders in an advisory board, steering committee, or working group. Identifying the most productive “tool” or tactic to answering these questions is pivotal in getting you closer to the answers you need.
Describing your Objectives and Metrics
Quickly following, one must determine what the objectives will be in engaging in a specific tactic. What is it definitively that you want to accomplish and what is the “call to action”? Sometimes determining what your key imperatives are can be facilitated by asking yourself what you want the situation to look like in 6 or 12 months. Will these changes be attitudes which can be measured by changes in people’s intentional awareness or consciousness about specific information? Or will it be a shift in people’s behaviors in light of new data? Or perhaps it will be in the creation of a specific deliverable (i.e. consensus paper, reimbursement dossier, patient education material, etc.) created within a specific budget and timeline.
Often, I find this to be a step that many people struggle with, as clearly stating success metrics for a particular activity can be difficult. This is especially evident when legacy tactics are used such as sponsoring physicians to a conference. What is the measurement for success? Is it the number of physicians who accepted your sponsorship? Or is it the number of presentations that they give after attending? Or is it a particular behavioral shift you are seeking from them over time? Sometimes, it can be several of these and some can be more difficult or time-intensive to measure.
One of the reasons for the difficulty in articulating benchmarks is that we have socialized success metrics to fit within very narrow filters as viewed through profit and loss statements. It is much more difficult to measure “validated learning” as touted in Eric Ries’ “Lean Startup” book. It is equally difficult to measure the impact of social media on marketing efforts. In addition, metrics are often difficult to quantify because of the lack of comparables, especially if no specific benchmarks exist for a particular intervention or tactic. Often benchmark data are available but you may not have access to them organizationally or do not know where to locate that information. If this is the case, coming up with surrogate benchmarks or even benchmark estimates are the most reasonable approach when creating success metrics.
At Impetus Digital, we feel strongly about clearly mapping out your success map so you have a structured approach and direction in which to proceed. For example, we know from our 6 years of building and managing our clients’ advisory boards and steering committees which benchmarks you should be comparing your programs to when considering customer engagement rates, quantity and quality of insights shared, speed at which to gather insights or get projects completed, as well as cost savings in comparison to more traditional customer engagement activities such as in-person consultancy meetings.