"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."
John Wanamaker, the famous Philadelphia retailer, made that comment more than a century ago. Today, as the global financial
crisis continues to gather force, his words resonate loudly with pharma marketers, who are being pushed to do more with less
and be more accountable for every dollar they invest.
Changing marketers' behavior requires understanding customer motivation and the ability to implement strategies and tactics
that drive customers to engage with the brand. Behavioral science-based relationship marketing can be highly advantageous
for the marketer determined to meet this challenge.
Not to be confused with "online behavioral targeting," behavioral science–based marketing goes deep into the human psyche
to understand what motivates people to act as they do. This approach also builds models that show how to shift underlying
beliefs or change resulting behaviors.
The insights and models behavioral science gives us, coupled with solid relationship marketing—including creative, planning,
and execution—can provide a powerful glue that connects overarching brand positioning and awareness efforts to everyday tactics.
And because behavioral-based relationship marketing uses a targeted approach, this strategy is extremely cost-effective, providing
measurable results and demonstrable ROI.
Science Behind the Strategy
As the name implies, this form of relationship marketing is based on scientific data. A behavioral science-based approach
begins by collecting information in order to unlock insights about the customer. It identifies proven, validated behavior
models that are shown to predict outcomes and determine how to change behavior. Examples include the patient's or even the
doctor's perceptions of the illness, severity of the condition, the patient's sense of control, and the healthcare provider's
preferred learning style. Understanding these factors is critical to creating a dialogue and personal brand experience that
will be likely to inspire behavioral change.
Applied to a marketing strategy, the predictive nature of behavioral science is used to understand a person's attitudes, preferences,
and barriers to action; identify and engage the right customer for the brand; develop a blueprint for communications and creative
strategies; and deliver focused, relevant communications on an individual level and maximize ROI.
Behavioral science can sharply focus targeting plans and provide information that is relevant to each specific customer who
inquires about the brand. With this knowledge, pharmaceutical marketers can begin to build a relationship with their customers.
The Impact Factor
If it's done well, behavioral science-based marketing can address hidden attitudes and translate product benefits into assurances
that are meaningful for the patient. For example, in the case of a breast cancer drug, the brand team sought to increase adherence
among survivors taking a medication designed to help prevent the cancer from returning. An analysis of patients' behavioral
motivators determined that for the brand to be accepted as a trustworthy source of that information and increase the likelihood
of adherence, it was necessary to understand three things. First, the breast cancer survivors' community; second, the challenges
women with breast cancer face every day; and third, what motivates breast cancer survivors to be adherent. Research also showed
that patients need support throughout their lives, and that stress— caused by fear of recurrence as well as the stress of
daily life—could be a key barrier to adherence.
Developing a Strategy