Market opportunity assessments, sales force territory management strategies, internet initiatives, DTC ads, and insurer market
message development have historically been organized around product-specific silos. Market information and the systems that
analyze and interpret resource allocation decision making data have been implemented around product-specific questions, within
each marketing resource domain-physician, DTC, or insurer-rather than across the whole spectrum. As a result, it is nearly
impossible to calculate the total return a company receives from its combined investments in a single physician. Nor is it
possible to assess and optimize the interactions among physicians, DTC marketing, and insurer sales and marketing programs.
A new business model requires the coordination of those efforts to maximize the total profit of the product over time.
Business intelligence systems are critical to help sales and marketing professionals make decisions about resources and priorities.
As the world of digital pa-tient data takes hold, it will be vital for those systems to integrate multiple data sources and
formats to enable real-time overall views of investments and paybacks across customer segments, products, and therapeutic
classes. (See "Pulling It All Together,")
Pulling It All Together
Coordinated marketing efforts that link direct and online physician-specific marketing efforts with formulary selections and
DTC marketing must become the norm rather than the exception over the next several years. Pharma marketers' decisions about
how much to invest in direct visits, samples, vouchers, promotional materials, and educational efforts with individual doctors
will need to incorporate patient insurer profiles and historic levels of patient compliance once the scrips are written. DTC
efforts will empower consumers to ask their physicians and their insurers the right questions as well as motivate compliance.
The end game is to realign resources so that the 15-20 percent of physicians who generate the majority of revenue get the
greatest amount of the right resources. To do so, companies must align traditional and digital systems so that those who re-spond
to one communication mode better than another are served in the way they prefer. It may also mean that some doctors, traditionally
lavished with direct personal attention, may get fewer details or samples if the ROI analysis shows a lack of return.
Just as various physicians require different levels of investment and types of marketing outreach, individual products deserve
unique levels and mixes of sales and marketing investments. Some products may go to market driven primarily by DTC efforts
and limited physician educational efforts. Others might be pushed by aggressive insurer promotions and rebate programs. Perhaps
only the most complex therapies will have targeted physician-focused, one-to-one marketing strategies. With marketing costs
often surpassing R&D, optimization of sales and marketing investments against the potential total return on a product is the
most critical element affecting product profitability.
Although the endpoint of allocating resources according to ROI-based customer segmentation and optimizing the go-to-market
mix for each product seems clear, getting there is a challenge few marketers have tackled. Successful execution requires that
companies realign their culture and their internal decision making processes extensively. It must start with senior leaders
agreeing that the time has come to question the conventional wisdom about how pharmaceuticals are sold. It will move forward
with development of a new business vision that calls for more segmented and differentiated market strategies. Careful executive
consideration of strategies, ranging from support for the physicians' traditional role to investments that accelerate patient
choice, should be part of the discussion.
New analytic tools will be needed to permit real-time queries and analysis of the information available from a broad range
of internal and external sources. During the next five years, the most successful pharma companies will break out of their
silos and assign resources based on individual physician ROI segmentation and go-to-market resource mixes tightly customized
for each product and therapeutic class.