Data. Information. Analytics. Success.
By Lisa Klein
Imagine a bridge. It allows people to get from one side of the geography to the other, without which they would not be able to make the connection. Underneath, the bridge is supported by pylons that hold the bridge so it will not collapse. These sturdy support structures are similar to the strength of the data used in any analysis. It is critical to use appropriate data to support the analytics and to make sure it will be strong enough to support the level of analytics to be performed. Depending on how the materials used perform, we can use similar methodologies for other “bridges,” in other areas of the country. Our methodology for building analytics is the same, but there are differences within the regional conditions of each market. Once we include the level of information required, we can then allow the analytical models to take over and produce factors and elements that will increase brand performance.
Market analytics happen at every point in the marketing and sales cycles. There is constant evaluation and reevaluation of trends, market changes, seasonality effects, impacts of formulary changes, and hospital mergers, etc. These analytics rely on solid, clean, integrated data. Data points are useful, but data integration is critical. Understanding caveats, sample sizes, and appropriate use is key to turning data into useful information. It is the quality and validity of this information that propels brand plans to include tactics that move analytics to action. Action is even more impactful when it is regionally relevant and connects a physician to his/her community and a rep to that physician. When we pay attention to the influences in a geography, we are showing our commitment to finding the right message for the right physician in the right place.
The point of regionally relevant marketing is to uncover indicators of how a market behaves and the types of stimuli it might respond to: makeup of its physicians, the prescribing preferences, patient demographics, the influence of managed care plans, the number of teaching hospitals, the reach/ frequency of sales reps with KOLs, target physicians, and other stakeholders. The more geographic elements that are included within an analysis, the more connections that can be made. This amount of information also adds to the art of the analysis, to complement the science of the statistical rigor around the data elements.
The power of this information is leveraged in tactical implementation of programs and field efforts. Now we are having conversations about how Phoenix, AZ, may be like Hartford, CT for example, instead of like the geography right next door. Now sales representatives are having meaningful conversations with other sales reps that have similar influences in their geographies. Brand teams are putting poignant materials directly into the geographies that can use them to address specific market conditions and handle potential challenges for a brand or class.
This turns the current paradigm of how we group geographies into thinking about similar geographic structures and influences. This redirection also allows us to incorporate new market conditions as they come about, whether it is the Affordable Care Act or others.
Information is as powerful as the platform on which we use it. The more meaningful, integrated, and strong the data is, the more solid the analytics become. We can certainly continue to use market share and TRx volume to assess geographies, or we can incorporate all types of nontraditional elements that speak to the differences and influences in the healthcare landscape of our territories and regions. The impact of this strong analysis will emanate upward into brand plans, strategic plans, and new business development.