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Issues in Biotech Marketing Research Qualitative Research

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Rare for big pharma or large biotech company to use findings from qualitative ... Big pharma pattern (based on own experience as a new product analyst) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Issues in Biotech Marketing Research Qualitative Research


1
Issues in Biotech Marketing Research
Qualitative Research
  • Juan M. Falla
  • Senior Partner
  • Bell Falla and Associates, LLC

2
  • Issues faced by biotech marketing researchers
  • Economics of biotech products
  • Multiple influencers/decision makers
  • Not a wealth of secondary data
  • Issues in emerging biotech firms
  • New science/new markets
  • Historically, lower incidence, complex and life
    ending illnesses

3
  • Economics of biotech products
  • Because of their high cost, making a case or
    demonstrating clinical value is critical in
    marketing biotech products

4
  • Demonstrating clinical value is critical in
    marketing biotech products first in class entry
  • Qualitative research can be a powerful tool to
    better understand
  • Medical burden
  • Direct and indirect economic costs
  • Humanistic costs
  • And, help marketers make the clinical case for
    treatment with a biotech product instead of
    traditional therapies

5
  • Demonstrating clinical value is critical in
    marketing biotech products 2nd or later
    entry/near term competition
  • Qualitative research conducted proportionally
    more often than in big pharma to help marketers
    differentiate products in terms of 2nd order
    benefits
  • Packaging
  • Support Programs
  • Patients
  • Caregivers
  • Providers
  • Ease of Access/Approval
  • Reimbursement/Practice Economics

6
  • Multiple influencers/decision makers
  • Proportionally more qualitative research
    conducted with customers other than the
    prescribing physician
  • Nurses/Clinical Care Coordinators
  • Office Managers
  • Reimbursement Specialists/Billing specialists
  • Caregivers
  • Pharmacists

7
  • Lack of wealth of secondary data
  • Not having a wealth of audit data forces
    consultants and researchers to rely more often on
    qualitative research (and quantitative research)
    to inform decision making

8
  • Not having a wealth of audit data forces
    consultants and researchers to rely more often on
    qualitative research (and quantitative research)
    to inform decision making
  • Managing the appropriate use of qualitative
    research is a special issue in biotech, in
    particular, among emerging companies
  • Lets look at some reasons why

9
  • Emerging biotech companies have a different set
    of clients and are unlikely to have internal
    marketing research capabilities
  • Client/analyst is more likely to work with senior
    managers
  • CEO
  • VP, Clinical Development
  • VP, Business Development
  • VP, Marketing

10
  • Emerging biotech companies have a different set
    of clients and are unlikely to have internal
    marketing research capabilities
  • Users of research not experienced in the caveats
    associated with qualitative research. Experienced
    two extremes
  • Useless because it is not projectable
  • Lets write a press release.
  • More of the responsibility for the proper
    selection of research methods and how the results
    are to be used fall on the consultant or analyst

11
  • Kitchen Sink Qualitative Marketing Research
  • Typical situation in emerging biotech companies
    is that there is a high need for external
    information and a limited budget to conduct
    marketing research
  • Combination of these two factors leads clients to
    throw everything they can think of when
    commenting on the discussion guide
  • There tends to be more of a one-shot approach
    rather than the more common iterative process
    used in big pharma and established biotech
  • As a consultant/analyst, one of the more
    difficult issues is to gain agreement on
    prioritization of needs

12
  • External Use of Qualitative Research Findings
  • Biotech companies often use qualitative research
    findings to shape communications to investors and
    overall communication message strategy
  • Rare for big pharma or large biotech company to
    use findings from qualitative research unless
    findings were well validated and confirmed via
    quantitative research
  • Public dissemination of data places additional
    emphasis on consultant/researcher that results of
    the research be used appropriately and that
    spin is minimized

13
  • Emerging companies often live and die by the
    results of pre and clinical trialsatypical
    financial constraints and uncertainty placed on
    marketing research. This typically leads to
  • Use of smaller samples
  • Not uncommon to conduct qualitative research with
    samples with as few as 10 respondents rather than
    the typical 20-30 sample used by big pharma and
    established biotech companies (recent study
    included three respondents per specialty)
  • Follow-on quantitative research may follow much
    later on, or not at all
  • May use external advisory panels or discussions
    with investigators or experts to comment on the
    findings of the research, thus extending the
    utility of the qualitative findings without
    investing in primary quantitative research

14
  • Less use of qualitative (and quantitative)
    research in the product development process
  • Science-oriented culture within emerging biotech
    companies is sometimes a barrier to including the
    voice of the customer into the product
    development process
  • Much evidence in the product development
    literature that products that are developed by
    involving the customer have a greater chance of
    success and, on average, will achieve greater
    sales than products that are developed without
    much external input
  • Consultant/analyst needs to be a champion with
    senior management to include input from all
    customers into the product development process
  • This is of particular importance in the
    development of products with immediate or
    near-term competition.

15
  • Historically lower incidence, complex, and often
    life ending illnesses
  • Places consultant/researcher in the context of
    conducting qualitative research on topics with
    high emotional content

16
  • Places consultant/researcher in the context of
    conducting qualitative research on topics with
    high emotional content
  • Published studies and experience show that
    patients and caregivers are willing to discuss
    experiences with a disease and its treatment
  • However, consultants/researchers need to prepare
    for the emotional challenge of conducting
    qualitative research with patients and caregivers
    of patients who suffer from very serious and
    life-shortening conditions

17
  • New science/new markets
  • Fortunately, biotech products are offering
    groundbreaking medical advances in the treatment
    of these complex illnesses which were previously
    untreatable
  • Advances in biotech often place the
    consultant/analyst in uncharted waters

18
  • Working in the biotech world often places the
    consultant/analyst in uncharted waters
  • Lack of data coupled with dealing with markets
    without prior history requires that
    consultant/analyst be willing to immerse in
    scientific data, and be comfortable in talking
    science
  • Big pharma pattern (based on own experience as a
    new product analyst)
  • Overview of clinical literature
  • Review secondary audits for disease treatment
    patterns
  • Review market studies
  • Audience member in discussions with
    investigators/experts
  • Qualitative and quantitative research patterns
    well established
  • Biotech pattern
  • Need to develop expert-like knowledge of clinical
    literature
  • No or limited audited data
  • No or limited market studies
  • Discussions with investigators/experts are often
    key data source
  • Will need to create custom data sets and
    information databases

19
  • In summary
  • Many of the primary marketing research methods
    and tools we use in conducting research for
    biotech firms are generally the same as those
    used for conducting research for big pharma
  • However, on the one hand, the characteristics of
    biotech markets make the application of these
    methods more challenging
  • On the other hand, the challenges that we face
    make biotech marketing research interesting and
    exciting!
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