The healthcare industry is a unique space, one flush with challenges, opportunities, and fulfillment.
Some challenges are perennial, like mergers and acquisitions, ever-changing regulatory requirements, and recruitment, retention, and adherence barriers. Each year, new obstacles and needs arise that require us to explore different routes for achieving our objectives. A survey published in MM&M explored the shifts and trends that will demand those in Commercial, Clinical, and Medical Affairs to pivot their strategies and budgets, in turn modeling the sometimes uncomfortable but often necessary behavior change expected of patient, provider, and KOL audiences.
The push for patient centricity
Patient and consumer communications continue to grow, and budgets are showing for it. Nearly 58% of survey respondents report now allocating more budget to this audience, with the far majority of spending focused on branded rather than unbranded communication. While many believe they will be rewarded handsomely by this investment, nearly two thirds acknowledge that it all comes down to behavior change on the part of patients and caregivers. How does being dependent on this group changing affect or inspire our own behavior?
Thinking outside the protocol
Clinical trial programs, by nature, are systematic and regimented. Recently, as shown in this survey, and more so with the COVID-19 pandemic, flexibility and adaptations in trials are being demanded. Site staff and CROs are getting creative with actions like step-back clauses and hybrid visits, with more changes surely to come as the industry looks to recover from the pandemic. How are you finding new ways to support those stakeholders who have already begun to change and respond?
Making virtual connections
While MM&M survey respondents noted a shift from spending on nonpersonal promotion (NPP) and toward rep support (60%), these results do not take into account the restricted access faced by sales reps and MSLs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the change that caused them to suddenly do a job virtually that is dependent upon interpersonal engagements. What can you do beyond block-and-tackle tactics to help MSLs learn to do their job in a whole new way?
It all comes down to behavior change
“Marketers are going to have to be willing to reinvent themselves. Finding new and innovative ways to market products going forward is not going to be easy,” forecasts Ihab Judeh, digital content marketing manager for Epic Sciences, in the MM&M survey.
This honest truth points to the importance of behavior change. To reach new levels of success—market leadership, endpoints and outcomes, scientific adoption—we have to move beyond what we’ve always done, although it may be uncomfortable, and change in ways the world is asking.
That ask cannot be guessed at or assumed. With carefully cultivated insights, Commercial, Clinical, and Medical Affairs stakeholders have the opportunity to uncover true needs and lay out a roadmap to success in the way the world becomes, not the way it was. We know it’s possible. Clinical SCORE has been helping our clients do it for years through our research that yields a richer understanding of how healthcare behaviors can, have, and may change as a result of experiencing a client’s investigational product. Reach out to learn how we can do the same for you.