Commercial teams need to understand how the life science industry perceives their brand against competitors’ brands. But conducting market research to obtain this information can be challenging – participants must feel they can be transparent and forthright rather than defensive. Now, commercial teams are exploring virtual engagement as a way to get raw feedback free from pressure or influence.
Commercial market research
A commercial team needed to obtain candid feedback from prescribers about a drug used to treat asthma. Objectives included:
- Assess prescriber preferences for asthma drugs
- Ascertain why prescribers select one brand rather than another
- Understand how introducing new therapies might impact decision-making
Typically, commercial teams obtain this type of information through a variety of methods. In one approach, the team works with a market research firm to conduct in-depth interviews (IDIs) with prescribers in a few key geographical locations, but this approach can be costly and time-consuming. Telephone interviews are more cost-effective but often have challenges related to follow-up when more information is needed. Finally, surveys are good sources of quantitative information but don’t provide deeper insight or additional context.
In this case, commercial team leaders used the Within3 insights management platform and conducted the research via virtual over-time engagement. The team worked with the Within3 client success organization to fully leverage platform features like participant blinding, various question types, and reply and tagging capabilities to get the highest-quality insights.
Participants can log in anytime in an over-time session from any connected device. The prescribers were not required to travel or take time away from their daily schedules and were able to fully focus on the discussion during their free moments. Questions in this session included What drug therapy do you primarily prescribe for asthma, and why? and What would a new therapy need to include to change your preference?
The commercial team obtained robust competitive insights to effectively plan for positioning, messaging, and further data development – exceeding expectations for the research effort. By creating a secure, private environment in which prescribers felt free to be completely candid, the team was able to gain a more holistic understanding of the prescribing landscape. As a result, the commercial team leaders plan to use the virtual engagement approach for competitive research involving HCPs, patients, payers, and allied health professionals going forward.