Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You: Pivoting from Personal to Non-Personal Promotion

April 23, 2020
Beyond Sales Effectiveness: A Holistic Measure of Stakeholder Experience

COVID-19 has forced pharmaceutical companies to turn on a dime from in-person sales efforts to arm’s length promotional strategies. Social distancing. Over-burdened HCPs in front-line roles. Laid off HCPs in non-essential specialties. And, the eventual taxing of a health system playing catch-up on non-essential needs that are currently on hold during the crisis. All of this forces sales reps not only to operate at a distance, but to serve physicians in a reactive mode where reps are fielding calls for samples and other critical support, but not actively calling on their customers.

What are some steps you can take to reoptimize sales support in light of this emerging paradigm?

Immediate-Term Strategies

  • Distinguish between ‘push’ and ‘pull’ channels: Not all channels are created equally. Each plays a different strategic role. Channels like email are good for actively pushing content out to customers, while other channels like websites serve as an on-demand resource.
  • Optimize level of detail by channel:  When a physician is browsing emails or online journals, they are not actively looking for information on your brand—your content should be a sound bite. Too much content can overwhelm and cause abandonment, even before physicians actually read any of it. On the other hand, when physicians are in active info-seeking mode (e.g., on a branded website), greater detail is appropriate.
  • Integrate channels to work as a system:  With content level optimized by channel, align your push and pull mediums to work together and connect in multiple ways. This delivers the right message at the right time in the right place for your stakeholders—while providing links to further details for those who are interested in additional content.

Long-Term Strategies

  • Re-segment your targets: Taking in-person activities out of the mix necessitates a reevaluation of your promotional mix and channel re-optimization. Segmenting physicians without the personal promotion channel can help ensure resources are being deployed to the right segments and at the right cadence. This can often be accomplished via reanalysis of existing survey and behavioral data.
  • Reevaluate and refine your content: Market research conducted explicitly in the context of the intended channel type (e.g., actively seeking info vs. passively receiving it) with a focus on ensuring your call-to-action (CTA) works optimally will help to enhance effectiveness.
  • Update your promotional effectiveness measures: Instead of share of voice (a sales rep-centric measure) or even ad tracking (which has a limited channel applicability), consider an updated methodology that can help you measure across all your varied customer touchpoints/channels and optimize resources in an increasingly complex, multi-channel world.

Check out our webinar, Beyond Sales Effectiveness: A Holistic Measure of Stakeholder Experience, on this topic, or send us a note if you would like to individualize a plan for your brand.

Beyond Sales Effectiveness: A Holistic Measure of Stakeholder Experience

Brad Perkins, Senior Vice President
Brad Perkins
Senior Vice President

Brad is a senior vice president in the Health division at Escalent where he is responsible for directing fact-based consulting engagements with Life Sciences clients. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years, with more than 15 of those on the market research and consulting side. Prior to joining Escalent, Brad spent four years with Quintiles Consulting overseeing sales for its market research group and designing multi-disciplinary consulting engagements. Brad also previously served as VP within Nielsen’s (formerly Harris Interactive) Healthcare division. His pharmaceutical career began at AstraZeneca in primary and specialty care sales, progressing to national hospital accounts management & contracting. Brad earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, with concentrations in business management and marketing. When he’s not working, you can regularly find Brad on the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York, fishing pole in hand.

Caroline Brennan, PhD
Caroline Brennan, PhD
Vice President

Caroline Brennan is a vice president in the Health division at Escalent. Caroline has over 24 years of market research experience with both professionals and consumers across many therapeutic areas such as neuroscience, oncology and rare diseases. She has expertise across a variety of methodologies, including segmentation studies, conjoint designs, brand equity models and concept/message tests, and she has a knack for matching clients’ needs with the most effective research approaches. Before joining Escalent, Caroline earned a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Franklin & Marshall College. Caroline can often be found at various sporting events with her children, either cheering for them or with them!