Step 1: Establish the Customer Framework and Select Targets provides the platform for structuring the market and defining the opportunity. During this step, the role of physician vs. patient marketing is defined, which may include development of a quantified, segmentation fact base, to inform subsequent project steps.
It’s often useful to think about target definition as a series of concentric circles, with the primary target representing the most influential professional segment, the secondary target comprised of other professionals (e.g., referring or primary care physicians), followed by patient/care provider targets, and others (managed care, employees, investors, etc.)
During early marketing planning, it’s useful to gain deep insights into the primary target customers, as they will tend to set the highest hurdles – clinical and otherwise – and their needs must be met first for successful adoption by other targets.
Segmentation research can inform both target selection (in linking attitudinal and behavioral data) and messaging development, based on survey responses. We have performed numerous medical market research studies — both qualitative and quantitative research — to assist in customer understanding. If you’re seeking outside consulting service assistance, make sure your medical marketing consultant, healthcare marketing consultant or pharmaceutical marketing consultant has the industry and functional expertise to deliver deep customer insight.
Step 2: Define the Value Proposition establishes the hypothesized core offering, addressing both clinical and non-clinical benefits. During this step, a value proposition is hypothesized to obtain customer feedback on the full set of clinical and non-clinical benefits. Many new products that demonstrate superior clinical benefits ultimately under-perform in the market, because they fail to communicate the broader set of benefits (training and education, practice support, scientific leadership, etc.) that are required to make a new therapeutic solution successful from the customers’ perspective.
Step 3: Create the Brand Positioning and Identity. The strongest bio brands have at their center a clear, succinct expression of their brand’s positioning, supported by a portfolio of messages that align with that positioning. Certainly, the product indication, clinical data and other inputs will provide a strong starting point for positioning development, though competitive assessment and primary research also need to be performed to truly assess positioning appeal across three key criteria: relevancy, differentiation and credibility/believability. Developing alternative “white board” positioning concepts and optimizing them “real time” with selected targets will dramatically improve positioning success. Brand identity elements (product naming, look and feel, etc.) should be an outgrowth of positioning development, to ensure brand consistency and alignment.
Step 4: Prepare the Messaging framework. For high involvement pharmaceutical and device purchases, multiple benefits may need to be communicated (in support of the positioning). A messaging framework that aligns individual messages (by message type) against target customer requirements significantly improves communication effectiveness. The framework should consider regulatory inputs and be multi-factorial, including multiple targets, touch points, channels and decision points (e.g., acquisition vs. retention), etc. Again, an experienced healthcare marketing consultant, medical marketing consultant or pharmaceutical marketing consultant can be instrumental in developing target-relevant communication.
Step 5: Develop the Communication Plan and Creative. The outgrowth of the prior steps is the brand development brief, which our medical marketing consultant, pharmaceutical marketing consultant or healthcare marketing consultant develops in collaboration with the client team, to direct communication planning and creative implementation. The brief synthesizes important strategic decision inputs from prior steps (segmentation, targeting, positioning, messaging, etc.), as well as brand identity elements (logo/identity standards, look and feel, etc.) to ensure brand consistency over time. The brief often serves as an important transfer point with creative service providers (ad agency, web design firm, etc.).
Learn more about the benefits of building a strong biobrand strategic positioning or contact Equibrand to discuss your medical marketing consulting needs. Whether you’re looking for a medical marketing consultant, healthcare marketing consultant or pharmaceutical marketing consultant, we have deep, specialized experience to drive business results.