Big Data Analytics in Big Pharma Marketing: Finding the Right Audience
For many of us, our day-to-day activities revolve around technology. We rely on email and social media to keep in touch with our ever-growing networks. We use search engines to answer questions ranging from “Where is the best restaurant in the area?” to “What are the side effects of my new prescription?” Many of us are digitally connected to the world — either through our smartphones or our computers — from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep at night.
As more and more of the population embraces this digital space, it only makes sense that the pharmaceutical industry follows its patients. While DTC television and print ads haven’t lost their place in the marketing spend, companies are also focusing on digital and social channels to reach out to patients. As the pharmaceutical industry moves forward in the digital marketing landscape, companies should look to more sophisticated big data analytics to target customers and cut advertising costs.
Compared to other industries, Big Pharma is arriving late to the Big Data movement. Historically, pharmaceutical companies have seen tremendous profit margins. As such, these companies havent needed to take on expansive and technical informatics initiatives to drive their commercial focus. Now, amid healthcare reform and new regulations, Big Pharma could benefit from Big Datas insights. With the right information, companies can boost efficiency and increase returns on the next wave of marketing efforts.
Cutting Edge Informations research shows that 67% of surveyed life science companies already use Big Data in their marketing and market intelligence efforts. These companies are implementing Big Data strategies for a number of initiatives, including:
- Assessing performance for existing products and therapies (73%)
- Characterizing disease states and patient populations (67%)
- Targeting products and services (67%)
Figure: Market Intelligence Big Data Applications: All Pharma
Going forward, Big Data for customer targeting could be key in increasing marketing impact and driving campaigns ROI. Delivering commercial messages to the right patients at the right time not only improves product uptake but also reduces wasted marketing funds. Compared to other consumer goods, pharmaceutical products have a major advantage in the targeting game: Drugs and devices rely on specific (often complex) variables for efficacy. Skilled analysts — especially those with a combination of healthcare knowledge and Big Data experience — can leverage mass data to select and focus messages toward these individuals.
Big Data may also be useful as companies reach out to physicians. With no shortage of data sources —from physician prescription history and product retail purchase history to social networks and online community usage — Big Data teams can identify physicians most likely to prescribe the companys brand. In fact, pharma companies have access to datasets that can highlight geographic trends, peak prescription rates and even physician prescribing trends. This information will continue to drive not only major marketing campaigns but also impact closed-loop marketing and commercial field reps interactions with doctors.