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Three Ways to Optimize Promotions and Drive Dynamic Deployment

You don’t need me to tell you: It’s harder than ever for commercial teams to get access to healthcare providers (HCPs) for face-to-face promotion. That was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the global health crisis only led to further restrictions on in-person access. In fact, IQVIA research has shown that as of June 25, 2021, in-person details were 57% of the pre-COVID-19 baseline.

As a result, many life sciences companies began investing significant resources in non-personal promotions, often using digital technologies to deliver these communications. Yet no one has endless resources to throw at every sales and marketing channel for every HCP. Instead, commercial teams are facing this critically important question: What’s the right combination of personal and non-personal promotion for each HCP – and how should we tweak that combination over time?

There’s widespread agreement that legacy approaches are no longer effective at answering that question. Instead, organizations are looking to data and analytics to shed light on the best way to deploy resources – and to help monitor and continually refine performance over time. Here are three ways to get there.

#1: Smart targeting
Identifying prospective patients for specialty therapies can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. It’s challenging to determine which HCPs have patients with medical histories that suggest a high likelihood of being diagnosed with a rare disease. Additionally, it’s equally difficult to find HCPs with patients who have already tried first- and second-line therapies for a specific disease – and those with patients who initiated treatment but have seen poor adherence.

But when you bring together diverse data – including diagnostic, prescription, claims, and payer information – you can begin to dissect the “haystacks” and figure out which are most likely to have the “needles” you seek. For example, a growing number of IQVIA customers are using our de-identified patient-level data and artificial intelligence/machine learning models to predict and identify patients with a specific disease, including those likely to initiate a second-line therapy.

With those insights, you can allocate your resources to the right HCPs and deploy them in an optimal way. That may include sending in a medical science liaison (MSL), providing patient support resources, or asking a rep to schedule an in-person touchpoint with the prescriber.

#2: Integrated performance monitoring
Although your sales force and marketing campaigns are pursuing the same goals, you may be deploying and managing them separately. It’s time to change that.

Using data and analytics, it is possible to create an HCP attribution model that helps quantify how each piece of your promotional puzzle is contributing to overall commercial performance. For instance, data and analytics can illuminate which ads are delivering results (and in which markets). An attribution model also can help you understand the impact your reps are making – including whether they are influencing your target HCPs in a way that directly increases your brand’s ROI.

Additionally, integrated performance monitoring may reveal that you’re overspending on the pricy in-person channel when a more cost-efficient digital channel could be sufficient. On the other hand, you may discover that you have been over-rotating on digital with certain HCPs, and these targets would be more receptive to in-person interactions with a rep or MSL.

This learning model eliminates guesswork – empowering you to measure HCP value and channel responsiveness. With those insights, you know what changes are worth considering and why.

#3: Smart coordination
Now that you’ve identified your targets and established a way to measure promotion and channel impact, you’re ready to dynamically deploy your sales teams. Rather than assigning them to static territories, you can prompt them to respond to HCPs based on real-time opportunities you identify through predictive analytics or simple business rules.

Another option is to frequently update call plans to reflect changing conditions in the market. Consider, for example, that an HCP is responding to your promotion tactics and is fully aware and educated on your product. In that case, you can alter the frequency of in-person calls – and increase the frequency of non-personal tactics – to maintain the positive momentum. That, in turn, means you can shift your high-cost reps’ focus to another set of HCPs who do need further education and support.

When change is a constant, the only way to win is to embrace it. By taking full advantage of data and analytics, you can dramatically improve how you target HCPs, measure and optimize cross-channel performance, and dynamically deploy and support your reps.