A global pharmaceutical manufacturer was promoting a drug in an extremely crowded and complicated market. In light of the stiff competition, the marketing team repositioned the product and presented new messages to the sales force.
After several weeks, the medication was still not gaining market share at the pace projected. But what exactly was the problem? Was it the overall strategy? The messages? Or was it something that was happening in the field?
With many methodologies and vendors to choose from, the pharmaceutical company chose ReCAP to address this challenge. Because with a single project, the marketing team could learn about:
- The effectiveness of the messages and the strategy itself;
- Physicians’ responses to the ideas and new position;
- Sales reps’ promotional efforts.
ReCAP allowed the reps and the marketing team to hear exactly what their customers were saying about their product and the competition – when no one was around but other physicians.
KaplanResearch conducted 5 ReCAP conferences, one in each of the company’s sales regions.
- Each session began with sales reps sharing their successes and discussing the obstacles they face when selling the medication.
- Then, a telephone focus group with physicians was conducted. With sales and marketing listening, the group revealed practitioners’ opinions about the agent and its competitors – including what they remembered from sales details and collateral materials.
- After listening to the physicians, reps brainstormed about how to improve their efforts in the field.
- Finally, the marketing team, who had heard the entire ReCAP, discussed what the physicians and reps had said.
“I’m in shock…They just don’t understand…” (sales rep)
Sales and marketing teams learned together that the messages were just not being heard. Sales reps were presenting the new strategy as directed, but it wasn’t hitting home with the physicians. In fact, specialists were confused about the position, and some didn’t place the agent in the treatment algorithm at all.
Company-wide, this ReCAP led to important modifications in messaging. Recommendations included optimizing the sales detail by emphasizing particular product benefits, providing tools for managing side effects, and reeducating physicians about the agent’s method of action. Novel educational approaches, sales tools, and marketing programs were recommended.
For the reps, ReCAP meant new insights into physicians’ reactions and a sense of pride and ownership at being able to contribute their front-line experience to the marketing strategy.
The sponsor continued to use ReCAP for several years, to monitor changes in the sales environment, to learn about competitive strategies, to examine the utilization and effectiveness of sales literature, and to hear about marketing programs that were undertaken. The messages were fine-tuned and new materials and strategies were brought to the field as physicians started thinking differently about this agent and using it earlier and more frequently in the treatment algorithm.