The best methodologies evolve out of the ever-changing needs of our clients. When faced with a business challenge, we first think about how to get the most authentic responses from our respondents, then design an approach to uncover those insights.
It’s Not What They Say, It’s What They Do
Asking healthcare professionals to describe their clinical behaviors and drivers
has been a primary part of market research for decades. It’s driven by health
care marketers’ needs to obtain insight and direction for numerous strategic
and tactical decisions.
But the approach of “ask and tell” in these instances is flawed for two primary
• It assumes that respondents can provide a level of recall sufficient to paint
an accurate picture of the reality of their interactions and decisions
• It assumes that respondents do not apply conscious or unconscious filters
to this recollection
As a result, we created Encounter® — a rigorous and highly effective
methodology based on the core principals of default behavior that are a
significant part of health care professionals’ day-to-day decision making.
This approach allows clients to view live provider/patient interactions and
completely changes the playing field in terms of understanding a number
of valuable problems:
• Validating segments’ behaviors and attitudes
• Exploring opportunity for patient influence
• Market Insight — Understanding the treatment consideration set
(current and future), how options are discussed and utilized
• Testing tactical clinical tools
A client was struggling to understand long-term patient adherence to their product. They knew that patients were filling their initial prescriptions, but refills were sporadic. Traditional market research methods with HCPs and patients were not yielding any additional insights, so the client came to us for Encounter®.
Encounter® revealed that physicians discussed the illness in very broad terms and without much detail, and when they prescribed the client’s product, they rarely mentioned efficacy or the fact that it should be taken daily, or long-term, even after symptoms cleared (to prevent symptoms from returning).
The insights from this study led to the creation of a focused DTC campaign aimed at getting the patient to take action by going to a website and downloading a list of questions and items to discuss with their doctor.
Real-world Sales Message Testing
Traditionally, sales message testing had taken place in a quiet, calm market
research facility where we have the focused attention of the respondent. We
know that the HCPs’ ability to hear, understand, and retain a sales message in
this environment is clearly not close to the reality of how it would be received
in a busy medical office where the reps are vying for time in between patients
and numerous other distractions.
Intersection was created to better understand sales message implementation
and effectiveness in a more realistic practice-based HCP/rep interaction.
A client needed to test several sales message scenarios prior to the launch of a new product. They wanted to better understand what happened if alternative versions of the message were used, if the message had similar recall with different specialties, and what resonated the most with each specialty. This product was entering a market that was already crowded with other competitors, so breaking through the clutter was very important.
Intersection allowed the client to observe the struggles that reps may have with implementation and showed them which message and data points were likely to stick with HCPs after the rep leaves the office and which ones were less effective.
The team felt confident with the revisions that needed to be made, and most importantly, they could formulate the best implementation strategy across specialties prior to the rollout to the sales force.
Creating and Growing an Online Community Over an Extended Period of Time
HealthShare was created as an online forum to foster engagement among
respondents with a common experience. In our increasing mobile environment
where everyone is sharing, accessing and engaging in each others lives, we offer
an opportunity to watch, listen and interact as consultants guide our respondents
through activities designed for rich learning.
Harper Global engaged a group of women in a short term online community
designed to explore the impact of living with female sexual dysfunction on life
and relationships. Over the course of several weeks, we learned through topics
generated by our consultants and participants that FSD is both mental and
physical. They shared stories about their relationships, struggles and battles.
As they warmed up and began relating to each other they shared feelings, challenges and winning strategies. One respondent started a topic on causes and the women chimed in with tear jerking, emotional stories about pregnancy, stress, depression and abuse. They discussed hopes for the future and ways they cope today. At the end of the project, many of the women opted to share their contact information with other members of the community to remain in touch.
Harper Global took away a deep understanding of the obstacles faced by these women on a daily basis as well as wish list of needs
for the future.