Help Physicians Crack the Correct Case: ThinkGen's Best Practices for Patient Profiles Testing
By Noah M. Pines and Audrey Wu, ThinkGen
Introduction: Getting HCPs to See YOUR Patient Is Increasingly Difficult!
Helping healthcare providers (HCPs) match the right patient to a specific product is an increasingly challenging task for the pharmaceutical marketer. ThinkGen's Habit Lens(SM) framework was developed because today's overworked HCPs have limited time with patients and rely on ingrained rules-of-thumb to determine their treatment choice for particular patients. This behavior is increasingly reinforced by "corporate medicine," which encourages HCPs to maximize profitability by limiting patient interactions and treatment options.
ThinkGen's Habit Lens studies demonstrate that pharmaceutical marketers too often convert the differentiated aspects of their product's profile into cues - and may inadvertently reinforce the habitual behavior that the marketer is trying to change. We encourage our clients to re-examine cues within the context of a Habit Cycle , and then strategically re-frame cues to motivate HCPs to trial the treatment in specific patient types.
Specific patient types need to be crystal clear to the customer to enact a brand utilization habit. While patient profiles can be an effective tool for presenting specific patient types, they must adhere to promotional guidelines. Patient characteristics must be aligned with those of the patients for which a treatment or therapy is approved - specifically, those studied in the products' clinical trials and consistent with the FDA-approved labeling. Brand teams are increasingly restricted from providing directive information or characteristics in patient profiles.
As with our Customer-Driven Positioning methodology, when ThinkGen tests patient profiles, our focus is on understanding how customers think about the brand's story. ThinkGen's systematic, disciplined approach combines primary marketing research, data analytics support, and our Habit Lens framework to help ensure patient profiles fulfill the brand team's communications and commercial objectives
Decision Architecture and Patient Chart Review
The first step in developing effective patient profiles is to establish a thorough analysis of current HCP treatment behavior, typically led by the market research and data analytics teams. Taking this first step creates an opportunity to meaningfully advance the brand team's understanding of how HCPs think about therapeutic approaches throughout the market research project. In addition to in-house data, market research teams commission exploratory marketing research or rely on expert advisory boards to understand these decisionmaking factors and dynamics more deeply. A patient chart review study is also an effective way to glean further insights into actual treatment decision behavior.