Take the Guess Out of Guesswork to Optimize your
Planning Perfect Promo
"Once upon a time," Richard "Dick" Anderson told PMCQ types, "there was a company president who refused to do print ads. This was a client who had very successfully implemented a hugely successful PME program four years earlier and wanted to know what conditions would make it work again. When told he would need about 60 pages of print advertising per month, the company president flatly refused." Predictably, according to Anderson, the campaign tanked.
"That's why I get a kick out a lot of the market research projects I've seen in the last 25 years," Anderson continued. "'Let's find out if print advertising works', say the marketers. ' Let's cut detailing, cut the sampling, cut the PME… and increase the hell out of print.' Then, when print advertising doesn't work under these circumstances, the marketing honchos say 'See, I told you it didn't work.'" "Well, you never gave it anything to work on, is what it boils down to," rebutted Anderson.
The moral of the story: Promo cannot be done in isolation. This was just one of the "pearls of wisdom" Anderson shared with a rapt audience at the March gathering of the PMCQ. Anderson is Managing Director and V-P of Mattson Jack ROI, Inc. in New Jersey, where he has designed and implemented a scientific mechanism for forecasting the outcome of promotional investment. If the crowd gathered round him at meeting's end was any indication, pharma marketers were anxious to profit from the proven success of his forecasting method.
Economist that he is, Anderson showed a lot of pretty graphs and talked lot about concepts called "acceleration," "velocity," and "momentum." "These are measures of your level of promotional activity," he told the crowd. "They are leading indicators of what is going on with your product."
Anderson defined "velocity" as a change in sales and "acceleration" as a change in velocity. The interaction between share of the market and the "velocity" of that market share determines the "momentum" of promotional activity, he explained to the crowd. "Promotion drives market instability which drives acceleration which drives velocity which drives momentum, and then you wind up with a share of new Rxs," said Anderson
Anderson also told marketers to view their promotional campaign in the context of an integrated environment which includes market, product, disease and promotional components. "The theory of marketing and promotion doesn't change because your product changes," he cautioned. "What changes is the environment."
By Jadzia Jagiellowicz
Principal of The Medanalyses Group, providing medical writing services to the pharma industry
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