The right research can reveal surprising insights about brands, products and ancillary services (e.g. patient hotline, 24/7 assistance, an informative/educational website) that can lead to improvements in patient care and brand loyalty.
Such deeper insights can greatly assist in formulating a marketing approach that differentiates one’s products and brands, and promotes an improved relationship with patients.
How to conduct patient research
Unlike much research that centers on a company or its products or services, patient research requires that people focus much more on themselves. As such, the topics very often will be quite sensitive and difficult to discuss with others, especially with strangers.
To get patients to reveal their beliefs, attitudes, feelings and motivations regarding their medications, pharmaceutical providers, healthcare professionals or caregivers requires a certain skill.
There are a number of experienced and qualified third party market research firms that can be valuable resources, i.e. they can help to clarify your objectives; recruit appropriate candidates, panels, or support groups for a study; employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, and analyze their findings.
If your company is global, you may want to hire several research firms in different parts of the world. Alternatively, there are companies with multicountry locations and translation capabilities that allow for greater consistency and control over the methods used to collect and present results.
One can use many approaches, alone or in combination, to identify the insights needed to succeed in the marketplace. Below are some of the more common ones.