Are You Planning Effectively?

With planning season upon us, it is important to think about various aspects of your campaign. You need to think about identifying your target patients most likely to need your brand, the channels to use to reach them, the creative that is likely to resonate with them, the budget you have to work with, and even the likely impact on ROI and how to measure it. While all of those items are important aspects of any campaign, one of the most important parts is the planning, which sets the foundation for how it will perform.

To best understand your target audiences, you first need to understand who they are. You can then profile them in various ways, including demographics, attitudes, lifestyle preferences, and media consumption. Insights into these areas will help you build the most effective plan for your brand. To do this effectively, you need a partner with a fully integrated dataset the combines prescription and medical claims with consumer attributes. As suggested in the survey question above, you also want these data assets to translate into media targeting and measurement.

To gain these insights, you will need to consider the following core questions for your brand.

  1. Who are your patient targets?
  2. What are the best media channels to reach them?
  3. How can I communicate with them in a relevant way?

We will go into more detail about what each question entails in the rest of the article.

Who Are Your Patient Targets?

The first step is to analyze your patient’s journey to learn which are most likely to use your brand. The timeline below helps illustrate such a patient journey. Through this, you will gain insights into the specialist visits, diagnoses, and prior treatments that patients undergo before starting on your brand to refine YOUR patient targets.

As patients move through their healthcare journey, their preferences shift. By analyzing these journeys, you can better identify which patients to focus on. For example, for an established first line drug, a valuable segment can be newly diagnosed patients. For a newer, second line drug, a better segment could be one with patients who have used treated and failed with a key first-line competitor. There could even be insights around specialist visits and/or common misdiagnoses that identify your targets.

By fully understanding your patient’s journey when planning, you can focus your efforts on those patients more likely to need your brand.

What Are the Best Media Channels to Reach Your Patients?

Once you have identified who you want to reach, you then want to understand what channels to use to reach them. You want to develop a media plan that will not only reach your target patients but get them to convert to your brand as well.

In today’s hyper-fragmented media world, you want to answer many critical questions including:

  • TV consumption: How are your patients watching TV? Is it through cable, satellite, or streaming? Are they watching it on a traditional TV, laptop, or phone?
  • Genre preferences: What type of content are they watching most often? This can range across news, documentaries, family shows, sporting events, and many others.
  • Audio consumption: Do they listen to online radio like Pandora or Spotify? How often do they subscribe to podcasts?
  • Social media preferences: are they active on social media? Facebook and Instagram show generational differences, but health information seekers may prefer informative newsfeeds like Twitter can provide.

By understanding their media preferences, you can deploy your message on channels you know your patients spend time on and respond to.

How can I Communicate with Them in a Relevant Way?

Now to the final planning question: How can I speak with the target audience in a relevant way, to motivate them to take action? Understanding the answer to this question will help you develop the creative and messaging of your brand’s communications. One standard brand message won’t be enough for your particular patient segment; you should speak to your audience with empathy and understanding. To do so, you will need to understand two broad categories of insights:

  1. Health Engagement:
    • Healthcare system utilization: How often do these patients visit specialists? Do they utilize telemedicine? Are they insured?
    • Alternative treatments: Do the patients use alternative medicines like aromatherapy, herbal remedies, or acupuncture?
  2. Attitudes and Lifestyles:
    • Lifestyle preferences: How health conscious is this segment? Do they have bad health habits?
    • Attitudes: Are these patients pro-environment? Are they technologically innovative?
    • Socio-economic status: Even within an older generation, it helps to understand the mix of successful retirees, suburban middle class, and urban isolated.
    • Hobbies and activities: Would this group relate to creative showing gardening, boating, or nature exploration? Or would sophisticated arts, music, or sporting events resonate more?

By answering these questions, you can develop effective messages and creative, backed up by robust data.

By analyzing these questions during your planning process, you can develop targeted and tailored communications, deployed over channels that will reach your patients who ultimately get a prescription for your brand.

The best way to gain in-depth analyses for your planning is to choose a partner, like Medicx, that has the right data and tools to answer these questions. You will gain actionable insights into the right data sources and analysis frameworks that can significantly enhance your branded promotion.

We at Medicx can help you not only with planning, but also with execution and measurement, using consistent data assets throughout the closed-loop cycle.

To learn more, contact your local client partner or reach us here!