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Competitive Brands Don’t Need Bigger Marketing Budgets—They Need Savvier Market Researchers
By Charu Gupta

For many major pharmaceutical brands in the US, marketing budgets are going up.

According to MM&M’s 2016 Healthcare Marketers’ Trend Report, 56% of pharma execs said that their marketing budgets for branded products had sharply increased over 2014.

In the 2017 State of Life Sciences Market Research Industry Report, a separate survey conducted by InCrowd earlier this year of life sciences market researchers and executives, 80% told us that they work with brands in highly competitive markets.

Looking at these two findings together, the fight for market-share and the corresponding increases in marketing budgets for major drug brands make a lot of sense.

But what if this increased marketing spend simply increases the level of noise you hear from the market?

In our survey, we learned that one of the top three dislikes of market researchers is the lack of relevant information. (Workplace issues—such as bad management, turnover, and miscommunication—and onerous government regulations were the other two major issues.)

And one of the top barriers to success is the inability to understand one’s market.

What this suggests is that bigger budgets may not always translate into actionable data, especially in market research, where large, long, and expensive studies take months to complete. By the time you get the insights you need, your competitor has moved in and the goal post has shifted.

The key is to use whatever budget you have smartly and efficiently. Make sure technologically savvy methodologies are part of your toolkit. Not for the latest trend, but for sound software platforms with automation at their heart, and with people behind the technology who have a deep expertise and understanding of the unique challenges the healthcare industry entails.

Here are the top innovative technologies market researchers in our survey told us they’re investing in or looking to invest in:

  • Big data analytics
  • Online communities
  • Behavioral analytics
  • Text analytics
  • Automated qualitative research
  • Automated tracking studies

Whether your budget is big or small, be sure you’re making smart, precise investments that help you keep your finger on the pulse, your marketing and market research efforts cutting edge, and your brand front and center.

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