Ms Tahoora iqrar
The systemic and objectives process of obtaining information needed
for taking marketing decisions (zikmund &D`amico 1996)
Marketing research is the process of designing and conducting
research and analyzing the data collected.
Why the need of research:
1. To unidentified therapeutic needs
2. To predict customers ,demand for a new medication.
3. To identify why the competition is successful.
4. To find out the market size and growth
To know all the category of product sales and market shares
To access proper pricing ,
To identify demand seasons ability or trends
To prevent crises and failures to identify key targets
To evaluate company public image
To measure prior successful new product launches;
To identify the potential successful advertising and promotions programs
Risk of research
Marketing research involves several risks ,and this is especially sensitive field
of pharmaceuticals intended for human use.
For instance,poorly designed markeing research may contain investigator`s
bias r lead to erroneous interpretations that may lead the company into an
expensive and fruitless R & D plan or to implement a bad market strategy.
Such potential research risk include the following bias (sampling ,)confusing
,over relying on quantitative data , poor design ,wrong data , wrong
interpretation or wrong type of research.
Process and Methodology
The marketing research process can be divided into following
1. Defining the problem
2. Setting the research objectives
3. Designing the research plan
4. Selecting the optimal sample and size
5. Collecting the data
6. Analyzing the data collected
7. Creating a model based on data
8. Evaluating this model and deciding on the optimal marketing
1. DEFINING THE PROBLEM:
This step is critical to the whole research process because the wrong
definition of a problem may lead pharmaceutical marketers to misleading and
For example :
Discuss the reason for sluggish sales, focusing on a complain of high price
burden for patient
A common method used in marketing research definition is exploratory
research . this process uses a small number of interviewers and explore their
beliefs , attitudes, or actual experience regarding a particular product to
uncover the often concealed reasons for their prescribing or purchasing
The purpose of exploratory marketing research are
a) To develop hypotheses
b) To better find the problem
c) To establish priorities
d) To collect information on research methodologies
e) To test various alternatives
2. SETTING THE RESEARCH OBJECTIVE :
In setting the research objective , the marketer must strive to be open
minded enough for investigation hypotheses, in this stage try to focus on the
problems and issues that are influencing the market conditions and product`s
Research objectives are distinguished as primary and secondary objectives.
e.g: A migraine medication is to be introduced to the xyz market. The company
marketers are creating their product`s targeting and positioning. They have
conducted their exploratory research.1)primary :which medical speciality
primarily consults migraine sufferers, what is their practice and what are their
current prescribing habits ? 2) secondary: how do they react versus the product1s
compaign alterbatives , their brand awareness , and competitor cpmany image ?
3. DESIGNING THE RESEARCH PLAN :
Research planning involves the following three main steps
1: SELECTING A MARKETING RESEARCH AGENCY
This is very sensitive process because when identifying an able , external
partner , it must possess essential characteristics. They are
1. recognition among pharmaceutical marketing peers 2. prior therapeutic
category expertise 3)available human resources 4) practical location
5) Reasonable prices
2. PREPARING THE RESEARCH BRIEF FOR THE AGENCY
This document has to be thoroughly researched and prepared so that it clearly describe the
problem and presents all knowledge about the problem with the external partner .
The main parts of such a research brief are the following
I. Problem history and definition
II. Product characteristics
III. Therapeutic category details
IV. Regional market characteristics
V. Research objective
VI. Potential research subjects required
VII. Time requirements
VIII. Budget allocation
IX. Reporting needs.
Agreeing on the research plan with the
In order to avoid possible misunderstandings , conflicts and delays , the final
research plan is mutually agreed and respectively signed .
The usually focuses on the following details
d) analysis method
e) data ownership and confidentiality
f) pharmaceutical company responsibilities
g)reporting frequency and format h) timetable
i) research costs and incidentals
j)any subs contractors involved
k) task force l) breach of agreement arrangements
4. SELECTING THE OPTIMAL SAMPLE AND ITS
The process of sample selection is called sampling .It requires the following
questions to be addressed.
What is the targeted population ? Rural urban etc
How big should be sample ? Number of sample size
How is the sample to be selected ? Which technique used
Random , probability
COLLECTING THE DATA :
The collection of primary data is done by using the following research
5.COLLECTING THE DATA
I. SURVEY :
A survey is a systematic research effort collecting information from a sample of individuals,
using a questionnaire. Pharmaceutical market surveys can be descriptive (demographic,
psychographic), attitudinal, or focusing on prescribing or purchasing behavior (past, future)
paired set comparison (product A versus product B, product B versus product C)
perceptual mapping (product placement on quality versus price 2xes),
constant sum (usually 100points, divided between various options)
continuous rating (worst/below average/average/good/very good/best)
Likert scaling (responses to "strongly agree/strongly disagree" questions),
semantic differential (5- or 7-point scale with opposite pairs of descriptive words),and
projective techniques (word association, picture interpretation, completion test, third
person, or role playing).
The most commonly used survey research methods are:
(a) personal interview ,including in-home (door-to-door), in-medical-practice
(hospital, clinic, long-term care facility, private office), in shopping center (mall
intercept), in pharmacy
(b) telephone survey (operator-or computer-assisted);
(c) mail survey;
(d) fax survey;
(e) e-mail survey;
(f) internet survey; and
(g) focus group, including physical gathering, telephone conference, video
conference, or Web conference.
Various questionnaire designs
include open-ended, fixed alternative, and
ii )Observation :
Observation is the systematic recording of customer behavior, events, or
objects. Some of the observation research subjects .are
(a) physical actions,
(b) verbal/expressive behavior,
(c) temporal patterns, and
(d) spatial relations
Observations can be conducted in
(a) standard test markets : retail pharmacies
(b)control setting (laboratory ):a conference room where 10 prescribers are
asked about their brand name preference
(c) In simulated test markets : a shopping mall store temporarily converted
into nutritional supplements/ health living store with the purpose of studying
the interested buyers` behavior in detail.
iii) EXPERIMENTTION (TEST MARKETING ):
Experiment is often used by pharmaceutical marketers to test specific
product characteristics or marketing campaign items in an effort to fine tune
their R & D or promotional activities in advance of the actual product launch.
Example :prescriber s` brand name or campaign testing , price elasticity ,and
patients tastes and packaging testing .
6 .ANALYSISING THE DATA
Once the data collection phase has been completed , the data are entered
into a suitable electronics database.
Erroneous data are cleaned (e.g: questionaries' entry of a subjects age as 156
corrected to 56 editing , certain variables are coded for easy statistical
campaign (e.g 1 strong 2=moderate and so on )and finally various statistical
test are utilized for their analysis.
7 .CREATING A SITUATIONAL MODEL
BASED ON THE DATA:
The systemic collection and analysis of marketing research data eventually
leads to the creator of a detailed situational model describing customer
attitudes and behaviors .
Classics pharmaceutical industry examples of such models include
prescribing –decisions process maps
patient purchase decision trees that show information and
disease treatment models tress that show information from patient
symptomatology to diagnosis to treatment as well as long term follow up.
8. EVALUATING THE MODEL AND DECIDING
ON THE OPTIMAL MARKETING STRETEGY:
The final step in the marketing research process is the evaluation of the
situational models by an interdisciplinary team of company experts,
ranging from R&D to upper management , marketing , sales ,
manufacturing , advertising , and other workers in functional teams
towards the improvement of the products competitive advantage.
A potential risk among giant pharmaceutical industry players is the lack
of knowledge sharing among these cross functional teams , with the
resulting break in communication and vast amounts these cross functional
teams, with the resulting break in communication and vast amounts of
useful marketing research information
Therefore it is paramount importance that each organization constantly
work on improving the collection , archiving and dissemination of
marketing information so that all levels are fed with valuable
information and made capable of contributing to the over all , long term
capability and viability of the company .