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You’re Ready for Product Launch – Is the Market?

Market research is a valuable tool to guide the strategic planning of a new product launch, supporting marketing, sales, and leadership efforts at your organization. Although market research activities are typically for internal use only, conducting studies for public release can help prime the market for your new product. This type of research strategically explores a topic area in an unbranded manner which can help reduce any perception of bias, particularly for research sponsored by a pharmaceutical or device manufacturer. By focusing on a disease or health issue, it can be an effective tool to position your product as raising awareness of a condition and its impact on patients, caregivers, and society to shed light on unmet needs that your company is well-positioned to address.

What should you consider when designing a study for public release to ensure the greatest impact?

  1. Who are you trying to influence with your research to make your product launch successful?
    • Are these consumers or patients? Or are you trying to reach health care professionals (HCPs) or payers?
  2. What is the best way to disseminate this information?
    • This is typically driven by the answer to the question above. Press releases can be very effective for consumers as they are intended to generate media attention and be distributed to a general audience.
    • Peer-reviewed manuscripts, whitepapers, or posters presented at a conference can be an appropriate channel for a professional audience. Detail aids can also be very effective in communicating information they may not be aware of, for example, “85% of patients with condition X feel it is very difficult to speak to their HCP about issue Y.” The detail aid then becomes a resource to help HCPs and demonstrates your company’s commitment to patient care.
  3. Who is your survey audience?
    • Determine who is the best source of this information – these do not necessarily need to be the same as the audience you are trying to influence. For example, exploring what is important to patients or caregivers can help guide their HCPs in understanding a disease or condition from their point of view.
    • It is often beneficial to evaluate multiple perspectives as this can help provide an accurate picture of life with/managing a condition (e.g., schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s Disease), paint a bigger picture of a group’s health state and needs, help identify gaps in perceptions, and gain a better understanding of health care coverage and reimbursement concerns.
  4. Who should I involve from my organization?
    • Typically, a market researcher works with the marketing or brand team, but research for public release needs to be carefully designed, ensuring you have key stakeholders involved from the very beginning of your project. This is essential for a successful study as is aligning on the study objectives.
    • These stakeholders can include public relations teams or agencies, corporate communications, Medical Affairs, clinical experts (KOLs), country affiliates for global studies, and your legal department.
  5. How do I develop a survey that yields robust results?
    • Keep in mind 3 key areas: awareness, attitudes, and actions. Awareness can test knowledge and bust long-standing myths. Attitudes include feelings, emotions, and opinions. Actions are behaviors, experiences, and intentions.
    • Ask the questions in an unbiased and straight-forward manner.

The idea is not to “sell” your new product, but rather to make it easier for your sales and marketing teams to be able to position it effectively right from the start. Following this guidance for your public release study will help your team set the stage for a successful product launch!