Tracking the Success of Newly-Launched Medical Products and Services

September 18, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
September 17, 2007 - Jack M. Shapiro, Principal Consultant for J.M. Shapiro Healthcare Marketing Research and Consulting, provided a succinct list of criteria for tracking the success of newly-launched medical products and services. These are the campaign tracking services which companies such as his provide clients in the fields of prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, supplies and devices, hospitals, managed care, homecare, diagnostics, clinical research organizations, advertising agencies, branding specialists, and venture capitalists.

Two key questions need to be asked: 1) What are my internal sales showing as well as external secondary market audit data? and 2) What are my true levels of campaign awareness and product/service usage? In addition to your own internal sales data, the success of a product or service can be partially determined by published, secondary data from market audits (IMS, Nielsen, etc) or government or industry sources. But none of these sources can measure the awareness of your campaign in the market; who has used your product/service; their experiences with it; and their future usage intentions. Secondary data are often not timely and may take months before they are available. And, of course, secondary data are not necessarily gathered or reported to your tailored specifications and may only reflect generally-approved industry formats. When those critically-important data are needed in a timely fashion according to your tailored specifications, companies must survey a market in order to track their campaigns.

Qualitative research in the form of focus groups and/or a small number of one-on-one indepth interviews can provide a quick read on how things are going but are no substitutes for hard, quantifiable, projectable data on awareness and usage. What’s called for here is a full-blown quantitative evaluation of your just-launched campaign and this can be initiated within a few weeks after introduction.

Here’s a list of what that tracking research could include: How many are aware of the new product, who has used it (why/why not?) and how often? How did they hear about it? How has it been used, i.e., for which purposes/indications? How well did it work? Were there side-effects or other problems? Will they use it in the future and, if so, what will it replace? If they haven’t used it, what will it take to stimulate usage? Can your target market identify your key promotional themes? Are themes wearing-out and need to be replaced (or are they being replaced too soon)?

Here’s a hint to consider: try tracking your competitors’ newly-launched product(s) using the same criteria!

The design and analysis of quantitative studies is almost an “art form” and is best conducted by skilled professional researchers in collaboration with the client.


Jack M. Shapiro is an internationally-known healthcare marketing researcher, consultant, futurist, broadcast journalist and public speaker.

Jack includes among his clients major companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and insurance companies, advertising agencies, hospitals, and manufacturers of medical equipment, supplies and devices. Often quoted in the healthcare industry, general business, and lay publications, Jack has been a frequent guest on national television (ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, PBS and abroad on BBC and ITN) and radio as a commentator on healthcare trends and politics in the United States and overseas.

From 1997-1999, he was the host of “MEDI-POLITICS,” a nationally-syndicated radio show focusing on the politics and future of healthcare as well as key legal and ethical issues. The show reached more than 40 markets in 26 states (31 million people in-audience) and around the world on the internet.

Jack has spent 40 years in the healthcare field, both in the U.S. and abroad. Before forming his successful research and consulting company, he held high-level management positions in marketing and market research with healthcare giants such as Wyeth and Pfizer.

He is currently writing a book about the future of American healthcare based on his long experience in the healthcare industry, in-depth interviews with leading experts who appeared on his radio show as well as on-going poll results generated by his market research company.

Recently Jack was the event host and master-of-ceremonies at the “Global Pharma R&D Summit,” attended by over 250 top pharmaceutical scientists from around the world. Jack is also available to speak and write on future healthcare trends and is well-known keynote speaker.
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