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Understand The ‘Zone of Credibility’ for Your Brand Before You Make Content Investments

Zone of Credibility

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Marketers increasingly frustrated by the limitations of the package insert and desperate to seek value-added services, have tried to engage their target HCPs by offering content that extends beyond the product itself. When examined, this attempt to reach beyond the product has been met with resistance.

In assessing the marketing effectiveness of a HCP CRM program from a biotechnology company, ROF quantified huge perceived credibility gaps among HCPs on a variety of non-drug content topics. An illustrative quote from a physician pinpointed the issue.

“I view the manufacturer as the experts on their product
(e.g., effectiveness, access, side effect management, administration)
but this does not extend to other content areas.”

At ROF, we refer to this as the ‘zone of credibility.’ HCPs pointed out in the research that there are timelier and more credible sources of information for such common content areas as:

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Time to Re-Position? Positioning Triangulation Is A Key Diagnostic

ROF Positioning Triangulation

The decision to reposition your brand should not be taken lightly and shouldn’t be solely linked to a change in brand management or agency. The evaluation of your positioning should occur yearly during brand planning using an approach that we call positioning triangulation. The three key coordinates that you need to triangulate are the following:

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Are Your Customers Telling You They Want ‘A Faster Horse?’

The amazing thing about our industry is that every year we deliver new exciting products that have different mechanisms of action, biomarkers, tests, and endpoints that demonstrate the value our R&D provides. Unfortunately, most of the market research methodologies supporting the launch of these new products haven’t kept up with the spirit of innovation that our products are delivering.

Faster Horse?Henry Ford is attributed with saying, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’”

This encapsulates a lot of the market research I see being done recently, especially with truly innovative products. Phrases like ‘game changing’ and ‘paradigm shifting’ get thrown around, yet most market research methodologies continue to rely on doctors and/or patients telling the pharmaceutical or biotechnology company how to sell the product or craft the story. A host of messages (sometimes dozens) are put in front of the respondent and they are asked to construct a story for the brand.

The result is ‘a faster horse’ platform and pharmaceutical companies wonder why these messages aren’t ‘game changing’ or ‘paradigm shifting’ once executed in the marketplace. If your new brand is truly innovative, it’s counterintuitive to rely on your target audience to take you to a place that they themselves have never been.

You’re the marketer! Don’t punt the responsibility for crafting the optimal story for your brand to your market researcher and certainly not to your target audience.

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