One of the many downsides of a siloed strategy in pharmaceutical marketing (see our additional thinking on this topic) is that the two halves of the marketing equation – physician perceptions and patient perceptions – are never truly connected.
Too often there is the assumption that physicians and patients see a given disease state the same way and that they have open lines of communication with one another that are frequently accessed. These assumptions are not only altruistic, but can prevent a brand team from fully realizing potential opportunities for brand growth. As part of a recent project at ROF, physician perceptions of the impact of a specific condition on patients lives were assessed by mimicking a question set asked of patients in a robust quantitative study. The chart below illustrates only a sampling of the disconnect between physicians and patients.
Clearly, physicians clearly underestimate the impact of this condition on patients’ ability to thrive. From this, a campaign to sensitize doctors to this disconnect and get them to take a more thorough assessment of their patients was developed. Without a full view of this picture, it was impossible for both professional and consumer pharmaceutical marketers on this team to maximize the effectiveness of their initiatives.
Have you been able to quantify the perceptual gaps between physicians and patients when it comes to your disease state and brand? How closely does it resemble what was uncovered here? What were the implications?