Identifying the Nature and Needs of the Medical and Healthcare Research Market

Medical markets are dynamic markets, where many stakeholders firmly hold onto their stakes, and many people rely on and contribute to the final outcomes of its management.

When wishing to introduce a medical product into the market, in the past, it might have sufficed to identify a target client/consumer-audience, and to create or supply a demand accordingly. In today’s medical markets the art of marketing has been greatly refined, and it is much more challenging to identify the key successes, and threatening pitfalls, of marketing a given product.
How to access a competitive market intelligently and profitably – in light of so many influencing factors and framework conditions – has become a whole market sector of its own.

Marketing experts and market-entry responsibles might ask themselves:

Where is my medical device needed and of added-value?
Who makes the decision to procure a particular pharmaceutical product?
What factors are weighed against each other to rule over a medtech product selection?
Will this product be reimbursed publically – how do payer-systems work?
Who decides over purchasing protocols?
Who would be the prescriber of my medicine?

These questions must be answered in a real and relevant time period, to reflect the most accurate picture of the current market that the supplier wishes to enter. Furthermore, the answers must be obtained from the right respondents, that can provide a true insight into the appropriate care track and or care sector.

The challenges of healthcare data acquisition

Product marketers and medical market researchers are turning more and more frequently to exterior firms, that specialize in healthcare research and data acquisition.

The main challenges of the data acquisition sector in the medical and healthcare markets are the following:

  • Difficulty of accessing qualified and relevant clinical and non-clinical stakeholders
    • It is of critical importance when performing market research that the accurate profiles are identified and reached. In today’s time pressured environment, it is a true challenge to obtain access to high-ranking and suited professionals willing to partake in time-consuming discussions, in order to share pertinent and accurate insights, experiences and opinions.
    • The often over-surveyed market segments have created a common trend where secretaries and administrative personnel work as gatekeepers to accessing the desired respondents.
Quadrant: expert network subject vs complexity
Quadrant: expert network subject vs complexity
  • Leading a complex discussion that creates/reveals added-value in a limited time frame
    • The right respondent must be found and approached appropriately in order to obtain their participation and interest in the study. Furthermore, the moderator must have the right understanding of the key issues being discussed, in order to lead a valuable and pertinent discussion that suits the objectives of the study.
    • Screening the respondent pool is a key success factor. Each country has a distinct healthcare structure, with often completely different profiles handling particular treatments and healthcare/medtech processes. Only when the market and all the potential candidates are fully understood, can an intelligent screening be accomplished and the right high-value discussion with the right candidate be performed.
    • It is key to be able to speak the language of the respondent and to have a firm grasp on the healthcare system and technological terminology of the topic under investigation.

Niche data acquisition and respondent profiling

Having the right questions is only half the success of leading an effective investigation- the other half relies on finding the right respondent profiles to answer those questions. Experienced data acquisitioner will be able to provide added-value through expert-advice in regards to the respondent profiling, screening, and scope of respondent selection.

In France for example, where the healthcare system is managed by a single-public payer system, it would be sufficient to interview 1-3 representative profiles to gain an insight into a particular reimbursement or market-access related query. In Germany, on the other hand, where there are over 100 public insurance providers and paying bodies, one would have to broaden the scope substantially to find a representative sample, in order to identify common practices, differentiating factors, and trends.

A fine-tuned market investigation

TforG has a vast historical and present knowledge of products and innovative technologies being introduced into healthcare markets. It has a thorough understanding of prescriber behavior and national market trends, which facilitates its ability to identify and access the right individuals and groups relevant to a particular discussion/investigation. TforG Connect’s approach has been fine-tuned after 25 years of healthcare research, having created a network of clinical and non-clinical stakeholders, whilst benefiting from a skilled and multi-lingual moderator team capable of accessing new and trending profiles and sectors.

TforG Group has been a member for over 15 years of the ICC/ESOMAR Code on Market and Social Research, where it regularly interacts with its sector peers to share best practices and ideas. The code sets out global guidelines for self-regulation for researchers and has over 60 member associations worldwide. ESOMAR stands for the world Association for Social, Opinion and Market Research.

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