Join the revolution: new ways to deliver breakthrough OTC/healthcare claims

Muzeable Thinking No.22 posted by Tim Brooks 21st June 2017

An uncomfortable truth. Claims are a key component of successful OTC/healthcare marketing, but most claims work ends up as an exercise in polishing pebbles in search of marginal differences rather than delivering market share or game changing messages.

Reality? A world of data parity and regulatory constraints, where serious clinical work based on old, generic ingredients is high cost, high risk, low PTS [probability of technical success]. Consequently, finding highly relevant, distinctive, ownable and differentiated claims is unicorn-rare – as a result, let’s be honest, we usually just play at it.

Imagine… if the approach and our points of reference could radically change? If a hay fever brand [for example] could start to use clinically validated claims based on published outcomes data [not a bit of lightweight cosmetics-style survey data] like:

  • 75% of allergy sufferers reported more symptom free days & better quality of life when using brand x.
  • x% said ‘I was allergy free on the days I really needed to be/when I had things I had to do.’
  • using the app plus product improved compliance and delivered better quality of life for x% more people than those who just used the product.
  • 80% of allergy sufferers said that ‘x’ mattered most to them and that brand x gave them effective support vs this’. Etc.

Data like these – and better – are now completely in reach and supportable by robust, credible, published data. A claims revolution is in play.

Why the step change? A host of factors are converging that together make us VERY EXCITED about the future of claims generation:

  • the quality/growing credibility of patient reported outcomes data [PROM] used by big-Pharma;
  • the wealth of insight consumer healthcare companies produce – but don’t fully leverage;
  • mobile tech/real time data capture and two-way dialogue;
  • deep dive social media analytics are moving to another level;
  • new interactions – services/apps etc. – that impact outcomes, but are not measured effectively;
  • Etc. Etc.

All this creates a data landscape pumped full of opportunities! The new data we can produce is robust, quantitative, measurable and people centric. It can be produced at highly efficient investment levels [i.e. cheaper!] versus trad clinical work, with a far higher PTS, but the outcome is still published data that regulators must take seriously. It will also be highly ownable as it is based on branded user-experience/outcomes versus the ‘chemical’ performance of generic formulations.

WARNING! There is a critical success factor that it is easy to ignore – it is not just about embracing PROM research. The ‘trick’ is to use a hybrid-approach. A blend of expert, clinically experienced, academic data/study/publishing savvy ALONGSIDE a highly commercial, marketing, insight-led, advertising/comms expertise. Most people in this space are either clinical study-led or creative/ideation ‘workshop’ focused. Our experience is that both approaches are, on their own, inherently flawed. We focus on the yin and the yang… so, our core team is a published professor, expert in behavioural medicine, and an experienced senior healthcare marketer. This drives the approach and creates an environment of challenge and appropriate disruption!

And… we can do all this – NOW! Ambitious brands taking a medium term, imaginative view of claims/data can start to own new, persuasive spaces in the minds of consumers that challenge the historic low engagement with our brands and categories – not least because these data are built from the users’ experience of the need, not a clinician’s – often hypothetical – perspective.

Our search is on for a few enlightened clients who get it. Clients who are prepared to commit/collaborate in producing specific outcomes data and then to persuading regulators – because they won’t like it – to leave their ivory towers and consider data on its quality/merits not just its style/method of origin. The level of PROM data being built into Phase III/IV work in ‘big Pharma’ proves it can pass hurdles higher than those in consumer healthcare.

It’s a new age. A revolution is coming. Are you going to play, or just watch?

If you would like to receive our longer [much duller], more detailed paper – Consumer Healthcare Claims: Join the Revolution – or perhaps more interestingly discuss our breakthrough approaches in the specific context of your business – just call Tim Brooks on +44 [0]7802 531578 or email on Apologies in advance, we will only share our content with genuine healthcare/client organisations

One Response to “Join the revolution: new ways to deliver breakthrough OTC/healthcare claims”

  1. Rachel O'Sullivan says:

    On the same page Tim, thanks for propelling the dialogue on this.

    Deep dive social media analytics is the basis of much of what we do here at Four Engage. It enables us to tap into a focus group of hundreds of thousands, to benchmark and track consumer attitudes and sentiment to categories and brands at volume vs claims based on a survey of <250 prompted respondents (astonishing that claims can continue to be made on this scant basis).

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