Data Analytics

Axtria’s Analysis of Critical Trends in Pharma Sales and Marketing

  • Axtria analyzed five years of data from more than 140 studies across 70 U.S. brands.
  • Assessed channel effectiveness across varying brands, therapy areas, and markets.
  • Analyzed spending and the effectiveness of promotional channels.

Axtria Inc., a global leader in cloud software and data analytics for the life sciences industry, today released an analysis of pharma sales and marketing organizations that underscores the industry’s dramatic embrace of digital marketing over the last five years entitled, “Unlocking Promotional Success: Insights from 140+ Marketing Mix Studies.”

Axtria reviewed 140 marketing mix (MMx) studies conducted on sales data between January 2018 and December 2022, capturing transformational shifts driven by the Covid pandemic and evolving market conditions. The analysis illustrates how technologies have profoundly impacted the ways in which pharmaceutical companies engage with healthcare physicians, patients, and account-based customers.

“It’s clear that embracing an omnichannel approach and adapting to changing customer preferences by integrating digital platforms into strategies will be important steps for innovative companies to take,” explained Dr. David WoodSenior Principal of Decision Science at Axtria. “Axtria is happy to share the valuable insights gained from our work with many life sciences companies to optimize and transform their sales and marketing initiatives. Our products and services, such as Axtria MarketingIQ, help our clients turn insights like these into action.”

The four key trends Axtria uncovered among life sciences companies include:

  1. Life sciences companies are spending more on digital media.
    Axtria found that spending across digital channels exploded from 6% in 2018 to a high of 30% in 2021. The company said such spending fell slightly to 22% in 2022. Conversely, life sciences spending on conferences dropped dramatically from 10% in 2018 – pre-pandemic – to a low of 1% in 2021. It rose slightly to 2% in 2022.

  2. There is a growing investment in different digital channels.
    While spending on online banner ads, display, digital, and alerts held steady from 2018 through 2020 – varying slightly between $4.1 million and $4.4 million per brand– it rapidly increased during the pandemic to $19.2 million in 2021, falling back to $13.3 million in 2022. Similar increases occurred in paid search and social media, rising from less than $1 million in 2020 to $5.5 million and $10.1 million in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The company said email communication remains a valuable tool for reminders and general information.

  3. The effectiveness of digital-channel promotion is improving, with steadily increasing ROI on spending.
    Axtria’s analysis showed an ongoing increase in the return on investment that life sciences companies are experiencing from their digital expenditures over the 2018 – 2022 period) – with a demonstrable difference between growth brands and mature brands. The former sometimes showed dramatic growth in the ROI of email and social media. Mature brands showed moderate growth in ROI across all digital channels. Data also showed that healthcare providers are becoming more receptive to digital platforms, engagement on social media is increasing, and digital data offers a high value for data analysis and model building.

  4. Marketing objectives are changing.
    Axtria also revealed that a higher emphasis on patient initiation for drug refills is emerging, and companies are emphasizing different channels for patient initiation and refills. These changes will have future implications for budget allocations and expected returns on investment.

“Best-in-class companies will also need to use more marketing analytics to gain customer insights while using product-based solutions to innovate and optimize MMx modeling,” said Wood.

Wood added that a blend of strategic thinking and granular tactical planning will contribute to success and the ability to stay flexible to market changes and adapt to digital transformation. “This kind of agility will help successful companies maximize their returns while improving the customer experience and overall return on investment,” he said.

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