Unlocking Your Brand's Hidden Potential Through Dynamic Targeting

At the most recent PMSA conference, Analytical Wizards associate principal Sreya Chatterjee and advisor James Lin gave a presentation that turned traditional targeting methods on its head. In "Unlocking Your Brand's Hidden Potential Through Dynamic Targeting," they outlined how brands can achieve deeper and wider results through dynamic targeting.

In case you missed it, here's a recap of their "dynamic" presentation.

Business Challenge

It all began when a customer came to Analytical Wizards with what has proven to be a common challenge. The pharmaceutical client wanted Analytical Wizards to look into more effective and innovative ways to address two growth challenges of a buy and bill brand:
  • Low conversion. Only 17% of the accounts in the market prescribed the brand.
  • Sales concentrated within a small portion of the prescribing accounts. Just 15% drove 80% of the sales.


The client wanted to enrich their current targeting by blending quintile-based segmentation with a driver analysis for adoption and growth. Goals included:
  • Accelerate sales. The client wanted to expand the breadth and depth of prescribing.
  • Smarter targeting. Focusing promotional efforts on the right accounts (i.e., emerging adopters and growers).
  • Maximize conversions. Greater impact by identifying the right promotional levers (drivers) for the targeted segments.

Examine Targeting Methods

The first step in tackling the challenge of increasing those low conversion rates and capitalizing on the opportunity for growth shown in just 15% of accounts driving 80% of the sales was to look into the client's targeting methods. Chatterjee found they had been using traditional volumetric targeting.

Chatterjee and her team uncovered some problems with volumetric and quintile-based targeting:

Traditional volumetric targeting is not designed to drive adoption or prescribing growth. While easy to communicate, the traditional volumetric targeting approach results in sub-optimal effort allocation because it does not differentiate promotional effort between:
  • Two high-market volume writers with diverging adoption likelihood (high vs. low) for the target brand.
  • Two high prescribers of target brand with different growth trajectories (growers vs. decliners).
"It is possible for a physician to be a 'high writer' but not prescribing your brand," she notes. "High prescription volume does not mean they'll prescribe yours." Similarly, quintile-based targeting does not differentiate promotional effort between two high-market volume non-prescribing accounts with different adoption likelihoods.

"We saw that there was a high prescription volume, but our modeling ranked those accounts as medium or low," she explains. "To convert those to 'high,' a change was necessary."

Solution: Dynamic Targeting

The goal for Analytical Wizards was to:
  • Expand breadth — grow the base of prescribing accounts.
  • Increase depth — more prescriptions within writing accounts.
Rather than simply try to get different results by using traditional volumetric or quintile-based targeting, Chatterjee sought to expand the breadth and increase the depth of the targeting method itself. The result: Dynamic targeting.

Dynamic targeting doesn't simply look at volume alone. It looks at other factors as well, factors that may change, grow, diminish or otherwise move in different directions. Some of those factors included:
  • Volume
  • How many competitors the physician is writing prescriptions for
  • What types of promotions the physician has been exposed to
  • What types of promotions they have responded well to
  • Promotion variables including sampling, calls, non-personal promotions
  • The type of account itself
  • Insurance factors
  • Patient pool
  • Claims information
  • What stage of disease the patient is in
Using dynamic targeting, Chatterjee and her team were able to give recommendations for the client to achieve its goals, but, as with any change, they experienced some pushback at first.

"It's not an easy task to convince companies and sales teams to change the way they target," she explains.

Her solution? Combine the approaches. "We told them, keep your volumetric targeting. Overlay our dynamic targeting with that." The client began to see how many factors, other than volume, came into play.

"The market itself is dynamic," she says. "Everything is changing. If your targeting mechanism doesn't factor that in, you're setting yourself up for failure."

With the dynamic targeting approach, the client was able to track which of their accounts were most likely to prescribe, and model accurately. Looking at the factors dynamic targeting takes into account, the client received a more accurate view, giving them a stronger strategy to achieve their goals.

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