Commentary

3 Measurement Essentials At The Point Of Care

In recent years, as a result of advances in technology, expansion of channel reach and increased focus on patient outcomes, the Point of Care channel has grown to be a more important part of brand marketing strategies — most notably for healthcare marketers. Campaigns at POC have been successfully fueled by data-driven targeting and a high degree of consumer engagement with relevant content, but what has made POC most attractive to marketers can be summed up in one word, measurability.

POC has offered marketers the unique opportunity to track the consumer journey from the healthcare provider visit (at the doctor’s office, hospital or pharmacy) to the point of sale. And now, with heightened focus on understanding outcomes on every campaign, measurement design has become equally as important as the campaign design itself. 

To best position yourself for success—as well as get the most accurate read on your campaign’s performance—it’s important to recognize both the benefits and limitations of measurement. Below are three key questions to ask yourself before finalizing your measurement plan:

1. Is my campaign large enough to measure?

Not every campaign is large enough to measure—statistically speaking

A campaign (often in the form of a “test campaign”) may be too small in scale to allow you to detect a more immediate and/or statistically significant impact. This doesn’t mean your campaign isn’t working. Rather, it suggests that you need to adapt your measurement design to account for the size of your campaign. For example:

  • Conduct a feasibility study to understand if statistical significance can be achieved given size of sample, timeframe for measurement and assumptions around magnitude of impact
  • Use insights captured via primary research (qualitative or quantitative) versus transactional purchasing to obtain earlier indicators of program success
  • (If married to secondary analytics) Analyze transactional purchasing over a longer period of time to increase the size of the sample subject to study

2. Do my research metrics align to my campaign’s objectives?

ROI is not the only indicator of campaign success — though it is, of course, among the most important. 

Marketers have a variety of metrics at their disposal to understand campaign performance—from ad awareness and message recall captured via primary research to purchase lift and brand adoption captured via transactional-level analyses. Using pharmaceutical marketing as an example, product life cycle will have a considerable impact on key performance indicators of a campaign. Marketers of brands entering growth and maturity will focus on new patient starts, impact on market share and return-on-investment; whereas, launch marketers may expand KPIs beyond new patient starts to increase in brand awareness, consumer message recall and adoption of the brand among non-prescribing physicians. 

Communicate your brand’s objectives up-front so that all key performance indicators are addressed in your measurement plan. 

3. When should I look to first measure my campaign, and how frequently should I track performance?

Campaigns take time to resonate. 

It’s hard to wait to evaluate the performance of a campaign. In the pharmaceutical industry, data is available as frequently as weekly (if not daily). And while tempting to consider weekly measurement of a campaign at the Point of Care, we know from experience that campaigns take time to gain momentum. While a large percentage of impact is observed within the first 30 days of campaign exposure, residual impact is seen for up to 90 days. Measuring a campaign in its infancy may set a false expectation of performance and set your campaign up for “failure.” 

Establish expectations on timing up-front, allowing six months for measurement where possible but no sooner than three months to first assess your campaign’s impact. From there, more frequent tracking/follow-up reads may be established, assuming data from the initial read supports.Patience—in terms of data availability—pays off.

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