Cegedim-Dendrite Marketer Surveys: Changing business models, more focus on retaining existing patients

June 24, 2010
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - May/June 2010,

Annual surveys take pulse of executive management, DTC marketers; what’s your favorite social media?

Cegedim-Dendrite (Bedminster, NJ) has released a pair of its annual surveys measuring business actions and moods among pharma marketers and executives dealing with market access and DTC issues. While there are many data points on specific tactics and actions, the summary direction seems to be: staying abreast of a changing commercial model, and focusing on holding onto existing customers (patients) and relationships in its DTC methods.

In one survey of top pharma management in North and South America, Cegedim-Dendrite found that commercial business models are the No. 1 concern as “the big issue keeping you up at night,”—outdistancing pipeline growth, regulatory reform or generic competition. And the key element within the business model is “increased focus in market access strategies,” which was mentioned by twice as many executives as those who mentioned “primary sales force realignment” or physician-directed marketing activities. (A third Cegedim-Dendrite survey, of European pharma managers, indicates that companies there, by a 70% majority have already begun changing their messaging “in response to the need to demonstrate ROI to health providers.”)

The annual “DTC Check-Up” survey, conducted among manufacturers, consultants, agencies and other vendors, find that DTC spending is expected to rise significantly this year, especially in comparison to last year’s generally dour outlook. Four in ten marketers expect an increase, and the combination of “increase” and “stay the same” is at 72%, as compared to 43% in 2009. Generally, spending on television, direct mail, print and radio advertising will fall, while website spending, relationship marketing, adherence programs and e-mail campaigns will increase. “This mixture shows that DTC marketers are continuing in their aim to build and maintain long-term relationships with their customers,” says Cegedim-Dendrite.

One interesting result of the executive survey is their personal use of social media. When asked which media are used on a daily basis, the results were:

  • LinkedIn: 53%
  • Facebook: 39%
  • Twitter: 11%
  • MySpace: 1%
  • Other: 4%
  • None: 3%

Even so, the majority (51%) of respondents say that their company’s investment in social media is less than 5% of overall marketing budgets.