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Raising Disease State Awareness: Best Practices in Internal Brand Messaging for New Products

ID: OP-106


Features:

20 Info Graphics

50+ Data Graphics

75+ Metrics

20 Narratives

33 Best Practices


Pages: 67


Published: Pre-2014


Delivery Format: Shipped


 

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  • STUDY OVERVIEW
  • BENCHMARK CLASS
  • STUDY SNAPSHOT
  • KEY FINDINGS
  • VIEW TOC AND LIST OF EXHIBITS
Educating the marketplace about disease state is crucial to the success of a new pharmaceutical product— especially if the product treats a medical condition that is previously unknown, socially sensitive or stigmatized or if the product is first in its class. Brand leaders require communicating new disease state information to their own employees as well as to their physician, patient and payer customers. Well-executed communication programs paves way for a new brand to enter the market.

Leading brand teams develop specialized internal communication processes, channels, guidelines, timing, segmentation standards and success metrics to customize their messages for employees.

This exclusive research by Best Practices, LLC captures quantitative benchmarks and qualitative insights on understanding methods for timely delivery of appropriate information to the right employees to maximize positive impact on the brand. Also included are pitfalls to avoid and best practices for improving internal brand communications.


Industries Profiled:
Health Care; Pharmaceutical; Diagnostic; Biotech; Chemical; Medical Device; Consulting


Companies Profiled:
Abbott; Novartis; Actelion; Novo Nordisk; Boehringer Ingelheim; Pfizer; Eli Lilly; ProPharma; Genentech; Roche; GlaxoSmithKline; Sanofi-Aventis; Janssen; Takeda; Vertex; Merck; Sharp & Dohme; Watson; Nektar; Schering-Plough; Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals

Study Snapshot

Best Practices, LLC conducted this research to identify the best practices of veteran pharmaceutical executives for all aspects of communicating disease state information within their companies. The study gives particular attention to communication challenges around products that were first in class or that treat conditions that are largely unknown or stigmatized including HIV, erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol, overactive bladder, restless legs and others. Specific topics covered in this report include:

  • Effective internal communication channels
  • Emerging communication media and tools
  • Communication topics appropriate for each product development phase
  • Advantages & disadvantages of internal message segmentation
  • Measuring internal message effectiveness
  • Preventing sensitive information leaks
  • Managing science-based communications
  • Engaging Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) and executives to influence employees
  • Needs creation marketing tactics
  • Success factors & guidelines for internal disease state communication
  • Use of message customization for management groups
  • Special challenges for products treating socially sensitive conditions or diseases, first-in-class products, or new disease states or conditions
  • Best practices & participants’ lessons learned

Key Findings

Sample Key Findings include:

Internal Communications Channel Effectiveness & Use
  • Study participants use a multi-channel approach to disease state communication and education to maximize their employee reach.
  • A core group of new technologies is expected to grow rapidly for communication and education purposes. More than half of all research participants stated that they expect social networking, podcasts and online video to grow in use as critical tools for communicating disease state and product information.

Communications Timing
  • Study participants recommend communicating complex disease state information in phases, waves or bites, giving employees just enough to make them curious and interested in learning more.
  • A majority of companies begins internal communication before NDA filing for senior leadership, middle management, brand/marketing teams, R&D/clinical staff, Medical Affairs and manufacturing Leadership.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary............................................................................................5
Introduction....................................................................................................................5
Research Focus...............................................................................................................5
Research Approach.........................................................................................................6
Participant Demographics...............................................................................................6
Report Structure and Organization...............................................................................11
Key Findings.................................................................................................................12
Best Practices for Internal Brand & Disease State Communication............15
1. Name or “brand” a new medical condition to enable professional education and discussion about human disease states that may invoke social sensitivity or stigma...........................16
Use needs creation marketing principles to establish a brand for a new condition..........17
2. Put a human face on the medical condition to elicit compassion and understanding in order to gain support for a brand that will treat a new or socially stigmatized condition........18
Encourage respect and empathy to prevent unprofessional staff behavior.....................19
Gather patient testimonials and case examples to build employee empathy..................20
Share compelling patient stories with employees through live assemblies and/or videos posted on an internal website....................................................................................21
Harvest patient stories from internal and external websites..........................................21
Capture the family perspective to increase understanding of patient issues & needs......22
3. Use a structured approach to effectively communicate and educate regarding disease state information..........................................................................................................23
Set clear objectives before beginning a communication program..................................23
Exercise tight message control..................................................................................25
Test message effectiveness on groups of employees before general internal (or external) release....................................................................................................................26
Avoid over-communicating non-essential information..................................................26
4. Build communication on solid science and clinical data to effectively demonstrate that a condition is real and that there is now a product with which it can be treated.....................27
Share clinical and health outcomes data to build brand credibility.................................28
Avoid communications that are overly technical..........................................................28
Create believable messages that win trust and support...............................................29
Set up precautions to prevent sensitive information leaks............................................29
5. Prepare for rapid response to controversial issues to ensure the timely resolution of potential crises or conflicts with adversarial or hostile groups...........................................29
6. Engage Key Opinion Leaders and influencers to win employee support for new products...................................................................................................................................33
Assess potential speakers before putting them into the spotlight...................................34
7. Use segmentation – cautiously – to customize educational messages to employees.....35
Exploit the corporate intranet to enable self-segmentation of employees according to personal interest and need to know............................................................................37
Functional customization can boost message effectiveness.........................................38
Customized training may be needed for manufacturing & managed care.......................38
Avoid segmentation pitfalls........................................................................................39
8. Conduct education and communication in waves to allow for optimal message retention...................................................................................................................................40
Begin communication activities 18+ months before launch...........................................41
Top communications topics vary according to product development phase....................43
Understand the message cascade process to maximize employee outreach.................44
Limit pre-NDA communications to Sales.....................................................................45
9. Use a mix of channels, including new technology, to maximize employee reach when communicating disease state education.........................................................................46
New technology can extend message reach...............................................................47
10. Monitor internal message effectiveness—at least on an informal basis—to gauge overall communication success................................................................................................51
Survey Response Data.....................................................................................55
Insights, Recommendations & Lessons Learned..........................................65

List of Charts & Exhibits

Table 1: Participating Companies.......................................................7
Figure 1.1: Participant Function/Department & Title of Job....................................7
Figure 1.2: Research Participants Are Deeply Experienced Executives............................8
Figure 1.3: Socially Sensitive and First-in-Class Products Offer Unique Insights.............9
Figure 1.4: Benchmark Partners’ Launch Experience............................................10
Figure 1.5: Participants Have Broad-Based Product Launch Experience........................11
Figure 2.1: Communications Excellence Involves 10 Key Practices..............................15
Figure 2.2: Name or Brand the Medical Condition..............................................16
Figure 2.3: Patient Testimonials are the Most Effective Way to Humanize....................20
Figure 2.4: Internal & External Websites Used to Gather Stories..............................22
Figure 2.5: Understand Patient Concerns from the Entire Family Perspective................23
Figure 2.6: Use a Structured Approach to Communication and Education......................24
Figure 2.7: Prepare Communications Infrastructure to Support Rapid Response Issues.30
Figure 2.8: Set Up key Groups/Individuals Who Have Been Deputized.........................31
Figure 2.9: Centralize Information Management and Coordinate Field Response on Enterprise Basis........................................................................................32
Figure 2.10: Ensure Rapid Updates and Messages on Issues to Keep Core Group Well-Informed................................................................................33
Figure 2.11: Executives See Advantages and Disadvantages in Segmentation................35
Figure 2.11.1: Viewpoints on Segmentation Benefits..........................................36
Figure 2.12: Most Job Levels Need Disease State Education...................................39
Figure 2.13: Conduct Education/Communication in Waves for Best Retention..............40
Figure 2.14: Communication Activities Are Underway by or before Phase 3.................42
Figure 2.15: Most Begin Some Disease State Communication before NDA...................43
Figure 2.16: Top Internal Communications Vary Over Time.....................................44
Figure 2.17: Understand the Messaging Cascade................................................45
Figure 2.18: Blend Traditional and New-Tech Channels for Optimal Reach..................46
Figure 2.19: Relative Effectiveness of Communication Channels...............................47
Figure 2.20: Examples of New Technologies Used in Internal Communications............48
Figure 2.21: Vary Communication Channels to Reach Different Employee Groups.......50
Figure 2.21.1: Facebook, You Tube & Other New Technology Communication Channels.............50
Figure 2.21.2: Video Technology Improves Communication of Complex Information.51
Figure 2.22: Established Disease State-Message Effectiveness.......................53
Figure 2.23: New Disease State and Socially-Sensitive Products – Message Effectiveness................................................................................54
Figure 2.24: Summary of Internal Communications Challenges and Tactics..................55
Figure 3.1: Least Used Communication Channels Suggest Slow Pace of Technology Innovation................................................................................56
Figure 3.2: Social Media, Podcasts and Online Video Will Grow in Use........................57
Figure 3.3: Prior to NDA, Communication Focuses on Disease/Medical Background...58
Figure 3.4: After NDA, Competitors and Burden of Illness Topics Gain........................59
Figure 3.5: Customized Messages Mostly Reserved for Executive Management............60
Figure 3.6: Top Ranked Segmentation Types – Established Disease Area......................61
Figure 3.7: Top Ranked Segmentation Types – New/First-in-Class Product...................62
Figure 3.8: Top Ranked Segmentation Types – Socially Sensitive Diseases...................63
Figure 3.9: Align Internal and External Messages to Navigate Key Challenges..............64