How to compete when you’re not the first or best on the market

March 15, 2019 | Article | 4-minute read

In conversation with ZS experts: How to compete when you’re not the first or best on the market

While customer experience is not a new concept in pharma, it has been relatively absent as a core strategy for many of the leading oncology companies. Why? Until recently, it hasn’t been necessary. Twenty years ago, the oncology market was dominated by a few key players whose success was driven by single blockbuster drugs that generated years of high returns. Today, the market has exploded. The combination of high unmet need and promising revenue potential has resulted in companies of all sizes dipping their toes into the oncology market. Fourteen of the largest pharma companies have one-third of their late-stage R&D focused exclusively on oncology, and almost 700 companies have one or more assets in late-stage development, according to IQVIA’s 2018 Global Oncology Trends report. We’re also seeing a decline in the duration of clinical trials and faster drug approvals, leading to shorter development life cycles. At the same time, there are fewer clinically differentiated assets that are competing within the same space and with high prices.


What’s a pharma company to do when faced with intense competition and an undifferentiated product that won’t sell itself? Having a great product is no longer enough. In fact, according to ZS’s 2017 Oncology CX Tracker study, product accounts for just 32% of the customer experience. Surprisingly, respondents ranked other aspects of customer experience, such as add-on services or interactions with company representatives, as more valuable.  


To learn more about creating additional value to find success in today’s crowded oncology marketplace, we tapped three of our colleagues to weigh in on the topic: Pranav Srivastava, an associate principal within ZS’s oncology customer experience space; Bill Coyle, a principal within ZS’s global value and access space; and Falko Graf-Meisner, a manager in ZS’s EU key account management space. Listen to our podcast to hear what these experts have to say.

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