Brand performance tracking is an indispensable asset for helping pharmaceutical companies develop robust brand strategies. A strong brand tracker helps monitor changes in brand awareness and perception, shifts in competitive positioning, and the impact of marketing efforts over time. However, many pharma marketers feel that tracking studies require continuous upkeep but don’t provide a lot of value, and some marketers don’t know how to best use their trackers. 


Here are three tips for getting the most value from your brand tracker:


1. Tailor your tracker to your brand’s needs. There are many different methodologies for brand tracking. Trackers could be primary-data-based or focused on trends in secondary data. They could use quantitative market research approaches or qualitative market research, or the stakeholders could be different (HCP-oriented, patient-focused, covering payers, etc.). The methodology or combination of methodologies that you choose needs to be completely tailored to your brand: Your brand’s value proposition and core strategies—and the market dynamics and expected changes in the market—are all criteria that you should use to determine the optimal approach for your brand tracking studies.


Often, you’ll find that one approach alone doesn’t meet all of your needs, and a combination approach can work very well. For example, consider a rare disease therapeutic area where there might be very few physicians specialized in treating the condition. To track this market and understand trends, you may need a combination of techniques. While qualitative interviews may be the most feasible given the small number of relevant physicians, make sure to also include quantitative questions in the qualitative interviews to help inform forecasts and track key performance indicators.


2. Engage your respondents with interactive exercises. With the large number of market research studies that respondents have the opportunity to participate in, there’s a huge need to differentiate your trackers. Participants need to be kept engaged given that these studies are done on a regular basis. Thankfully, there are many new and exciting ways to approach tracking and leverage the latest technological advances and research methodologies to derive important insights. Use gamification and even co-creation to bring your respondents into developing the solutions, or try other innovative methods. For example, if you’re trying to get quantitative and qualitative insights but also need a large sample size, try using a chatbot as your survey tool, which is a more conversational and approachable medium for respondents to engage with. Many chatbots have the ability to analyze sentiment and react appropriately, which opens the door to generating deeper qualitative insights without the expense or time required for traditional qualitative market research techniques.


3. Integrate additional data as needed. Our experience has been that one data source alone usually won’t provide holistic insight or sufficient detail in many situations. Every data source has its own limitations, but other data sources may be able to fill these gaps. Additionally, different data sources have different benefits, and you can maximize the insights across data sources by integrating multiple sources. This could include having multiple primary data sources or even secondary data sources. We recommend bringing in other data sources beyond just the survey where possible to enhance the results further and provide more color. For example, if your brand is in a very promotionally sensitive market, try integrating sales force call activity data or insights from a message tracking study to provide a holistic picture of the effect of promotion on awareness, perception and usage of your brand.


With brand trackers, the possibilities are endless, and you and only you can make your tracker the best version that it can be. Now’s the time to use your tracker as a vehicle for seeing all insights.