HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY MARKET RESEARCH COMPANY
How to conduct Market Research in the Healthcare Industry?
The usage and purchase of healthcare products, services and technology can be very different to products in other categories. The healthcare market like so many others has been widely disrupted by technology and how we use them, right through to what is on trend – medicinal honey for instance.
Market research specifically tailored to the needs of healthcare has grown over recent decades. From gauging the effectiveness of OTC (over the counter) products and marketing through to understanding patient journeys for critical and life-threatening diseases. In more recent times, the healthcare industry now borrows heavily from the styles of research conducted by the consumer-packaged goods industry, using techniques like mobile qualitative research and video ethnographies, alongside focus groups, in depth interviews and surveys.
Well-constructed research can help pharmaceutical businesses understand how people use medications, and the impact of advertising and communications on in store and latent purchase decisions. Healthcare market research is also used to help companies understand the consumer journey, so they can ideate ways to improve, repurpose and optimise products and messages to better suit the needs of the patient or consumer.
In the healthcare industry more than any other industry, the use of in-depth interviews, ethnographic observations and focus groups is critical to understand the experience of people. To talk to people and listen to what they need and what they think, feel, and behave. Healthcare market research covers qualitative and quantitative research and is now embracing the emerging use of technology in areas like social listening platforms, apps and chatbots as well as market research insight communities.
The following four methodologies are critical to gaining deeper insight in Healthcare Market Research:
- Ethnographic Observations
- In Depth Interviews
- Focus Groups
- Micro Surveys
Ethnography combines the power of ’in the field’ observation (think of the great anthropologists here) with the power of modern intervention and probing techniques. Typically used to understand patient journey mapping of disease lifestyles and how to impact with products and services, it can also be used as a window into designing and developing new products and services. It’s much more reliable than recall of past events and allows the researcher to understand the context of disease, consumption, and any pain points. The researcher is the often the observer, using video to capture the behaviours of the patient, carer and HCP (health care provider) but digital ethnography means the person can self-video and upload to a platform or discussion board to discuss such things as how a patient uses a healthcare group chat space, website or social media group or the hurdles of compliance for taking a particular drug or vitamin.
In Depth Interviews
Shorter and more direct than Ethnographic observations, in depth interviews can be conducted in healthcare settings with specialists, GPs, nurses, surgeons, pharmacists and patients or consumers. Depending the respondent, they can last from 30 mins to 1.5 hours. They are the best format for confidential or sensitive topics on a range of areas. They can also be used to conduct simple label comprehension studies for regulatory in a central location or can be combined as paired interviews such as patient/carer or doctor/patient.
Focus groups are conducted when a discussion is required by a small group of patients, doctors or like-minded cohorts. We can use that for understanding communication needs, advertising and new product or service development.
We can set them us as conflict groups where doctors and nurses might argue the benefits over a new healthcare initiative or we can run the focus groups in situ at places like nursing homes, or wellness centres to provide an additional level of contextual insight. The best thing about focus groups is that the client can often watch behind a one way mirror and gain insight and develop ideas on the run. Focus groups usually run for 1.5-2 hours and can be mini group size (four people, up to 8).
Micro surveys are just that. Short simple 2-5 question surveys that can be conducted with healthcare providers or patients on the run. Mobile or app-based technology means that the survey can be conducted with minimal interference and maximum impact in busy lives.
Ruby Cha Cha is a healthcare market research company based in Sydney, Australia offering Healthcare industry market research. We have worked with some of the leading healthcare companies in the world including Pfizer, Lilly, Sanofi as well as not for profits and smaller companies with big brands, biotech’s, and startups.
Our dedication to understanding consumer, patient and practitioner insight means we immerse ourselves in a range of categories, so we are conversant with the language, drug, and therapy areas we are studying.
Our experience ranges across many different therapy areas and we are always ready to learn new ones.
At Ruby Cha Cha we use an innovative range of research methods from qualitative to quantitative research, innovation, and consulting. We can provide you with research and insight to help you segment your market, build better communications, test your sales aids, or build a buyer persona, brand DNAs or CVP. We work collaboratively with our clients so that we can deliver more actionable research findings and strategic recommendations.
Market research is often thought of only in the marketing realm of goods and services, but it is well used in the healthcare industry. However, in people-centred industries such as healthcare, market research is a must. It is the most effective and unbiased way to understand how people use and consume healthcare and can provide a lens over the service providers and healthcare specialists and develop technology and new treatments for the benefit of mankind.
Healthcare market research uses the same techniques such as standard market research such as: qualitative research (focus groups, in depth interviews, behavioural and ethnographic studies to understand how people use healthcare products and services and to help business find ways to improve or create new ideas and services, so they can offer better service and delivery. Research can help us understand how people interact with our products, healthcare service providers and what kinds of experiences they have while receiving care.
Here are a few services that we offer in the healthcare setting to conduct people-to-people market research.
- Market Exploration
- Segmentation (Qualitative and Quantitative); patients, consumers, GPs, practitioners
- Patient Journey Mapping
- Brand and Communication Development Studies
- Brand Positioning Studies
- CVP development and testing
- Advertising, Sales Aid and Campaign Testing
- Concept Evaluation
- Pack Testing and Comprehension Studies
- Claims Testing
- Product/device testing
- User experience and testing (Ux)
- Brand Equity, and Brand Health Studies
- Customer Experience (VOC or Voice of the Customer Research)
Consumer research and rapport is part of our toolkit. We take great care in our approach to healthcare research, people, and practitioners. We have over 30 years of experience in research among the healthcare audience.
We understand the language of therapy areas, how doctors speak and what patients will and will not tell us. We have worked in primary care and secondary care. We have lots of experience in sensitive area research from acne to erectile dysfunction and many common diseases such as asthma, diabetes, COPD, and cancer. We have run many workshops, focus groups and surveys in this space.
We conduct research in the field – face to face or online through specialized closed communities, surveys and zoom interviews or focus group sessions.
We provide more than data. We interpret findings into insight and strategic advice. Our senior team are members adhere to The Research Society code of ethics and adhere to best practice standards when conducting research. We have provided reports to the TGA to assist clients.
The healthcare industry provides drugs, services, devices, therapy areas, and products, yet market research is not often enough a priority for both healthcare providers and companies that develop products and technology for healthcare.
That is a shame.
Whether your business is in pharma, bio or MedTech, hospital or care providers, manufactures or retailers of over-the-counter drugs and health products, you need research for better decision making.
Investing in healthcare market research means you are investing in people, key stakeholders, and the future. It is more than just understanding market opportunities, it is about understanding people. It means you can design around lifestyle needs, not just clinical needs. It means your business can work on problem solving on many levels. Brand and businesses that are people centric win in market.