Cutting Costs in Market Research
There are, however, many ways for life science suppliers to meet their information needs by leveraging pharma’s market research investments. By addressing recruiting, data collection, and data sourcing in creative ways, life science companies can stretch their market research budgets to gain valuable insights.
A significant percentage of a pharma market research project’s budget involves honoraria for participating physicians. Amounts typically range from $75 to $500 for each respondent, depending on the physician specialty and the time and information being requested of them. Life science researchers, however, are typically willing to participate in market research for a lower honorarium, assuming that the time and level of information requested is reasonable.
Since life science researchers are usually very comfortable with Internet-based tools, surveys conducted online are acceptable in this industry. While such surveys have some limitations, they are a relatively inexpensive data collection option and they can generate valuable information about a business situation.
Research data can be generated from a variety of sources. Depending on a company’s information needs and business objectives, primary data may not be necessary. Existing information may be available to provide the insights needed to make stronger business decisions. Among the sources that are potentially most applicable to life science suppliers are subscriber-based research and publicly available information.
Subscriber-based research includes syndicated reports or database access that is available to all who subscribe. This information is generally less costly than custom research because providers sell it to more than one customer. However, since data is not gathered specifically for any one client, it may not fully address a company’s business issue. Results usually need to be filtered and interpreted to extract appropriate information.
A prime example of publicly available information is the CRISP database, which lists all NIH-supported research grants. While the data is available online, translating it into actionable intelligence requires internal resources to capture, track, analyze, and disseminate the information.
By employing these approaches, life science suppliers can realistically embark on necessary investments in market research and business intelligence as business issues arise. It is becoming increasingly important that they do so, as competition is intensifying and acquisitions are leading suppliers into new, unfamiliar markets. Moreover, life science product lifecycles are short, so it’s critical that companies extract as much value from their products as possible.
By identifying how life scientists choose products, these companies can better understand how to impact that process. Among pharma’s staple market research areas are sales force effectiveness and opinion leader forums. Both apply easily to the life science research industry.