Short Hills, NJ 07078
Untapped Revenue, a Specialized Approach
By Steven Millerman, President, EMCAY
After working on over 30 Rx products in the multicultural space running the gamut from Hispanic, African American, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Jewish, Indian and other US markets, we have come to realize that it’s time to dedicate all of our passion and resources to this space. Why?
Within the Rx category, we have never seen ROIs as high as multicultural market investments when compared to their General Market analogues. This is an opportunity that needs to be leveraged on a more strategic industry level.
And yes, we said “General Market”, but that’s a separate discussion.
This is about driving profitable revenue, majority of which is typically incremental revenue to the brands, and in turn impacting patient outcomes. It’s a tremendous win win for the business and for patients.
Historically, pharma has not leveraged the multicultural market place in the way that the finance, travel, CPG, auto and communication industries have. Application of multicultural marketing models, which were driven by non-pharma industries, simply did not apply as effectively to pharma due to different stakeholder mix, specialized analytics, highly restrictive regulations and unique consumer insights & behaviors.
In certain cases, the industry would invest, however, non-pharma models would drive the guidance given to brands. A typical outcome is a series of non-branded investments around disease education in different languages, which of course are important, however, very low probability of linking revenue or driving revenue on a larger scale. The outcome, a claim that multicultural didn’t work. So what’s missing?
Well, everything. Initiating a culturally specific investment in the Rx category requires a specialized methodology and internal capabilities that are highly unique. The strategy and the business case required to set yourself up for long term success is very different. From an execution perspective, branded investments are absolutely critical to drive sales. Now, this may be a bit more obvious for mass market, primary care products, but for orphan conditions, the same holds true; it’s just the marketing mix will be a bit different and more professionally driven.
Multicultural marketing is not just about DTC, although how one leverages DTC investments in multicultural space may significantly differ compared to traditional DTC. Multicultural Rx strategies need to be pulled through cross functionally outside of just consumer plans.
Our recommendation is to take a more strategic approach starting with a sales driven business case to fully understand what your sales upside is and where your source of business will be coming from. Once you have your numbers, an internal capability check is a must. Do you have the right resources, skill sets and people in place to pull this through ? There is certainly a lot more to think about, but the key take away should be to approach this opportunity in a specialized way just like you would in launching a specialty product. Let us be you specialist.