Take the Guesswork out of Marketing Measurement

Pharma brands have many marketing measurement options at their disposal and more seem to be added every day. If your goal is to improve the effectiveness of your marketing in real time, you need to expand beyond analytics that report once or twice per year to a tool built for pharma that delivers insights when you need them.

In my 14 years in marketing analytics, I’ve partnered with senior marketers from a variety of industries and brands ranging from startups to billion-dollar corporations. The most productive engagements all boil down to one question, “Can we tell a story with our data?” Today, however, a brand’s marketing story can change overnight, and senior marketers can no longer rely on what happened even six months ago. Real-time insights are an absolute must.

Data needs to be actionable

The most actionable measurement data will tell you precisely which tactics and channels are influencing key patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs). However, this requires the ability to connect media and health data at a person level in a privacy-safe way. Ongoing access to campaign performance data, down to the tactic level, gives agencies and marketers the insights they need to go beyond reporting and continuously improve campaign performance.

The need to make in-flight campaign adjustments and understand performance at the most granular level exposes two key limitations of marketing mix models, which often require waiting up to a year for a refresh and measure mostly aggregated media channels. Person-level data delivers more granular insights with speed and accuracy.

Using data that reflects what is actually happening in close to real time allows you to learn and adapt quickly instead of waiting for monthly or quarterly reports to take action.

A patchwork solution that stitches together different data sources is risky because results are based more on assumptions than actual measurement. It may be attractive to marketers because the story looks cohesive, but it’s really just a house of cards that can tumble from one misinformed assumption. Without actual monthly gross conversion data such as what we provide in the Crossix Measurement Suite, it’s very difficult to validate the accuracy of the models. Various factors, such as an unforeseen market event, can skew modeled results and lead brand marketers to make poor optimization decisions.

Focus on pharma marketing

Every industry has its own data challenges, but pharma’s are truly unique, given patient data privacy protections guaranteed under HIPAA. This means that data modeling that works in other industries won’t necessarily work for pharma brands.

To understand what good looks like, it’s best to work with a measurement partner with deep life sciences experience. Benchmarks across multiple therapeutic categories can help you determine growth opportunities for your brand, whether you are preparing for launch or advertising a mature therapy. Once those opportunities are surfaced, brands typically rely on media agencies to execute and optimize media plans. Working with a measurement team that holds relationships with those agencies will ensure that the campaign data is quickly and effectively used to improve marketing performance.

In today’s connected world, many vendors are selling access to de-identified health data. A best practice is to connect that health data to addressable (person-level) media data, especially for brands that want to measure media effectiveness at the healthcare professional (HCP) level. But because vendors may not have access to media exposure data, marketers often choose a geo-level modeled approach, which is not granular enough to provide accurate insights.

Choose data that delivers actionable insights

As a data scientist, I’m always eager to learn about new modeling approaches that allow us to slice and dice data in new ways. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement around new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques that allow us to analyze massive amounts of data.

But remember that the most valuable data sets are the ones that can tell the story of your brand. Brands need real-time, actionable insights that go beyond reporting to fundamentally improve marketing campaigns. Ongoing access to the most insightful datasets with a partner who can find the right narrative will help you better engage with HCPs and patients to improve health outcomes.

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Measurement and Optimization Vendors:

  • Are analytics created by one partner or through a partnership of vendors? What guarantees are in place for consortia to work together over time?
  • Incorporating health data involves licensing additional assets. Is the total cost of the solution transparent and scalable?
  • What is the scale of the health data, the types of sources, and the waterfall of connection to addressable media? Is health data sourced from a sample panel or actual health data?
  • Can the vendor provide category and media benchmarks?
  • What is the cadence and timeliness of underlying data updates?
  • How much of your media plan can be measured through addressable data? What are the gaps?

Find out why pharma marketers choose Crossix to help take the guesswork out of their marketing measurement and optimization. Visit

Interested in learning more about how Veeva can help?