Senior Director of Sales Analytics
Millions in savings and smarter pharmaceutical marketing tactics
Janssen Pharmaceuticals optimizes marketing for up to 30% lift
Conventional wisdom says the best way to drive pharmaceutical sales is to blanket doctors with promotional activity. But Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. knows better. Instead of focusing on the 80 percent of physicians who most often prescribe a class of drug, Janssen Pharmaceuticals uses predictive analytics to study the habits of a smaller group. The result: cost savings and a 20-30 percent increase in marketing channel lift.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals markets leading treatments for arthritis, pain and HIV. Like all big pharmaceutical companies, Janssen Pharmaceuticals runs a tight race to earn back its research investment in compounds before losing patent protection.
"We have to be more targeted about how we do things,'' explains Sunny Longordo, Senior Director of Sales Analytics.
Rx for saving more than a million a year
For years, Janssen Pharmaceuticals hired outside firms to develop physician targeting lists for product promotion. Those lists highlighted the top 80 percent of individual prescribers for each drug category. Sales reps decided which doctors to visit based on the list and at each stop, they handed out the same drug samples, vouchers and event invitations.
Yet, the Sales Analytics team remained skeptical of that strategy.
"We knew we had the skills in-house to do it more efficiently and inexpensively," Longordo says. "And, frankly, we knew we could do it better.''
Their instincts were right. Today, Janssen Pharmaceuticals builds those lists in-house – automating part of the process – for a savings of $4 million a year, Longordo says. "We've doubled the business that we support with zero outside budget and no additional staff," she adds.
Prescribing a better marketing model
After Janssen Pharmaceuticals started building its own physician lists with SAS®, it began developing more complex and accurate propensity scoring models.
Now, the company can segment its different marketing programs to customize the way it reaches each physician. Some physicians are more likely to prescribe if they have samples or vouchers to give patients; others prefer to learn more about the drug from an expert speaker first.
With such insights, Janssen Pharmaceuticals has reduced – by nearly half – the percentage of physicians it details. Now, sales reps know precisely which doctors to visit and what exactly to offer each one. “We use fewer sales people to achieve the same coverage,’’ Longordo says. “And we don’t waste a doctor’s time, because now we understand how often each doctor really needs to be seen.’’
Further, Janssen Pharmaceuticals can now accurately predict which tactics – samples, vouchers, access to experts – will provide the greatest return for each specific product. The goal for the Sales Analytics team is to increase widespread use of these new capabilities amongst all brand teams and a broader set of marketing tactics.
We find the real value of analytics in those little decisions we have to make every single day.
Smarter, more effective consumer marketing
Janssen Pharmaceuticals has discovered the value of analyzing consumer populations by geography for insights that prove especially useful when launching a new product.
Historically, Janssen Pharmaceuticals blanketed large population centers with marketing dollars and waited to see how consumers would respond. Now, Janssen Pharmaceuticals takes a smarter – and more reliable – approach. Longordo's team can predict where demand for a new drug will be greatest – with impressive accuracy and results.
"The specific locations we suggested they focus on show a 75 percent growth rate versus 15 percent in average areas,'' Longordo says. "These insights will allow for differential resourcing plans to be put into place for each brand and marketplace."
Working the data
Making decisions at that level of detail requires a lot of data. To build its propensity models, Janssen Pharmaceuticals pulls together anonymous IMS sales data; census data; physician demographic information; call center activity; CRM data on samples, sales calls and other promotional activity; and managed care data.
"So much of the value we get from SAS is through data manipulation," says Jason Sapp, Janssen Pharmaceuticals' Senior Manager of Management Science. "SAS can manipulate any kind of data feed into an arrangement that works with all our other data sources.''
Models support critical decisions
In the months preceding a drug's patent expiration, its maker typically boosts marketing spending in an effort to maximize returns before cheaper generic competitors go on sale.
Using SAS, Janssen Pharmaceuticals makes wiser decisions about when to halt marketing.
In one instance, Janssen Pharmaceuticals discovered that a drug with a soon-to-expire patent would show a net gain if marketing ceased nine months ahead of expiration.
"We stopped offering samples, and we cut in half our sales force dedicated to that product," Longordo says. "It was a counterintuitive decision, but it paid off. It was a shining moment."
SAS also helps Janssen Pharmaceuticals devise creative, effective strategies when it unveils a new product that is the only commercially available treatment or cure for an ailment. "We look at data from similar launches to discern the best marketing approach," explains Bob Kelly, Janssen Pharmaceuticals' Director of Promotion Optimization. "We use a surrogate of the market to prioritize the market and segment the customers appropriately."
Winning over the skeptics
At first, the sales team was skeptical of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' analytics-driven approach to marketing. Buy-in followed early successes from Longordo's team.
Now, most of Janssen Pharmaceuticals' marketing teams look to Longordo's team to uncover those "aha! moments" that inspire greater returns on leaner budgets.
Smart day-to-day decisions prove the value of analytics, Longordo says. "We have our analytic homeruns,'' she adds. "But, like any organization, we find the real value of analytics in those little decisions we have to make every single day."