Is Your Brand Strategy a Game Changer?

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From market disruption to mergers and acquisitions, pharmaceutical brand teams are facing game changing challenges in today’s competitive landscape. Your brand is either in a physician’s prescribing decision loop, or not. Having a solid go-to-market plan, one that is informed by decision intelligence is now more important than ever.

Too many times we’ve seen a new drug introduction perform poorly due to a disconnected strategy that has no messaging relevance to the physician, or take into account the triggers and touch points necessary to influence brand choice. In other instances we see brand teams struggling – or even skipping the step – of developing a strategic blueprint for defending its brand against a new high potential entrant. What’s the consequence? In a nutshell, companies are losing time, market share and profits.

Delivering decision intelligence that informs strategies that focus on managing the prescribing pathway to greater share is a necessity. We must identify the “tipping points” along the decision pathway for both new brands and brands that must defend themselves in disruptive markets. It’s not enough to know how physicians, patients, and healthcare administrators make decisions. To influence those decisions in the future, we must know why they make these decisions, and where we can make the most impact to guide their decision to choose your brand.

In the following case study you will see the application of social psychology, ethnography and behavioral economics in identifying the why behind prescribing decisions for a major pharmaceutical company.

Business Issue

In the face of a competitive and disruptive marketplace, a major pharmaceutical company needed to develop an impactful messaging and sales strategy to influence physician prescribing behavior.

The company partnered with CMI to identify and understand the decision heuristics that physicians use to select a brand and craft a segmented brand strategy to disrupt the competitor’s decision loop.


Combining deep dive interviews with a decision-based gamification exercise, CMI simulated real world behavior using patient profiles to reflect the characteristics that serve as underlying cues for physician prescribing decisions.

Using a heuristics-based approach, we took out the assumption that physicians behave in a rational, compensatory manner when making prescribing decisions and allowed them to make rapid-fire prescribing decisions based only on the patient information they feel they need.

The client team was able to observe these uninhibited prescribing decisions in a controlled environment.


Understanding the physicians’ decision framework allowed us to measure the extent to which habit loops exist in prescribing and uncover the complex decision heuristics that physicians use to select brands.

The insights provided the client a strategy, by physician type, to disrupt the competitor’s decision loop with targeted strategies and messaging. By identifying patterns in the consideration set, not only was the client able to restructure their messaging to promote the habits that lead to prescribing their brand, but were also able to create more accurate patient profiles for use during physician detailing.  This helped the Reps know and be able to explain where the drug fits into the physician’s armamartium.

yPrescibe is a new, more realistic approach that is turning patient profile research on its head. To learn more about this innovative solution contact

Kinjal Shah is a Marketing Manager with CMI Marketing Research.


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