Jack Bilson, III
Vice president, M3 Group

Consider the following target-list mystery: on any given day, hundreds of corporate personnel are matching a brand’s target list to their firm’s database of healthcare professionals to complete a sales, marketing, or market research project. The suppliers of the list, typically the pharma or medical device company, most likely did not develop it themselves.

The list recipient (such as the agency), will probably not investigate it much, save for applying a methodology to match it against one or several of their databases. So the accuracy of this methodology, and perhaps the database itself, will be unknown.  Additionally, the variables (e.g., name, ME number, zip code) used or excluded to perform the match are also often a mystery to the brand or source provider.

In fact, most everyone who handles the target list will never know the exact methodology that was used to develop the list in the first place, which can adversely affect list matching outcome.

Here’s what we know about your target list:

• It likely contains the absolute best targets for the brand (and really smart people created the list).

• Conventional wisdom suggests that reaching the people on this list with the proper messaging will help your product sales soar.

• Your top targets are likely your competition’s top targets as well. So, you are competing against anywhere from two to twenty-six other brands vying for your targeted physicians’ attention.

And here’s how you can enhance your physician marketing success vis-à-vis your target list:

• Target 100% of the nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants that work with your physician targets. It’s not going “off list,” it’s just a better way to target your list. Specialty brands ignore more than 50% of the specialists they serve, which means 50% of the audience is wide open. Spend some of your “digital dimes” here.

• According to research done on the M3 Global Research Panel, and several programs that have been deployed, specialists who are not usually targeted by pharma brands respond at three to five times the rate of the top-tier decile physicians who are usually targeted by the sales force.

It’s no mystery. The brand teams who challenge the conventional wisdom regarding the use of their physician target lists with non-personal promotion, will be rewarded with new sales success.