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Senior management is asking for an ROI estimate…. Do your homework before you respond.

You’ve thought long and hard about next year’s strategic priorities for your brand and the tactics to meet those objectives. You have outlined a multi-channel strategy, and following your presentation to senior management, the question is raised: “What’s the estimated ROI for that program?” Let’s consider some key factors that should influence your response.

Product Lifecycle of the Medication

Pre-launch, introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Be sure you have considered where the brand falls in this cycle. Depending on Rx goals, launch year will require an entirely different mix of offers, messages, channels and targets than will your efforts during subsequent product lifecycle stages. Post-launch, as we start to build on trials and early adopters, our messaging and tactics will evolve again.  Remember, for most launch brands, breaking even in the first year is a win. Success in subsequent stages will be driven by targeting higher-value HCPs who have demonstrated product acceptance and trial, while leveraging HCP insight to expand awareness and trial.

ROIs will vary by segment

ROIs for non-writers will be lower than those HCPs with brand experience. Segmentation, however, allows us to look beyond brand experience and activity. Consider gaps in your call plan and opportunities to leverage multichannel campaigns to expand your reach and reinforce the core messaging. Sub-optimized call plans, white space, vacant territories and low-access HCPs will all have varying levels of response to targeted multi-channel campaigns. Consider your reach and impact among these segments relative to brand activity and familiarity.  


Once you have considered product life cycle and segmentation in combination with call plan activity, you need to focus on message relevance and calls to action (CTAs). Creative and messaging may be repurposed, but the best target segmentation activity will be wasted if messaging and best practices for customer relationship marketing (CRM) are ignored.

Updates and news need to be relevant and diverse. Do you have new clinical data?  Perhaps a new indication? What about new treatment guidelines... is the drug now available in a new strength... has your formulary or coverage status changed? This is the type of information your high-value prescribers are seeking, as it is important to them and their patients.

Campaign Design

Frequency, channel mix and cadence are key. There is a direct correlation between cadence of your messages with your target audience in responsiveness and, ultimately, script lift. It is better to reach your priority targets with an effective combination of timed channels and messages, rather than spread fewer touches across a broader universe. In fact, if you receive push-back on the budget, focus on an effective campaign targeting your most valuable physicians, rather than a diluted mix attempting a broad reach. The more comprehensive the “surround sound," the better the engagement rates and subsequent Rx lift.  Over time, you will learn HCP user preferences, apply attribution models and take action accordingly to provide a more personalized, customer-centric experience.

Let history be your guide

How well does your organization share results? It is critical to capture learnings across brands and therapeutic areas for future use as benchmarks and to inform tactical recommendations. 

By applying these concepts to your estimated ROI calculation, you will be able to justify your position with senior management, providing them the confidence in your ability to achieve flawless execution of your HCP CRM program.

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