Methodologies

We keep in mind that each primary research methodology should be one and unique. This does not mean that projects should not by supported by tried and tested research designs. We are committed to develop and continuously improve innovative research designs to effectively meet your business objectives and more.

We conduct qualitative and quantitative market research at all stages of product life cycle.

KOL interviews Test of concept &
Market Potential Assessment
Messaging study Needs based segmentation Pricing study Visual testing Attitudinal segmentation

KOL interviews

What it does.

6 to 12 key opinion leaders (KOL) over the world are interviewed in English and audio taped on the phone or face to face through an in-depth non structured or semi-structured interview guide.

What it is used for.

At the top of the pyramid of influence, thought international or regional opinion leaders provide anticipating and invaluable information about our client drugs and the existing or coming alternative treatments. At the early stage of a product life cycle management, this information certainly must be integrated in the building of a brand value proposal.

Why choose Axess Research.

We are experienced in identifying, recruiting and interviewing these highly knowledgeable specialists. This small, very targeted and very sensitive research must be carried out centrally by highly skilled interviewers. When our client requests our support on this type of research, a senior research managers and the research director will centralize all the interviews and propose the client to anonymously listen the interviews. We will make the difference in our capability to deeply understand and manage these highly knowledgeable respondents and in writing a synthetic and actionable report.

Back to list

Test of concept

What it does.

A new or upgraded product X (drug or device) is described to identified potential prescribers, payers and/or users. Respondents are asked about their level of interest for the new concept and willingness to adopt product X. When needed, pricing can be integrated in this type of research.

What it is used for.

Before any heavy investment in R&D or cost for acquisition be invested, this is typically the go / no go corporate research which must be performed. Return on investment of  test of concept is obvious. For products which potential has already been demonstrated, test of concept measures, as accurately as possible, the market potential of product X, fix the optimum pricing when needed and identify the patient priority targets.

Why choose Axess Research.

Our great experience of tests of concept allows us to benchmark the stated level of interest and willingness to adopt and soundly recommend a go or no go when requested. For market potential assessment we usually propose a complementary combination of patient cases and conjoint analysis. When pricing issue is applicable, our expertise in pricing is recognized (see pricing study).

Back to list

Pricing study

What it does.

Pricing research calculates the optimum selling price that should be fixed as the objective price in order to maximize the product gross margin. Pricing research should also integrate the related pricing policy and level of services.

What it is used for.

If a product is priced under its optimum price, the company will suffer a nearly definitive waste of value (as prices can hardly be increased). If a product is priced over the optimum, the company can waste 1 or 2 years of sales before proceeding to a sharp price decrease. In any scenarii, pricing study is probably one research which return on investment for our client can be easily demonstrated.

Why choose Axess Research.

Very early, market research professional has observed that asking upfront the price to an hospital pharmacist or a physician would be ready to pay for a product was not the appropriate approach to determine the optimum price for a product.

When a product has clearly identified competitive alternatives, we believe that Conjoint Analysis is the state-of-the-art technique to calculate the optimum price that optimize a product gross margin.

When a new product has no clearly identified alternative offer, conjoint analysis can miss the product real value. In this case, we believe the best approach is EVE approach (Economic Value Evaluation).

We also conduct alternative methodologies such as the spontaneous request of price willingness to pay.

The Price Sensitivity Meter (PSM) from Van Westendorp is a market technique for determining respondents price preferences. This traditional PSM approach asks four price-related questions, which are then evaluated as a series of four cumulative distributions, one distribution for each question. The standard question formats can vary, but generally covers 4 price levels: Too expensive, Too cheap, Expensive/High Side, Cheap/Good Value.

The Gabor Granger methodology is more or less adapted to your request and needs, and allows to target direct or likelihood to purchase pricing.  This pricing research is named after the economists who invented it in the 1960s. Respondents are invited to complete a survey where they are asked if they would buy a drug at a particular price. The price is changed and respondents again say if they would buy it or not (and eventually how much). From the results, we can work out what the optimum price is for each individual. By taking a sample of respondents, we can work out what levels of demand would be expected at each price point across the market as a whole (demand curve). Using this estimate of demand, the price elasticity (or expected revenue) can be calculated and so the optimum price-point in the market. Note that a revenue optimum may be different from a profit optimum.

Axess Research has contributed to the pricing policy of dozens of hospital products and medical devices. Our clients can testify the relevancy of our pricing estimations.

We also run the most innovative software allowing to use the most adapted conjoint analysis technique (standard conjoint, CBC or ACA) face to face or on-line.

Back to list

Visual Testing

What it does.

A healthcare communication agency creates 2 to 6 alternative brand visuals, which often include an image, the brand & its logo, a headline and tag line and the laboratory name & logo & signature. The visual testing identifies the most efficacious visual to convey the expected emotional and functional benefits as defined by the product value proposal.

What it is used for.

A brand visual has to be global because international exhibits and Internet is global. A brand visual should be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years in order to capitalize and gain recognition. As a result, the brand visual selection is often a corporate decision with consequences worldwide for many years. And it seems important to verify that the selected visual effectively conveys the brand expected messages and emotions.

Why choose Axess Research.

We believe that communication through creative artworks such as brand visuals address both the left brain (analysis) and the right brain (emotions) of respondents. Psychologists and neuroscience experts explain that verbalization is an analytic process delivered by our left brain. A visual testing that would only use direct questioning would be unable to catch the emotional impact of tested visuals such as pleasure/displeasure or emotion arousal. Axess Research has developed a visual testing designed to both evaluate the rational and emotional impact of a brand visual. We use direct questioning, flash memorization tasks and visual analog scales (VAS) published in scientific journals.

Visuals also triggers very emotional reactions internally. This often makes internal consensus difficult to obtain only based on qualitative research. We believe that results based on a projectable sample size (from 50 to 200 respondents) best guaranty the internal consensus on the best visual to be selected. An optional preliminary in-depth qualitative phase will be proposed to help the communication agency, based on physicians spontaneous live feedbacks, to fine-tune their existing creative propositions and imagine some additional options.

Back to list

Messaging study

What it does.

The messaging study helps the marketing managers to build the adapted and convincing product messaging. Based on the laboratory initial detailing script, 3 mini-groups of highly knowledgeable healthcare professionals build iteratively an adapted, convincing and differentiating detailing script.   

What it is used for.

Marketing managers and communication agency are highly skills to build efficacious selling script to present a product features & benefits and clinical studies. But how to be sure that we find the right words used the right way to convince our target audience? Messaging study propose to product managers to build their product detailing script in collaboration with their target audience. The objective is to build, through iterative workshops called evolutive mini-groups, the ideal content and wording that will satisfy both the marketing team and the healthcare professionals.

Why choose Axess Research.

The animation of the healthcare professionals iterative workshops is crucial: The moderator has to assist the healthcare professionals in a literary and detailing exercise which is very far from their daily practice and natural skills. We need to introduce the right level of input to make them produce the best messaging, making sure they keep using their own words and logic. We have developed a study design and templates that assist step by step the healthcare professionals to build a detailing script. Our methodology have delivered reproducible and cross cultural results building robust and convincing messaging.

Back to list

Attitudinal segmentation

What it does.

The attitudinal segmentation identifies and describes homogeneous segments of healthcare professionals who share the same attitudes (what they think). Attitudinal segmentation allows a laboratory to segment his audience and tailor his product messaging. This is commonly achieved by a series of agree-disagree scales or ratings and a hierarchical clustering.

What it is used for.

The attitudinal segmentation cross over a standard customer targeting and goes beyond. Based on customers attitudes, attitudinal segmentation determine how to adapt the communication to some clusters of customers. To simplify, standard targeting tells you who you should visit in priority and attitudinal segmentation what to tell. By tailoring the offering (communication & related services) to different clusters you are able to more precisely meet the needs of more prescribers, payers or users and consequently increase your market share.

Why choose Axess Research.

We believe that the capability to identify and reformulate the attitudes which are segmenting and possibly influencing the brand preference through an in-depth preliminary phase is the first crucial step for a successful attitudinal segmentation. This demands a deep knowledge of the drug or device category and the target audience attitudes. We also think that we can make the difference in assisting our client to implement the research findings. We believe that attitudinal segmentation can increase the sales force efficacy when properly implemented. We often recommend that sales force management be involved in attitudinal segmentation initiative from the very beginning.

Most of the benefit from attitudinal segmentation results can be lost because, in practice, sales representatives are unable to reallocate their customers to the identified clusters : We provide to our client a scoring system (similar to credit scoring)  which can reallocate customers individually to the clusters. This scoring system simply invites the sales representative to complete a few agree-disagree scales or ratings based on what he knows or what he guesses about his customer. The scoring system can be considered as a learning tool which allows sales reps to know the important questions to ask in order to tailor his product messaging and services offering.

Back to list

Needs based segmentation

What it does.

It is conceptually similar to attitudinal segmentation, but applies to customer needs rather than attitudes. Needs based segmentation identifies and describes homogeneous segments of healthcare professionals who share the same purchase or prescribing drivers. Most needs-based segmentation uses Standard Conjoint Analysis which identifies the individual systems of value from the trade-offs that each respondent makes. Using cluster analysis, this information can be drawn together to identify different segments with similar preferences and needs in a product category.

What it is used for.

Needs based segments are typically the most predictable forms of segments as you know what drivers and performance the product has to satisfy to maximize the willingness to prescribe, or purchase. However, because no post-hoc scoring systems can be provided to the sales force, implementation of the research findings into the targeting process can be difficult (see attitudinal segmentation). Nonetheless you also have the benefit of being able to product a market model or market simulation tool using the Conjoint output.

Why choose Axess Research.

Our expertise in Conjoint Analysis and clustering segmentation is recognized among major pharmaceutical companies. Only Standard Conjoint Analysis provides individual values: We run the most innovative software allowing to field the Standard Conjoint Analysis face to face but also on-line (cost saving).

Back to list