It is not uncommon within companies to have a certain distance between the areas of Marketing and Medical / Clinical Research.
In some places, at the time of the annual budget, when resources are allocated and divided, there may even be an internal perception that the areas compete with each other, and that they do not add up to the results, when in fact the areas are synergistic.
Clinical studies are performed to answer scientific questions, and these answers must be brought to the market, as opportunities in generating business.
For this, it is particularly important to understand that it is essential to have a great communication and interaction between managers from the Medical and Marketing areas to jointly implement a good action plan that positively impacts the results of the new product/new indication, starting with the initial phases of development:
1 - The researchers' meeting is a good program: when a study begins, it is common for the medical area to organize a meeting with the researchers to discuss various relevant topics, including the research protocol that will be followed. It is important for the Marketing professional to follow the meeting, meet or reencounter the researchers again, and know exactly what will be studied in their future/current product.
2 - Everything happens outside the office: inform the sales team about the centers involved in the study, and whenever you plan visits, prioritize these centers. Without interfering the work of the clinical research area, strengthen the relationship with researchers to ensure more open and more objective future dialogues.
3 - Researchers can be your masters - you can read many publications and studies about your product, but researchers are the ones who acquire the experience. It is worth to prepare well-planned visits, with objective questions, which can direct you in relation to the opportunities and weaknesses of the product at the time of launch. Listening carefully and not objecting is of extreme importance for you to get to know your product better.
4 - Researchers are also multipliers: after studying in depth, researchers are able to talk about your product. It is regular market practice to bring international speakers to talk about certain technologies, and the validation of this action should not be questioned, but it is very important to point out that the local experience is always very welcome, as it brings the opportunity for Brazilian doctors exchange of knowledge and experiences much faster and within the same reality. Respecting the individual vocations of each researcher, a plan for the development of speakers is very welcome in the closing phase of the studies.
5 - Study centers become training centers: depending on the complexity of the new medication or treatment, local doctors may feel the need to monitor the use of the product or technology before adopting it, these are the so-called “preceptorship” programs. The initiatives to take Brazilian doctors to international reference centers is very common in our industry; these practices are valid and important, but the development of local centers for “preceptorship” brings the possibility for doctors to learn and gain experience with the new technology within the Brazilian reality, allowing a greater number of doctors included in the program, without language barriers.
I hope these tips can be useful to you. If you are a marketing professional and you are still feeling a little distant from the Clinical Research area, I suggest finding an approach strategy, after all, strategy is our strength!