Building the Framework for a Successful Launch
The timely and successful launch of a pharmaceutical product is essential to improving the lives of the patients who need it, not to mention a thrilling opportunity for a pharmaceutical professional. However, achieving this objective can be challenging, as there are many hats to wear, high expectations to meet and multiple facets to consider. Add to that, the pressures from internal and external stakeholders, and tensions and stress can mount.
However, don’t run for the hills just yet. A solid plan (i.e. framework for launch), along with the right team members can help pave the way for a smooth launch from start to finish. Our goal at BW Health Group is to partner with you to ensure a seamless launch, and to help you navigate any obstacles that arise along the way. To help you achieve this, BW Health Group uses a proven 3-phased approach to building this framework, that will set you, your organization and your brand up for success:
1. Preparing the organization for launch
Main Objective: Ensure competency and cross-functional alignment across your organization.
Putting the right teams into place as well as securing internal alignment are two critical pieces in preparing the organization for launch. Inherent in building a strong team is ensuring that the talent chosen possesses the relevant skills and experience, as well as cultural fit, to develop and execute the launch plan smoothly and efficiently. While the right team serves as the machine that will deliver on the ideas and tactics, other stakeholders can either smooth the path ahead or slow the momentum of your teams’ effort. Thus, ensuring that these stakeholders have a clear understanding of and alignment around what the product will mean to its target audience(s), as well as how it will stand apart from the competitive landscape is critical. Include stakeholders early and at critical junctures to facilitate buy-in and alignment – this will help to ensure you are all rowing in the same direction.
2. Preparing the product for the market
Main objective: Deliver a compelling value proposition for your key audiences.
The key to success in this phase is to deliver a strong and compelling value proposition for your audiences. This involves identifying actionable insights that uncover customer needs, shape positioning, and inform a channel mix that aligns with how audiences need information delivered. These insights will be foundational to your strategy for launch success. Truly understanding the needs and wants of your customers will instruct how you develop response-driven branding, positioning, and messaging for your product. After launch, these insights will give you valuable information about distribution and access plans and how to best optimize the customer experience.
3. Preparing the market for the product
Main objective: Secure and amplify strong advocacy for your product.
Engagement is key to gaining advocacy and can be accomplished through a variety of avenues: a congresses plan, a KOL management strategy, or even a disease awareness campaign, to name a few. It is critical to ensure pre-launch support and alignment among KOLs, HCPs, patient advocacy groups, and even the analyst/investor community. It is also essential in this phase that market access is not overlooked. The role of payers has an increasing make-or-break impact on prescribing & usage behavior. Therefore, implementing a comprehensive market access strategy is paramount to success. Formulating the strategy demands contextual knowledge of how your product will be used and acquired as well as a deep understanding of your customers, their prescribing/usage behaviors, and who the true decision makers are. Finally, account planning, tactical planning, promotional spend, and customer engagement need to be properly developed, aligned, and resourced to ensure rapid uptake and engagement prior to launch.
As you work to develop the components of the above framework, below are some additional tips for a successful launch:
- Start planning early. The earlier you start planning, the more time you will have to develop a comprehensive launch strategy.
- Set realistic goals. It is important to set realistic goals for the launch, whether related to awareness, uptake, or communication impact. These goals should be grounded in the insights gathered throughout the planning process, and aligned early on, to maximize the opportunity to meet these established goals.
- Be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so it is important to remain nimble and adaptable. Be prepared to make changes as needed.
- Seek out expertise. If you don’t have the expertise in-house, consider hiring a marketing agency or consultancy to help you with the launch. Check out some BW Consulting case studies here.
Contact Janeese Carter, Principal Consultant, BW Consulting at email@example.com or go to consultbw.com to learn how we can help build the framework for your next launch.
Janeese Carter, MA, MBA, is a Principal Consultant at BW Consulting, a BW Health Group Company. She has spent nearly 2 decades in the pharmaceutical industry working in roles encompassing New Product Planning, Strategic Portfolio Management, Product Launches, Marketing & Sales Leadership, and Brand Leadership. Highly proficient at developing effective positioning, segmentation, targeting, brand messaging and go-to-market strategies across a broad range of customer audiences and settings of care, Janeese understands the importance of “Getting it right” for launch and beyond, and along with her team at BW Health Group, she helps innovative pharma and biotech companies navigate the complexities associated with commercialization. https://consultbw.com/who-we-are/our-team/