Brand performance reports are fundamental to managing the ongoing health of a brand, yet many lack the impact needed to ensure the brand’s continued success. Ideally, a pharmaceutical company’s brand performance report should capture the brand team’s imminent challenges, facilitate cross-functional collaboration and, ultimately, lead to course correction on the ground.
Despite being a fundamental function, there are significant opportunities for improvement across the industry. Many of the challenges that pharmaceutical companies face are rooted in their parochial approach to reporting. For one, performance drivers tend to be sporadically distributed across multiple reports, making it cumbersome to stitch together a comprehensive view of the performance and the actions needed. Second, conducting regular operations and making changes to the report can be taxing but these tasks also take up valuable time that could have been spent generating potential insights and recommendations. Lastly, key performance indicators often fall out of sync and don’t reflect the team’s latest strategic imperatives, which can prevent a decision-oriented discussion.
The best way to begin building an efficient and effective brand performance report is by gaining an understanding of—and catering to—the end users’ experience: Is the report designed to meet the end users’ needs? Is the platform appropriate for them? Are the ongoing reports available at the right time? Are we aptly serving up the insights that are of value to the end users and getting their feedback? To ensure that the brand performance reporting function is effective, companies need to be disciplined about following these four fundamental steps:
- Design the right content. It’s crucial to have a thorough grasp of the brand’s strategic imperatives, and to be able to come up with KPIs that can quickly and unequivocally convey whether the various components are on track or not. Further, the design should consider all factors that affect performance so that the report can stand on its own. For example, combining secondary data with primary market research is critical to the complete story.
- Build a superior user experience. The platform serving the report should provide a seamless experience and cater to the needs of the end users. If they need to access the report on the go, they should be able to do so on their mobile devices without losing any experience. If needed, the platform should be able to accommodate requests such as repurposing parts of the report for subsequent discussions.
- Operate Ongoing production should run with minimal effort and the report should be available within a very short period from the receipt of data. A deliberate focus on automation and process standardization can help achieve efficiency gains while also reducing error through minimal manual interventions.
- Facilitate reviews and gather feedback. Using the brand report to appropriately facilitate a business review across functions is one of the most neglected steps. A well-designed report can reach its potential of triggering decisions and actions if effort is put in to distill the key business insights that the brand should focus on. Further, feedback from the review meeting can initiate design changes to keep the report in sync with the latest imperatives of the brand.
Pharma companies that have an effective brand reporting function will spend less time building reports and more time developing insights that inform and drive business decisions. Sttrong performace reports turn the spotlight on what’s most paramount for companies: ensuring the ongoing success of their products. Where is your company on this pursuit?