The dictionary definition of ‘benefit’ is ‘an advantage or profit gained from something.’ Although we may be clear about the benefits of our product, it doesn’t mean that the same benefits will be perceived or valued by our customers.

So what is the secret to communicating value? The starting point must be to understand which stakeholders have a need for your product. It’s easy to assume this is always the clinician, yet often they are only one of several stakeholders. We’ve known this for a while, yet we continue to rely too much on communicating clinical messages. It’s understandable, because we are accomplished as an industry in developing and effectively communicating those messages. We excel at it! Yet, we continue to struggle to communicate value when the primary need of a particular customer may be broader than the direct clinical benefit.

Think like your competitor would think…what value do they see in your brand? Think like your customers…what challenge does your product help address? Use an external expert to play devil’s advocate and challenge your assumptions.

To excel at value communication we must do more to understand what the customer is trying to achieve beyond just the clinical outcome. What are they struggling with? What are the day to day operational challenges different stakeholders face? How can your product help to address those challenges? Don’t assume that you know all you need to know from reading national policy documents; you need to understand the local issues.

Having established the value from the customer perspective make sure you target the right value messages to the right customer. There is little point informing a customer in an acute trust that your product reduces the need for primary care follow-up. It’s not relevant and has no value to them.

Job done? Not quite! To be effective in delivering your value message you must be: consistent, relentless, and innovative. Make sure value is communicated consistently across all departments, media and customers groups. Be tireless in your execution and continually seek new ways of effectively engaging with customers.

To find out how we work tirelessly to help you effectively communicate value, why not give us a call on +44 1252 702850?

The NHS and the pharmaceutical industry are often quick to criticise each other; the NHS for not funding a new therapy or only allowing use in a limited patient cohort; the pharmaceutical industry for ‘over’ pricing a new drug or ‘over selling’ its benefits.

There is an increasingly mature relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS and strong evidence of joint working to meet health service and industry goals whilst achieving that best possible outcome for patients.

We need to continue to foster open and honest dialogue at a product level to maintain momentum and accelerate change. Where does the pharmaceutical company believe the trade off between benefits received and price charged lies? Where do NHS stakeholders draw the line? We need to be open enough to accept that neither party truly understands the holistic value of the product in the real world practice.

Much of the value of pharmaceutical products to the NHS is not characterised and assessed in clinical trials. The use of real world evidence (RWE) and real world practice need to form part of the future narrative. RWE is increasingly becoming a part of medical and marketing plans, but more could and should be done to elaborate the wider value to the NHS at the outset.

Value for the patient, value for the company, value for the NHS – that’s what both the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS should be striving for. At i2i that’s our raison d’etre. If you’re interested in hearing more about how we have supported companies in developing effective strategies and delivering successful programmes why not give us a call on +44 1252 702850.