Five Steps to Creating Segmentation Studies That Won’t Be Shelved


Pharmaceutical companies have long used advanced technology to increase both the speed and likelihood of the success of their new product development. Think about how the mRNA platform is revolutionizing vaccine development. If pharmaceutical companies make use of sophisticated science to create the product, they can also use the available advanced analytics to sell the product.

Creating Actionable Segmentation Studies

Selling is fundamentally about deciding where to focus and that requires targeting the best prospective customers. The best targeting requires an actionable segmentation which:

  1. connects what customers think towhat they do
  2. produces identifiable segments

This requires the integration of primary data (what customers think) and secondary data (what customers do) and assigning each physician on a call list to a specific segmentation.

Why Segmentation Studies Fail

Segmentation studies often fail. In fact, most of our segmentation projects start with the question “how can we avoid the mistakes we made last time?”. Many segmentation studies fail at the implementation phase because implementing the results requires sales reps to administer a typing tool to assign HCPs on the call list to a particular segment. This is awkward, error-prone, and wastes precious time.  

Brabeuo Five-Step Process

Our five-step process combines primary and secondary data to assign HCPs on the call list to specific segments. Throughout the process we utilize our armamentarium of contemporary analytics to integrate and analyze data. Additionally, we apply our practical experience from implementing segmentation studies within a pharmaceutical company to think ahead and deliver truly actionable segmentation studies for its clients.

Our process includes:

  1. Leveraging existing secondary data to HCP call list. The goal is to generate as much secondary data as possible for each HCP in the existing Call list.
  2. Creating primary and secondary research connection points. We recruit respondents for the primary research exclusively from a client provided ‘call list’, focusing on those HCPs with sufficient secondary data. This ensures that every HCP taking the survey will have both primary and secondary data.
  3. Generating segments exclusively with the primary data using contemporary ensemble method. This ensures that we are maximizing our ability to identify segments with fundamentally differing approaches to treatment, makes sure we have the most robust mathematically distinct segments. In the process, we explore a wide range of hypothesis drive solutions to ensure we identify the most useful segmentation scenario.
  4. Developing an algorithm to assign HCPs to the different segments. We leverage the secondary data (match to the primary sample) in a Random Forest Model to increase the power, reliability, and predictive accuracy of segment assignments. This eliminates the need for a typing tool.  Instead, since the model is based exclusively on the secondary data, we can apply it to the entire call list to assign every HCPs to a segment.
  5. Validating the results with people who have first-hand knowledge of the customers.  This can take the form of simply showing a sample of HCP segment assignments to the client’s leadership. Or, if more rigorous validation is required, we can invite HCPs, by segment, into additional interviews to see if they match their assignment and then test segment-specific tactics and messages.

The Bottom Line

After all the cutting-edge science, time, and money that gets poured into developing a new product, your product deserves the best chance at commercial success. Our extensive experiences, proven process, and contemporary analytics methods can help you make better decisions and drive your commercial success.
Do you want to learn more about how we can improve your targeting? Please CONTACT us and someone will be in touch with you right away.


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