By Nitin Aggarwal, Vice President of Data Analytics of The Smart Cube
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to dramatic shifts in how, where and what healthcare products consumers choose and buy. Here’s how we’re using intelligence and analytics to help CHC companies adapt.
For consumers across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on where, when, and how they choose and buy healthcare products.
With demand for over-the-counter medicines up, a renewed focus on wellbeing driving demand for personal nutrition products, and new channels emerging to serve consumers’ preference to buy remotely, it’s been a time of unprecedented change for the Consumer Healthcare industry.
Now, product, category, revenue, and brand managers are tasked with adapting to this ‘new normal’. They need to ensure that their product and commercial strategies are evolving in the right direction.
At The Smart Cube, we’ve been helping Consumer Healthcare (CHC) companies understand their markets, customers, and competitors for years – supporting them with the insights they need to build and execute winning commercial strategies.
Here are three ways in which our Commercial Growth Analytics solution is helping CHC leaders evolve their post-pandemic strategies and achieve commercial excellence in the new normal.
1) Helping companies move into new markets with confidence
With changing market and consumer dynamics, evolving macroeconomic landscapes and stressed supply chains, CHC companies can consider expanding into new markets and channels for product and category growth. But any move into a new territory can be a leap into the unknown.
There are new competitors to maneuver around, new pricing and brand strategies to consider, new customers with unique demands to meet, and new buying and consumption preferences to understand. All hard work for brand, revenue, and commercial managers, and all impossible without timely, reliable insights.
We recently helped a top 10 global CHC company navigate those challenges, as it planned its move into the Algerian market. Through extensive secondary research coupled with industry expert consultations, we delivered insights into customer preferences, market conditions, pricing strategies, risk, and the competitive landscape – enabling the company to build a strong expansion strategy that ensured its commercial success in Algeria.
For another client, a global nutritional supplements company, we modelled future demand at different levels (category, channel and region) to help it with sales and operational planning, applicable during the COVID-19 crisis and post-pandemic. Leveraging advanced ML algorithms and forecasting techniques, we developed a demand forecasting simulator that factored in multiple recovery scenarios, seasonality and other market trends. Our work provided the client with new visibility into categories worth $500 million, enabling much more informed decision making for the future.
2) Helping brands evolve alongside new consumer preferences
Consumer preferences are changing at a rapid pace, which requires swift action from CHC companies to remain competitive.
With lockdowns forcing consumers into new channels, panic buying leading to sudden surges in demand, growing consumer focus on personal wellbeing, and fears about the virus keeping them away from doctors’ offices and hospitals, there’s a whole new landscape to understand.
That’s a big task. There’s a wealth of data out there about how people are buying, what they’re buying, and which channels they’re using to get it safely. The key to success is not just gathering information but extracting actionable insights from diverse and disconnected consumer data.
We recently helped another major global CHC company do just that. The company wanted to better understand customer sentiment about one of its products, to help improve how it was made and packaged – and ultimately, improve sales.
By bringing huge sets of social media and other online data together and using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technology to understand it, we helped the company uncover vital insights into unmet consumer needs. Those insights then directly helped the company improve the quality, value and competitiveness of the chosen product.
3) Optimizing marketing spend to make the most of new opportunities
Demand for CHC products is spiking. Now, it’s up to commercial and marketing teams to ensure that wherever their target customers look for CHC products, their brand is right there, waiting to meet their requirements. The emergence and adoption of new channels, particularly digital ones, requires sophisticated and targeted marketing strategies. So, it is imperative to effectively allocate marketing spend across different vehicles.
There’s no secret source out there that’s going to tell you the ‘best’ way to distribute spend across your media mix. Instead, companies must dive into data and find ways of accurately measuring and optimizing the ROI of various promotions and marketing activities across channels and geographies – and be ready to make big changes if the results appear poor.
When a leading US-based health drink company wanted to optimize its marketing spend, it engaged The Smart Cube to derive data-led insights and develop a robust MMM solution. By conducting univariate and bivariate exploratory analyses of numerous important variables, followed by advanced modeling techniques, we identified key trends and patterns in data vs. product sales and quantified the impact of media on sales. We also enabled ‘what if’ simulation analysis that helped the company identify optimal actions to help meet its growth target.
As a result, the client was able to achieve a 15% average increase in media spend ROI, and reallocate $3.5 million of marketing spend that was being used inefficiently.
How The Smart Cube supports and enables commercial excellence
Those are just some of the ways that our Commercial Growth Analytics solution is helping CHC leaders get ahead of major market and consumer shifts and build stronger commercial strategies that help them hit their revenue goals.
The Smart Cube leverages market, channel and consumer intelligence, advanced analytics and in-house sector expertise to provide deep insights into commercial landscapes, customer habits, and competitive environments. We do this by bringing internal and external data together using AI and human intelligence, providing a reliable, holistic view of the markets, categories, and consumer segments that matter to your business.
So, whether you’re planning a move into a new market, launching new products, optimizing your channel strategy, tweaking pricing and promotion strategies, or forecasting for the future, we have the intelligence, technology, and insight needed to help you succeed.