PM360, Think Tank: Perfecting Your Launch Strategy
September 1, 2015
Communications planning and preparation in advance of a product’s regulatory approval is a critical component of a successful product launch. Outreach to the media or stakeholder audiences must be handled strategically to prepare the market for launch without overpromising or driving demand before a product is available. The main goal of pre-launch communications is to establish the need for the product among all stakeholders-physicians, investors, patients and advocacy groups, among others. When these audiences are primed to anticipate the launch news, it will be easier to turn heads and make headlines.
Pre-approval promotion is prohibited; therefore, it is best to communicate data in conjunction with its publication in a medical journal or a presentation at a medical meeting. Start-ups or smaller, privately held companies will often issue data via press releases independent of these events, perhaps required for investor disclosure purposes. These company announcements, however, do not always gather significant attention. Data presented by or published by a key opinion leader or investigator provides increased credibility, and the news media values this type of endorsement over a company-sponsored announcement.
NO MORE BLOCKBUSTERS
Gone are the days of blockbuster launches. Now, many products are developed for a limited patient population. The good news for these patients is that resources are available that never before existed. Regardless of blockbuster potential, targeted communications that reach niche audiences are more highly valued by media, clients and audiences than broad sweeping DTC advertising campaigns that were so common in the “blockbuster past.” Utilizing social media, online communities and active influencers, it is much easier to communicate to and secure the attention of the patients and caregivers most likely to benefit from the products we support.