It is widely understood that market research is an essential strategic investment in industries such as consumer packaged goods, technology, hospitality, entertainment and the list goes on.
However, there is another industry where market research is arguably even more important, because the end goal is not exclusively to generate sales and profits. Rather it is to help people and, in some cases, save lives: healthcare.
Here are the top 3 reasons why market research is a must for the healthcare industry, and should be viewed as a mission-critical strategic priority:
1. Standing Out Amidst Convergence & Competition
In the past, the healthcare sector was dominated by a limited number of major enterprises, and supported by numerous smaller and niche providers. While there are still some massive firms with multinational footprints, thanks to disruptive technology and an influx of venture capital from investors seeking the latter side of the “high risk, high reward” equation, the marketplace is experience much more convergence and competition.
For consumers or other buyers of healthcare solutions (e.g. hospitals, health networks, laboratories, etc.), this is a positive development as it leads to more choice and better prices. However, for businesses in the healthcare sector it means that they are at risk of finding themselves on the outside looking in – and falling off the proverbial map. Market research is a smart, strategic and proven hedge against this risk, because it helps these businesses stand out and ensure they have a clear, actionable understanding of who they need to reach, why and how.
2. Product & Service Development InsightsEven healthcare businesses that are enjoying strong year-over-year growth and new customer acquisition rates cannot rest on their past success; because today’s customers are more demanding than ever – and if they cannot find what they need from a current vendor or provider, they will look elsewhere.
Market research helps businesses in the healthcare space remain innovative by identifying practical and profitable ways to enhance products and services, as well as launch new offerings. This is not just a way to engage new customers, but as noted above, it is essential for keeping existing customers on the roster.
3. Fill Service Delivery Gaps
By their nature, healthcare solutions are complex and sophisticated, and typically rely on a service delivery model vs. a simpler transactional approach. For example, firms that help hospitals track patient care satisfaction and quality typically have engagements that involve dozens of touchpoints per week with multiple staff members. Or firms that provide medical testing equipment to laboratories have specialists on staff who do nothing but provide training and education, and ensure that the equipment is being used properly to deliver full value.
Market research helps these firms assess and identify if there are any gaps in their service delivery model or, just as importantly, if there are opportunity to make improvements that can generate stronger relationships and better outcomes. For example, the aforementioned firm that provides medical testing equipment may identify through market research that offering online training via tablets could be a viable and cost-effective alternative to in-person training. Or the firm that helps hospitals assess patient quality may identify that staff are struggling to manage data capturing processes, and solving this problem now will ensure that the engagement remains strong into the future.
To learn more about why market research is a must for the healthcare industry -- and how to make this smart, strategic and frankly necessary investment deliver ROI for your firm -- contact the Communications For Research team today. Our co-CEO Colson Steber will learn more about your business and give his expert advice on your market research opportunity.
CFR has been working with healthcare companies for over 20 years and we’re very excited to help you! For more information on the value of market research, download our FREE eBook: