Anyone who has conducted Drivers & Barriers research knows that too often these studies return surface level drivers and barriers and fall short of discovering an insight that will truly change marketplace behavior.

At Shapiro+Raj we apply our TechManity™ philosophy to reimagine Drivers and Barriers research. Simply, TechManity™ is our belief that the best insights are Tech Empowered and Human Inspired. We leverage cutting edge tools to enable us to conduct research that is smarter, deeper, and faster. Yet, our researchers guide the tools and interpret the results through their humanity – applying their human curiosity, empathy, and intuition.

In the case of Drivers & Barriers, we tap into our deep understanding of human decision making and super-charge it with our PROsicians™ technology. It’s a process we call Guided Deliberations™.

S+R Guided Deliberations™ is a unique methodology grounded on the breakthrough social science work coming from our partnership with the University of Chicago Law School, drawing parallels in the jury room where jury members make decisions. Guided Deliberations™ digs deep into human decision making but observing, rather than asking, how decisions are made. It’s an observational, respondent-led approach that brings customers with differing views together to debate the case and challenges them to attempt to build consensus.

Through this process our trained researchers listen closely for how arguments are constructed, what ‘evidence’ is used, and how each side answers back to the others’ argument. This reveals what matters most to customers, biases, and barriers to overcome, as well as where there are sticking or tipping points on the way to a decision.

S+R’s PROsicians™ is a proprietary algorithm based on physician innovation and experimentation that ensures we tap the right physicians for right insights. It fuels Guided Deliberations™ by strategically designing the ‘room’ of physicians with diverse thinkers that will push each other in a lively debate.

Case Study: Discovering levers to pull to kick-start a slow launch

Despite certain competitive advantages, after more than a year of launch in the Hyperkalemia space, our client’s product uptake was not as strong as expected. It was critical to deeply understand the nuanced drivers of current loyalty to standard of care and the barriers to adoption of our client’s product. This meant pinpointing levers needed to break habits and increase use of our client’s product.

Unlike many other therapeutic areas, there is a very diverse set of physician specialties involved in treating Hyperkalemia. Depending on several factors, hyperkalemia treaters can be primary care physicians, nephrologists, ER physicians, hospitalists, or cardiologists.

We designed a Guided Deliberations™ initiative that mixed groups of SoC loyalists and new product users. We also carefully incorporated physicians from different spaces on the PROsicians™ spectrum ensuring we had a mix of ‘innovative thinkers’ and those who tend to hang back.

The result was highly engaging debates that exposed tensions and revealed the beliefs and biases each physician leaned into. We discovered that while many logistical and practical barriers were in fact in place, there was also a more personal, emotional barrier that kept doctors from adoption. As the groups debated and attempted to build consensus, these sticking and tipping points were made clear. We observed what physicians needed to know and believe (about the drug and themselves) to overcome sticking points and tip towards adoption.

Despite the diversity of physician specialties, clear themes in belief structures emerged, revealing strategies that could move the needle tailored to the bias to overcome rather than the physician’s specialty. The PROsicians™ algorithm was critical to seeing these themes. The resulting strategic recommendations provided compelling ways to frame their messages, inject “nudges” into communications and customer experience, as well as a strategic platform that would work effectively across this very diverse set of physician specialties.

Ultimately, we achieved what is often lacking in Drivers & Barriers research – clarity on how to drive market share in the absence of strong clinical differentiation. We provided the client team with clarity into the biases at play, how to either ‘feed’ or ‘fight’ these biases, and clear strategic implications to increase the odds of success.

This research also provided the necessary evidence to justify increasing sales force efforts and provided direction on what type of conversations and narrower topics sales representatives should focus on. Additionally, the insights ignited a Product Sampling strategy that would address a clear barrier. These actions resulted in measurable improvement in market share, after a slower than expected launch.

This is just one example why we have been voted in the annual GRIT report as the #1 strategic insights consultancy. If you would like to hear more about how we can spark transformative outcomes to help you shape not just respond to the future, please reach out to us at [email protected].