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Is ‘value’ in the eye of the beholder?

The concept of value

Peter DommettProviding value is often an over-used term in the marketing world - yet the concept of value can mean many different things to different pharmaceutical stakeholders - clinicians, patients, payers as well as within pharma companies themselves.

According to the dictionary, value is ‘the importance, worth, or usefulness of something’. However, many business and management scholars have refined the term ‘value’ even further. It is therefore important to make a distinction and clarify how we interpret ‘value’ from the outset and how various stakeholders measure it. For example, cost-cutting, return on investment, access to medicines, improved networks, developing partnerships and building reputations.

In marketing, value is essentially the extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet his or her needs or wants, measured by the customer’s willingness to pay for it. It commonly depends more on the customer’s perception of the worth of the product or service than on its intrinsic value.

On a broader level, corporate perspectives on ‘value’ may range from a focus on ‘adding value for shareholders’ to ‘adding value for patients’.

In the pharmaceutical world, the latter is not only desirable but imperative. And this needs to be demonstrated in a client’s actions and company values, rather than just words in an annual report. From an agency perspective, where value can be demonstrated will also vary depending on where in the ‘request for information (RFI) to project delivery’ pathway it may be, and agencies can (and should) play a key role in shaping the rules of engagement and how we as agencies are assessed.

Highlighting the ultimate value of initiatives for patients will provide quality information for progressive procurement departments to communicate internally.

This strategic approach looks at the bigger picture, so not just cost-cutting but quantitative aspects like knowledge gain and performance against KPIs, as well as more subjective aspects including partnership/collaboration and skills development.

The concept of value to a client and to an agency (and ultimately to a patient) may mean very different things but if the idea of value becomes more coherent and truly patient-focused, then perhaps we will all be heading in the right direction.

Peter Dommett is managing director mXm Group

in association with

mXm Group

25th August 2017

From: Marketing

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