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Even traditionally rep-friendly specialists will see fewer pharmaceutical sales reps this year, according to ZS Associates
Date:7/22/2014

yer/provider consolidations to accelerate in metropolitan areas and for access to physicians to become even more restrictive."

Still, some markets remain more access-friendly for sales reps – for now, at least.

"Payers and providers in some fragmented markets – such as Texas – remain more traditional and independent.  Consolidation hasn't gained popularity there yet, and these markets are similar to the way they were 15 years ago — though it's not clear how long that will continue," said Sturgis. "Pharmaceutical companies would do well to remain ahead of the curve and embrace customer-centric marketing strategies that could help increase access to physicians."

Customer-centric marketing gains physician attention
Traditionally, the pharmaceutical industry has been fairly brand-centric in its marketing efforts, but current market dynamics demonstrate a need to be more customer-centric and focus on the value of rep/physician interactions across all the brands.

"Though the pipe won't close completely for sales reps, it will continue to constrict," said Khedkar. "This is the time for companies to focus on customer relationships and make the right investments in customer-centric marketing. Companies who communicate via a physician's preferred channel will be rewarded with his/her attention."

As many as 50 channels exist today — including e-detailing, in-office promotions, virtual speaker programs and webinars, and social media communities — and this number will grow as these channels provide more measureable results and companies design ways to work in concert with the sales rep.  

According to Khedkar, "It will become increasingly important for pharma companies to understand how physicians would like to be reached and coordinate their marketing messages across all communication channels. The rep must play a critical role to help companies successfully o
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SOURCE ZS Associates
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