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Events: EphMRA Annual Conference 2018 round up

July 24, 2018

Last month, EU Directors Angela Duffy, Richard Head and Dan coffin attended the EphMRA annual conference in Basel. The conference kicked off with a fascinating and very personal keynote paper by Ian Talmage, Senior Advisor to Bayer Global Strategic Marketing, on the magnitude of changes our industry has faced over the years, reflecting upon the future landscape, where changes are likely to be and the challenges that sit ahead. This set the underlying tone for the conference, with many papers focusing on technology, behavioural science, patient engagement, data analytics, and collaborative approaches to optimising and enhancing insights.


Following the keynote, Angela Duffy and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ursula Kraus-Meeder co-presented the paper ‘How Researchers Became Journalists to Champion the Voice of the Customer’. Ursula approached us to run a workshop with her global insights team in order to help them elevate the insights from research amongst BI stakeholders. Ursula wanted her team to create a newspaper output for internal distribution and so Angela, with the help of our marketing and graphics team, created a “virtual newsroom” using props and styling and invited the team to adopt the role of journalists in order to find their story. After the workshop, Research Partnership worked with BI over a number of months to develop and eventually print the final newspaper, which was launched at a very successful event at BI. The team benefited from not only from the team-building and camaraderie that resulted from the experience, but also from the visibility that the market insights got as a result of the newspaper. The resulting conversations and discussions engaged a broader set of stakeholders and produced business value over and above the originally intended audience and project objectives.

After Angela and Ursula presented their paper, many interested delegates visited Research Partnership’s exhibition stand to hear more about the workshop and enquired about how the idea could be evolved and applied to them. To find out more, please contact us.

Richard Head presented a short paper on Portfolio analysis in which he delivered a fascinating session on best approaches in market research to provide sound, evidence-based insights that inform decisions on critical portfolio analysis & management.

Several themes emerged at the conference and behavioural science remained a hot topic. A number of papers addressed this – including ‘nudges’, behavioural models and building sustainable programs ‘around the pill’ – all emphasising the need for pharma to move away from over-focus on drug therapy and to think more about the customer and consumer empowerment & engagement. Collaboration also emerged on the agenda, mirroring Angela & Ursula’s paper in terms of insight teams working cohesively within and across offices, but also in terms of engagement and co-creation with both customer and patient. We cannot escape from technology and so naturally it remained a key theme – both in terms of methodological techniques in areas like social media and data analytics, but also in terms of digital therapies and the rise of the health-tech movement.

The EphMRA evening event was held at the beautiful Open Church Elisabethen, the team had an enjoyable evening catching up with familiar as well as new faces.

Research Partnership

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