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In the realm of marketing research, product profile analysis is a powerful technique that we often use at Cadence to understand the first impressions of a respondent, their likelihood to try a product, and the potential for it to become a part of their regular use. This technique is particularly prevalent in our work with the pharmaceutical industry, where we help our clients assess the market potential of their products. 

Commonly referred to as The Product Profile (TPP) research, this investigation typically takes the form of one-on-one interviews lasting approximately 45 minutes, although the duration can vary based on the research requirements. We usually engage respondents who hold prescriptive authority directly or indirectly, such as Medical Doctors (MDs), Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), and Physician Assistants (PAs). The research is double blinded for objectivity – the respondent is unaware of the manufacturer’s identity, and vice versa. 

The crux of TPP research is the product profile, a succinct summary highlighting the product’s primary characteristics. These might include: 

  • Product indication  
  • Mechanism of action  
  • Dosing and administration guidelines 
  • Key clinical trial data 
  • Efficacy  
  • Safety  
  • Metabolism and excretion information  
  • Any warnings and contraindications  

Depending on the product’s development stage, some of this information may be unavailable, but the objective is to provide sufficient data for the respondent to form an initial assessment.  

The dialogue in TPP research typically begins by understanding the respondent’s preferred treatment, the factors influencing their choice, and the existing gaps in current treatments. After presenting the TPP, we ask questions directly related to the presented information to gather their overall reaction, perceived pros and cons, and delve into specific aspects of the product. The discussion concludes with queries about the product’s potential adoption and usage expansion. 

However, TPP research often faces a major obstacle: imprecise predictions of product adoption and usage. The queries surrounding this topic are designed to be open-ended to avoid leading the respondent, but this often results in broad and ambiguous responses. To get more precise estimates, experienced moderators will attempt to define the eligible patient types and approximate the proportion of their patient population this could include, but responses usually remain estimations. As a veteran of 25 years in healthcare marketing research, this pattern is all too familiar to me. 

Because of this, at Cadence, we’ve innovated a methodology to address this issue while allowing deeper exploration into treatment selection factors. We call it The Cadence Method. Essentially, it’s a blend of a traditional advisory board and a standard physician focus group. 

This technique, facilitated by a PhD or MD, intentionally keeps a more clinical tone, all while staying in alignment with the marketing objectives. The heart of this approach is rooted in patient cases, which serve as tangible anchors for the discussion. The conversation begins with the introduction of a base patient case and deliberation about the preferred treatment for that specific patient. The discussion then progresses with modified patient cases and a review of the preferred treatment options, with the aim of identifying the tipping point at which the new product would be considered, the criteria for expanding its use, and the subsequent patient types they would consider for it. With patient cases as anchors, we uncover valuable insights that pave the way for successful product adoption and expanded usage in the pharmaceutical industry. 

The Cadence Method offers a solution to the challenge of unclear adoption and usage estimation in product profile research. By combining elements of advisory boards and physician focus groups, this innovative approach provides valuable insights into therapy choices. With patient cases as anchors, it aligns clinical perspectives with marketing objectives, facilitating successful product adoption and expanded usage in the pharmaceutical industry 

Cadence is proud to pioneer this innovative approach. We invite you to delve deeper into The Cadence Method and explore the range of services we offer. For a comprehensive understanding of how we can revolutionize your market research strategies, visit our website. At Cadence, we are dedicated to providing solutions that drive better decisions and ultimately, better healthcare. 


Author Sugata Biswas

Sugata co-founded Cadence Communications & Research, a healthcare focused agency offering medical communications and marketing research services, in 2008 with Laura Smith. Sugata currently heads the market research group at firm and has spearheaded key strategic initiatives, leveraging his deep technical expertise and industry insights to drive business growth. Sugata also served roles in consulting and market research at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), The Wilkerson Group, Amgen, and ICI. In addition to his corporate pursuits, Sugata has made substantial contributions to the academic realm. He co-authored "Management Consulting: A Complete Guide to the Industry" with Daryl Twitchell (1st ed. 1999, 2nd ed. 2002, Wiley). Sugata regularly shares his expertise through speaking engagements, addressing key topics like healthcare trends, marketing research, and management consulting. Sugata received his BA in Economics (with honors) from The University of Chicago, an MA in Economics from Utah State University, and an MBA from Yale University. Sugata may be contacted at

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