Has COVID-19 Really Impacted the Ability to Conduct Market Research?


Cognitive’s quick answer is no!  We have found that interest in market research participation remains consistently high among healthcare practitioners, payers, patients, caregivers, and other relevant pharma audiences despite necessary adjustments to practice environments and the exponential increase in telemedicine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What changes have we seen for marketing research as a result of the pandemic?

  • Strong trend towards fully virtual qualitative research.  Cognitive’s transition to fully virtual qualitative efforts has been seamless and has provided fully actionable, strategic insights for all our clients.  Use of webcams in combination with online conferencing platforms and integrated survey and polling techniques enables a fully immersive experience that yields results comparable to those of in-person interviews and focus groups.   
  • Increased integration of qualitative and quantitative efforts via online bulletin boards.  Interest in quick turn-around responses and strategies for key issues related to the pandemic have generated an increased interest in and use of Cognitive’s online bulletin board platform.  Designed to generate quick-return quantitative results that can then be amplified via real-time respondent-moderator discussions via a chat function, Cognitive’s online bulletin board platform is ideal for addressing immediate strategic and tactical concerns related to marketing in the current pandemic environment.
  • Increased interest in studies designed to understand the current and future impact of COVID-19 on treatment selection, physician-patient interactions, and marketing efforts.  Approaches have included both novel studies as well as the integration of COVID-related questions into existing quantitative tracking efforts. 
    • Determining the extent to which COVID-19 impacts patients’ discussions about/interest treating their disease
    • Mapping the evolution of both practice and treatment landscapes resulting from the ongoing pandemic (including re-thinking/optimizing the in-person physician-patient interaction, the role of telemedicine)
    • Understanding how COVID-19 is impacting communication between HCPs and patients as well as HCPs and manufacturers
  • No change in the effectiveness of quantitative efforts.  The COVID-19 pandemic has had no impact on the implementation of Cognitive’s quantitative studies.
  • No decline in recruitment efforts. All Cognitive studies conducted since the advent of the pandemic have achieved full sample recruitment.  Indeed, a survey conducted by the Schlesinger Group (March 2020) found that 2 out of 3 physicians and consumers surveyed felt it was still appropriate for companies to conduct market research and connect with their audiences. Moving forward, despite social distancing restrictions, 84% of HCPs/consumers indicated they would feel comfortable participating in in-person research.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve as the world seeks to control this virus.  Cognitive Consulting is dedicated to helping our clients gather the knowledge needed to adjust to the changing treatment and marketing environments and is dedicated to consulting with our clients to generate transformative business strategies and tactics to navigate the impact of this pandemic.