Marketing intelligence: Add it to the KPO lexicon

Hyderabad, Nov 13 | Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:30am hrs
With the BPO boom on in the pharma sector for clinical trials or payroll management, here is another service added to the list marketing intelligence and business consulting services. Adding to the cost-value proposition to its clients, market analysis and business intelligence services are a new-found service market in the knowledge process outsourcing market. Some of the players offering this service include IMS, Health Products Research, Market Rx, ZS Associates, Interlink Marketing and PharmARC Analytic Solutions.

Says Siraj Dhanani, CEO, PharmARC Analytic Solutions: The trend towards market analytics and business intelligence services is increasing. This includes many decision-support services that underlie sales and marketing decision-making. A few examples of this type of outsourcing include sales force optimisation analytics, sales trend analysis, pricing analytics, revenue forecasting and competition evaluation.

Even while considering the cost arbitrage factor in the domestic KPO industry, the key drivers are skill levels, domain-based skills and analytic skills which are expected to create a demand for this service, Mr Dhanani explains. However, one of the critical issues is data security. Pharmaceutical companies treat their internal sales and marketing information as highly confidential and may be reluctant to send it offshore for analysis and risk disclosure to competitors.

Hence, Indian companies have to ensure data security levels that are higher than those at other onshore consultants, he adds. Interestingly, PharmARCs clientele comprises eight of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and it recently signed two contracts worth $4.5 million in the US.

So, where does the market opportunity lie Consider this. The revenue per sales representative is $50,000 per year by the top 20 Indian companies unlike the MNCs $200,000 per year which is due to better product mix and higher prices. In 2004-05 alone, the absolute sales per MNC brand were higher compared to domestic brands.