Data collection techniques have been quickly evolving in the new digital landscape, leading to sweeping changes in the upstream marketing process as well.

In the past, pharmaceutical companies came to marketing agencies with a precise question; it was up to the marketers to collect the data and provide the answer. Over time, this process has been turned upside down. Due to the Internet and the steady advance of “Big Data,” the amount of available information has increased exponentially.

For quantitative studies, the problem is no longer collecting information, but rather determining the most pertinent information from all the existing data.

In parallel, qualitative studies are also changing. Focus groups are frequently used by marketing agencies, as their interactive nature, based on real exchanges, provides more in-depth knowledge. This group dimension will persist, but face-to-face interviews will gradually be replaced by digital exchanges. This new development will reduce travel needs and facilitate exchanges between more widely dispersed populations.