Scientist woman using digital tablet in hospital

A Problem-Solving Pivot: Why an App Wasn’t the Answer

Learn more



Help a pharmaceutical conglomerate achieve an ambitious sales goal in the face of a marketing strategy that was in only a nascent stage of digital transformation.


By performing extensive research and advanced analytics, CI&T was able to use data-driven insights to define and refine targets with the highest potential for growth and provide highly actionable strategies that worked within the organization’s budget to reach and engage those targets.


1. Redeployed sales force increased effectiveness.

2. Connections between the brand and both doctors and consumers were strengthened.

3. The client was so impressed by CI&T’s data-driven approach that it created its own analytics department to continue the company’s progress towards digital transformation.


Industries that are slower to adopt digital transformation strategies can greatly benefit — perhaps more than most — from the expertise of a skilled, experienced partner who can help achieve ambitious goals while working as a team in ways that can completely transform organizational culture.


In 2017, a Brazilian pharmaceutical giant calculated that an effective way to encourage growth in its market share for oral contraceptives would be to create an app that would remind women to take their pills regularly. Because of its very nature, however, the life sciences industry has tended towards a slower digital maturation than other industries. In need of the expertise and skill to deliver a technical product in a very short period of time, the organization reached out to CI&T about developing the proposed app.

What CI&T also brought to the table, however, was a strong belief that a thorough understanding of the underlying factors and key challenges driving a project can reveal information that is critical to that project’s success. Upon learning that the main goal of deploying the app was to double market share over an 18-month timespan, CI&T ran some initial numbers. What CI&T discovered was that achieving that amount of growth at the current rate was indeed achievable, but it would actually take 8 years, not 18 months. It quickly became clear that an app alone was not going to deliver the target result.

In fact, further analysis revealed that attaining that goal meant getting 10,000 new prescriptions a month. To help cement brand loyalty, the company also needed a minimum 6-month retention rate of new patients. These goals were complicated by the fact that the organization’s two oral contraceptive brands occupied 4th place in the market, and company outreach traditionally focused almost exclusively on the detailing reps’ activities and product promotions instead of the patient segment of the market.


CI&T theorized that there were deeper issues at play than women simply forgetting to take their pills. The growth target, however, had been set on desired revenue — not data —so the immediate need was to uncover actionable market insights.

The overall target audience was simple enough: the 50 million Brazilian women between the ages of 12-45. But much more information was needed. Working together, CI&T experts and the in-house marketing team began conducting extensive field research. They interviewed more than 100 women, spoke to physicians, went to pharmacies, and talked to the sales reps who did the promotions. By looking at every part of the puzzle to see what was going on, they discovered that the most important target for achieving the ambitious growth goal was the teenage demographic

This helped refine the target, but between patients, prescribers and influencers, there was simply not enough budget to market to everyone. So, the team next turned to analysing the data from bricks — geographical blocks used to break down countries and cities into meaningful units for analysing drug sales — to determine where the company had the best potential to gain market share. Of the 10,000 bricks available, 3,000 of them held promise. Using the Fast Track Analytics (FTA), CI&T and their client broke down the bricks into ten clusters. By taking a hyper-granular approach to these clusters, they identified the areas experiencing low investment and the least dispute for share, then developed a three-point plan of attack.

To reach more key prescribers, the company’s sales force was redeployed from less-promising areas to specifically identified cities based on the refined brick data. Resources were also redirected to focus more on patients. Direct outreach to increase brand awareness and engagement included patient support programs as well as content like blog posts on pregnancy prevention.


The initial programs helped build greater connections between the organization’s two brands, doctors and consumers, and the redeployed sales force increased its effectiveness. More significantly, the market analysis led by CI&T — so different for the business yet so powerful — created excitement about the efforts that quickly worked its way up the company ranks. Initially pulling in senior marketing and sales leadership, interest spread to a point that the company owner and shareholders became involved. With such a strong spotlight on the capabilities of proper data analysis, the pharmaceutical giant was so inspired by the CI&T partnership that it created a new department, hiring data scientists and engineers to help support better strategies beyond the two oral contraceptive brands to encompass the entire company’s business units.

The digital transformation discussion is happening slowly in the life sciences market, and there is still a noticeable gap in mindset. However, CI&T is well-positioned to help organizations with the digitalization of the detailing salesforce to add value to different channels. Analytics and AI can increase the precision of any organization’s approach, as well as by enhancing communication with potential prescribers and boost their engagement — and their patients’ — with a brand.