Achieving omni channel success in pharma

In a digital world, the pharmaceutical industry can no longer rely on a representative-led sales model. As the need for more efficient, cost-effective customer engagement grows, so does the technology to serve it. With so many channels of communication available, surely now’s the time for the pharmaceutical industry to embrace omnichannel marketing.

Barriers to success

When it comes to multichannel success, pharma lags behind other industries such as finance, retail and tech. However, faced with multiple stakeholder groups and restrictive industry regulations, it is no surprise that pharma struggles to compete.

In 2014, the Cap Gemini Consulting and MIT ‘Digital Advantage’ report classed pharma as a digital transformation ‘beginner’. Despite plenty of innovative thinking and a fresh focus on healthcare-specific multichannel strategies over the past four years, it still feels like pharma is behind the curve.

How is pharma rising to the challenge?

In 2016, research from DT Associates, ‘Digital Excellence in the Global Pharmaceutical Industry’, painted a more positive picture. It identified a growing industry perception that ‘digital must be fully integrated into existing market practices and not bolted on’. It was evident that pharma was beginning to take a more integrated approach to omnichannel marketing.

While channels like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are often out of bounds for pharma, there are still opportunities to make better use of appropriate channels to create a more seamless customer experience. For example, via a combination of pharma-owned websites, email marketing, HCP portals and online medical education.

Focus on content

Identifying a successful channel mix for its healthcare practitioner (HCP) audience is the number one priority for pharma’s marketers. However, when every HCP already has a preference in terms of the channel, message and delivery method, the demands for content are huge.

It’s clear the volume of content that pharma marketers need to produce is overwhelming. According to Accenture’s ‘State of Content for Life Sciences’ report, 78% of marketers in pharma and biotech and 95% of marketers in medical technology say their organisations are producing a moderate to enormous amount of digital content and assets.

It’s not just about quantity, though. The content must also engage and add value for the audience. Without this, it doesn’t bring value to the brand either.

The real challenge when working with life science content lies in combining medical, legal and scientific requirements with authentic storytelling and personalisation.

Research by Econsultancy and Adestra reveals that 66% of marketers would like to see an improvement in personalisation, but only around a quarter of them have a content management communication model that is up to the job. As a result, just 11% are managing to personalise their content to a standard they consider satisfactory.

Communication and collaboration

When it comes to communication, there’s no shortage of technologies in place. However, even the best collaboration tool does not guarantee instant digital transformation success. According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 45% of marketers say their organisations have the right tools in place but they’re not being used to their full potential.
The problem lies not with the systems required to manage the existing digital assets, but in the search for a system that provides full integration and helps the company move towards global-to-local collaboration.

As a world leader in cloud-based software for some of the biggest names in pharma and biotech, Veeva is one such system. Adare’s creative agency Purple is able to service seven of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies, having been awarded Veeva level-4 accreditation. This award not only marks us out for our pharma industry skills, but also recognises us for our specialist digital content capabilities.
If you would like to put your company’s digital and print marketing in safe hands, get in touch with the team today: hello@adareinternational.com.

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