What can pharma learn from digital B2B strategies?

Published: 05 / 02 / 2019

To reach customers today, digital channel marketing is everything. Over the past decade, B2B sales have grown as new technology has allowed companies to interact with customers through more and more channels. Surely, for pharmaceutical businesses, the situation is just the same?

Millennials represent 35% of the UK workforce, with high expectations of their B2C and B2B digital experiences. Despite this interest, in many cases B2B still trails its B2C counterpart, with pharma businesses falling even further behind.

When it comes to digital transformation, it can be hard for some companies to break with tradition. According to research by McKinsey, the faster a company is growing, the more effectively it uses digital and inside sales channels. By comparison, slower-growing companies struggle to make the most of the channels available.

The research also highlights the impact on businesses as consumers become more tech-savvy and their preferences shift. McKinsey explains that this has led to “a new breed of sales leaders who bring technical expertise and a strategic mind-set.

“This is also transforming what sales organisations look like, with a sharp reduction in field sales and marketing, and rapid growth in inside sales and analytics teams.”

Companies that embrace a digital approach to communication are making financial gains over their competitors. And with the increasing popularity of digital and inside sales channels, we are seeing a decline in field sales. Pharma companies would be wise to take note.

As an article on PMLive asks, what can pharma do to keep pace with digital B2B strategies?

Faced with the same strict regulations, the way healthcare is delivered has not changed significantly over the years. As an industry, pharma is inherently conservative about digital forms for fear of reprisals. Is it any wonder that its digital progression has been held back?

It’s no longer enough to simply bolt digital platforms onto legacy systems; pharma companies need to embrace digital transformation. This means developing a comprehensive new strategy with digital at its heart.

Technological advances have had a huge impact on customer expectations, as have the channels that businesses use to reach those consumers. However, digital also allows pharma companies to work smarter.

The more companies can harness industry data and use the latest intelligence, the more sales teams can take an increasingly data-driven approach to decision-making and make use of real-time analytics to increase flexibility.

As the focus in pharma shifts even further away from the product to the customer, multichannel approaches will shake up the pharma industry. Already companies realise they need to re-evaluate how well they understand their customers and the mechanisms in place to extract customer insight. They also understand that they need to examine their strengths and weaknesses in non-sales-rep channels.

With multichannel transformation taking hold of the pharma industry, companies must focus on the holistic assessment and strategic design of their endeavours.

At Adare International, we support 480 healthcare brands, producing more than 100 million items for the industry each year. We can help you maximise your marketing campaigns, getting the right blend of digital, print and everything in between.

To find out how we can help you take a more integrated approach to your pharma marketing, communication and engagement get in touch with the team today: hello@adareinternational.com.

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