Enabling Multichannel Marketing and Digital in the Pharmaceutical landscape (Part I)

More than ever the Pharmaceutical industry is trying to maintain the business dynamics and past rhythm while is being forced to adapt to a growing competitive market, to found new answers to new problems resulted from expiring patents scenarios, revenue gaps, more rigid access to physicians, strict guidelines from the FDA or EMA and increasing regulatory scrutiny.

The increasing difficulties on the access to physicians are not the only market condition that is forcing pharma to adopt new strategies and actions. Also important to consider the growing importance of alternative information channels, the necessity to control the marketing & sales costs for better return on investment, necessity to have another type of reaction to different customer communication behaviors with changing preferences and new treatments methods that patients are already requesting. More than ever patients will become a very important part in the future diagnostics processes and strong influencers in how treatments are becoming more individualized.

The recent years have provided several examples of how past business models in complex health economies that were extremely productive and bulletproofing are being forced to perceive the current marketplace with strong conditions as field force numbers decreasing, payer reimbursements pressures and unsustainable trajectory of health care spending, being taken as new strategies new channels integrations, reloading product pipelines and embracing Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) to handle with these new market conditions.

So, reality is pharmaceutical companies are being forced to search actively new methods to improve revenues, by shifting from general and family practitioner markets to more specific and specialized markets, like biologicals where entering don’t cause commercial disruptions mainly because there isn’t generic erosion, there are cheaper investments (e.g. clinical trials) and lower costs of entry with more speed in access and smaller sales forces needs.

Multichannel Marketing (1)

Integrated Multichannel and Digital solutions are able to deliver an experience that is personalized to each customer

Looking backwards pharma companies had extensive sales forces to cover almost all the target physicians that was possible to target, with massive presence across almost all the existing territories, where the sales visits to physicians were typically high without any kind of regulations or restrictions. However today the scenarios are totally different and several governments passed new transparency laws to report the relationships between life sciences companies and health care professionals, in almost all the European countries.

In the European case, the EFPIA “transparency” initiatives provide the opportunity for the regulators and governmental authorities to encourage a consistent approach to data disclosure in Europe and help guide further reporting actions at national levels. Parallel to all the European sunshine reporting new requirements, several countries are also establishing through agencies, programs to evaluate the economic impact and performance of most all the approved drugs through clinical trials and patients focus groups in order to control and measure the true impact of pharmaceutical products into the regional markets and associated costs-impacts analysis, with specific treatment hospital protocols and pharma economic impacts dossiers.

The traditional marketing model of “share of voice” designed for pharma blockbusters are completely outdated and companies are being forced and pushed to create strategic alternatives to efficiently handle with the new customer landscape. Therefore Multichannel Marketing (MCM) and proper management of commercial channels are in the spectrum of pharma focus as it allow to diverse the market opportunities, create more engagement with customers and establish new ways of communication with all the stakeholders.

While pharma companies are moving from traditional blockbuster markets to more isolated market niches like engineering cells and proteins, antibacterial drugs, specific and orphan diseases, immunology, immunotherapies, immuno-oncology, new immune system mechanisms and specific cancers treatments, the sector is also keen in searching new marketing and commercial models to move towards to a more customer centric approach which is driven by an environment with multiple stakeholders with specific needs and where the patient starts to play a bigger part in the entire process. The new arising pharma models that are emerging and being defined as “cross-functional customer centricity model”, where the relationship from the companies (e.g. Sales Reps, Regional Access Manager, Value proposition managers) to multiple stakeholders (e.g. patient groups, pharmacies, physicians or Hospitals) are making more sense than ever. For any successful MCM strategy the customer segmentation, profiling, frequency achievement rates and customer preferences & behaviors are key and critical to the execution and implementation of the strategy plan.

Along with the intense competition that Life Sciences is living, it’s continually visible the constant flows of new information, new advances in IT, new data driven phenomenon’s and a growing trend of real world patient data.

Therefore, the operating environment of a global organization should become more than ever before into a more lean, sharpen and agile operational model across all structures to accept and develop innovation in every ways possible within the same strategy and for an unspecific period of time.

Besides the size and history of a company, its culture and management style will also often set whether the adopted strategies will change the traditional paradigms from face to face interactions to a more sharpen and realistic conjunction with delivering substantial value to customers and patients (…)

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One comment

  1. […] The prime advantage of a “we-are-they” perspective is the company starts to consider the customers causes and concerns as part of the business critical objectives, being able to engage with a shared purpose establishing a parallel mean of commercial needs and the real customer needs. […]

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