How Multichannel Marketing (MCM) Can Lead to Real Customer Centricity Growth: Key Success Factors in Pharma (Part III)

As more information and knowledge shifts to physicians and customers, companies need to dedicate more time to customers listening, targeting, profiling, reflecting and building deeper and sustainable relationships. A Multichannel Marketing (MCM) plan supports any organization or department to re-think the methods to reach and interact with any customer trying to streamline processes and strategies to better achieve a full 360 customer view and a sustainable and effective Customer Centricity action model.

In this digital age, new channels, processes and tools to engage physician’s surface on a daily basis, however of most marketing and sales structures of pharmaceutical companies remains the same as 10 years ago and hasn’t changed much in those 10 years where it’s still visible a serious gap between therapeutic areas, business units or even from the simple perspective of a KAM and MSL roles and responsibilities. With that said, will be extremely hard to achieve excellence and efficiency in any Customer Centricity strategy implementation tentative.

The internal or external MCM team should be a preferred business partner to the sales and marketing decision makers, by being able to deliver the entire program scope but as well the ability to drive insights from data, hard evidences to outcomes, ability to matching real-time insights to real-time business opportunities and ultimately to drive the proper value to the involved audiences. Therefore to any MCM strategy be able to activate a Company Customer Centricity strategy the correct assessments of the external factors should play a key role in any definition of approach and next steps definitions. Critical steps should be considered as: Benchmarking and other industries trends, valuable scientific content and Competitive Intelligence analysis. The main rational should always be: the Company first must know the surrounding circumstances to then be able to understand the answers to all the questions and proceed with an effective interpretation of all the Key Success Factors involved.

External Factors

Note:More details in the next post (Part IV – to be released).

With an effective External analysis will be easier to any organization to understand all factors involved that will be able to enable efficient capabilities to broken down silos, link marketing and sales strategy to business and build a nimble cross-functional teams that bring together skills, resources, talent, and intelligence with the same type of focus: “engagement”, “centricity” and “action”.

Then before any Framework or Governance implementation the MCM program should be able to set the rules and ground to the system settings to perform initial social listening, learn with competitors best practices or perform informal analysis through opinions, surveys from Industry experts using Call centers or in-person interviews explaining constantly the focus and objectives of all the questions with all transparency. Then when looking around the skills that a MCM Framework and team should have, should be design an effective and agile Governance model to run all MCM Program enabling capabilities and processes for cross functional team working, ability to design and implement a structured communication strategy, mastering the MCM program as a top business priority, integrating from a conceptual perspective with all the other business critical parts and having a constant eye for the digital technology trends. This phase is called “critical loop” integration.

Before any consideration to the MCM Key Success Factors (KSF) model, it’s always crucial to assess and evaluate the critical loop requirements that can influence the practical implementation of the external factors analysis outcomes and will strategically change the interpretation of the KSF model.

Critical Loop

Note: Framework and Governance details in the next post (Part IV – to be released).

In companies with world class MCM programs, is visible not only intra and cross channel interactions management is also clear that a more empowered and informed “Critical Loop” phase can be key to achieve optimal execution and more accuracy in identifying and authenticate key drivers and new insights that appropriately will enable the organization to better disseminate the KSFs.

Now that we have a solid assessment on the external factors and a robust “Critical Loop” model in place we can then start to progress to the next steps for the KSF model interpretation.

So this new approach should be defined by the following Key Success Factors model in order to triumph:

  1. Segmentation Strategy: Better integration of segmentation with Marketing Brand planning with guidance on using the Sources of Business and Channel Mix defined in the Brand Plan to inform the Segmentation Strategy, allowing the channel allocation be driven by brand lifecycle, strategy, channel responsiveness & cost-to-serve. Resulting from my experience the Primary Care segmentation models are always less complex to perform strong analysis and effective implementations than Secondary Care or Post Acute Care models, where the segmentation dimensions and influence factors are always less clear and less readable from a organization perspective.
  2. Profiling: Additional Profiling criteria to guide channel allocation like Channel Responsiveness & Cost-to-serve criteria, having total Guidance on using other channels selectively to support customer profiling.
  3. Segments & Channel mix: Segment design and coverage rules flexed by brand lifecycle stage & strategy, with extended “Know How” sections on the analyses required to support frequency decision and guidance on using cost-to-serve to define segments, channel mix and frequencies.
  4. Channel Deployment: Guidance on aligning available and required capacity across multiple channels with options to use other channels in resolving short term capacity misalignments between and within territories and never loosing the guidance and support from the Compliance and Regulatory counterparts.
  5. Contact Planning: Contact plans by channel to be created for all channels, creating an integrated cross-channel customer contact plan to avoid over-calling and drive better customer contacts. For any planning we should always consider the customer channel preferences and adoption towards any channel. In this exercise a simple matrix with channel adoption and channel preferences is always useful.
  6. Execution & Monitoring: Measure execution of call plans by channel with new KPIs, Big Data and using Competitive Intelligence framework models, to obtain single Channel Execution KPIs to Multichannel Execution KPIs. Having key metrics will always enable the assessment and measurement of physician’s digital inclination and available channels awareness;
  7. Robust and long-term digital engagement: with physicians and patients with effective proportion of knowledge across channels of disease awareness and treatment options;
  8. Valuable scientific digital content (external factor strong dependency): about diseases and drugs and scalable and massive medical knowledge through different channels for specific and targeted audiences.
  9. Benchmarking and Competitors assessments (external factor strong dependency): Competitors MCM strategies comparative effectiveness and competitive intelligence support on established or in-design MCM strategies;


Part III conclusion: Even though the scope of Life Sciences marketplace complexities and problems are growing, it’s evident that some Life sciences companies, especially pharmaceutical, are embracing new Customer Centricity strategies and new missions achievements to drive new products innovation through agile customer excellence strategies like MCM, where the paradigms are changing from products and scientific mindsets to services, adding more intelligence actions with different methods of customer engagement and customer in-depth knowledge, providing an alternative global and scalable support to all customers across value chains and impacting as well other involved parts in the business: payers, providers, regulators, pharmacies, HCPs and patients. And for this imperative business growth requirement MCM plays more than ever a key and critical role, where any CEO that can combine all management skills with a strong partnership with Commercial and Marketing operations will always be in a better position than a CEO still living and enjoying the old fashion “share of voice” models.

MCM Key Success Factors


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