In 2016, pharma companies are already being forced to adopt flexible, highly personalized and tailored approaches to achieve better results on the face-to-face physician’s access and more effective patient-driven treatments choices.
Online and digital are no longer meaningless concepts to most of the patients, where a large percentage of them across most of the EU countries are using already apps to compare drug prices, learn more about diseases, search for new physicians (2nd opinions) or treatments. In this growing environment are the current pharma companies being able and flexible to support the necessary knowledge development on their products and with that leverage not only the patient’s awareness around the product, but as well the doctor’s knowledge and engagement? How important is the word-of-mouth for Pharma in 2016?
This new digital era requires a new behavior and rethinking from pharma companies in the way of interacting with the customers, patients, payers, governments, pharmacies or regulators. More important than engaging is to make it with speed, business-integrated, systems wise, accurate information and with scale to reach mature or emergent markets in a structured and cost-effective manner, where one-size-fits-all doesn’t work. It’s necessary to build and design regional and local Multichannel Marketing (MCM) strategies within the same global strategy and model.
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.
Arising from the business critical needs, the design strategy for the MCM program might follow two different paths of execution. 1 – The first possible strategy path for the MCM program is the leading idea and orientation model to build all the channels around a solid science leadership and stimulating innovation sources and influence factors in the entire program life-cycle, investing heavily in content and R&D capabilities to facilitate all the communication and selling power to the acting therapeutic areas of action from the beginning of a product development or even at clinical trials phases. Pre-Marketing is key and crucial for any pharma or BioTechnology company. It’s where Competitive Intelligence or Brand Strategy Plan meet together. One of the major risks in this type of strategy is the investment returns being uncertain and the possible lack of commercial and marketing direction in the strategic operating model.
2 – As second possible path the MCM program is built on a strong and robust customer centricity and stakeholder engagement models, to create and develop long-term engagement value, strong HCP relationship levels rather than have a program with main and in almost cases only focus on the R&D and science capabilities of the company. This second strategic path can grant to the company more durable engagement and revenue streams and more flexible to any need of new commercial models. The major risk associated to this path is the possible misleading path from the scientific model of the company and the focus lost from the real R&D capabilities of the company. Another noticed risk is the predominance of the commercial leadership in the entire strategic loop, being the medical and scientific affiliates left on side of the strategic orientations.
What pharma today is trying to establish and grow onto more stable ground is a hybrid approach, bringing into the center of the governance model the IT leadership for a more accurate IT integration with the scientific and medical vision and the power of execution of commercial and the analytical and targeting capabilities from Marketing. In the entire MCM program the supply chain management teams are also key and having more and more a growing paper in the entire MCM program and to the company being capable to bring evidences of outcomes and economic results of new innovative channels as part of a MCM Excellence program that allows the scientific leadership to create and allow strategic customer engagement.
The selected strategies can differentiate from each other in all the assumptions models as well in the entire execution direction and thereby the possible hybrid model can only bring a strong business value when exists a detailed understanding of the fundamental needs and behaviors within the current business operating model. Creating total disruption of strategies and selling channels methods can broke the sensitive and delicate commercial activities, where the most desirable commercial impact to the brand should always to be that all the corporate objectives are met and reachable not forgetting that in the pharmaceutical industry too much openness can be counterproductive.
However the creation of a new Multichannel program can be simply and only with specific objectives, such as enabling and improving digital effectiveness and provide a more sophisticated and competitive advantage strategy of more effective digital interactions with the doctors, providers, payers, patients, hospitals, pharmacies, associations and others HCPs stakeholders.
Focusing specifically in the MCM solutions we can find in the below list, several examples of channels available and ready to be integrated in the same and unified MCM strategy, bringing new business capabilities and a solid closed looped marketing (CLM) strategy, combining social media, cloud computing, digital and mobile skills:
- Mobile solutions: pharma can use mobile apps to support the patients through disease diagnoses, facilitating participation in clinical trials and monitor various biometrics. Also mobile friendly websites services enable to deliver content, images and videos to a growing number of users, that we can also include the HCPs and Patients;
- Email Marketing: Boosting integrated marketing strategies in pharmaceutical firms through effective us of the email activities;
- eDetailing: To create ability to detail and quick viewing of products details. Interacting with physicians virtually rather than physically. Marketing presentations on iPAD, medical studies. live chat/video/telephone pod into web pages, e-mails, or any online presence;
- Target WebPages, Webcasts and Webinars: Creating physician value Taking advantage of touch minimizing cost;
- Scientific and medical product portals for doctors and pharmacies;
- Medical resource portals;
- Contact centers and specialized telemarketing teams for suppliers, doctors and pharmacies;
- Service teams for promotional items quick drop offs, commercial information available during the HCPs breaks and free time, during a certain period or for products with high potential, maximizing attention for a total product portfolio or to support the market exploring activities to a market segment without acquired experience;
- CRM: Customer profile and segmentation, Multichannel visits history and interactions details, Brand messages available, KOL identification, Budget and Expenses Management, Account Plans, KOL Plans, Consent Management or activities reporting;
- Web Document databases and online repositories for articles sharing ;
- Social networking, such as Veeva chatter, Yammer and Lync, with medical teams and specialized commercial services for medical inquires, product education and side effects reporting;
- Integrated telemedicine presence for more efficient end-to-end care management;
Having a Framework is a Key element
The framework is everything in a Multichannel Marketing (MCM) program creation and growth. It is the mean by which the project management team and senior management team are able to analyze the needs and expectations for a MCM program implementation. Getting a Framework in-place will enable and improve more efficient activities, enable a Measurement Plans and Metrics Toolkit as well assessing the current capabilities model .
This proposed framework serve to ensure that a pharma company has a continuous and long-term process in place to provide sustainable results to the sales and marketing teams, while at same time is able to maintain a radar view of the customer engagement responses and patterns. The Framework should also provide the desirable structure to be ready and in-place for an on-going Multichannel capabilities.
Multichannel Marketing Framework for Pharmaceutical and BioTechnology
The Framework highlights the connections between the different steps with the scope of activities and related experience levels and applicable tools for better implementation. All Frameworks should not work as standards for all the companies, they should be adapted to any organizational culture or environment or requirements. This Framework will allow the organization not start from scratch and having already a model that can be adapted according the business model and operational requirements.
The scope will progress across the time allowing the different steps groups to be achieved in the overall framework execution.
For implementation the Framework divided in three different steps groups/phases:
- Pre Kick-Off
- Strategic Assessment
Note: In future posts we’ll be able to see more details in the Framework implementation steps along full and detailed clarifications for all the framework building blocks and execution activities.