Essential components of a Multichannel and Digital strategic planning in Pharma: Content and Integration are key (Part V)

Some of the biggest challenges in Multichannel Marketing (MCM) programs, have to do with the delivered content itself and how the responsible departments plans the master data design models to support the entire program and how systems, data and platforms integration are architected to deliver results and sustainable outcomes.

To avoid any strategic errors in the integration of new engagement channels, the related processes should be capable to deliver concise and relevant information in a timely and costly manner, with the long term ability to be integrated in future platforms or systems in a scalable way and easy to absorb business critical changes requirements.


The Mulctichannel Key Success Factors as previously explained in Part III

Most of all MCM programs designs are created in parallel with the traditional sales and marketing channels, but haven’t been integrated into one common approach, often increasing all the marketing and sales efforts and activities and reducing productivity instead of increasing it.

All the processes should be managed within the same functional governance space, where the integrated use of multiple marketing or commercial channels should never be perceived and handle with a single channel integration.

A properly and well-designed MCM program yields benefits to a more crescent need to have the same company unified view on fly of the MCM program and enabling an effective patient-to-physician and vice versa communication. It’s imperative to establish and implemented cross the entire organization a holistic perspective and view on the same MCM strategy.

With most of pharma companies already searching at distinct systems that bring value to the business critical activities, it’s also the perfect timing to consider and evaluate systems that can bring more efficiency to MCM programs, as CRM, Business Intelligence, intranets, social media platforms, email marketing and so on.

Also increasingly many are also seeing the necessity and importance to proceed with efficient and scalable systems integrations related to the MCM program, being possible within a well-design system architecture of MCM ecosystem to provide a single point of access to all systems.

Many pharma companies jump on the MCM programs bandwagon because of something that the companies’ leaders read or simply hear about the subject. Involving right from the start experts with project management experience in MCM programs, allows the companies to simply avoid overkill costs and wasting of unexpected hours to solve any misleading action or impactful decision with impacts on other areas and processes.

Having a proper requirements gathering phase before any kind of action with allow to validate any of the operational concepts for future systems from business/mission needs. This is followed by the evolution of the needs into a feasible concept for the system, and later into a set of well-defined structured requirements to formally baseline the need. After that phase another critical step is the Architecture Design that follows with the evolution of the requirements to a specific point where a Functional Architecture can be proposed to define the solution. Lastly but not less important is the Integration and Verification phase of the entire MCM program. The Integration part assess the design of the functional architecture, allowing as well to measure the success of all requirements design into the systems configuration planning. Integration of system components, subsystem interfaces and integration environments should be carefully analysed, together with Verification & Validation techniques such as simulation, scenario based and final acceptance of the system in the operational environment with the responsible departments, agencies, all teams involved and all the senior management team.

Important as well to outline is the importance of processes within the MCM program. Knowing well all the related MCM processes and workflows, will definitely help the project to hit the desirable results and outcomes.

During the entire program lifecycle almost important as the processes, is the constant processes improvements and innovation capturing in all pieces of the program.

The main goal for any MCM program is to reach a positive and deep engagement with our audiences, through differentiation and to engage with shared purposes with our customers.

A MCM portal should also be one of the most tangible element of the full integrated MCM systems and in all the applicable channels available. As such, it should serve as a natural centerpiece of all channels activities and interactions to enable a single view of all the scope of the program, even though people are performing most of the value-adding operating and tactical work.

Useful systems and tools also to considered when implementing an MCM program can include systems as CRM, Master data management, Business Intelligence, Digital Asset Management (DAM), Email Marketing, Call Center Software Systems, Business Intelligence & Information Management, Business Process Improvement systems, Decision support systems and Digital Systems Management.

The solution for an effective MCM strategy should pass through a strong combination and union between systems integration, reporting capabilities and centralized view of customer master data.

Lack of integration of a MCM plan with MDM, CRM and BI is condemned to failure from a technology perspective, where a lack of integration of a MCM plan with Commercial strategies and market intelligence activities can only result in inefficiency and disruption.

Currently several MCM strategies in life sciences simply don’t have the expected return because there isn’t a logical and structured vision of what might be the MCM outcomes with the critical inputs, existing a systemic disconnection of what Marketing envision to be the way with what the path through commercial productivity and IT reality really is. The connection between different parts should definitely exist and the customer centricity should not be more important that execution and productivity is. Another perspective for MCM lack of results is the lack of holistic view of all integrated parts, where one specific channel should not be more highlighted and focus driven than other.

Organizing the MCM program entails making decisions not only about integration but the rational thinking process to find the most suitable business drivers adapted to the organizational culture and can be adapted to the selected MCM strategy.

Some examples of key success factors of a specific MCM program can be:

  1. Make a drug a success;
  2. Having a successful product launch;
  3. Effective medical campaigns;
  4. Promotional activities;
  5. Drug addressing a much needed area of medicine;
  6. Information and knowledge management to patients, doctors and KOLs;
  7. Structuring information and make it available to specific audiences;

Currently physicians and patients are for most of the situations, not receiving the information that they need and want, where pharma still faces serious issues on the bridge gaps between vision and reality.

Also for the information be valuable and actionable, the associated context of specific information pieces or of the entire channel information flow should be directly derived by the strategy and tested by senior management teams.

Also important is to outline the most important content items in any MCM program and in need for a new channel creation:

  1. CME – Continuing Medical education
  2. Medical Guidelines
  3. Scientific articles
  4. Clinical studies
  5. News about the industry and related topics
  6. Literature citation database
  7. Congresses calendar, agendas and proceedings
  8. Medical education videos
  9. Clinical trial data
  10. Products specifications
  11. Peer-to-peer portals and information sharing libraries
  12. Product specifications

For more informations please read the last post about Making the Multichannel Marketing strategy relevant in Life Sciences.


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