Channels Integration in the Healthcare Industry | The integration of multiple channels requires a holistic view of the customer journey and the brand strategy. Both will drive the content and channel strategy.
The aim is to deliver the most relevant content, to target customers, via their preferred channel, anywhere and anytime. While it sounds like a good idea, many struggle with how an integrated approach will actually work and produce better results.
What is Channel Integration?
- If we consider channel integration from a brand team point of view, it is about all the channels the product and related services are promoted, discussed or made available for distribution or use.
- If we consider it from the customer’s point of view, then we have to look at what drives them to engage in any of those channels.
Customers tend to want to learn about the disease area, the treatment options available, associated trials, and any reported side-effects. Potentially they may want to try it with their relevant patients, and get help or even share their experience with their peers. It is safe to assume customers will jump across channels and screens to get what they want and need. They will seek out logical experiences across channels.
Omni-channel is a seamless approach to the customer experience, across all available channels, whether digital, human or other.
What is Required to Integrate Channels in the Pharma Industry?
If we could, we should firstly integrate the functions within the organization that are tasked with delivering the unified customer experience. Since this is not a small feat, at the very least, start talking to each other across functions to plan, create, approve, deliver, monitor and adjust.
Even more effective would be to integrate the actual customer experience. By mapping the customer journey, the content and channel strategies are aligned to your company and brand strategies as well as your customer. Identify the content the customer wants or needs within your journey, understand where your target customers consume content - when, why and how; and then decide how you can meet those needs, leveraging the opportunities aligned to your brand strategy.
An integrated approach internally can ensure that there is a central method for content publishing and also for receiving data back to a central hub for processing and analysis.
Analytics mature over time. Monitoring across channels can become quite complex, unless you know what you are measuring and why.
- Exposure metrics are short term in focus and give you some insight into reach and frequency.
- Strategic metrics are strong indicators of future performance and can yield actionable data.
The opportunity to obtain ROI across multiple integrated channels is driven by the principle that if you can provide the ideal customer experience, you will get a response, and then this will result in channel jumping. ROI will increase with increased interactions with more content, with more re-use or repurposing of content across channels, and by using feedback responses, produce more relevant content, thus reducing wasted efforts and resources on producing irrelevant content.
What content, for whom, why, how, when and where? The result must be a seamless convenient customer experience that is cohesive and consistent across all channels, delivering real value as measured by the customer and strategic goal achievement.
Jennifer Grech is an experienced Customer Excellence professional, with over 10 years experience working on the transformation of pharma marketing and sales, and a member of the Actando consulting team.
If you are interested in our mobile learning solutions on digital channels, contact Actando.