Posted on
June 23, 2017 by Actando Consulting Team LEARNING SOLUTIONS > Blended Learning

5 Boosters for Digital Customer Excellence in Pharma


 Digital Customer Excellence in Pharma l The digital transformational journey started long ago and the current forecast is for patient centric driven pharma by 2020.

It is fair to assume then, that this new forecast is under pinned by digital commercial excellence and the benefits it can yield by focusing on creating excellence in patient (customer) experiences or ‘Cx’.

‘Digital literacy’ is the new core competency of a marketing or brand managers and the new currency in the hunt for talent.  Digital channels, the integrated channel ecosystem, and the know-how to optimise campaign effectiveness are essential competencies and the prediction is there will be a greater shortage by 2018 than there is now.

In particular, with the tsunami of potential data, a marketer will require good analytical skills, along with the preceding know-how to determine what should be measured, what data should be collected, at what frequency…and why.

And if we are to operate in a outcomes-driven patient centric ecosystem, (and if we assume most enterprise systems are still remain fragmented), we will need some systems, processes and tools that traverse functions and hierarchies, to be able to find the elusive insights required to design value-adding Cx.

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Trending Digital Customer Excellence Skills

Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society. It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviours involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy. [Wikipedia]. It is not just about digital skills, but rather the word ‘literacy’ implies critical thought.

Marketing personnel require the necessary competencies to prepare online and offline campaigns. These are the current trending skills and competencies:

  • Content marketing expertise;
  • Social media expertise;
  • ‘Bite size’ media management;
  • Digital technical skills;
  • SEO [Search Engine Optimisation] (knowledge);
  • Marketing automation (knowledge);
  • Project management; and most importantly
  • Data analytical skills.

Hubspot predicts a shortfall of 1.5M marketers with the essential analytical skills by 2018! The LinkedIn annual blog ’The Top Skills’ indicated analytical skills as the #1skill in 2015, then it was still #2 in 2016, so many predict it will be still there and high on the list in 2017.

A simple Google search will confirm this trend. It seems that there is a shortage of such marketing skills across all industries. So it is time to skill up internally as this could mean our dependable marketing agencies may not be able to fill the gap sufficiently either.

Interestingly, according to the Digital Marketing Institute Limited, who published a blog on the Top Digital Marketing Skills Needed in 2017, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. Patients and HCPs unsurprisingly are known to start with a search of the Internet, before following various pathways to medical or patient information sites.

It is therefore essential to have a comprehensive understanding of how SEO works, even if you outsource.

Let’s note overlook the face that YouTube is the second largest search engine, so understanding video marketing is also important.


5 Digital Customer Excellence Boosters in Pharma

This may seem overwhelming. Transformation usually is.


#1: Integrate Digital Capabilities

According to Dt Associates, who have been keeping an eye on our industry and our digital maturation over the past few years, there is considerable variation between our global and country level digital capabilities.

They also found that there is a varied perspective between the C-suite and their digital functional teams on the state of the transformation. A good trend emerging is the recognition that digital capabilities are no longer a ‘bolt-on’ function to marketing, but rather an integrated organizational capability.


#2: Get Leadership Commitment

Quite predictably, strong leadership is critical to achieving digital commercial excellence. The digital transformation of the organisation needs to be put front and centre of the organisation’s vision and strategy and integrated into the business model, so that appropriate resources are allocated and a comprehensive roadmap with executive accountability exists.

The value of digital customer excellence or even digital improvement is still not fully understood. The right business metrics and performance indicators are essential for continued support from the leadership team.  


#3: External Customer Excellence Partnerships

External partnerships could be explored to find new benchmarks. When you work with external partners, you tap into collective intellectual IP, market experience and often data-driven benchmarks.


#4: Digital Customer Journey Mapping

Understanding the customer journey will drive the use of data in decision-making and in the designing of patient solutions. The process of mapping the journey, understanding the emotional experience and validating it, will be at the core of the brand strategy formation and execution.

That probably means a re-draft of the brand planning process. 


#5: Technologies for Digital Customer Excellence

Equip the cross-functional brand team members with easy and accessible technologies so that they can work together and deliver upon the strategy. The success of new commercial excellence is within this interconnectedness.


#6 [Bonus]: Hire Accordingly

And lastly, update the job descriptions with the new competencies for all new cross-functional brand team members, not just marketing personnel, as all will now work together within a customer centric digital ecosystem  Booster #6.


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The Actando Consulting Team