MCM in the Pharmaceutical Industry ı Aiming to reach potential customers via multiple marketing channels, 77% of pharma companies increased their digital marketing budgets in 2015 (source: eConsultancy). But how many have been successful in the implementation? Let’s look at the 5 key factors to successfully implement digital in your marketing mix.
1. Strategy and Plan
Many of us are going to go digital without a well thought out marketing plan aligned with our objectives. In fact, surveyed pharma companies show that lack of strategy is their biggest weakness. By the way, this is also true for non pharma companies.
|Pharma Biggest Challenges|
|Overly – Restrictive external regulations||20,7%|
|Gaining internal buy-in||17,2%|
|Working within internal rules||15,5%|
|Recruiting/retaining suitable staff||6,9%|
|Lack of budget||6,3%|
Your strategy should include your long term objectives of course, but our starting point is wherever we are today. Make sure you have completed your portfolio prioritizations before moving on to the digital initiatives you will take in your next plan. Some products may not require such investments. Also accept that you will sometimes have to do something in a simple way and plan integration to another system or channel as a secondary step.
We can find definitions for strategy and digital strategy. But most experts today say there is no such thing as digital strategy. There is only strategy in which digital plays an important role. Let us put it this way.
Multi-channel marketing allows us to differentiate by giving our HCPs the choice of their channels. That is to say we will come to them where they prefer to meet us vs. missed opportunities based on geography, time or other obstacles.
No matter what – always start with the customer:
- What are their unmet information and communication needs?
- Where do they already participate in channels?
- Where do they independently look for information and what type of information is it?
2. Multi-Channel Strategy
Outside of pharma in 2016, we can observe a move from independent channel strategy to creating a more cohesive customer experience across channels. This yields an undeniable benefit to both the Health Care Professional and your company by creating communications that allow HCPs to continue their journey as they move from channel to channel with additional value derived from each step.
Cross channel integration is equally important. You must learn how to create individual channels while keeping the cohesive experience in mind. This leads to a better customer experience of course, and also allows you to save time and resources in creating compelling content. In some cases, the upfront planning will also serve for re-use/repurposing of content components.
This integrated approach also ensures that you keep a central method for content publishing and for receiving data back to a central hub for processing and analysis.
3. Marketing Data and Analytics
When building Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) it is critical that these are connected to Critical Success Factors (CSFs) and the overall strategic brand objectives from your brand plan. In this way, you will always make decisions based on a truly focused set of measurement that has complete relevance to the overall vision of the brand in terms of tactical in-field implementation and activities. Goal setting also features as an important element to drive the right activities in closing the loop.
With so much focus on channels we do not want to forget the most important component of multi-channel communications: Content. Content should always be designed for the channel within which we intend it to live, and updated based on what we learn about usage and customer response. Be prepared to update your content more frequently than in the past – it is now a customer expectation.
Here are some tips to successfully develop your content in a multi-channel marketing strategy:
- Make sure the content and navigation support the conversations you expect to have
- Keep content design and navigation simple
- Design your content to guide the story
- Create a dynamic agenda that fits HCPs needs and interests
- Create a two-way dialogue
- Make it feel personal
- Build content that gathers HCPs insights
- Make your content relevant to specific HCPs and situations
- Expand with a sales call or on-line interaction into a relationship
5. Internal Stakeholders Engagement
Multi-channel Marketing implies digital transformation. Engage your reps and include sales managers early in the process. Also include sales managers in multi-channel communications and training. As content will increase and tools will be updated, provide on-going training to ensure a good buy-in and implementation. Be sure to act on reps' feedback and celebrate both successes and failures.