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    Commercial Effectiveness1
    Posted on
    April 11, 2019 by Actando Consulting Team Actando

    Commercial Effectiveness – What does it really mean today?


    A simple and common definition of Commercial Effectiveness is the impact of marketing spend on sales. This simple statement may, in fact, weave a more complex web.

    To understand commercial effectiveness, one needs to understand the true incremental value of each commercial investment. And to realise improved commercial effectiveness, one has to optimize each investment based on projected RoI. Salesforce Effectiveness is one area of investment. Leveraging data across multiple channels helps us better understand the combination of investments via an omnichannel approach that creates a better experience for the customer and better return for us. 

    Commercial effectiveness analysis ideally integrates all relevant data to provide a holistic picture, to then identify opportunities to optimise operations and/or grow the brand revenues. Data will come from:

    • Operations;
    • Salesforce activities;
    • Marketing channels;
    • Portfolio / products performance; and
    • External inputs. 

    Shifts in the pharmaceutical market necessitate a fresh look at our investment in sales, marketing and go-to-market activities. The explosion of technological innovation has changed the way we live and interact, and also how medicine is practised.

    Commercial Effectiveness Strategies

    Back in 2016, McKinsey proposed 5 things Pharma could do to more effectively meet the needs of the changing market place: 

    • Focus on engagement, not promotion;
    • Manage experiences across touchpoints;
    • Expand the portfolio of touch points;
    • Strengthen digital commercial capabilities; and
    • Reallocate investment across the commercial model [invest more in digital channels; invest in analytics to make more precise decisions; strengthen leadership and accountability]. 

    Looking at some emerging themes discussed at the most recent EyeforPharma Conference, we seem to have not moved far from our issues of several years ago. See themes below for reference: 

    • Drive sales through greater alignment of marketing, sales and medical activities that add value to the customer experience and the patient journey;
    • Orchestrate your customer journey and ensure the whole organisation is in tune;
    • Create an Integrated view of the customer; and
    • Develop advanced analytics to make rapid and informed decisions.

    Salesforce to Field Force

    Some things are changing. Reps are being armed with more content in more channels to increase the number of meaningful touch-points with HCPs. In addition, KAMS, MSLs and CSLs have been added to the field force. We understand that success does not come from single-channel activities, but rather the integration of the channels and content in a way that creates a seamless, more value-added customer experience [Cx]. 

    The case for integrated multi-channel [MC] reps is strong. A multichannel field force strategy can:

    • Increase overall reach and frequency;
    • Uncover new actionable customer insights;
    • Improve impact; and
    • Contribute significantly to the delivery of a superior customer experience. 

    Alignment of sales, marketing and medical means the HCP is part of an integrated interconnected organizational customer experience. A very good theory that merits practice. 

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    Customer Experience

    Digital engagements are increasingly becoming a preferred method of communication and interaction for Healthcare Practitioners (HCP). [iQVia, 2018]. Our expectation of digital comms and service has changed with the influence of the tech giants such as Amazon Prime and Uber, who are shaping the consumer [human] experience using scalable user-friendly platforms. 

    Cx is about the development of relationships over time, across many interactions, between the customer and your organisation. Cx is the customer’s perception of their interactions with you, your brand and your organisation through a journey. It is often not a linear journey, but rather a network of touch points with multiple entries and exits. Individuals will form impressions and opinions, either favourable or not, and decide whether to support your organisation, products and services …or not. 

    The cross-functional nature of the customer journey and experience is the reason it cannot be left solely to Marketing to try to control Cx.

    Advanced Analytics

    Channel expansion is creating a lot of data. Gaining integrated insights across channels can prove an almost impossible task and implementing based on the insights seems even more challenging. Leaders want to be able to monitor commercial activities and adjust where and when necessary. 

    Advanced Analytics is the autonomous or semi-autonomous examination of data or content using sophisticated techniques and tools, typically beyond those of traditional business intelligence (BI), to discover deeper insights, make predictions, or generate recommendations. [Gartner Glossary, 2019] 

    Salesforce activity, digital marketing and prescription activity data will increasingly be fed into an algorithm that can learn what patterns of engagement lead to a script/usage for any given physician. As more data that feeds into the algorithm, it starts getting smarter and learns specific marketing sequences that result in use, while avoiding unnecessary informational overload.  A summary is then displayed in a visual representation, driven by key ‘smart’ questions and KPIs.

    The Red Thread

    A final step in the equation to achieve commercial effectiveness is the alignment of goals and bonuses across the organisation, so there is a shared appetite for change and accountability. 

    The leadership team need to want to see the ‘red thread’ i.e. the line that links the marketing investment and resulting sales.  Focusing on the ‘red thread’ in brand performance presentations may ultimately be the driver of digital transformation.

    Article Contributor: Melanie Brown, Managing Partner    


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    The Actando Consulting Team


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