How do you design an engagement strategy that is both cost-effective and agile enough to change with market dynamics? The overall strategy must address key customer needs, be aligned across brands and channels and include multiple stakeholders from HCPs to payers and patients.
The pharma industry continues to evolve from a fragmented landscape with no clear engagement strategy to a more sophisticated and integrated approach, aligned to customer needs. Today’s multi-channel world demands a coordinated and synchronised model, which may include:
- Sales Representatives [with eDetail aids, Remote Detailing capabilities and Rep Triggered Emails]
- Medical Liaisons
- Campaign eMails
- Educational meetings & events [live venue, websites, apps]
- Promotional meetings & events
- Automated marketing
Should we look at Customer Journey or Customer Experience?
Which can help us to evaluate and develop the optimal omni-channel customer engagement strategy? Let’s first understand the role of each.
The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your brand. Mapping the customer journey helps you plan and refine touchpoints and processes that can be refined. You can follow a specific target group through the journey to identify where to focus new efforts for improvement, for example, a patient diagnosis to treatment journey.
The customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your brand or company based on 3 main criteria: usefulness, usability and enjoyability. A customer experience map is an analysis of vast amounts across omni-channel experiences of customers. An experience map can help you understand trends or shifts that lead to overall results, for example, understanding the drivers for enrolling in your online patient support program versus your competitor’s.
Identify the problem you are trying to solve
This will help you identify the areas of the map you want to examine and where you may need to delve more deeply. Identify the goal at each touch point – what is the goal of the customer at that touch point? Your purpose in conducting this mapping exercise is to identify areas where the customer is well supported and where there are still gaps and leakage in order to improve customer satisfaction and increase adoption. Categorise each touch point – awareness, consideration, or decision; and then agree what the business reason is for each touch point. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve and how you are going about it.
Who owns each touch point? Notice we do not ask who owns each channel. We often divide up tasks and responsibilities by channel, in part because digital experts can specialize in specific channels e.g. social media. However, our customers are omni-channel beings. Their experience can be across multiple channels at one touch point: at an educational event they are attending in person, they may be simultaneously interacting with the event app, various company websites and the representative face to face. Agree who will manage each touch point along the customer journey.
And of course, you must data mine each touch point and continuously search for insights.
Develop Over Time
This article is, of course, a very simplified perspective of a complex exercise. Development towards omni-channel engagement model progresses in stages:
Digital channels are deployed to support face-to-face interactions
Ad hoc digital channel activities may be focused on reach and frequency
Digital and traditional activities are deployed in a planned and integrated way within brand strategies
Customer experience mapping and planning, across brands, to create omni-channel experiences with the organisation
To make a strategy stick, it needs to be based on solving specific customer needs, more than on just brand promotion. Use a broad cross-functional team, conduct small pilots and fail fast. Keep mining for actionable insights to continuously refine the experiences.
The best customer engagement models represent a shared vision between global and local, but must be locally.-driven Concepts at a global level cannot cater to the nuances of local markets and cultures; however, a shared vision is fundamental as the access to information is no longer contained within the country.
Does your company have an omni-channel engagement strategy? Actando can help by providing simulation-based learning on multichannel, marketing, and cross-functional teamwork.
Article Contributor: Melanie Brown, Managing Partner
If you are interested in our mobile learning solutions on digital channels, contact Actando.
The Actando Consulting Team