Artificial intelligence [AI] plays a role in our daily life outside of healthcare every day whether asking Siri to find addresses for us, what the weather forecast is, following Amazon and Netflix suggestions on what we might like to watch, or agreeing to suggested next purchases based on our past selections...
Imagine an HCP receiving content based on predictive analytics of their online content selections and information collected during a recent representative visit. AI technology could transform pharmaceutical sales and marketing.
“We will move towards an AI-driven workforce as artificial intelligence becomes a standard capability across enterprise commercial applications. AI will not only continue to improve sales force effectiveness with suggestions on their next best actions… it will [also] automate claims-reference linking in content management for marketing operations.” [Veeva]
According to Accenture, AI could help workers increase their productivity by up to 40%, and make better use of our time.
So what are the characteristics of AI?
- Predictive modelling;
- Machine learning.
AI can help drive revenue growth and operational efficiency by powering in-depth data mining and analytics, patient engagement, compliance monitoring and more. But do we know how to use AI in our commercial organisations today?
AI in Sales & Marketing
AI presents a real opportunity to figure out in real-time continuously what HCPs and patients want, so we can engage them more effectively. We would suggest AI-driven information should primarily support, not replace, human knowledge and judgment. Chatbots have indeed replaced some human interaction, mostly to filter out level 1 support enquiries and answer FAQs. One could argue that this enables human resources to work at a more sophisticated level of customer engagement, beyond what machines and software can provide. The real value in AI-driven insights is complementary to human experience and knowledge.
Consider the following example: AI-driven information might propose a rep visit to an HCP who just attended an educational meeting and may represent a better opportunity than another HCP in the rep’s calendar for that day. The representative can follow the recommendation or can override the guidance based on their superior knowledge, skills and judgment beyond the AI’s data-driven analysis.
When do we need AI?
Your customers are generating more data than ever before and they are leaving digital footprints everywhere, across many channels. Previous methods of mining data for insights and making data-based decisions not be adequate due to this overwhelming increase in volume. There is a need for us to learn how to apply this technology in order not to miss out on the benefits it can bring.
AI is capable of analysing enormous amounts of data fast, across multiple channels and dimensions. This is how you will get to know your customers at a level never seen before. empowering you to engage them in valuable relevant ways.
Interpretation of this data will enable personalised interactions and targeted relevant content at the right time, to the right customer. Looking to traditional channels, representatives and MSLs will be better prepared to engage in relevant conversations and therefore more effective. The cross-functional synchronisation between marketing, sales and medical will be increasingly driven by AI.
‘Improving the customer experience in a competitive market is an enormous task. With AI, you can deliver optimized, personalized and consistent customer experiences – at scale.’ [IBM]
We have so much data but often fall short on data analytics and the ability to make data-driven decisions. A good product, a great sales representative or MSL is no longer enough. Data is at the core of creating a great customer experience, improving it and delighting customers.
The informed and empowered patient is driving the evolution to a consumer-like healthcare industry. AI is already playing a very big role in helping other industries make sense of what customers want, when and how. So the healthcare consumers [aka patients and caregivers] will be expecting the same behaviours and services from their healthcare systems.
‘Imagine your body as a huge data platform, enabling you to remain healthy longer and to receive tailored treatment for any disease that arises, based on your unique genome and biomarkers. While no one wants choice taken away, imagine a future where living, shopping and staying healthy is much easier, faster and more personalized. Who doesn't want that?’ [E&Y, 2018]
The new challenge will be to optimise the machine-to-human interaction; ensuing humans are at the centre of the designs and decisions. We have tended to use data to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Using AI and machine learning will require more open-ended enquiry like “what kind of content should I provide to customers in territory x, and what is the best channel”.
Where does your organization stand in terms of Understanding and applying AI in your daily sales and marketing activities? Ask us about our marketing and sales assessment capabilities, and benefit from our industry benchmark data.
If you are interested in our mobile learning solutions on digital channels, contact Actando.
The Actando Consulting Team