Insights Into Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Customer Journey

Omnichannel marketing is easy in theory but often difficult in practice. How can pharma deliver a more personalized, engaging, and productive experience for its customers while operating within the constraints of structure, regulation, and finite budget? A strategic approach to understanding the customer and thoughtfully prioritizing engagements can help optimize the experience.

Fingerpaint Marketing’s Michelle Petroff explores what meaningful engagement looks like—and doesn’t look like—in today’s omnichannel landscape in a panel titled “Orchestrating the Customer Journey: How Do You Go From Customer Insights to Successful Implementation?” The panel took place alongside experts from Pfizer and Daiichi Sankyo at the Re:Imagine Pharma Marketing Conference from May 24 to 25 in Atlantic City.

Here is a look at seven key takeaways from the panel:

Do metrics and insights vary between customer groups and therapeutic areas?

Michelle Petroff: Yes, I think everyone would agree that there is a difference between consumer insights and HCP insights. Even within HCP, you see differences between general markets versus specialty—very different and meaningful metrics. Measuring insights is not one-size-fits-all. There are differences between customer groups and therapeutic areas, as well as between consumer and HCP audiences. It’s important to put together a measurement plan that’s custom to that unique challenge from the beginning.

We’ve all seen and experienced digital fatigue. What are your thoughts?

MP: We all have digital fatigue. Due to the pandemic, we’re seeing HCPs reporting even more digital fatigue and voicing that they are particularly tired of all the emails they receive. Let’s not promote the same message repeatedly. It’s time to make things more personalized, even if it’s an email, so they have a better experience.

How can an organization change to do omnichannel better?

MP: While every organization is changing and evolving, the movement to omnichannel is happening differently in different places. For the large range of big pharma clients we work with, there is great momentum; however, there are naturally more silos to break down. Where we’ve seen exponential change is with the nimbler start-up clients. We’re at a unique time in the industry. Oftentimes, you follow the leader (which is typically big pharma), but in this case, there’s a lot to be learned from small companies and what they can achieve with more limited resources but quicker changes.

How have you seen companies do a good job leveraging more trusted sources for their marketing campaigns?

MP: Whether the trusted source is an HCP or patient, people want to hear from their peers. The more times we can bring forth content though those voices, the better. It can take a big investment of money and time to put together patient videos, so looking at the budget and figuring out exactly how to make the most of trusted sources will help bring forth the most value. It’s critical to ensure there’s authentic content woven in throughout that communication journey.

Let’s go back to this idea of organizational change. How do you need to adapt to pharma companies leaning more heavily on agencies to help them support integration?

MP: We need to reassess who our clients are. Traditionally, it’s the brand team. However, more and more, it’s not just one client. We need to remind ourselves of that. You may start with the brand team or an omnichannel digital client, but you must be the agency that brings them together in some form or fashion. Cross-team collaboration is a big factor in how Fingerpaint operates. We know that we will never be successful in implementing an omnichannel plan if we only connect with one of those clients. Another avenue to break down silos is to bring integration from a media perspective. Having an agency with an embedded strategic media team that understands modern channels can positively influence the omnichannel plan and drive measurable results.

Organizations are working through a lot of change management to support the evolution to omnichannel. How are you managing it?

MP: Something as simple as streamlining the lexicon of how people speak about omnichannel is a great place to start. We need more cohesive language across the industry or at minimum throughout an organization to get the results we’re all looking for. There’s a lot of buzz, different definitions, and interpretations.

What has been your experience as you consider omnichannel having direct synergies between sales and digital?

MP: We’re starting to see calls for collaboration between sales and digital done to a degree. Direct synergies can get complicated since we need to make sure that we’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. There’s always a bit of caution around that. That said, as you set forth an omnichannel journey plan, there should absolutely be communications and business rules in place that integrate personal and nonpersonal activity. That is taking advantage of true omnichannel abilities.