Pharma companies are looking for creative ways to convey values to their customers, as many blockbuster medicines are nearing the point of no return for patents in today’s marketplace where access is decreasing for Health Care Professionals (HCP), and the increasing use of mobile devices by Health Care Professionals, the traditional sales force strategies have to be re-designed and enhanced by digital innovations.
Multi-Channel Marketing has emerged to help SalesForce initiatives reach out to customers in the most cost-effective and efficient method. With the advancement of digital technology that is transforming the industry of pharmaceuticals, they are exploring the possibility of reaching customers via non-personal channels like emails, brand websites, electronic detailing, and online forums, to mention a few in addition to the Field force. Pharmaceutical companies can create a unison customer experience through the synchronized and sequential use of different channels for communication with customers.
Multi-Channel Marketing (MCM) is the process that reaches out to clients via multiple channels. It is a well-known concept across various sectors where we’ve witnessed insurance or credit card companies seeking to communicate with customers through multiple channels such as Emails, Direct Mails, advertisements on TV, newspaper advertisements, and so on. The pharmaceutical industry has traditionally relied heavily on the sales force to communicate messages and has not used other methods of communication to the fullest. However, in recent years the world has changed, and physicians only require the information they need, and in the manner they prefer. Access to Health Care Professionals (HCPs) for face-to-face Sales Rep interactions is decreasing, and HCPs are using digital media for obtaining the necessary information.
This shift that has occurred in HCP behavior is causing the industry of drugs to implement multi-channel marketing in order to reach customers.
However, MCM is not without its own set of challenges. Imagine that fifteen instruments are played randomly, and you’re forced to listen to them, and it’s painful rather than providing a joyful customer experience. However, when the same 15 instruments are played by an orchestra in a properly-organized manner, they provide an enjoyable experience for our ears. Similar to when a specific pharmaceutical company attempts to contact an individual physician through various channels, with messages that are not coordinated and messages, it creates the impression of being a nuisance rather and not a pleasant experience for the customer.
Current State vs. To Be State of Health Care Professional (HCP) Communications:
(A)Pharmaceutical Company’s Interactions With HCPs: *
a. Pharmaceutical companies typically depend on SalesForce to provide details regarding their brands to HCPs
b. Insufficient knowledge of HCPs requirements
C. The time limit for providing details to HCPs. 2 to 3 minutes of information detailing an interaction with each HCP
(B) HCPs experience:
A. HCPs receive undesirable information
B. HCPs aren’t equipped with the necessary information (e.g., Formulary, Dosage, Product Info, Side effects, etc.) to determine the brand
a. Lack of knowledge about brands prevents HCPs from prescribing any new brands and limits them to only a few brands
(D) (D): Customer Experience Niveau:
(II) MCM era:
(A)Pharmaceutical Company’s Interactions With HCPs:
A. Non-Personal channels are used to supplement SalesForce
B. Incoordination of channel interactions with HCPs
C. Pharmaceutical companies give an abundance of information but have no knowledge of HCPs and their requirements.
(B) HCPs experience:
A. HCPs receive a variety of non-correlated communications from pharmaceutical companies
B. HCPs face challenges to make use of the information they have received
a. A plethora of communication that is not coordinated causes a feeling of unease in HCPs
(D) Level: Experience with Customers Niveau:
(III) MCM: Customer Centricity via MCM:
(A) Pharma Company’s Interactions with HCPs:*
a.Pharmaceutical business communicates through HCPs via coordinated individual (Face to Face) and non-personal (Digital) channels
b. Pharmaceutical companies have knowledge about HCPs preferred channel and can interact with the channel they prefer
c.Pharmaceutical companies train HCPs about their products through non-personal channels
D. Pharmaceutical companies collect feedback on HCPs via non-personal channels as well as Field Force
(B) HCPs experience:
A. HCPs receives the information they need through the mode (Channel) they prefer
B. HCPs are well-educated and make an informed decisions when prescribing
a. The synchronized manner of delivering information through multiple channels provides an exciting experience for HCPs
B. HCPs begin prescribing more modern brands
(D) Level: Experience with Customers Quality:
Making sure that customers have a seamless experience using MCM
There are a few key steps to be taken to ensure a seamless customer experience using Multi-Channel marketing:
Understanding the customer
The journey to multi-channel communication begins by knowing your customer. Pharma businesses must develop a technology infrastructure that can collect and store data that can be used to make decisions about their customers. The information needs to be gathered from:
1. Monthly Sales data – This gives information on the HCP level sales information (Total prescriptions as well as new prescriptions, competitive prescription data)
2. Marketing Communication information The data provides the specifics of marketing campaigns that are targeted at HCPs and the HCP’s responses to the campaigns during the last 3 to 6 months
3. Analytically driven information – This gives analytic insights into the HCP’s channel and provides choices, various analytics-driven behavioral data, and insights, as well as predictive modeling output that can be used to create the customer journeys
Contacting the customer via MCM
Customers prefer to receive specific information that is based on their preferences by using their preferred channels for communication. In the ideal scenario, Pharma companies need to develop customized promotions at the level of each customer and then communicate via their preferred channels to ensure maximum engagement with customers. However, this could increase the risk and cost of operations. To achieve the best result, customers may be divided into a variety of micro-segments depending on their behavioral similarities, preference for channels, particularities, and likeliness. The sequence of interactions across multiple channels may be designed for each segment. The tactics of the campaign are to be organized into stages, and each stage is activated by the response of the HCPs from the previous stage. Thus, a segment-specific customer journey can be described as a multi-channel plan for a campaign.
The pharmaceutical companies are using different analytical methods to create the campaign strategy and are using tools for managing campaigns to create and implement the strategy.
It is monitoring the level of engagement of the client and the impact it has on the business.
The measurement of engagement levels is essential to determine the efficacy of the communications that are tailored to each customer’s micro-segment.
In order to measure customer engagement degree, the sales records from the past as well as the data from targeted campaigns should be combined. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) must be defined in order to detect the differences in the behavior of customers.
Based on the level of engagement of the clients based on the level of engagement, the plan for the campaign needs to be reviewed.
Generating a deep analytical understanding regarding each segment of the customer, and preparing the customers journey (campaign plan) specific to each segment based on the analysis and automating the campaign plan with a campaign management tool, as well as developing and optimizing the campaign plan on the basis of the responses of customers will help pharmaceutical companies design seamless customer experiences through Multi-Channel marketing. This allows pharmaceutical companies to interact with customers using the exact information they require and engage with customers using the medium they prefer in their own way.