shutterstock_322984853.jpgIn an attempt to optimize the customer experience, many pharmaceutical companies today have developed tactics and content to engage their customers through a variety of channels, like email, telesales, mobile alerts, videos, etc. Typically, these tactics are deployed to market as soon as the medical and legal teams approve them. The objective is to capture the ROI from each tactic as quickly as possible. This approach often leads to tactics being deployed to customers in an uncoordinated fashion, producing a sub-optimal customer experience. Sound familiar?

There’s hope. By taking the same promotion tactics and content that exist today but learning how to deploy these tactics in a more integrated, coordinated way tailored to customer preferences, it’s possible to significantly improve the customer experience and, correspondingly, the impact of promotion. According to ZS’s 2015 Oncology Customer Experience Tracker study, pharmaceutical companies that raise their Net Promoter Score (a proxy metric for measuring improved customer experience) by 10 to 20 percentage points could achieve an additional $50 to $75 million in sales for every billion dollars in current sales. Clearly, delivering a better customer experience is in your company’s best interest, but how do you do that?

There are three steps to optimize the customer experience:

  1. Understand your customers’ preferences. Start by using data analytics to generate insights into what makes your customers tick, what their preferences are, the kind of content they like to consume and the channels they engage with. The output is typically a micro-segmentation driven by customer preferences. This is the foundation for optimizing the customer experience.
  2. Build the customer engagement journey. Align existing tactics and content to each micro-segment based upon that micro-segment’s preferences. Develop a longitudinal—over time—promotion plan that is connected where the customer’s interaction with one tactic “triggers” the next. As more data and insight are captured about the customers in each micro-segment, the customer engagement journey can be refined and further optimized.  
  3. Deploy the customer engagement journey. Deployment of the customer engagement journey can be done via marketing automation tools. The value of marketing automation tools is that they enable marketers to automate the deployment of customer engagement journeys, which greatly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing promotion. Think of it this way: Instead of manually pulling target lists for each tactic across each micro-segment, the entire customer engagement journey can be coded into the marketing automation tool (including triggers) and be automatically deployed. In short, we can now engage customers when and how they want to engage.

Note that this approach becomes very dynamic; as we learn more about our customers, we can continue to optimize the customer engagement journey. Many companies across the industry are quickly moving down this path—setting up marketing automation tools, redesigning the brand planning and marketing operations functions, capturing the customer insights—to unlock the value of optimizing the customer experience. Where are you in the journey?  


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Topics: customer experience, Pete Mehr, Pharma, CX, customer engagement journeys