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In my colleague Pete Mehr’s article, “Campaign Management: New Tools + Old Process = Time to Change!", he describes how cloud-based campaign management tools are being under-utilized in the pharmaceutical industry, and calls out a few areas that can be challenging. In this post, we’ll dive into one of the areas and outline some approaches to remedy them. In part two of this blog post, we’ll discuss two more of these roadblocks.

One of these roadblocks is the inability to “plug and play.” Campaign management tools were originally created to meet the needs of industries outside of pharmaceuticals, such as retail, financial services, consumer packaged goods and travel, so pharmaceutical companies often can’t plug-and-play these tools like other industries can. Since sales and marketing coordination is just now becoming a reality for many pharmaceutical companies, it can be difficult to know how to take full advantage of a campaign management tool.


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While the pharmaceutical industry struggles to change its business model to match the current market environment—where customers expect a more personal and harmonized experience—the industry often is faced with using new technologies in an old paradigm. However, even if your organization is still delivering siloed promotions by brands or tactics, marketing automation tools can still improve promotional activity with healthcare providers in the following areas:

  • Enabling promotion to be responsive to HCP engagement (changing content, timing and channel) in an automated fashion. For example, if an HCP shows an affinity for email by opening a headquarters email on product efficacy, you can trigger that customer to receive supporting messages via headquarters email as well. You can also change the delivery cadence of each supporting message to optimize that customer’s engagement with the campaign.
  • Providing an integration point between personal and non-personal promotion to create a continuous experience for the customer. In fact, we’ve seen that integrating marketing and sales can deliver a 6% increase in the number of new prescription writers, compared with using marketing or sales alone.
  • Creating operational efficiencies and eliminating manual processes, such as automating your target email lists for each campaign.

As your organization evolves and begins planning promotions around customers, not brands or tactics, marketing automation tools can be leveraged to their fullest potential, enabling a customer-centric approach that is actually felt by their customers. Customers will:

  • Receive coordinated messages across brands that are relevant to them and served up through the channels that they use most. We’ve even seen life sciences companies experience up to a 35% increase in customer engagement by synergizing messaging across tactics.
  • Feel as though each interaction is responded to in an appropriate fashion.
  • Feel that the company’s communications are improving over time with less and less spam.
  • Enjoy a less disjointed experience between their discussions with a rep and the information that they receive through the mail and other channels.

In order to realize these goals, start with designing your customer’s promotional experience within a brand. Create a message flow and channel approach to learn your customer’s preferences, or purchase channel affinity data that provides insights into which channels each customer is using, then create your promotional experience around that.

Once you’re able to do this effectively, and if you find yourself in an environment that is becoming less brand-siloed, begin by looking at the overlap of your targets across brands. Once you understand the experience that your customers are receiving from you across brands (perhaps unintentionally), use historical analysis to begin designing this experience moving forward. If you’re capturing customer engagement data and leveraging it to influence future campaigns along the way, your customers’ experience will improve as you learn from their behaviors.

Topics: Pete Mehr, CCM, Jim Anderson, plug and play, automation tools, campaign management tools