A Changing Omnichannel Agenda in Pharma

Written by
Mads Krogh Petersen
A Changing Omnichannel Agenda in Pharma

"New" key priorities are hastily moving up the digital agenda of many biotech, life science and pharmaceutical companies:

  • Collecting HCP permissions to allow for personal outreach, especially via email
  • Owning and building comprehensive First Party Data
  • Documenting the value of the (colossal?) investment in Marketing Tech Infrastructure – focus on Owned channels such as email, webinars, self detailers and websites  
  • Driving Operational Excellence via modular content and deploying Content Factories near- & offshore
  • Instituting a practical approach to delivering "personalized" messages to doctors

I have previously described Vertic’s approach for developing modular content and delivering the content across the wider multichannel ecosystem beyond Owned Channels including event and professional society websites, Key Online Influencers, Third party HCP portals, professional social media, etc. However, if the agenda points above are at the foreground of your priorities, the critical task at hand is to leverage the Owned Channels for maximum value and impact towards HCPs. We see 5 key steps. In what follows, these steps are described in the context of marketing the hypothetical DRUG Y® targeted at PDE4 within COPD. Claims are based on the equally hypothetical "LIFE study":

1. Define Topics. Topics are the broad theme of the content to be presented that is aligned to both the DRUG Y®'s value proposition/strategic goals (the Inside view) and the HCP journey stage, attitudes, needs and pain points (the outside view).

Hypothetical topics for the marketing of the “new” COPD drug - DRUG Y® – targeted at PDE4

2. Decide on Ways to Express. Any topic, whether it be focused on the outcomes of a clinical study or a discussion of quality of life and burden of disease, can be expressed in very different ways. Different HCPs respond to and engage with different ways of talking about a topic, and the flows need to accommodate this. This is a practical, “low-fi” foundation to personalization. Can obviously be refined as the company collects and activates CRM data.

3. Formulate Specific Narrative(s). A specific narrative is crafted based on taking a topic as a starting point and finding compelling ways to express that topic in context of one of the 3 ’Ways to Express’.

This example shows how PDE4 can be explored from the starting point of the patient – a HUMANIST approach – where the science is explored but it introduced from human benefits angle, rather than diving straight into the science.

4. Define Channels & Formats. The narratives, content and flows are expressed using the Owned channels - in the below example, email, webinars, and the Healthcare company’s own HCP website - and a variety of different formats that can be used on those channels:

5. Mind the next step in the customer flow. Content is always part of a flow. The flow begins with a traffic-driver (email) to a specific piece of content on the HCP website owned by the pharmaceutical/biotech company. But the goal is to engage the audience-member beyond just the initial topic they engaged with. The ultimate goal may be to expose an HCP to the LIFE study data, but the best way-in to that topic might be a discussion of QoL or the benefits of targeting of PDE4. The linking and retargeted emails after exposure to that topic are the key way to segue from the initial topic of interest to the topic that we strategically want to expose them to.

To optimize, you need to compare the different flows as depicted below.

Content should be created for presentation in the HCP website. The content order should be dictated by the link that was clicked on to get to the page. The DRUG Y® homepage should have a different content order for a visitor clicking to it from a link about a KME video on PDE4 to that of one clicking on a link about PDE4 mode of disease data. Content personalization in this model is about ordering and prioritization of content, not about only showing certain content to certain audiences.

It is deceptively obvious, but ...

Content should be modular to allow the easy creation of custom content flows that will resonate with different audience needs, attitudes and barriers.

I concede that it is obvious to strive to ensure that content is "flexible" and "modular" driving Operational Excellence, however internal organizational structures and cemented agency responsibilities often work against a holistic approach to content strategy and content production. Do reach out, if you want to hear how Vertic has made this approach work - despite the odds - with world class brands inside and outside the Healthcare Industry.

Written by

Mads Krogh Petersen

President and Co-Founder

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