Data-driven marketing in pharma: The future is here

OKRA joins Veeva Technology Partnership Program

Data-driven marketing in pharma, Pamela Walker and Joshua Hull explain why personalisation is the key to unlocking opportunity via pharma digital marketing.

In pharma, ‘digital’ is no longer merely a channel for tactical execution. It is at the core of both commercial and business planning.

Clinicians, healthcare professionals and administrators are engaging with both ‘digital’ and ‘tech’ as part of their day-to-day. Not only is this realm a key source of educational material, but a first source of information in an ever-changing medical landscape.

Until recently, pharma was considered as lagging significantly behind the consumer sector when it came to implementing technology and embedding digital within planning. The tides, however, are shifting. Pharma execs are looking to tighten their digital strategies and link them more closely with customers. To do so, three strategies must be considered for optimising CRM to deliver more impactful marketing, leading to real returns for your business: personalisation, targeted multi-channel marketing, and automated prospecting.

Personalisation in the digital sphere

As data-driven marketing is the bedrock of multi-channel marketing, ensure you are using first and third party data to maximise targeting and personalisation. On the content-front, be relentless about creating relevant content and messaging. Relevancy will usually boil down to how valuable the content is and how timely it is. Find the sweet spot between your brand strategy and what your audience will find meaningful.

A clear understanding of HCP segments and where they are on the adoption ladder is needed to deliver the right content to the right person. Data capture or a data creep strategy is required in order to fill the gaps of what you know and don’t know about your HCPs. Explicitly, this will mean collecting demographic information and implicitly will mean having the technical capability to collect and report on engagement data, such as email open/click rates or specific content that is clicked on and interacted with.

The more data, the more you can enrich your knowledge of the customer journey and understand where the customer is within their nurture journey (i.e. ladder of adoption). The deeper that personalised journey becomes, whereby meaningful data can be captured, the more readily this can be turned into actionable insights that enable relevant experiences across multiple channels.

Pillars of multi-channel strategy

In pharma, multi-channel personalisation (MCP) is needed, over more general multi-channel marketing (MCM). There are four core strategic ‘pillars’ in the development of an MCP: CRM, Tech, Data Science and Media (Channel).

Table of multi-channel strategy elements categorised by tech, CRM, data science and media

At the root of true personalisation is deep consumer understanding. This insight can effectively deliver solutions that drive revenue and long-term loyalty through a more targeted MCP. By combining marketing technology and cross-channel strategic planning, you can use your marketing spend efficiently and wisely.

Automated prospect programme

With a digital-first MCP strategy, you create the ability to guide prospects through a personalised recruiting journey that dynamically responds to their behaviour and interests. Data science builds MCP personas to help inform how the automated programme should behave in terms of what communications are sent and when.

Once the digital-first strategy is in place, a deeper understanding of each prospect can be gleaned by enriching CRM data with information about their web activity, email clicks and opens, and content engagement. This provides truly actionable insight to guide and adjust the CRM and communications strategy accordingly, for greatest impact.

The data process organically creates a structure to the data flow in which all data output is beneficial to both marketing and tech stakeholders.

Data process flow chart

This process generates a detailed data dossier for each customer. Sales representatives can then use this information to more effectively focus sales interactions and offer targeted support going forward.

Once these three areas are addressed within your marketing and CRM strategies, more effective customer interaction is activated. Not only does this make future planning more streamlined, but the overall engagement with the customer is more meaningful – adding greater value, driving collaboration, and building loyalty.

Dr Pamela Walker is the Global Head of Health at Kin + Carta Advisory; Joshua Hull is a Principal Planner at Edit Kin + Carta.