Pharma must invest in CX integrations and relevant data to deliver the engaging, personalized content HCPs demand
While the pandemic may be behind us, customer expectations from it have transformed the future of engagement for life science organizations. The pharmaceutical industry is now coming out of the reactionary changes and proactively planning to succeed in a transformed healthcare industry.
Pharmaceutical companies are restructuring their commercial field forces to better fit the needs and expectations of the new engagement landscape. They are adapting their digital tools and approaches to engage and collaborate with healthcare providers (HCP) and provide coordinating support across the customer journey. Plus, they are creating more tools and strategies to reach other customer types, such as patients and payers.
With all of these radical changes to transition to a digital-first world, how can organizations know if their approaches make a difference in engagement and the customer experience (CX)? The right insights require more than the traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics they’ve used in the past. Instead, they need customer-driven insights to fuel their decision-making and succeed in a new era of pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
Vanity metrics no longer work in the new digital era transforming how business is done in the healthcare industry. Companies can’t improve what they can’t measure. Without the right KPIs and metrics, they create marketing and engagement strategies based on assumptions and guesses rather than insightful data.
While most pharma organizations want to create digital-first engagement, the metrics they report show that, in many ways, they are still stuck in pre-COVID paradigms. Vanity metrics that cling to old paradigms fail to track collaborative, customer-focused engagement. Instead, they’re internally focused, such as monitoring the number of clicks or amount of content produced across an organization’s digital channels.
Vanity engagement metrics that center around the organizations instead of HCPs are not suited to the future of digital-first engagement. These metrics encourage companies to flood HCPs with shallow content and interactions that don’t meet their needs or concerns. It’s a common problem: 65% of doctors stated that at least one pharma company “spammed” them in the wake of COVID. Vanity metrics encourage this behavior and other counter-productive marketing and sales activity.
Key performance indicators aren’t the only vanity metrics hurting life science companies. Market research and net promoter scores (NPS) also fail to produce in-depth customer insights. Asking customers and field teams about customer beliefs and behavior can result in highly biased answers. This type of research is too subjective to provide valuable insights or inform organizations whether their new engagement techniques have the intended effect on their target audience.
If the metrics and market research of the past fail to provide meaningful information and even promote counter-productive activity, where should pharma companies get insights in a digital-first world? Instead of relying on internally focused data or biased responses, look to customer behavior and the challenges customers face for more practical insights.
Real customer action and feedback are critical to supporting the shift from product-centric to customer-first in pharma. Targeting a “persona” is no longer enough to generate engagement. Organizations that glean their insights from in-person and digital channels will be able to focus their energies on crafting more effective marketing tactics — tactics can be personalized for each HCP. Research shows that companies that leverage customer behavior data for insights generate 40% more revenue than the competition.
Because behavior-centered data is the most effective, having the tools to support these insights is critical. Many pharma companies struggle because their traditional customer relationship management (CRM) platforms do not provide in-depth customer data access to get this information. Legacy CRM platforms make holistic customer views and access from different functions impossible because they are not designed for that level of insight.
Companies need genuine insights into what their customers do instead of unproductive vanity data or insufficient market research. Investing in CX data and integrations is vital to get this truly in-depth view of the customers. For better insights, organizations often invest in solutions to improve their legacy platforms. While they may improve certain capabilities, legacy CRMs still fail to improve connection, allowing companies to get better data across the organization.
Getting customer-driven behavior to inform your marketing and sales decisions requires more than updates to legacy CRMs. Instead, companies need to improve overall structures to facilitate decisions across functions. It requires adopting new technology that helps companies reshape their goals and metrics to center around the customer instead of their organizations.
Traditional metrics reinforce the barriers to modern engagement. They encourage shallow content and interactions that frustrate busy HCPs, potentially hurting their business. Instead, life science organizations need platforms that enable customer insights that take their actions, instead of their claimed actions, into account.
These critical insights will enable organizations to develop a customer-centric and digital-first strategy with omnichannel capabilities in a post-COVID world.
Exeevo’s Omnipresence is a single digital ecosystem with omnichannel capabilities that provides life science organizations critical support and in-depth insights for collaborative commercial and medical customer relationship management. The platform offers support at each stage of the customer journey empowered with Microsoft AI across devices and applications.
 Missakian, N. (2022). Don’t spam us, healthcare professionals plea, as they seek quality over quantity from marketers. Fierce Pharma. Retrieved from https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/hcps-want-less-clutter-more-relevance-from-pharma-marketers-survey-shows
 Arora, N., Ensslen, D., et al. (2021). The value of getting personalization right—or wrong—is multiplying. McKinsey. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-value-of-getting-personalization-right-or-wrong-is-multiplying