Pharmaceutical companies are starting to look beyond recession and investing in innovation again. Many are expanding their international customer excellence teams or even appointing a Global or Regional Head of Digital or Head of Multichannel for the first time in 2013.
Where does this new leader need to focus their efforts? My New Year Resolutions will be the next 4 BytesizePharma posts:
Get the Platform Right
Pharmaceutical companies have still not prioritised information technology as a key driver of the business. Many have strategies about it, but have they really committed enough investment to deliver a seamless experience across channels and a single view of the customer?
Of course the platform should be like the ‘plumbing’, it should just ‘work’ and allow you to get on with the job of implementing your strategy. But if the plumbing isn’t functioning well the impact is massive, and so it is for digital platforms.
You should, at the very least, have:
- an integrated CRM system to track customer relationships across channels
- an enterprise-wide web platform with efficient content management system
- a closed-loop system to connect rep visits to the CRM
- an email platform with built-in testing and shared templates and reporting
- a strong analytics solution to demonstrate both metrics and customer impact
- an asset-sharing system that supports all kinds of media
And the core technologies are not enough. You need standard wireframes, templates, content elements and business rules to ensure the platforms are being used consistently and with quality – maximising business impact and minimising cost.
Having the right tool alone won’t make your organization into a great multichannel marketing engine, but you can ‘design-out’ some of the potential pitfalls by offering a ‘solution-in-a-box’ service with ready-built website, email, banners, social media elements and high-quality content that is re-use ready (more on this in Resolution 4).
Back to the investment, what will this cost? With cloudsource and outsource models, the cost can be scalable as the number of customer relationships grows. Still, it is not a trivial undertaking. It needs to be looked at from a global strategic point of view. If your enterprise-wide platform costs €5 million a year and helps you strengthen long-term relationships with 500,000 physicians, that is only €10 per customer. An investment worth making?
This resolution will help you get to the next level but in order to realise its potential your team needs to know how to utilise the platform properly to build strong, engaging customer relationships – that is the subject of Resolution 2 – Get the People Right.