Insights with Innovators
The word “omnichannel” has been used considerably and increasingly across the life sciences industry during the last few years. Through the evolution and advances within the analytic and technology spaces, marketers have been given the opportunity to truly adapt omnichannel enablement.
As evidenced by the new POV released by the DHC Group, when one asks marketers from across the life sciences industry what omnichannel means to them, they would receive disparate answers. However, there are a few recurring themes and attributes that most marketers would presumably agree upon:
- Coordination and orchestration of channels
- Tailored content
- Simple and transparent interactions
Given the disjointed nature of the life sciences industry, creating true omnichannel interactions for healthcare professionals (HCPs) poses a challenge (let alone the ultimate goal of integration of omnichannel, which encompasses both HCPs and consumers/patients). As consumers, we experience omnichannel in our everyday lives and have become accustomed to these integrated and personal interactions among consumer brands. How can we as marketers create these types of interactions and experiences for our HCPs? While we agree/acknowledge that the existing landscape and restrictions within our industry calls for creative solutions, there is much we can apply and adapt from popular consumer brands.
Be Inspired By The Best
One brand that has created a truly omnichannel experience is Apple. In every aspect, Apple puts their customer at the center of their brand experience. For the many of you who have an affinity for Apple, think about the first time you engaged with an Apple product. How did it make you feel?
Let’s say that your first Apple product was an iPhone, you took it out of that sleek box, and you powered it on. The logo appeared, followed by a series of short and simple questions, “What language would you like your phone in?” “Which WiFi network do you want to connect to?” In a matter of minutes, your brand new phone was up and running. The whole interface was simple and transparent, and you could customize your iPhone in the way that suits you.
A few weeks later, you received an email. Based on the information Apple now knows about you by setting up your profile, it has surmised that you are a working professional. Your email from Apple is to introduce you to the Airpods, headphones that seamlessly connect and integrate with your iPhone. Four weeks later, the Airpods are purchased to enhance your experience with your iPhone and your life (and “work life”) with technology. Work calls can now be taken without your phone even being in your hand.
About six months later, you receive a notification on your iPhone about the Apple watch because you downloaded the Nike app to track your daily runs. The way Apple has created this experience for users could be discussed endlessly. Even Android users cannot deny that Apple has created a loyal customer base due to its undying need to put the customer first and creating a true omnichannel experience.
Translate Inspiration to Action
Today, HCPs are faced with an overwhelming amount of information from a myriad of avenues, such as the pharmaceutical rep, media, and third-party vendors. The traditional marketing approach was to maximize reach to an HCP. Today, we put an increased emphasis on more meaningful engagement. For the pharmaceutical brand trying to reach these customers, how can we learn from Apple to put the HCP’s need at the center of orchestration? What are their preferences? What information draws their attention? What sequence of messaging or interactions is most beneficial to them to create that customer loyalty, much like several of us have with Apple. It goes beyond the marketing perspective, as ideally it is a holistic experience and brand interaction. While we are not naive enough to think that a true “Apple-like experience” is realistic in our industry today, that does not mean that we should not all strive to get as close to it as possible.
Each life sciences company can begin their omnichannel engagement journey through a stepped approach. It is becoming increasingly easier to understand HCPs’ personal preferences with physician level data. This is the foundation of creating an omnichannel experience for HCPs. It is the life sciences brand’s job to create that affinity. When it truly comes down to it, HCPs are also consumers. By taking small steps to organize data and orchestrate engagement, life sciences companies can begin the foundation and start to leverage all that omnichannel has to offer.
More About The AuthorS
Jeff Kirsch, SVP Business Development with Deerfield Agency, is a senior sales executive and commercial leader with a passion for the convergence of healthcare, technology, media, and research. Having started in pharmaceuticals as a sales representative for Merck, he draws on over 20 years of experience in successfully securing, managing, and cultivating strategic partnerships across numerous pharma-centric verticals including POC, HCP and consumer-facing media, analytics, multi-channel patient education, market research, and RWE. Connect with Jeff on LinkedIN.
Jacqueline DaSilva, Senior Director of Digital Strategy, Deerfield Agency, has deep experience across the pharmaceutical industry. Her focus in the past several years has been in marketing strategy for a variety of clients with a focus on optimization and efficiency of brand spend. Jackie has a passion for finding new ways to engage the customer, whether HCP or consumer, through the evolving digital marketing landscape. Connect with Jacqueline on LinkedIN.
More about Deerfield Agency
Deerfield is a full-service agency that specializes in healthcare marketing and is founded on the principle of providing extraordinary work at an exceptional value. Deerfield has redefined the agency experience to become a true extension of your team and keep your brand at the forefront of our compelling strategy, creative, media, print, and digital innovation. Comprised of industry leaders and experts who are well versed in every stage of a brand’s life cycle, our team is ready to provide you with a personalized agency experience that will meet the unique goals and objectives of your business. Deerfield is additionally supported by its sister company, Verge Scientific. Verge Scientific is a strategic communications firm shaping the stories of pioneering companies and brands. Verge Scientific partners with innovative companies pushing the bounds of science, inventing new products, and advancing technologies that change the way we live. With a proven approach built on the science of storytelling, we bring clarity to the chaos, establish credibility for new ideas, and build meaningful connections to strengthen a company’s value story. To learn more, please visit DeerfieldAgency.com and VergeScientific.com.