We are in the new era for pharma, one that requires a focus on customer centricity, innovation and a deeper engagement with patients, HCP’s and all partners in the healthcare ecosystem. Something like this requires a total transformation in mindset and holistic understanding of full customer journey.
Healthcare companies are being pushed to transform as a result of increased consumer interests and participation. The increase in the availability of healthcare information has led to a shift in the control of healthcare and treatment approaches to the consumer.
In order for pharma businesses to be successful, they must not only focus on the patients but also partner with key stakeholders to improve health outcomes, costs and experiences. The emerging business model is one that emphasises consumer choice, delivers clear value, focused on engagement and dialog, as well as lifestyle care.
To thrive in this new world, businesses need to recognise that customers must get a unified, consistent, memorable experience while interacting with sales reps, interacting with your social content or attending a webinar. Pharma must plan and leverage all types of media – owned, earned and paid in the right proportions to get the best value of them.
As channels expand, opportunities arise to interact efficiently, effectively, and relevantly with different stakeholder groups in preferred and appropriate channels, depending on the needs, values, and behaviours of each group.
Considerations for engaging with patients
Demand for more and better information
They have access to information through multiple sources
Higher price sensitivity due to economic pressures
Patients are involved in their care more than ever
Emphasis on wellness and preventative care requires a different mindset and a different approach to engage the consumer
They conduct extensive research on their conditions, treatment options and expect a simple and seamless experience similar to that they might expect in retail
Social media brings information to consumers via 'trusted word of mouth’. They expect immediate information and rapid follow up.
They expect experts to be available to answer questions interactively
Considerations for engaging with HCP's
Diminishing access and time
Demand for quick and interactive access to information
There are new opportunities to engage with HCP in more interactive and effective ways
Interactive content on the web is expected
They are seeking out knowledge support and data insights from their partnership
There is gap in information that HCPs expect from Pharma and what they actually receive. Research suggested that HCPs receive lots of information about prescription drugs, but less of what they need in terms of materials to give to patients, and medical education-led material.
Consumer advertising is expected to be part of the total value message
Concerns about public perception
Battling against ‘Doctor Google’
Social media is a powerful communication tool and content distribution channel
HCP’s are looking for content that they can utilise and share with their audiences
The key trends and opportunities for pharma & healthcare businesses:
Patient Centricity - Historically, Pharmaceutical companies have prioritised feedback from Healthcare Professionals to find out what their patients feel, need and think. There is already change underway to prioritise and embrace patients and to design services and solutions around them.
Personalisation for HCP’s - pharma businesses could benefit from a more data lead approach, especially to enable them to provide a more personalised experience for HCPs. HCP’s often have very specific data & insight needs. There are huge opportunities available to deliver this effectively through digital channels.
By learning about the behaviour, specialisms and preferences of your customers, it is possible to combine these data points into a valuable and memorable experience for HCP’s. Allowing them quick and efficient access to commonly required assets and making them aware of new content in a non-disruptive and value driven fashion. The goal for pharma businesses should be to provide an experience that enhances the work of the HCP, saving them time or adding to their knowledge with the core goal of enhancing the outcomes for patients.
Customer Journey Mapping - It is becoming increasingly important to map patient customer journeys and identify pain points that can be improved upon. This involves identifying how patients feel about an experience from pre-diagnosis to diagnosis through initial treatment and learning to live with and manage conditions.
Omni-channel marketing - Healthcare businesses must be present in all media where their customers are and engage with them giving a consistent experience using omni-channel strategy. Marketers should leverage the power of digital channels to communicate with their customers.
Chatbots - Innovative technology puts patients in control. Chatbot Florence is an AI-powered chatbot that gives answers and advice whenever patients need. Instead of waiting to talk to their doctor, patients can simply ask Florence a question about symptoms or medication, and she’ll provide personalised responses. She can also remind users to take medication and track healthy habits. Florence is constantly learning new information to stay ahead of health trends and changing disease patterns.
Big data to treat rare diseases - One of the biggest challenges to creating new drugs and treatments for rare diseases is simply getting enough information to find the right treatment. Startup RDMD is using AI to analyse data from medical records to find commonalities in rare disease cases. RDMD’s approach shows that harnessing the power of data can help find better treatments, faster.
The Internet of Things has created a wealth of opportunities within the sector, and there are more ahead. Internet of things (IoT) has the power to revolutionise pharmaceutical manufacturing in processes ranging from drug discovery to remote patient access and monitoring. Using IoT, pharma companies can gain access to real-time data and visibility of operations through the entire manufacturing process.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are being incorporated into new healthcare technologies and systems. Uses ranging from training doctors in operating techniques to gamifying patient treatment plans. Startup VR Health has partnered with healthcare providers to bring virtual reality to patients. Patients are given VR glasses during painful or difficult procedures to minimise stress. VR tech can help clinics gather new patient information and share treatment instructions for after the patient goes home.
Digital transformation - The shift from marketing drugs and treatments to marketing outcome-based approaches and tools to prevent illness is likely to have a big impact on marketing strategies in the longer-term future. There will be an increasing need for patient portals, automated processes to support patient-centric initiatives and a need to build collaborative relationships with healthcare providers to assist with health outcomes and digital literacy.
Pharma companies that embrace Customer Experience (CX) can differentiate themselves in the market and gain trust through relevant and valuable content. This will help HCPs to improve outcomes for their patients through providing relevant and high value services that complement the work they do. It will save HCPs both time and effort and ensure better adherence to treatment plans once patients go home and begin to take more control in managing their own care.