In my review of the eyeforpharma Barcelona event, I talked about the importance of understanding customers and collaborating to target COVID-19 success. The Philadelphia event followed in the same vein with a strong emphasis on personalisation throughout the HCP customer journey and experience.
It has been striking how often the topic of supporting HCPs and patients has been reflected in conversations with our clients in recent times, and this was true of the sessions I was able to watch at this event.
My takeaway from eyeforpharma Philadelphia was a three step process that has come to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is a model to consider looking beyond:
- Support HCPs
- Give a personalised, value-adding experience
- See the benefits, learn and go again
From a multichannel marketing perspective, Melissa Fellner, Global Marketing Director, AstraZeneca, reflected it “is less about the story that you want to tell and more about understanding your customer and their needs, and how you can provide value to them, in the right way.”
Speaking into a situation he experienced during Shingrix’s US launch, Jay Sabbah, Senior Director, US SHINGRIX Marketing, GSK mentioned they “moved from demand generation [messaging] to more of an educational and support message” for their customer. It wasn’t enough to get the product in people’s hands; they recognised HCPs needed support beyond that. He also added that they needed to “make sure that [GSK’s] messages complimented what our customers were looking for.”
Roni Chase, VP Marketing , Eli Lilly, stressed in this particular moment the need for thoughtful consideration of who the HCP customer is: “a front-line healthcare professional dealing with the COVID crisis is different from a physician who may not be in that specialty area.” She added: “I think listening right now is the most important thing we can do”.
“It is less about the story that you want to tell and more about understanding your customer and their needs, and how you can provide value to them, in the right way.“
Global Marketing Director, AstraZeneca
Give a personalised, value adding experience
If the concept of supporting HCPs beyond the brand is to be embraced, then how can it be done? One barrier to adding value and engaging with customers in a meaningful way is having a message that catches the audience’s attention.
Sharing on current digital trends as context for her presentation, Johanna Willer, Senior Advisor, Next Generation Customer Engagement, Eli Lilly said rather than our attention spans ‘degrading’, the reality is that the ‘level of distraction’ is increasing.
To avoid these distractions, and get above the din you need content and customer journey personalisation. Willer said in a general sense “80% of customers prefer a company that offers personalised customer experience”.
What does that look like? Willer continued “personalisation is driven by understanding customer behaviours… adapting content to different customer attributes, their behaviour behaviour and context, and orchestrating our engagements and campaigns that are integrated and coordinated across channels”.
As well as behaviours, Soma Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, G1 Therapeutics spoke of the information needs of HCPs, especially in oncology where there new drugs coming out all the time: “oncologists need new information… whether they need it in person or not? That’s a question that we need to understand better”. She continued “the opportunity… is around segmentation” – to tailor messaging to what doctors want to see, which she added can be easier in a virtual setting than in person.
Getting to these insights though can be a challenge. Matt Smith, Global Lead, Strategy, Digital & Operations, Pfizer, said “it is relatively easy to segment your content and channels by ‘male, over 40, in this geography’. I think it requires more effort and discipline to differentiate your channel, content and your experience by understanding the behaviors and needs.”
Understanding the existing journeys that HCPs are going on can help Pharma to fit into or adjust those journeys with their tailored content, for the benefit of HCPs. To support this, Paulo Amaral, Global Zoster Multi Channel Marketing Lead, GSK, felt that the opportunity was to use AI and machine learning “to better assess our customer needs and understand the next best action to help them”. He added it is “what they want, when they want [it], using their channel of their preference.”
“Personalisation is driven by understanding customer behaviours… adapting content to different customer attributes, their behaviour behaviour and context, and orchestrating our engagements and campaigns that are integrated and coordinated across channels.“
Senior Advisor, Next Generation Customer Engagement, Eli Lilly
See the benefits, learn and go again
Sabbah, GSK, shared a number of returns from the investment in providing support to the needs of HCP: the series completion rate (HCPs who administered the second dose of Shingrix) was 16% higher when personalised content was used, as well as higher click through and email open rates.
Chase, Eli Lilly, hinted at the benefits for Sales Reps from a value-adding approach: “sales representatives that add the best value to their customers are going to get really good at understanding the HCP behavioural data”.
As with any good marketing or research strategy, implementing a closed loop approach helps you see the benefits, learn and go again.
While there are many challenges that have come from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also many opportunities to pursue that will benefit HCPs, patients and the healthcare industry at large. If you would like to understand the real-time needs and digital behaviours of HCPs, we would love to help.
If you weren’t able to make it to eyeforpharma Barcelona, why not read my overview of the event here: