The pharmaceutical sector is faced with new issues as markets become more crowded and competitive and as consumer expectations change over time. To guarantee commercial success, a strong medical clinical profile is no longer sufficient. Pharma firms now need to learn how to not only launch and sell their products but also design and manage digital and hybrid experiences because this industry is impacted by the same digital and retail trends as other industries.
While the pharmaceutical sector has made great strides in digitizing its product information and marketing materials, many businesses are still in the early stages of their digital sales transition. When it comes to concentrating on the customer experience, whether those customers are patients or prescribers, pharmaceutical companies can learn a lot from D2C businesses.
This essay will look more closely at this change, how the digital age is affecting the pharmaceutical sector, and what pharmaceutical companies need to do to adapt and stay competitive.
Building a loyal base of repeat customers requires an increasing amount of focus on the customer journey. In fact, focusing solely on the therapeutic value might cause businesses to ignore the customer experience, which is the most important factor in commercial success.
Pharma businesses can instantly raise customer happiness and revenue by reducing friction and inconvenience along the patient and prescriber journeys. There are numerous tools used by B2C and D2C businesses that are also ideal for the pharmaceutical industry.
A pharmaceutical company that released an app to accompany their medicinal product is one example given by McKinsey. The software serves as a digital companion for users, supporting both medication and a healthy lifestyle. It also assisted in an 8% boost in sales of the same drug.
The pharmaceutical industry is becoming more complex, and competition is getting fiercer everywhere. One-size-fits-all marketing and sales strategies are no longer effective, and pharmaceutical businesses that are successful in personalizing the consumer experience will acquire market share swiftly.
The majority of pharmaceutical organizations have started their digital transformation, and many have made significant progress in digitizing their operations, research, and data. In many fields of contemporary research and development, including genome sequencing, the production of precise medications, and even at-home testing, digital technology is essential (as we witnessed during COVID). However, many pharmaceutical businesses fall short when it comes to the process of marketing and selling their drugs after they have been developed.
While B2C and D2C have undergone a radical digital metamorphosis recently, many pharmaceutical companies are still caught in the past, running basic ads and delivering PDFs to potential customers.
Pharma has a lot to gain by speeding the eCommerce components of pharmaceutical sales and adopting some D2C companies’ strategies. All of the time and money spent on research and development of pharmaceuticals is partially wasted since the intended audience is not adequately reached. A well-oiled digital commerce strategy will assist boost sales and revenue, regardless of whether the customer is the final consumer or a prescriber like a doctor.
And at the heart of commerce, particularly eCommerce, are important advantages and values that might help the sector move to being digital and improve connections with patients and doctors.
Telehealth consultations that don’t require patients to visit a physical doctor
Medication delivery to your home, removing the need to visit the pharmacy
Patients can monitor their meds, order refills, and track deliveries via mobile applications.
The benefits of a stronger eCommerce focus on the pharmaceutical industry are discussed below, along with some crucial factors to take into account for a pharma digital transformation.
- DON’T MISTAKE DIGITIZATION FOR BEING ACTUALLY DIGITAL
Digitizing is the process of converting anything analog into a digital format (a bill, a brochure, etc.). But to run a firm that is genuinely digital, you must alter the way you handle every customer connection. Today’s consumers demand totally digital, completely seamless experiences across all digital platforms and devices. There is a large chance that a business will lose a sale each time it doesn’t give this.
- AN ESSENTIAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY
Pharma businesses must assess, create, and digitize all client touchpoints if they want to stay competitive and ahead of the competition. This is true for all types of customers in addition to patients, such as providers, payers, and staff. one of the realities of digital transformation is that the biggest obstacles to success are frequently not technological, but rather organizational and cultural. The same holds true for customer experience (CX). Clear strategy, C-suite backing, and corporate buy-in are crucial for delivering exceptional client experiences.
- IT IS ESSENTIAL TO CREATE AND ADDRESS TARGET PERSONS
Optimizing customer journeys and implementing digital transformation in pharma require personalizing the experiences for various target groups. In comparison to those of a patient or a person close to the patient, a prescriber has quite different demands and expectations. To foster trust and long-lasting relationships among all of these groups, customized journeys and content are required. Each persona serves as the foundation for creating the customer journey, which outlines all crucial touchpoints with that specific client group. In order to create three-dimensional synthesized portraits that incorporate emotional, cognitive, and physical elements such as behavior patterns, aspirations, pain points, shifts in mood, and decision-making drivers through the process, McKinsey advises going very granular with the development of these personas and incorporating data from diary studies and other qualitative methods.
- A PHARMA DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION HAS 4 BENEFITS.
1- ANALYTICS ARE BETTER AND MORE DATA WHEN CX IS DIGITIZED
The advantages of investing in a contemporary eCommerce strategy are numerous. One of these benefits is easier access to insightful information and statistics on customer behavior. These insights might help the firm in other strategic areas in addition to boosting marketing initiatives. To fully comprehend and utilize such insights to propel business success, it is a good idea to invest early in developing the correct processes for collecting, organizing, maintaining, and analyzing client data.
2. ENHANCING CUSTOMER-FACING INFRASTRUCTURE DRIVES BUSINESS RESULTS
For retailers, the eCommerce platform sits at the core of their digital presence. This should be the same for pharma companies. Many of the standard components of eCommerce platforms are equally well suited to be used in the pharma industry. Enhancing the customer-facing infrastructure with well-integrated systems will help you deliver a good customer experience.
3. ECOMMERCE FORCES A FOCUS ON INTEGRATIONS
Implementing an eCommerce platform can help pharma companies build a digital foundation for delivering tailored and relevant customer experiences. Doing so also forces companies to focus on their integrations to ensure seamless and coherent experiences across all channels and devices. An eCommerce solution makes this apparent and often helps companies speed up this process.
4. VOICE-OF-CUSTOMER PROGRAMS BOOST SALES
Many big pharma companies are now attempting to implement different programs and tools for measuring customer satisfaction and customer experience. Metrics and methodologies such as CSAT and Net Promoter Score (NPS) help businesses better understand how they are perceived across their different target groups.
The insights from well-constructed and integrated voice of the customer (VoC) programs can be extremely valuable.
Research by McKinsey shows to what level customer satisfaction impacts pharma companies. A study conducted on 600 immunologists in the US and Europe indicates that when prescribers are fully satisfied with their experience prescribing a particular drug, they are more than twice as likely to prescribe it to their patients.
This really shows that by paying more attention to the experience of different target customer groups, pharma companies can not only increase satisfaction but also boost sales and market share.
ABDALLAH BATTAH HELPS WITH YOUR PHARMA DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Battah, we’re experts in all things digital commerce. As a full-service omnichannel partner, we can help with every part of the process—we deliver strategy, design, development, and managed services to manufacturers and merchants worldwide. If you’re looking for an experienced partner to guide you and help you make the most of the new digital landscape, we’re here for you.
We can help you implement a modern eCommerce strategy, identify the technical changes required, and improve the digital customer experience and buying journey. Get in touch to talk to one of our experts.