Understanding multichannel marketing
Multichannel provides the opportunity to maintain HCP contact in a cost effective way, and even increase overall reach, by making it easier and more convenient for customers to engage.
The term ‘multichannel marketing’ in pharma is used to describe the practice of combining channels – e-detailing, personalized websites (on-demand content), mobile applications, approved emails, webinars – into a holistic system.
It’s important to understand the difference between ‘multiple channels’ and true ‘multichannel’. Multichannel means getting synergies from connected channels. Simply adding channels without connecting them doesn’t bring additional benefits. Your digital channels should really be a connected network. Rather than a series of isolated silos of information, one channel should lead to the next.
Example of multichannel marketing in the pharmaceutical industry
Rather than a series of isolated initiatives, companies are increasingly asking how to provide coherent, holistic customer communications. Multichannel enables pharma to create experiences. By combining channels in ways that deliver highly targeted and personalized communication, each HCP and payer engagement becomes more relevant and effective.
How does multichannel marketing benefit pharma’s customers?
Understanding customer needs and enabling better customer experiences are essential in a more competitive market. Here, multichannel marketing can help in a number of ways.
Flexible content delivery
According to HealthLink Dimension, 75% of medical providers want to receive information about continuing medical education opportunities from pharma companies. And HCPs want easily accessible, relevant information on demand.
Different people want to consume content in different ways. Advanced multichannel communication enables this by providing the flexibility to deliver your content in the channel that best suits your audience’s needs.
By thinking holistically, you can create pathways through your content that continually build knowledge. For example, sales reps can provide personalized websites that precisely reflect a doctor’s interests.
The data gathered from the interactions with the e-detailing presentation will inform the microsite content for each doctor. In effect, each customer can now have his or her own tailor-made channel – and get immediately connected to it. This enables pharma marketers to provide a better experience for HCPs.
Better clinician education
Another advantage is that you can demonstrate value with digital clinician education. The flexibility of multichannel allows HCPs to benefit from on-demand educational content and guided e-learning tools.
By continually providing relevant and high-value information, you create a better understanding of your products’ benefits and raises your reputation with your customers.
Improve treatment outcomes
Expectations are increasing that pharma and medtech companies work with healthcare providers to enable outcome improvements. Rather than focusing solely on the product itself, greater attention is being paid to how it is being used in clinical settings. A product is now seen as part of an overall treatment solution.
In addition to clinician education, multichannel communications can be used to help doctors to support patients throughout the patient pathway – seeking to positively impact adherence and ensure that the doctor’s instructions are understood and followed.
What are the benefits of multichannel marketing for pharma?
Many of the benefits to HCPs – increased relevance, more flexible content delivery, better customer experiences etc – also benefit life science companies because they improve communication and positively impact patient outcomes.
There are also specific benefits for pharma and medtech companies.
Increase marketing ROI
A data-driven multichannel strategy allows you to measure the ROI of your marketing materials. Because channels are connected, you also connect data streams. With a complete overview of what, when and how content is being accessed – you can see what is working and act quickly to make improvements.
Multichannel data dashboard example
Multichannel isn’t just a tool for marketing managers, it also empowers customer teams. Physical HCP meetings, for example, can be supplemented with online ‘remote’ contacts and other from of virtual engagement. And reps can also enable HCPs to access other channels with on-demand content often personalized to each contact’s specific needs.
Using these technologies together makes it possible for reps to alternate between face-to-face meetings and purely digital communication to follow-up or speedily respond to requests. Reps can then save traveling time and conduct more meetings per day, maximizing your marketing budget. In the same way, online webinars and symposiums deliver high value to HCPs while being cost-efficient.
Match your market segmentation
Many companies are taking a more segmented go-to-market strategy in which smaller field forces focus on high-priority customers. Multichannel enables a key account strategy by delivering customer experiences that matches your market segmentation.
One approach is to use high value ‘one-to-one’ channels with priority targets. These can then be supplemented with on-demand information, depending on your specific strategy and audiences preferences.
Example of high value customer journey
For lower-potential accounts, more self-guided and on-demand channels can maintain your pharma marketing reach – and may even expand it as the widespread use of technology reduces the cost per contact.
Example of a low potential customer journey
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Create compelling health economic communications
A growing need for improved ‘payer’ communication is driving the use of technology in market access. Institutional buyers require more macro arguments on a product’s health-economic benefits and the impact on total cost of care. Digital technology can work wonders here by bringing these stories to life through graphics, video, and animations.
The opportunities for interaction that multichannel marketing offers to the pharmaceutical industry can make your arguments more relevant to each institution.
Digital payer engagement in practice
A presentation, for example, could include embedded calculators that enable your audience to add information like the number of patients that they care for – and then see how your product will improve diagnosis or clinical outcomes in their specific institution. Learn more in our payer communication case study.