This year, Pharma USA was all about omnichannel engagement, “next best action,” and grappling with how to view engagement data alongside more traditional health data to inform commercial strategy. Omnichannel engagement has seen quite an evolution over the last five years. It’s generally accepted that the age of omnichannel engagement is here – though the ability to implement omnichannel engagement still varies widely between solutions providers. “Omnichannel” is, at a tactical level, a dynamic way to engage with your target consumer across modalities. Technology advances have also made the insights omnichannel generates reliable enough to leverage as an input when planning broader commercial strategies and resource allocation.
You can see the evolution of omnichannel in the way it’s described by a variety of sources. Wikipedia describes it as “a neologism describing business strategy,” while Hubspot defines it as “a lead nurturing and user engagement approach in which a company gives access to their products, offers, and support services to customers or prospects on all channels, platforms, and devices.” Omnichannel strategies are in the process of becoming standard across industries. In healthcare we have an opportunity to leverage a wealth of data – not readily available in other industries – to drive our omnichannel strategies, particularly with HCPs.
Today, advanced solution providers are mapping channel preferences alongside content consumption preferences and prescribing trends. The result is detailed customer footprints that are unique to each brand’s situation and allow for execution at scale – provided we’ve used the correct data inputs.
Engagement strategies have always been driven by consumer behaviors and demographics, which marketers have shaped into archetypal customer personas driven by grouped preferences, or “audience segments.” Audience segments have also historically been straightforward to define, with behaviors and preferences following a bell-curve along the data we’ve had access to. Large segments of our audiences have historically followed similar engagement patterns and preferences, with small numbers of outliers, enabling clear-cut marketing strategies aligned to a “super-majority” of target customers. Look to the example of Tylenol in the 1980’s as an extreme example. The brand experienced a sharp decline in sales due to the “Chicago Tylenol murders.” At that time, consumer behavior was easy to predict: everyone was afraid of buying Tylenol. Channel preference was easy to predict: marketers really only had access to print and broadcast mass media. So the brand could concentrate resources around a message that hospitals trusted Tylenol. This campaign strategy enabled the brand to survive the public relations nightmare.
Fast forward to today: there is no “normal.” The proliferation of digital engagement channels, the shrinkage of target patient populations driven by innovation and personalized medicine, and the variation of utilization management practices in the U.S. have destroyed the bell curve of audience segmentation in healthcare. The good news: technology advancements and access to data have delivered on the promise of omnichannel using a five-step process:
- Connect: define behavior trends and preferences and identify data to segment your audience.
- Plan & Strategize: touchpoint frequency by audience – define the campaign journey.
- Execute: leverage coordinated targeting across channels to launch your campaign.
- Collect Data: collect engagement data according to your desired response matrix to best suit your audience and desired outcome.
- Optimize & Measure: monitor and adjust both your KPIs, as well as your channel mix and desired action, based on real time engagement data.
Today, advanced solution providers are mapping channel preferences alongside content consumption preferences and prescribing trends in HCP engagement. The result is detailed customer footprints that are unique to each brand’s situation and allow for execution at scale – provided we’ve used the correct data inputs. The holy grail of omnichannel marketing is using these insights in real-time across digital and non-digital channels to create a true “surround sound” ecosystem for our customers.
We, at OptimizeRx, are driving ahead the new frontier by taking an extra step to layer predictive AI targeting to power our customers’ next best action strategies for prescribers based on their patients’ need. It’s an approach that’s unique to healthcare and driven by the access we have to de-identified health data. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible.