Alejandra P. Betancourt

Alejandra P. Betancourt

Director of Customer Engagement

Digital transformation has been discussed for a decade now, so we’re all aware of the value-potential that digital marketing initiatives can offer us. Unfortunately though, pharma often approaches the opportunity with small, “add-on” initiatives that are supposed to compliment a traditional marketing strategy - rather than creating a strategy framework that can transform current marketing practice into omni-channel marketing practices.

In order for healthcare companies to meet customer’s expectations, we have to deliver consistent messaging and brand awareness across the channels where customers are. And we have to do it in a seamless transition from one to the next for meaningful customer journeys.

While working with our customers – creating best in class omni-channel marketing strategies – we observed a pattern of impactful tactics compared to those tactics, that no matter how clever they seemed, fell flat. This is how the three principles of CPR came to life – Connectedness, Personalisation and Readiness.

We believe that these three principles are the key to turning the knowledge you have and the tactics you’re already creating into a digital experience that will create an emotional connection with your customer – a journey that works for them.

Keep reading to learn what CPR means in healthcare marketing - and how it can breathe new life into your customer engagement.

Customer engagement today

What’s clear is that life science companies who truly engage with their customers – patients and HCPs – achieve dramatically better outcomes. The evidence is overwhelming. What needed to be better understood was the nature of these customer engagements — what works best – so that success can be replicated.

In our work as digital transformation partners for the healthcare industry it became clear to us that there were certain characteristics present in the best performing tactics compared with those that fell flat.

We’ve defined them as: ‘connectedness’, ‘personalisation’ and ‘readiness’. Let’s take them one by one:

Connectedness is ensuring that every tactic you execute on, every story you tell is linked to another –  in order to create a seamless experience across all channels and touch-points. No tactic is an island by itself. Marketing is all about delivering valuable information at the right place and time, but truly connected tactics are still something that many companies struggle with.

Personalisation is something we keep hearing about but similarly is proving to be a real challenge. One reason is that pharma already invests an enormous amount in content and ‘personalised content’ often sounds like ‘more content’ to marketers. It is important to understand that it is not.

Really it is about better structuring how content is delivered – essentially building a content strategy that allows us to learn from our customers and adjust their experience.

The more customer data you collect, the easier it is to make informed decisions that allow you to deliver the content they want, how they want it. This data exists, so now it’s just a question of putting it to work.

Readiness means assessing your organisation’s capabilities and tools to optimally execute your marketing plans. In essence, how ready and willing are you to really do omni-channel marketing? Readiness means being prepared to deliver to your customers, to learn from your customers, and to optimise for your customers.

Readiness is difficult in pharma because it’s an industry that has historically had extremely long development cycles. The core business model of an organisation has vast ramifications on the entire business. If you plan around 12-year launch cycles, then it isn’t really surprising that people aren’t used to working in an agile way – even in forward-thinking departments like marketing.

While it’s not easy, we have to stop using our differences from other industries as an excuse. We can start now. It requires work to change, but what needs to happen – and what we are helping our pharma partners achieve – are new, more flexible ways of working.

Start applying CPR

It’s important to understand what’s possible. That often means looking outside the industry because pharma isn’t really flying yet with its omni-channel communications. And we have to be more ambitious.

Then start with the basics. Focus on a few channels that you know you need and start applying the principles of CPR. When you narrow your focus, it’s a lot simpler to build a stronger content strategy and begin to apply that thinking.

Each of the CPR principles – connectedness, personalisation, readiness – can be applied to the work that people are doing now. And, thanks to our research, we now know enough about what works to say with conviction that even small changes can have a big impact.

Updated Aug 26, 2019