Marketing never was an easy endeavour. But add regulatory limitations into the mix and you’ve got one of the toughest challenges in your pharmaceutical business. And if you’re embarking on an omnichannel marketing adventure, May the Force be with you.

I’m writing this post today to help you make your pharma omnichannel marketing a breeze while raking in way better results.

Challenges of an Omnichannel Marketing Campaign

In one of my previous posts on omnichannel marketing, I defined it as “...a concerted marketing approach that uses all possible channels of delivering your marketing message to your target customers.”

“All possible channels” means digital as well as offline channels. The inclusion of every channel adds unprecedented complexity to the already complex business of successful marketing.

Here are a few challenges that you'll face while developing and implementing an omnichannel marketing campaign:

Too much data - An omnichannel marketing campaign has a lot more data points than a traditional one. Before you know it, you’ll be drowning in data and it’ll become impossible to make any sense of it.

Lack of integration - Since we’re talking about both online and offline marketing channels, it’s a struggle to make this data ‘talk’ to each other. Without this integration, the essence of omnichannel marketing is lost.

Regulatory issues - As the complexity and volume of data increase, the odds of running into regulatory issues increase as well. To avoid this risk, it is important to have complete control of all your data being collected from different touchpoints.

Incoherent messages - Without having a central control point behind all the marketing communications across all your channels, the chances of having all the channels working coherently and complementing each other is next to impossible.

Personalisation is hard to achieve - To personalise the HCPs’ marketing journey, it is important to have all the interactions with HCPs in your records. Not only that, but you will also need personalisation suggestions for your future interactions. This is normally a difficult feat to achieve.

Hard to attribute success/failure - When there are multiple channels of all types in action, it is tough to identify the role of a certain channel's performance towards the overall marketing campaign's performance.

These are only a few challenges that I briefly touched on to give you an idea of how difficult it is to successfully pull an omnichannel marketing campaign with a manual system.

But what can help deliver a high ROI campaign?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform

All the problems I’ve listed above can be overcome using CRM - the magic wand of marketing campaigns.

A CRM that specialises in pharma marketing is necessary because our industry is unique and building a rapport with HCPs is not an easy job.

Personalisation is the Key

In her thought-provoking article, Dr. Pamela Walker from Gate One Consulting has repeatedly emphasised the need for “personalisation at scale”. You cannot grab HCPs’ attention unless your campaign is personalised and guided by their behaviourbeaviour in real-time.

Below, I’m giving you a few points that I’ve learned from my diverse experience in the pharma industry, to help you maximise HCP engagement through a hyper-personalised omnichannel marketing campaign.

Build HCPs’ Profiles - The desired result of an omnichannel marketing campaign is mostly to capture HCPs' attention and maintain a lasting and personalised relationship with them. In other words, it’s ‘mass personalisation’. To achieve this level of customisation, use your CRM to build every HCPs' detailed profile including their area of specialty, and what products, indications, and types of information they would be interested in. Design the profile in a way that it keeps on updating based on the ongoing interactions with your marketing messages. For example, if an HCP has shown interest in a certain product or topic, a robust CRM will automatically serve her with more information on that and create more opportunities to interact with her. That’s how you’ll have her attention and conversion follows automatically.

Automate - A carefully designed and integrated CRM allows you to automate your interactions with the HCP at different touchpoints by understanding their behaviour, interest, and outreach. Automation will help you increase your reach by giving you more time to focus on the actual campaign rather than wasting time on low-value admin tasks. Instead of sending out an email sequence manually, a strong CRM will personalise the email copy, figure out the best time to reach, and land in the prospects’ inboxes. You can keep a close eye on live results and intervene only when necessary.

Channelise Analytics - The analytics gathered from all the different interactions should be linked back to the HCP’s profile on the CRM. This might be the types of emails they’ve interacted with, webinars they’ve registered for and attended, websites and platforms they have visited, and the type of materials they have downloaded.

This data is not only useful for the automated marketing funnels, but also for the MSLs who will be interacting with the HCP. For example, if an MSL knows that an HCP is more likely to attend a webinar rather than an in-person conference, or if the HCP has downloaded a specific toolkit from the website, she can effectively tailor her interaction with the HCP for better engagement.

If the CRM is configured correctly, we can equip the MSLs with more relevant materials such as emails and download resources for them to share with the HCPs, even during a conversation.

Keeping the HCPs’ interests and engagement preferences at the heart of your campaigns, a thoughtfully designed CRM can go a long way in personalising your omnichannel marketing campaigns to boost your brand’s perception as well as the campaigns’ ROI.

I’d love to know your experience with CRMs for creating and implementing an omnichannel marketing campaign. What were the problems you faced? What will you avoid the next time around?

And in case you want to discuss your problems in this space or you need help to improve your results, I’m always an email away.