8 December 2022
The pharmaceutical market is quite specific. Historically, there has been a resistance to innovations and new technologies in pharma. On the one hand, this is due to the stability of the market and on the other hand, some marketers used to be not very keen on the introduction of new technologies.
There is also a lot of regulation in this market, which is really huge compared to other sectors. Probably the pharmaceutical market is only as regulated as the alcohol market and partially the banking sector. Sometimes marketers cannot defend their position in disputes with lawyers and pharmasists, which is a big problem.
Digital marketing in pharma
In the early 2010s, the paradigm of the pharma marketer has come across the concept of Digital. A word that is now commonly used everywhere and under any circumstances. In fact, people often bring a lot of their own speculations to this concept when there is not a full understanding of the complexity. On the one hand, the word is trendy, but on the other hand, it is sacred in a certain way, because all companies want to improve their digital transformation, although few in the market have managed to do so.
Nowadays, digital is not always attributed to the adequate functions and meanings it actually recognized for. In the mind of an average marketer, using digital means create any kind of activity: launching spacecraft, transmitting information into the consumer’s brain, using robots.
This, of course, is not true, because first of all, digital paradigm is a set of communication channels and methods of communication. There are channels that everyone is used to: television, outdoor advertising. In digital marketing, the existing channels are often mirrored, just in a slightly different form or manner.
Digital transformation refers to technologies that help increase sales, and communicate with more consumers using innovative digital tools.
If we talk about digital transformation, it is worth introducing the concept of digital maturity, which shows a company’s place in modern digital marketing.
Digital maturity is the ability to properly use technology, communication channels and manage these channels to accelerate sales and extend their own margins.
Stages of digital maturity
There are four stages in digital maturity story. Moving up from the initial level to the end level brings direct benefits to a pharma company. The transition from one stage to the next one can be seen in the acceleration of sales growth per se.
All stages are closely linked to the use of predictive data, data on sales, customers, partners, markets, that are used for communication processes.
The first stage of digital maturity (Nascent) is the use of external data and external tools. For example, launching ads on Google or Facebook to reach a specific audience. Or using B2B databases and digital tools for targeting and lead generation – a solution like EasyList.
The second stage of digital maturity (Emerging) is the use of generated data to launch and optimise activities across individual channels.
Stage three of digital maturity (Connected) – customer and sales data are integrated into the ecosystem and used simultaneously to launch cross-channel campaigns, with a direct correlation to increasing ROI and sales.
The fourth stage of digital maturity (Multi-Moment) – dynamically leveraging multiple channels simultaneously. Campaign optimization is to be performed not at the level of audiences or user groups, but at the level of each customer – it is the active use of technologies and external data.
Most companies, especially in the FMCG (consumer goods) segment, technology companies and banks have been already well advanced. They rank between Emerging and Connected statuses. These companies have learned how to use data and data processing tools to increase sales growth.
For example, a manufacturer used to send customized newsletters with some tailored offers. Or he prefers to use audience targeting in media campaigns to avoid covering all categories of people. In this case companies turn to professional companies where data about potential customers are integrated into a specific search ecosystem – for example, the online database generator EasyList. Such data can influence the intensity of prospecting and lead generation, communication with potential customers and real-time sales pipeline management.
Everyone needs to grow up to Data Driven Marketing. This stage is called Multi-Moment, where all business communications are linked to data which are dynamically updated from multiple channels.
In fact, these are real-time multichannel distribution models. In pharma terms, this means that real-time data on existing sales are enriched with data on new leads based on continuous monitoring of B2B databases. As a result, you would end up with your own database of prospects with whom you can start communicating immediately.
Elements of digital marketing
With each stage, the number of connections and the number of elements in these ecosystems dramatically increase. The backbone of a digital marketing system will always be the analytics platform, and to top it in the later stages you have a Data Warehouse from where all data are aggregated and transferred to different subsystems.
With each subsequent stage you connect more and more automated marketing systems that work on the basis of merged logics, exchange data between themselves, can launch specific advertising campaigns, pick up the necessary creative elements to strengthen the response from consumers.
Now we understand how our communication online and offline affects sales. There are also a number of other factors that influence sales in the pharmaceutical sector and are related to the season of year, competitor activity, development of new categories and general market conditions.
Therefore, pharmaceutical companies are only at the start of the journey to effectively use digital sales promotion tools and to bring prospecting into the digital dimension.
Kompass EasyList is an outstanding solution for those pharmaceutical companies looking to move from traditional sales techniques to innovative digital prospecting channels. With just a few clicks you will get a ready-to-go database of wholesale buyers, distributors and importers of pharmaceutical products and equipment in any of the 70 countries represented.
Still need more advice or information? We look forward to hearing from you!