Commercial Pharma Trends for the New Year
The push for multi-channel marketing tactics by pharmaceutical companies has increased drastically since the pandemic-induced lockdown affected our day-to-day lives. Pharmaceutical companies have traditionally relied on salespeople and Medical Science Liaison’s (MSL’s) for one-on-one conversations with physicians and other clients. With many commercial field teams being grounded during the beginning of the quarantine, companies have been forced to pivot from these face-to-face interactions with customers for product promotion to non-personal promotion (NPP). How do you inform a provider of a new copay benefit your company is offering when their office is shut down and all their time is spent on telehealth meetings with patients?
Companies are taking steps to lessen their reliance on field forces as the sole channel for customer interaction. The need for digitally savvy pharmaceutical marketing professionals to drive change and create innovative tactics for product promotion has never been higher. Email, website and other digital marketing channels are combined with print publications as effective, measurable means to reach the target audience.
The Importance of Digital Tools
Generally, the pharmaceutical industry has lagged behind when it comes to the digital transformation most industries have experienced over the last decades. Privacy concerns play a factor in this – people just aren’t as willing to make a Facebook post about a new medication they just started using as they would be to post about a new outfit they just bought.
There is a sense that in our post-pandemic world, face-to-face interactions with customers will not return to their pre-pandemic levels. Companies would be wise to invest in their multi-channel marketing capabilities – upskilling their marketing teams on the digital front and bringing in talent that can synchronize promotional materials and messages through social media, search, web, B2B channels (hospitals, GPOs), in office (waiting room) etc.
To be clear, the field force is certainly not going away any time soon. The strategic vision for companies should be to augment the impact of the field force and to enable them to thrive in a more digitally focused age. Data and analytics also play a key role here – companies are striving to use more integrated sales and marketing data to run campaign algorithms based on it. Technically savvy professionals will be very knowledgeable about analytics, KPIs, adjusting performance in real time with agile marketing. It is critical to understand what needs to be measured and what adjustments need to be made.
Securing Talent in 2021
With the COVID-19 pandemic sending shock waves through the global economic and health systems, the acronym “VUCA” – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous – seems to perfectly describe the world we live in today. The EPM Scientific Commercial Recruitment Team prioritizes the importance of bringing in talent who are comfortable dealing with the unexpected to the clients we support.
Get in touch today to discuss a recruitment strategy to make sure you have the right commercial talent in place to tackle the challenges in the year ahead.