Real communication with customers
A question still hangs in the air, though: apart from a marketing refocus, why else has multichannel suddenly become so important to pharma? One reason is that doctors and HCPs are becoming harder to reach through traditional channels. Many have become resilient or impervious to the marketing initiatives of big pharma hitters, and face-to-face communications have suffered as a result.
Research has found that there is a direct correlation between marketing overkill and customers switching off. Customers want meaningful relationships that add value to patient outcomes. They also want to be in control of when, where and how they receive their information.
The rapid growth of information sources means that doctors, nurses, HCPs and patients are less reliant on material provided solely by pharma companies. Pharma now finds itself in a situation where it has to prove itself, not as a salesforce, but as a genuinely useful resource with a customer-focused agenda. Winning trust is essential. With the right datasets, pharma can achieve this. But creating a virtuous circle of improved relationships between patients, prescribers, payers and providers through enhanced multichannel mechanisms will require the collaboration of a wide range of health sector disciplines.
While strategies are being drawn up, above all, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a multichannel customer, rather individuals that want to enjoy a seamless, consistent, customer-oriented experience across the various channels they use. Multichannel, used wisely, has the potential to boost revenues and cut costs for pharma, while freeing up time for health care professionals and driving better patient outcomes.