The pandemic has left no industry untouched, and staying ahead of emerging trends has become the underscore driving force for many. This holds true even for pharma marketing teams, traditionally hindered by regulatory constraints. Now, the industry must embrace tech for improved strategies and enhanced customer engagement.
And data-driven insights. And we’re not the only ones who think so. In fact, in 2020 McKinsey reported that pharma has the second lowest digital maturity of all industries.
This means that the industry is missing out on the potential of digital transformation, and is falling behind the rest of the world. As a result, the industry is failing to capitalize on the potential to increase its efficiency and reduce costs. This has a direct impact on the industry’s ability to stay competitive, innovate, and respond to the needs of customers.
This is why the industry needs to embrace digital transformation to remain successful, raising another big question… How can pharma brands catch up?
Good news: there’s plenty of hope.
With plenty of hope and ways to catch up, we will be exploring CRM trends that help pharma marketers forge stronger connections with HCP (healthcare professionals), patients, and stakeholders. Each pharma marketing trend addressed presents us with opportunities for more impactful campaigns and stronger relationships.
Through discussing the challenges involved and the necessary strategies to adopt we will reach a more practical debate of why, and more importantly, how can a CRM like Platforce help pharma marketers.
Table of contents:
- 3 CRM Trends To Look Out For and Strategies To Adopt Them
- How Platforce Can Help
3 CRM Trends Shaping Pharma Marketing
We’re facing here three 3 CRM trends that are shaping up pharma marketing in 2023 and beyond:
- Digitalization – Embracing the power and dynamism of technology to revolutionize pharma marketing.
- The Remote Revolution: Championing agility and superior efficiency in the realm of virtual workspaces.
- Automation – Streamlining processes for enhanced productivity and effectiveness.
Let’s unpack each one.
Trend #1: Digitalization
Digitalization in pharma marketing is rapidly reshaping the industry, presenting a world of opportunities for those willing to embrace it.
3 ways that digitalization can help in the improvement of Pharma Marketing:
- Enhanced Reach and Engagement: Digitalization opens up new channels and platforms for reaching healthcare professionals (HCPs), patients, and stakeholders. It allows for targeted and personalized communication, enabling pharma companies to engage with their audience on a deeper level.
- Data-Driven Insights: Digitalization facilitates the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data, providing valuable insights into customer behaviors, preferences, and trends. These insights can inform marketing strategies, enabling companies to create more effective and tailored campaigns.
- Improved Customer Experience: Digital tools and platforms enable seamless and convenient interactions between pharma brands and their customers. From online portals to mobile applications, digitalization enhances the customer experience, making it easier for patients to access information, seek support, and manage their healthcare needs.
Challenges of Digitalization in Pharma Marketing:
Diving into the digital space, pharma marketing is presented with an abundance of opportunities but also some formidable hurdles. From navigating regulatory compliance to bridging skillset gaps, and tackling integration and change management, digitalization is a complex terrain for pharma companies.
- Regulatory Compliance: The pharma industry is subject to strict regulations and compliance requirements. Digitalization introduces new challenges in ensuring data privacy, maintaining regulatory compliance, and adhering to industry standards. Pharma companies must prioritize data security and compliance while leveraging digital solutions.
- Skillset and Talent Gap: Embracing digitalization requires a workforce equipped with the necessary skills and expertise. The pharma industry may face challenges in attracting and retaining talent with a deep understanding of digital marketing strategies, analytics, and emerging technologies.
- Integration and Change Management: Adopting digital solutions often involves integrating various systems, platforms, and data sources. This can be a complex process that requires careful planning and change management to ensure smooth transitions and maximize the benefits of digitalization.
Recommendations for Effective Adoption of Digitalization:
Navigating pharma marketing’s digital shift demands a robust strategy, talent upskilling, strict data security, and strategic partnerships, which we explore below.
- Develop a Digital Strategy: Create a comprehensive digital strategy that aligns with business objectives and customer needs. Identify key digital channels and tactics that can be leveraged to enhance engagement and reach. Prioritize areas that can deliver the most significant impact.
- Invest in Talent and Training: Develop a workforce with the skills and expertise to effectively navigate the digital landscape. Invest in training programs to upskill existing employees and recruit digital marketing specialists who can drive digital transformation within the organization.
- Ensure Data Security and Compliance: Implement robust data protection measures to safeguard sensitive information and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Partner with trusted technology providers and adopt industry best practices to maintain data security.
- Foster Collaboration and Partnerships: Collaborate with technology partners, digital agencies, and industry experts to leverage their expertise and stay updated on the latest digital trends. Seek opportunities for collaboration and partnerships that can drive innovation and accelerate digital transformation.
Here’s a list of things you can do to embrace digitalization:
- Conduct a digital readiness assessment to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.
- Develop a roadmap for digital transformation, outlining key milestones and initiatives.
- Invest in user-friendly and secure digital platforms to enhance customer experience.
- Leverage data analytics to gain insights and optimize marketing strategies.
- Establish clear metrics and KPIs to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing efforts.
- Foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning to adapt to the evolving digital landscape.
Embracing digitalization is no longer an option for the pharma industry but a necessity to thrive in a competitive environment.
By understanding the potential benefits, addressing the challenges, and implementing effective strategies to embrace digitalization pharma marketers can create effective marketing campaigns that connect with HCP(healthcare professionals) and patients on a deeper level.
Trend #2: Remote Work
The remote work trend has gained significant momentum across various industries, including pharma marketing. Remote work in pharma marketing is becoming increasingly popular as it allows the flexibility to work outside the office and manage projects from anywhere. The benefits don’t stop there.
Benefits of Remote Work in Pharma Marketing:
- Increased Flexibility: Remote work allows marketing teams to work from anywhere, promoting flexibility and work-life balance. It enables professionals to adapt their schedules to accommodate different time zones and the needs of healthcare professionals and patients which in turn will increase engagement rate with clients.
- Cost and Time Savings: Remote work eliminates the need for extensive travel and on-site meetings, resulting in cost and time savings. Teams can communicate and collaborate effectively through virtual platforms, reducing expenses related to travel, accommodation, and commuting.
- Access to a Diverse Talent Pool & Global Market: Remote work opens up opportunities to hire talent from different geographical locations. Companies can tap into a wider pool of skilled professionals, bringing in diverse perspectives and expertise to enhance their marketing strategies. Plus, access to a global talent pool also means access to more market that is not as prominent when relying on a traditional working model.
Working remotely might seem an easy-to-adopt trend, however, it remains a challenging undertaking, especially considering the complexity of the regulations involved and the implications to corporate processes.
Challenges of Remote Work in Pharma Marketing:
- Communication and Collaboration: Remote work can complicate team communication and collaboration due to factors like time zone differences and technical issues. To overcome these, it’s essential to establish effective communication channels, use collaborative tools, and foster an open, engaging team culture. Properly managed, these challenges can unlock the potential of a diverse, distributed workforce, boosting innovation and productivity.
- Data Security and Privacy: The pharma industry deals with sensitive patient data and confidential information. Remote work requires stringent measures to ensure data security, privacy, and compliance with regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, and GDPR. Implementing robust cybersecurity protocols and providing remote access to secure systems is essential.
- Maintaining Team Cohesion: Remote work can create a sense of isolation and hinder team cohesion. Efforts must be made to foster a sense of belonging and encourage regular interaction among team members. Virtual team-building activities and regular check-ins can help maintain a strong team bond.
While these challenges might be troublesome and hard to navigate, we believe proper planning will make it easier.
Recommendations for Effective Adoption of Remote Work:
- Establish Clear Communication Channels: Utilize video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management tools to facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among remote teams. Encourage regular check-ins and establish clear guidelines for virtual meetings and discussions.
- Invest in Mobile CRM Solutions: Enable sales reps working remotely to access CRM tools and data through mobile applications. Mobile CRM solutions like Platforce, empower sales reps to stay connected, access real-time information, and effectively manage customer interactions while on the go.
- Prioritize Cybersecurity: Implement robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive data and protect against potential cyber threats. Utilize secure VPN connections, two-factor authentication, and data encryption to ensure data security while working remotely.
- Foster a Remote-Friendly Culture: Encourage a culture of trust, accountability, and autonomy among remote teams. Provide necessary support, resources, and training to enable employees to thrive in a remote work environment. Foster a sense of camaraderie through virtual team-building activities and recognition programs.
Embracing remote work in pharma marketing offers opportunities for increased productivity, cost savings, and access to a global talent pool. By addressing the challenges and implementing the recommended strategies, pharma companies can effectively leverage remote work to enhance their marketing efforts, improve collaboration, and drive business growth in the evolving digital landscape.
Trend #3: Automation
Automation is revolutionizing pharma marketing by streamlining processes and optimizing efficiency. This trend involves the use of automation tools and technologies to handle repetitive tasks, improve accuracy, and free up valuable time for marketers to focus on high-value activities.
Automation offers several potential benefits for pharma marketing:
- Increased Efficiency: By automating manual and repetitive tasks, such as data entry, lead nurturing, and campaign management, pharma marketers can save time and resources. This allows them to allocate their efforts towards strategic initiatives and decision-making processes.
- Improved Accuracy: Automation reduces the risk of human errors and inconsistencies in data management and analysis. By relying on automated systems like Platforce’s built-in data analytics capabilities, pharma companies can ensure data integrity and make informed decisions based on reliable and accurate information.
- Enhanced Personalization: Automation enables marketers to deliver personalized and targeted content to healthcare professionals and patients. By leveraging customer data and automation tools, pharma companies can tailor their marketing messages and campaigns to individual preferences and needs.
However, implementing automation in pharma marketing also comes with certain challenges:
- Integration Complexity: Integrating different systems and technologies can be complex and time-consuming. Pharma companies may need to invest in compatible software solutions and ensure seamless data flow across platforms to fully leverage the benefits of automation.
- Data Quality and Management: Automation relies heavily on data, so data quality and ethically managing it is critical. It’s crucial to ensure data accuracy, consistency, and compliance with privacy regulations. Regular data cleansing and monitoring processes are necessary to maintain data integrity.
- Balancing Automation and Human Touch: While automation offers efficiency and scalability, it’s important to strike a balance between automation and human interaction. Building trust and relationships with healthcare professionals and patients still require a human touch, and pharma marketers must find the right balance between automated processes and personal connections.
Recommendations for Effective Adoption and Leveraging of Automation:
- Identify Automation Opportunities: Conduct a thorough assessment of existing processes and identify areas that can benefit from automation. Prioritize tasks that are time-consuming, repetitive, or prone to errors. This includes lead scoring, email marketing automation, customer segmentation, and reporting.
- Invest in Robust Automation Tools: Select automation tools and software solutions that align with your specific needs and integrate well with existing systems. Look for platforms that offer features such as workflow automation, data analytics, and campaign management to streamline marketing processes.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: Leverage automation tools to collect and analyze customer data for insights. Use these insights to inform marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions. Regularly review and refine automated processes based on data analysis to optimize results.
- Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: Regularly monitor automated processes and their impact on key performance indicators (KPIs). Identify areas for improvement and iterate on your automation strategies. Continuously analyze data and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal outcomes.
By now you might be wondering,
How pharma marketers can use tools like Platforce to stay ahead
Unlike other CRMs in the market, Platforce is one of the few CRM developed with the needs of the pharma industry in mind, especially when it comes to its marketing needs as we see a bigger gap in the market that hasn’t been addressed completely.
Platforce’s built-in capabilities are made to support pharma teams working both on-site and remotely, regardless of the location barrier. Having an advanced built-in data analytics capability and highly customizable features that fit the client’s workflow make Platforce a CRM-CLM solution that marketers can count on at all times.
Pharma marketers can’t postpone addressing challenges such as regulatory compliance, talent gap, communication, data security, and finding the right balance between automation and human touch.
And from what we discussed earlier, it’s clear that these trends offer opportunities for improved customer experiences, flexibility, increased efficiency, and personalized marketing. By facing reality head-on, and with help from a CRM such as Platforce, pharma marketers can navigate the market, while staying competitive in the evolving digital landscape.
Curious about how Platforce manages this in real life?