Skip navigation

Did you know that $38 billion in branded drugs faced generic copies in 2013, and $142 billion was lost to patent protection by 2014?  Did you also know that drug manufacturers face 80% of revenue loss after the first year of generics?  According to EyeforPharma’s recently published industry health check report, 85% of respondents agree that patient-centricity is the best route for future profitability. With the lifetime value of brands decreasing, and the importance of patient-centricity increasing, how can pharmaceutical companies balance the brand-patient methods?

 

I reached out to Chris Cullmann, SVP Engagement Strategy at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, to understand how he advises top healthcare organizations in the practices of brand engagement.

 

Pharma is recognizing the need to place additional focus on the patient. How should companies balance brand and patient engagement, and how do the two compliment each other? 1300179.jpg

Pharmaceutical companies need to begin using digital channels, and that data, to help focus where they’re serving their messages.  They must also ensure that they are being sensitive to how a patient or a healthcare professional is going to engage, and what value is being delivered to them.

 

Pharma also needs to practice general sensitivity to people’s health and understand where they have the permission, and authority, to enter into that conversation. They’re not invited into all those conversations.  When considering the data, companies need to pause and ask, before including their brand in the conversation; “is this really a space that we’re going to be welcome?  Is this fertile ground for us to really have a dialogue about our brand?”

 

That’s the lens companies need to begin to look through when building communication strategies and tactical development.

 

 

The trend across pharma is “thinking beyond the pill” and really defining value. What recommendations do you have for pharmaceutical companies developing a focus on the value they offer for their patients? How can these companies begin to define what that value actually is?

I think for different brands that’s a different response. If we look at an oncology brand, you could have a physician who’s prescribing an oncology product which is incredibly beneficial, but may also have very bad side effects. It may be quite a challenge for the patients to be on the drug, but remain compliant. What does it look like when they begin to have that communication with the physician about the choices they’re making in regards to prescribing it?  Not only is it standard of care, but is there going to be coverage? Is this part of the practice’s regiment of prescribing drugs?

 

But also look at it from the patient’s perspective, where a lot of these conversations happen around value.   Companies must define how they begin to help the patient understand what those side effects are, and why they’re present, and why compliance is so important.  They must identify how to have those conversations with the caregivers who are caring for a patient, loved one, family member, or a spouse.

 

These patients and caregivers are online, searching for answers, finding advocacy groups, and discovering the brand.com. Pharmaceutical companies must begin to help curate this information.  But companies must understand what they have the authority and permission to speak about. Healthcare brands must know they can own the conversation around their drugs.

 

What’s the product, what are the side effects, how do we support the patients?

How do we actually have communications? What does pill-plus look like? When you move past pill schedulers, apps, and compliance tools, what do those campaigns look like? What does that communication look like and what does that core value look like when it goes back out to the patients and healthcare professionals?  Companies must also define what actually happens when a patient has been engaged with the brand and travels through the patient journey.

 

But what happens when patients and healthcare professionals proactively reach out? Outside of personal communication, where you have a rep involved, what are those channels where physicians and patients can begin to interact with the pharmaceutical company to really get answers to questions? Many healthcare companies have fully established call-in numbers that are staffed with nurses and category experts.   But how do companies move beyond those phone numbers into the modern paradigm of communication, where it’s social, two-way communication via chat, or email where you’re going to reach a brand expert and have that dialogue happen in a very quick turnaround?

 

 

What recommendations would you give companies about providing the right message at the right time, with the right tone?

Search, both paid and organic fills in this gap especially well. The right message at the right time and the right tone can be fulfilled by a landing page and search strategy.  One of the things the life sciences industry doesn’t do well is set up landing page architectures that really begin to look at answering questions as people key them into search.  Technology has trained the user, patient, and healthcare professional, to use semantic search, and just ask questions, both in a browser and through voice search.  There’s a lot of opportunity in serving up those responses to the audiences. 

 

This is an opportunity to be there when the user searches, both through paid and organic search, but then retargeting that person to make sure that you’ve answered those questions and haven’t missed the opportunity for engagement.  Whether they’re a payer, a healthcare professional, or a caregiver, they are someone who is wandering, looking for information. Companies must reach out to this person in innovative ways; through display advertisements, picking the person up again in an app inside of another channel, a podcast, website, even personal communication where it’s pertinent.

 

 

With the recommendations that you’ve just defined, how do you recommend these pharmaceutical companies approach the use of social media to deliver, measure, and evolve the message that they’re trying to communicate?

I might point to a program like Gilenya.  They’re actually identifying patients who are hand-raisers and identifying themselves as suffers from the disease.  Novartis is proactively reaching out to them and using an 800-number in order to pull them into a channel, which they already have a very rich architecture and ecosystem to engage with the patient, and fully support them.  It’s an excellent example of using multiple channels to be proactive and treat the patient.  

 

Conducting outreach as a response to data is another example of how companies can begin to use not only social media, but digital media in order to make those decisions.  Companies think physicians put on a lab coat and stop being consumers.  A common objection to social media is “healthcare professionals aren’t talking about patients on social media”. And from a HIPAA compliance standpoint, that’s true.  But must career professionals don’t go home at night and start Tweeting about the clients they’ve worked with during the day.  However, there is a lot of searching, hashtaging, conference following, and online associations people engage with.  This is very telling in regards to what physicians are doing in their day-to-day lives, and how we might be able to affect some of the decision making.

 

And this is true not only around actually writing prescriptions, but those people who hold influence over policy inside organizations.  There are a lot of healthcare brands that are dealing with some very serious therapies that are truly beneficial.  In order to really gain scale in mass, companies need to begin to target not just the physicians who are writing prescriptions, but those who really have influence over what the organization does from a standards of care standpoint, as well as those people who hold influence over policy.

 

 

To the listen to the entire interview with Chris, please click here.

Accenture published a paper on the “Rebirth of the Pharmaceutical Sales Force”. Accenture states that he sales rep is not disappearing, but rather is evolving.  With a change in buyer profiles, the audience pharmaceutical reps are responsible for is becoming more complex.  This is especially true when you consider the role of Integrated Delivery Networks.  According to Accenture, IDNs own more than 60 percent of physician group practices.  It’s these IDNs that now define treatment protocols.

 

I reached out industry thought leader and Director at Nuvera Life Science Consulting, Brad Davidson.  As a social scientist with a background in linguistics and anthropology, Brad has studied the art and science of medicine and medical interactions, including rep interactions, in particular.  Now focused on helping companies optimize the customer experience, Brad was very frank about the role IDNs can and should play in optimizing that patient or caregiver experience.  We discussed the role of IDNs, their impact on pharma, and considerations for the industry moving forward. 14d43b8.jpg

 

What is the impact of IDNs on treatment?

We’ve always thought about the clinician as a decision-maker but they don’t make as many decisions as they used to. What people don’t fully understand is that we’re in an era of full on de-professionalization, where professionals can no longer act as they see fit in a vacuum. .    In the past, doctors selected doctors and doctors trained doctors, and doctors were free to prescribe however they wanted to prescribe—no one challenged them.  But today, doctors don’t run hospitals anymore, hospital administrators do.  The individual experts are no longer in charge of the decisions, the system increasingly is.  Today, even if the physician writes a prescription, if it’s not on label the patient likely won’t get it.

 

We’ve moved to a system-based process and we’ve come to despise expertise.  We’ve created a push-pull system where doctors have very little autonomy. The push is that doctors have become, essentially, employees in many cases, not independent professionals, and thisplays into therapy selection.  The pull is better data--companies can run real-world experiments in what works and what doesn’t, that extend beyond the limits of clinical trials and leverage financial modeling, health economics modeling, and experiential modeling.  No one doctor can keep up with all of these trials and all of this data.  You don’t want one physician treating patients eleven years behind the curve, and in an integrated system, you can’t do it anyway. To manage the emerging level of data, systems are needed for decision making.

 

What is the impact of IDNs on the sales model?

The industry as a whole is a laggard in making changes to their business model and is struggling with the transactional nature of the business.  Younger HCPs would rather self-educate via edetailing at home in the evening.  This leaves many companies wondering “how do we keep the field force busy?”

 

Small biotech companies are performing better because they didn’t grow up in the age of large sales forces free to walk the halls.  There are also some medical device companies that are getting back to a field force focus to train clinicians on device usage, because that fits an educational need. 

 

The big thing, I think, when selling to the IDNs is to be able to answer the “prove it” and “show me” questions that tend to be their response.  Pilot programs are trending as is the desire for content relevant to their interests.  There’s a huge gap in content delivered.  .

 

If pharmaceutical sales reps are going to succeed, they must be able to talk about experiential outcomes.

 

How can pharmaceutical companies adjust for the role of IDNs?

  1. Communicate more aggressively to patients.  Patients are taking more responsibility for their health and treatment.  They are researching their condition and evaluating treatment options.  Companies cannot discount the role of the patient.
  2. Talk to new audiences.   Companies that are best-in-class are dedicating resources and effort to identifying underutilized audiences.  There’s an example of one company that has an entire sales force targeted to pathologist. While the pathologists don’t make decisions, this company is trying to build relationships with those people who have lived in the hospital basement looking at slides because the tests pathologists run are determining treatment algorithms.  Remember that modeling is being done by payers, health economics research groups, and chief medical officers.  Influencers to those audience groups are key.
  3. Communicate to payers.  Communicate value regarding health data outcomes and budget impact models.  Call on new people and bring new data to the conversation.
  4. Improve your segmentation.  Consider segmentation by context.  Is your HCP audience constrained by formulary?  If so, don’t waste efforts on those outside of the approved formulary. Work more at a policy level.  Understand the decision-making algorithms about how and when to treat.

 

The shift in decision-making is having an impact on both the marketing and sales models for life science companies. More than ever, companies must segment, target, and personalize communications and educational information. Companies must understand the needs of defined audiences, and identify the opportunity in new audience segments. Sales must also have insight into the behavior and interests of each of these audiences, as well as the relationships across key influencers.

 

Brad concluded our discussion with this piece of advice; “We’re moving to algorithmic advice.  But it’s becoming impersonal.  The group that can tie algorithmic advice to personal experience will win.”

 

How is your organization working to personalize the oftentimes impersonal experience?

6-takeaways-for-the-new-healthcare-experience-1-638.jpg

VIEW SLIDESHARE

 

 

Patient centered full continuum care management

Healthcare organizations recognize that they must focus on the entire care management lifecycle.  To do this they must target communications around healthcare offerings.  Example: a company started a marketing campaign to target woman age 30-50 for their cosmetic procedure. Shortly after the campaign launched, the company realized a better target for their procedure is males over the age of 65. 

Organizations must also extend this life-cycle focus and care management content across multiple channels.  Google Think surveys found that 76% of patients were using hospital websites for research, compared to 32% using TV, 20% using magazines and 18% using newspapers. Of patients who found physicians and private practices on their mobile devices, 44% scheduled an appointment. Year-over-year the number of consumers using mobile devices to search for healthcare services increased 22%. 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their phones.

It’s imperative that healthcare organizations understand what content should be delivered to each audience segment, and across the appropriate channel.

 

The social/digital connection with physicians: 

Patients are leveraging social, and so are physicians.  This photosharing app for providers is a great example .  Like Instagram so providers can share cases (anonymously) and get provider feedback. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/10/tech/figure1-photos-medical-app/index.html

 

The following quotes summarize this succinctly;

Social engagement is no limited to the major channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  To meet regulatory risk concerns some organizations are building their own social platform that physicians can use to self-educate and engage with one another. You can’t control the conversation but you can be a part of it.  Utilize your advocates.  Be authentic. Remember that response is important.”- Shannon Hartley, Managing Partner, Healthcare Industry Leader Rosetta

“Not responding to a social post is like not answering the phone.  Some of our biggest mistakes were underestimating the volume as well as the commitment around the activity required.  Develop a digital scorecard.  Measure engagement. Evaluate the volume and response.  Begin to understand the sentiment around both your organization and your competitors.” - Darren Rodgers, SVP and CMO Healthcare Service Corporation

 

Alignment/employment  physician who understand today’s healthcare environment

Jackson Healthcare adopted a “give more than we ask” attitude which resulted in strong physician relationships and an engaged community.  With marketing automation technology you can better emerge as a Thought Leader. Survey and identify trends amongst physicians.  Drive Community Development. Recognize the best practices and successes in your community. Engage by Giving More than Getting.  Connect with research and proven best practices

 

Optum cracked into the c-suite through smart content marketing.

Optum has achieved what many organizations struggle with, they have successfully engaged with the C-Suite.  When launching their new Accountable Care Solution they revamped their content marketing efforts.  By identifying and mapping their content journey, Optum has connected, and engaged, with key decision makers by delivering the information they're most interested in.   And they've done this using a smart form strategy.  By developing a unified content journey consisting of 6 pieces, Optum established themselves as a trusted advisor in the arena of health reform.  Optum also focused their content efforts.  They targeted their content on organizations that were chosen by Medicare to participate in its Pioneer ACO pilot and its Medicare Shared Savings Program.  These efforts resulted in a 700% improvement in sales accepted leads.

 

Monitor physician relations advancement of hospital strategies and Monitor 360-degree physician activity

Healthcare organizations are working to access a 360-degree view of their relationship with the physicians. Organizations should track all activities related to the physicians, their affiliations, issues, comments and preferences and their referrals.  This information should be captured within CRM systems but also passed into marketing cloud technology to dictate segmentation and personalization. 

By capturing the explicit and implicit information across the integrated systems, organizations can monitor the performance of physician liaisons and referring physicians by viewing reports and dashboards. Analyze this data to understand how liaison activities are leading to referrals and commercial value.

 

“As quick as the patient wants information and feedback, physicians want it faster.  More and more physicians are using their mobile devices.  Clinicians are having text conversations with physicians via their mobile devices.  You must also commit understanding the needs of the patient in both content and content delivery.  For example, don’t overemphasize the value of videos.  Healthcare wants to build a video for everything, but videos don’t engage the patient.  Videos are often boring and disenfranchise the patient.” - Margaret Coughlin, SVP and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer with Boston Children’s Hospital

 

Analytical information

Support Your Decisions With Data.  Healthcare organizations can finally obtain that data insight to make smarter business decisions. By capturing and analyzing an individual’s Digital Body Language across all channels, companies cannot only develop that sought after universal profile but also understand things like cost of recruitment efforts, cost of acquiring new physicians, and effectiveness of their communication outreach across regions. 

Organizations can also begin to understand revenue potential.  You can see programs are not only driving the most engagement, but are also the most revenue.  You can also begin to understand which resources have the greatest potential to grow revenue and which are generating the greatest return on investment.  In short, you can identify which resources and programs to invest in. 

Through the development of strong content, unification of digital channels, and focus on data forensics healthcare organizations can grow revenue, increase quality without sacrificing volume, recruit and retain physicians, and make strategic business decisions based on fact, not opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


According to a report by IDC, sixty-eight percent of life science companies are expected to increase overall sales and marketing IT spending.  Additionally, total IT spend in the sales and marketing space is now exceeding $3 billion. And while it’s exciting to see life science companies making an investment in their sales and marketing initiatives, many are not thoroughly qualifying their objectives before making these long-term investments.

 

Without base-lining current programs and defining future objectives and KPIs, many companies may find they’ve implemented a solution that doesn’t meet their needs and deliver the customer experience they desired.

 

Below are 32 questions for life science companies to answer as they consider future marketing and sales technology investments.

 

  1. What is our current focus and effort, as well as desired focus and effort, across clinicians, patients, caregivers, payers, hospitals, pharmacies, and policymakers? 
  2. When targeting clinicians are we focusing on a specialist or the entire care team involved in treatment? 
  3. What programs do we currently execute to educate and influence clinicians about our services and offerings? 
  4. What programs do we currently execute to educate, support, and enable patients in both the pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis stages?  BL_0811_WrBk1-art.jpg
  5. What is the performance of each of our programs across each persona?
  6. Which offers engage each persona, and do these offers vary by need, or are we simply offering coupons across the board?
  7. Have we audited and mapped our content to each persona and journey?
  8. Have we defined our content gaps and developed a plan for further content development?
  9. How do we approach formulary approval and what programs, if any, do we execute to the payer audience?
  10. Do we focus on organic list development, or do we rely entirely on rented lists for HCPs?
  11. How do we build lists organically for patients via inbound marketing efforts (blogs, display ads, portals) or do they rely on referrals from HCPs?
  12. We link to non-branded disease awareness websites.  Have we clearly defined what role these sites play in our communication strategy?
  13. We talk about improving our social media initiatives. Do we want to use social to build disease communities, deliver wellness programs, educate on drug development, increase brand awareness or are the social channels more for sharing corporate information?
  14. What are our “offers” used to drive digital ad conversion in publications and are they targeted for that publication’s audiences?
  15. What are our hit rates?  What web traffic is coming from each channel?  Do we know who are visitors are, how long they stay, where they navigate to, and which pages they bounce from?
  16. Which links and offers are driving the most conversions to each brand?  Are we converting to a brand page or to a corporate page?
  17. Have we defined the journey for each of our audiences?  How does the journey for HCPs, patients, caregivers and payers differ for those brands?
  18. Are we segmenting communications based on data like sales rep, region, CME due date, state licensed, primary specialty, school, advisory board member, disease, medication adherence behavior, patient community, or clinical research participation?
  19. Are we personalizing our communications and targeting offers based on state licensed, sample program, CME due date, primary specialty, advisory board member, disease, medication adherence behavior, patient community, or clinical research participation?
  20. Are we evaluating metrics and reporting around communication performance by region, specialty, sales rep, disease, clinical trial, and medication?
  21. Are we evaluating metrics and reporting for advocate referral opportunity by region, specialty, advisory board participation, and school?
  22. What has been the adoption rate of previous marketing and sales technology?  Why have some systems succeeded, and others failed?
  23. Which marketing technologies and products are we currently using?
  24. What is our main goal in utilizing marketing technologies?
  25. How do our marketing technologies currently work together?
  26. What’s working well?  What would we like to work better?
  27. How is data integrated into our current marketing process?
  28. What is the biggest challenge we are facing with our efforts?
  29. Which initiatives are currently prioritized in our company?
  30. What results do we want to see over the coming 12 months?
  31. Should we consider a digital marketing center of excellence?
  32. How do we define success?  What are those KPIs we want to point to as a marketing organization?  Does our technology allow us to report on those segmented metrics as well as C-Level metrics?

 

The 32 questions may be very easy for some companies to answer, but difficult for others.  Not all questions may apply to each company, and there are certainly many more considerations for companies as they evaluate resource and budget requirements.

 

What these questions should do is jog the strategic mind of life science marketers.  Ensure there is a firm understanding of baseline programs and performance, and defined direction for future initiatives and KPIs.

 

As you consider future marketing and sales investment, what questions would you add to the list?

It Started With A Hernia

My Husband had double hernia surgery.  While I'm sure he's thrilled I'm sharing that information, his experience was a fascinating in-the-field research study for me.  Once his surgery was scheduled, all pre-surgical paperwork and registration occurred online, a week before the procedure.  The payer coverage was confirmed, data was captured, and medical history was documented. The morning of the surgery we arrived at the hospital and were taken right back to the pre-op room where pre-op procedures began.  With the exception of a few verification questions, no additional paperwork was required and everything in the hospital's system was accurate and up-to-date. 64-IMG_8302.JPG

 

As they administered his IV and took vitals, a video played on the large TV in his room explaining the procedure, the process of administering the anesthesia, and what to expect after recovery.  After he was wheeled back I could order his prescription from the same TV and have it delivered to the room.  Throughout the procedure I would receive calls to my cell, from the surgery staff, providing updates.  I could also watch a screen that would provide a status update (using a patient code) of where he was in pre-surgery, prep, operations, recovery, and post-op. Once released, we received discharge instructions in paper form that were also available on the portal.  Over the next few days my Husband could log on to the portal, see test results, and post questions to his surgeon for follow-up.

 

But It Stopped With The Discharge

But that's where the seamless patient experience ended.  Once we left the hospital, all proactive communications ended.  My Husband had a series of side effects but when he posted his questions to the portal, he never heard back.  His test results were never posted.  He found out the results a week and a half later at a follow-up appointment. And at the follow-up appointment there were no FAQs provided, or a physician discussion guide offered, to help him get the most out of his visit.

 

Like most experiences, communication tends to falter in the "post-event" process.  One industry is starting to improve on this experience.

 

A Lesson Learned From Sports Entertainment

Sports Entertainment has developed a focus on the "driveway to driveway fan experience".  This is the experience a fan has from the time they leave home, to their time spent at the stadium, to their return home. Sports teams are driving engagement with fans through communications focused on a fan's favorite player, favorite opponent, birthday, or other personal data.

 

By leveraging the data on the fan these sports teams can send targeted promotions via SMS before the fan leaves for the game.  Once at the game the stadium can send push communications based on personal preferences, stadium purchases, and game activity.  As the fan leaves the stadium follow-up communications, surveys, offers, and game highlights can be shared with the fan through email, social media, and SMS. Many sports teams have noticed a marked improvement in ticket purchases, season ticket subscription renewals, and NPS improvements.

 

A Driveway-To-Driveway Experience

The hospital got the pre-surgery and procedure communications right.  But they should've focused on the entire driveway-to-driveway experience.  Noting that my Husband has a history of adverse reactions to anesthesia could've triggered a follow-up email about possible side effects, like back pain. Having a nurse call that evening or the next day could've alleviated concern over pain and side effects of the pain medication.  Responding to the posted questions on the patient portal could've eliminated inbound calls to the nurse team and unnecessary follow-up visits.

 

While the hospital isn't looking for us to be "returning guests" like a sports team, they are concerned with re-admittance rates that can result from improper post-op care. The hospital does care about patient satisfaction scores, NPS, and developing advocates that can result in referrals and donations.  Through a driveway-to-driveway program, hospitals can generated their desired results, and patients can experience the continued care and follow-up required after leaving the hospital.

 

How are you developing a driveway-to-driveway experience for your patients?

63-a-prescription-for-effective-marketing-aligning-hcps-with-the-patient-experience-1-638.jpg

VIEW SLIDESHARE

Awareness and recognition, presentation and diagnosis, treatment selection, brand selection and access, switching and persistency.  Those are the phases of the patient journey as practiced by many companies.  And that's a good patient-centric journey to follow, but is there something missing?  According to the Industry Healthcheck 2014 report, 85% of respondents agree that patient-centricity is the best route to future profitability.  And many companies are adjusting their strategy to focus on that patient journey. Through mobile applications, drug conversion and medication adherence programs, and patient portals, pharmaceutical companies are working to provide content that guides the patient through a journey.

But it's important to remember that each patient is unique in how their condition changes over time.  Healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies must align to communicate to the patient the right information at the right stage of disease progression.  As a pharmaceutical organization you must become that information concierge. You must help facilitate the conversations between the patients and HCPs.  By enabling the patient to self-advocate and educating the HCPs on therapies and pre and post therapy wellness services, you can become this facilitator.  This is what will gain favor and access to the those hard to see HCPs.


So let's look at some best practices and examples of how to effectively educate, enable, and facilitate.


Ensure your key message meets the needs of the patients at each specific point in their disease progression

If you have a prostate cancer patient recently diagnosed, offer him support through a patient advocacy network.  If the patient is beginning radiation or chemotherapy treatments offer informative content developed by compatible POLs as well as recipes for meals that will alleviate nausea.

Janssen Healthcare has created several "Care4Today" programs.  These programs provide support that extends throughout the entire patient journey.  Their mental health solutions provide support for both the healthcare team (staff, administrators, and implementation managers) and patients from diagnosis to ongoing management. They offer patient and facilitator workbooks and videos, web and mobile tools, reminder services, and outcome analysis. Their objective is to educate everyone that's a part of the journey to reduce relapse and re-hospitalization.


Understand that a strong inbound strategy is necessary to drive engagement with patients, and this cannot occur alone

Healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies must align to provide the best care and support to the patient.  In the case of Bayer's drug, Xofigo, they decided on a micro-approach.  They focused on 41 comprehensive cancer hospitals across Canada.  They implemented a key account management approach.  Bayer also developed workshops to educate the entire treatment team from HCPs to hospital administrators on radiation safety and technology. Work with these HCPs to deliver the content required for patient support.


Enable patients to self-educate about impending condition experiences before they occur

Deliver an FAQ sheet. This should contain information on common questions asked by patients of the disease. It should also contain a list of questions the patient should ask to the HCP during their next visit.  Shift from a marketing mindset to that of a facilitator of helpful information.  You no longer market and brand your drug, you connect patients and caregivers with information that helps and heals. 

An example of fantastic patient-centric content can be found on Genentech's Rheumatoid Arthritis site. Every piece of content on this site is written with the patient in mind. In fact, most of the content is written by actual RA patients.  You can read each of their bios under the "Meet the Experts" section.   Patients can find how-to videos on cooking with RA, daily inspirational quotes published by patients, community polls requesting input on future site development, expectations around lifestyle adjustment, healthy tips and advice for staying productive.  There's an "Around the Home" section that provides advice on setting up the kitchen, fashion tips, and easy to use household tools for RA patients. The site also provides content for the families and caregivers as well as doctor discussion content.  Every "offer" on the site is educational in nature.  The only form on the site does not lead to drug information, rather it offers a treatment tracking journal.  This helpful content also extends to their brand site. Their use of infographics provides perspective around the condition.

 

Develop healthy living communications that educate both patients and caregivers on proper diet, exercise and medication consumption

These communications should be very specific to the disease of the patient as well as the disease stage of the patient.  Exercise and diet restrictions will vary by disease and condition stage and this communication must be adjusted accordingly.  Also consider a medication notification form.  This form should allow patients and caregivers to set-up alerts for medication email reminders and track medication adherence in a format that can be easily shared with the HCP.

Apps are a fantastic way to deliver interactive content that promotes healthy lifestyles and medication adherence.  Bayer has an app to help MS patients manage meds.  Novartis' oncology division produced a few apps too, such as My Acro Manager to help patients with Acromegaly track test results, medication updates and improve their knowledge of their condition.  Medication adherence apps and a tool to track symptoms from HIV treatment are among Merck's apps.  Many of these apps are also utilized by HCPs.  In fact over 50% of healthcare apps are accessed by HCPs.  Top apps include HCP tools and medical reference guides.  These apps serve several purposes.  They provide the sales organizations with a value-based offer.  They empower the patients and HCPs to self-educate and become their own advocate.  They capture the interaction with the app.  These companies are collecting that important insight to better service their audience and drive the direction of their content creation.

 

The Patient Journey Possibilities

 

Patients expect more from their healthcare experience; a movement toward consumerism like applying the Amazon experience toward healthcare.  Although the end to end experience, we're all not their yet; patients, consumers, providers.  But as health innovations increase and advance, just like any adoption cycle, we anticipate the same for the overall healthcare experience starting with the first steps to address a connected patient experience, with a likely scenario that its by brand or product right now.  We also can start to hypothesize about how all these brand experiences can intersect in the future.

 

A patient doesn't think "How can this product help me", they are looking for the answer to "how can I get better/healthier overall?"  This leaves the opportunity for us to look at how we can connect the overall healthcare experience all together. Just imagine a world where your health experience connects the dots from your provider, the prescriptions you buy, the retail OTC products you purchase.  If this experience can be stitched together to deliver you healthier life options, how attractive is that overall?

Life sciences marketers in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical device manufacturing need to reach many complex audiences. Modern Marketers in life sciences are delivering personalized messages by channel and influencer, increasing revenue, and reducing costs. They use marketing automation technology and expertise that speaks their language.

 

Get the 360? customer view with Digital Body Language.

Create and send highly personalized communications across all channels. Target and segment dynamically according to audience. Use social, profile, and website data to trigger automated communications for immediate engagement with prescribers, providers, and other healthcare professionals.

 

Design and deliver 1:1 conversations.

 

Build targeted campaigns to start conversations that build relationships.  Achieve 1:1 personalization by truly knowing audiences with marketing automation.  Increase engagement with integrated content marketing personalized by persona.

 

Multichannel Marketing Best Practice Content

These Are The Most Talked About Trends In Pharma Marketing

5 Tips For Improving Medical Education Event Outcomes

These Are The Most Talked About Trends In Pharma Marketing

A New Tactic To Drive Sample And Trial Requests

Eight Engagement Opportunities Life Sciences Companies Should Seize

The Life Sciences' Tireless, And Unrealistic, Pursuit Of Marketing Perfection

The 4 Ps of Life Sciences Multichannel Marketing: Physicians, Pharmacists, Professionals and Patients

Does Multichannel Marketing Have to Result in Multiple Scoring Models?

10 Seismic Shifts Creating New Opportunities for Life Sciences Marketers

Using Analytics to Make Smarter Business Decisions and Prescribe Effective Engagement

Patient-centricity is the Future of Profitability

12 Practices to Enhance Your Medication Adherence Programs

Are You Adjusting Communications for the Future of Formularies?

A Prescription for Effective Targeting; Does Your Contact Strategy Support the Changing Sales Model?

Overcoming Your Company's Fear of the Unknown

Is Your Marketing Strategy Designed Around the Patient Journey or the Patient Experience?

How to Align Sunshine Act Compliance with Health Care Professionals Event Practices

36 Points to Ponder; How Health and Life Science Companies Can Audit Their Marketing Effectiveness

6 Ways Marketing Automation Can Increase Payor Star Ratings

Leaders in Healthcare Offer Their Advice for Effective Marketing Engagement

How to Evolve Your Marketing Team from a Cost Center to a Cost Recovery Hub

Evidence of Pharma's Commitment to Patients; 33 Tweets, 3 Themes, 2 Events, and 1 Common Thread

Has CRM Become Irrelevant in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Provider Education; How Baylor is Enabling Its Provider Team

How Marketing Can Help Address the Top Health Industry Issues of 2015

Healthcare Engagement Must Start Here; 18 Tweetable Takeaways from the Employer Health Care Conference

Traditional Lead Scoring Doesn't Work: 5 Steps for Developing an HCP Scoring Model

HIMSS15 Delivers on Innovation and Discovery

Life Sciences Project Green Light: How Marketer's Can Gain Corporate Buy-in

Purpose, Participation, Promotion; Considerations for Patient Community Development

Is Account Based Marketing Possible In Life Sciences? The Answer Is Yes And Here's How

Health and Life Science Companies Face A New Challenge In Sales; Overcoming the Skeptical and Frugal Buying Committee

Developing a Driveway-to-Driveway Experience For Your Patients

32 Questions for Life Science Companies to Answer as They Consider Future Marketing Technology Investments

6 Key Takeaways For The New Healthcare Experience

Tips for Adjusting Your Marketing and Sales Strategy Around the Role of Integrated Delivery Networks

Are You Focusing Digital Media Buying Based On Guesses Or Goals?

 

Sales and Marketing Alignment Best Practice Content

Who Should Own eDetailing, Marketing or Sales?

How To Increase Inbound eDetailing Opportunities

A Prescription for Effective Modern Marketing: Aligning Healthcare Providers with the Patient Experience

GPOs Friend or Foe; 5 Best Practices for Overcoming the Complexity of Group Purchasing Organizations

Traditional Lead Scoring Doesn't Work: 5 Steps for Developing an HCP Scoring Model

Is Your Marketing Strategy Designed Around the Patient Journey or the Patient Experience?

Top Considerations for Population Health and Personalized Care

Techniques Implemented By Life Science Companies to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment

 

Content Marketing Best Practice Content

Is Video in the Pharma and Biotech Space Measuring a Return?

Should Pharma Marketers Strive for Content Consumption or Engagement?

How to Include Payers and Regulators into Your Communication Strategy

7 Best Practices for Engaging With Key Opinion Leaders

How to Meet the Demands of Intelligent Content in Life Sciences and Healthcare

How to Extend the Reach of Your eHealth Newsletters and Wellness Communications

How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Address the Needs of Payers

Pharmaceutical Companies Have Identified the Best Content Strategists

Amplify the Voice of Your Patient Opinion Leaders

The Engagement Code-Breaker; Content Best Practices for Pharmaceuticals

How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Meet the Demands of Content Development, Align with the Wellness Conversation, and Build Credibility

6 Content Effectiveness Considerations for Life Science Companies

Content Suggestions for Social Media in the Life Sciences

How to Drive Education and Awareness around Biosimiliars

Healthcare Marketing; Moving from a Population Approach to an Individual Approach

Closing the Content Gap In Health and Life Sciences; An Interview With Buddy Scalera

Advice On Balancing the Patient Experience With Brand Engagement

 

Social Media Best Practice Content

How the Pharma and Biotech Industry is Using Social Media While Remaining Compliant

2 Pharmaceutical Companies Growing Awareness through Social Media

Life Sciences Companies Can Now Extend the Value of Social Listening

12 Sales Enablement Practices for Life Science Companies

Content Suggestions for Social Media in the Life Sciences

14 Tweetable Takeaways from eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2014

After the Tweet: 9 Insights and Actions From #HIMSS15

 

Compliance Best Practice Content

International Compliance Requirements for Commercial Email Marketers

EU Countries With Cookie Laws Implemented

DMA-eec New International Privacy Guide for Email Marketers

Email Deliverability and Privacy Grande Guide

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

The Dos and Dont's of Compliance

Digital Marketing According to HIPAA - Pharmaceutical Companies

Digital Marketing According to HIPAA - Providers and Payers

How Do You Balance Both Compliance and Marketing Best Practices?

How to Align Sunshine Act Compliance with Health Care Professionals Event Practices

How to Market Effectively and Get Past the *Bleeping* Attorneys

7 HIPAA Best Practices for Health and Life Science Marketers

3 Organizations Addressing Consumer-Patient Health Communication Requirements

Beg, Borrow, or Steal?  Which is the Correct Approach to Compliance Resources?

 

Roche/Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and commercializes biotherapeutics for significant unmet medical needs. Considered the founder of the biotechnology industry, Roche/Genentech has been delivering on the promise of biotechnology for more than 30 years, using human genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. Today, Roche/Genentech is among the world's leading biotech companies, with multiple products on the market and more than 100 projects in their pipeline.


Genentech?s Interactive Marketing Department within the Commercial organization realizes the power of a sophisticated Campaign Management platform and aims to partner with a best-in-class solution provider to develop a campaign management solution that will enable it to meet its goals and service its functional needs.

 

Like Genentech, life sciences marketers in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical device manufacturing need to reach many complex audiences. Modern Marketers in life sciences are delivering personalized messages by channel and influencer, increasing revenue, and reducing costs. They use marketing automation technology and expertise that speaks their language.

 

Get the 360? customer view with Digital Body Language.

Create and send highly personalized communications across all channels. Target and segment dynamically according to audience. Use social, profile, and website data to trigger automated communications for immediate engagement with prescribers, providers, and other healthcare professionals.

 

Design and deliver 1:1 conversations.

 

Build targeted campaigns to start conversations that build relationships.  Achieve 1:1 personalization by truly knowing audiences with marketing automation.  Increase engagement with integrated content marketing personalized by persona.

 

Multichannel Marketing Best Practice Content

These Are The Most Talked About Trends In Pharma Marketing

5 Tips For Improving Medical Education Event Outcomes

These Are The Most Talked About Trends In Pharma Marketing

A New Tactic To Drive Sample And Trial Requests

Eight Engagement Opportunities Life Sciences Companies Should Seize

The Life Sciences' Tireless, And Unrealistic, Pursuit Of Marketing Perfection

The 4 Ps of Life Sciences Multichannel Marketing: Physicians, Pharmacists, Professionals and Patients

Does Multichannel Marketing Have to Result in Multiple Scoring Models?

10 Seismic Shifts Creating New Opportunities for Life Sciences Marketers

Using Analytics to Make Smarter Business Decisions and Prescribe Effective Engagement

Patient-centricity is the Future of Profitability

12 Practices to Enhance Your Medication Adherence Programs

Are You Adjusting Communications for the Future of Formularies?

A Prescription for Effective Targeting; Does Your Contact Strategy Support the Changing Sales Model?

Overcoming Your Company's Fear of the Unknown

Is Your Marketing Strategy Designed Around the Patient Journey or the Patient Experience?

How to Align Sunshine Act Compliance with Health Care Professionals Event Practices

36 Points to Ponder; How Health and Life Science Companies Can Audit Their Marketing Effectiveness

6 Ways Marketing Automation Can Increase Payor Star Ratings

Leaders in Healthcare Offer Their Advice for Effective Marketing Engagement

How to Evolve Your Marketing Team from a Cost Center to a Cost Recovery Hub

Evidence of Pharma's Commitment to Patients; 33 Tweets, 3 Themes, 2 Events, and 1 Common Thread

Has CRM Become Irrelevant in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Provider Education; How Baylor is Enabling Its Provider Team

How Marketing Can Help Address the Top Health Industry Issues of 2015

Healthcare Engagement Must Start Here; 18 Tweetable Takeaways from the Employer Health Care Conference

Traditional Lead Scoring Doesn't Work: 5 Steps for Developing an HCP Scoring Model

HIMSS15 Delivers on Innovation and Discovery

Life Sciences Project Green Light: How Marketer's Can Gain Corporate Buy-in

Purpose, Participation, Promotion; Considerations for Patient Community Development

Is Account Based Marketing Possible In Life Sciences? The Answer Is Yes And Here's How

Health and Life Science Companies Face A New Challenge In Sales; Overcoming the Skeptical and Frugal Buying Committee

Developing a Driveway-to-Driveway Experience For Your Patients

32 Questions for Life Science Companies to Answer as They Consider Future Marketing Technology Investments

6 Key Takeaways For The New Healthcare Experience

Tips for Adjusting Your Marketing and Sales Strategy Around the Role of Integrated Delivery Networks

Are You Focusing Digital Media Buying Based On Guesses Or Goals?

 

Sales and Marketing Alignment Best Practice Content

Who Should Own eDetailing, Marketing or Sales?

How To Increase Inbound eDetailing Opportunities

A Prescription for Effective Modern Marketing: Aligning Healthcare Providers with the Patient Experience

GPOs Friend or Foe; 5 Best Practices for Overcoming the Complexity of Group Purchasing Organizations

Traditional Lead Scoring Doesn't Work: 5 Steps for Developing an HCP Scoring Model

Is Your Marketing Strategy Designed Around the Patient Journey or the Patient Experience?

Top Considerations for Population Health and Personalized Care

Techniques Implemented By Life Science Companies to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment

 

Content Marketing Best Practice Content

Is Video in the Pharma and Biotech Space Measuring a Return?

Should Pharma Marketers Strive for Content Consumption or Engagement?

How to Include Payers and Regulators into Your Communication Strategy

7 Best Practices for Engaging With Key Opinion Leaders

How to Meet the Demands of Intelligent Content in Life Sciences and Healthcare

How to Extend the Reach of Your eHealth Newsletters and Wellness Communications

How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Address the Needs of Payers

Pharmaceutical Companies Have Identified the Best Content Strategists

Amplify the Voice of Your Patient Opinion Leaders

The Engagement Code-Breaker; Content Best Practices for Pharmaceuticals

How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Meet the Demands of Content Development, Align with the Wellness Conversation, and Build Credibility

6 Content Effectiveness Considerations for Life Science Companies

Content Suggestions for Social Media in the Life Sciences

How to Drive Education and Awareness around Biosimiliars

Healthcare Marketing; Moving from a Population Approach to an Individual Approach

Closing the Content Gap In Health and Life Sciences; An Interview With Buddy Scalera

Advice On Balancing the Patient Experience With Brand Engagement

 

Social Media Best Practice Content

How the Pharma and Biotech Industry is Using Social Media While Remaining Compliant

2 Pharmaceutical Companies Growing Awareness through Social Media

Life Sciences Companies Can Now Extend the Value of Social Listening

12 Sales Enablement Practices for Life Science Companies

Content Suggestions for Social Media in the Life Sciences

14 Tweetable Takeaways from eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2014

After the Tweet: 9 Insights and Actions From #HIMSS15

 

Compliance Best Practice Content

International Compliance Requirements for Commercial Email Marketers

EU Countries With Cookie Laws Implemented

DMA-eec New International Privacy Guide for Email Marketers

Email Deliverability and Privacy Grande Guide

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

The Dos and Dont's of Compliance

Digital Marketing According to HIPAA - Pharmaceutical Companies

Digital Marketing According to HIPAA - Providers and Payers

How Do You Balance Both Compliance and Marketing Best Practices?

How to Align Sunshine Act Compliance with Health Care Professionals Event Practices

How to Market Effectively and Get Past the *Bleeping* Attorneys

7 HIPAA Best Practices for Health and Life Science Marketers

3 Organizations Addressing Consumer-Patient Health Communication Requirements

Beg, Borrow, or Steal?  Which is the Correct Approach to Compliance Resources?

Is Marketing R&D Justifiable in the Pharma and Biotech Industry?
How the Pharma and Biotech Industry is Using Social Media While Remaining Compliant
5 Tips For Improving Medical Education Event Outcomes
Who Should Own eDetailing, Marketing or Sales?
These Are The Most Talked About Trends In Pharma Marketing
Is Video in the Pharma and Biotech Space Measuring a Return?
6 Ways Marketing Automation Can Increase Payor Star Ratings
A New Tactic To Drive Sample And Trial Requests
How To Increase Inbound eDetailing Opportunities
How to Market Effectively and Get Past the *Bleeping* Attorneys
The Life Sciences' Tireless, And Unrealistic, Pursuit Of Marketing Perfection
Eight Engagement Opportunities Life Sciences Companies Should Seize
The 4 Ps of Life Sciences Multichannel Marketing: Physicians, Pharmacists, Professionals and Patients
Does Multichannel Marketing Have to Result in Multiple Scoring Models?
10 Seismic Shifts Creating New Opportunities for Life Sciences Marketers
Should Pharma Marketers Strive for Content Consumption or Engagement?
How to Include Payers and Regulators into Your Communication Strategy
7 Best Practices for Engaging With Key Opinion Leaders
How to Meet the Demands of Intelligent Content in Life Sciences and Healthcare
A Prescription for Sales and Marketing Alignment
How to Extend the Reach of Your eHealth Newsletters and Wellness Communications
2 Pharmaceutical Companies Growing Awareness through Social Media
Leaders in Healthcare Offer Their Advice for Effective Marketing Engagement
Life Sciences Companies Can Now Extend the Value of Social Listening
Using Analytics to Make Smarter Business Decisions and Prescribe Effective Engagement
Patient-centricity is the Future of Profitability
14 Tweetable Takeaways from eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2014
How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Address the Needs of Payers
12 Practices to Enhance Your Medication Adherence Programs
Pharmaceutical Companies Have Identified the Best Content Strategists
Amplify the Voice of Your Patient Opinion Leaders
The Engagement Code-Breaker; Content Best Practices for Pharmaceuticals
Are You Adjusting Communications for the Future of Formularies?
A Prescription for Effective Targeting; Does Your Contact Strategy Support the Changing Sales Model?
Overcoming Your Company's Fear of the Unknown
How to Evolve Your Marketing Team from a Cost Center to a Cost Recovery Hub
Is Your Marketing Strategy Designed Around the Patient Journey or the Patient Experience?
Evidence of Pharma's Commitment to Patients; 33 Tweets, 3 Themes, 2 Events, and 1 Common Thread
How to Align Sunshine Act Compliance with Health Care Professionals Event Practices
How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Meet the Demands of Content Development, Align with the Wellness Conversation, and Build Credibility
Healthcare Marketing; Moving from a Population Approach to an Individual Approach
7 HIPAA Best Practices for Health and Life Science Marketers
Has CRM Become Irrelevant in the Pharmaceutical Industry?
How Do You Balance Both Compliance and Marketing Best Practices?
3 Organizations Addressing Consumer-Patient Health Communication Requirements
6 Content Effectiveness Considerations for Life Science Companies
12 Sales Enablement Practices for Life Science Companies
Content Suggestions for Social Media in the Life Sciences
GPOs Friend or Foe; 5 Best Practices for Overcoming the Complexity of Group Purchasing Organizations
How to Drive Education and Awareness around Biosimiliars
Provider Education; How Baylor is Enabling Its Provider Team
How Marketing Can Help Address the Top Health Industry Issues of 2015
Healthcare Engagement Must Start Here; 18 Tweetable Takeaways from the Employer Health Care Conference
Traditional Lead Scoring Doesn't Work: 5 Steps for Developing an HCP Scoring Model

36 Points to Ponder; How Health and Life Science Companies Can Audit Their Marketing Effectiveness

After the Tweet: 9 Insights and Actions From #HIMSS15
HIMSS15 Delivers on Innovation and Discovery
Beg, Borrow, or Steal?  Which is the Correct Approach to Compliance Resources?
Life Sciences Project Green Light: How Marketer's Can Gain Corporate Buy-in
Purpose, Participation, Promotion; Considerations for Patient Community Development
Is Account Based Marketing Possible In Life Sciences? The Answer Is Yes And Here's How
Health and Life Science Companies Face A New Challenge In Sales; Overcoming the Skeptical and Frugal Buying Committee
Top Considerations for Population Health and Personalized Care
Closing the Content Gap In Health and Life Sciences; An Interview With Buddy Scalera
A Prescription for Effective Modern Marketing: Aligning Healthcare Providers with the Patient Experience
Developing a Driveway-to-Driveway Experience For Your Patients
32 Questions for Life Science Companies to Answer as They Consider Future Marketing Technology Investments
6 Key Takeaways For The New Healthcare Experience
Tips for Adjusting Your Marketing and Sales Strategy Around the Role of Integrated Delivery Networks
Advice On Balancing the Patient Experience With Brand Engagement
Techniques Implemented By Life Science Companies to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment
Are You Focusing Digital Media Buying Based On Guesses Or Goals?

One of the most talked about trends in marketing is Account Based Marketing.  Unlike more traditional targeting where you focus on an industry, product, or channel, ABM brings everything together to focus on specific accounts.  Companies develop frameworks, scoring, measurements, and alignment tactics to support this strategy.  One of the greatest benefits of ABM is a focused effort that extends beyond awareness, through demand generation, into nurturing, and eventually advocacy.

 

But this leaves many in the life sciences space feeling eliminated from an effective marketing approach and wondering what more they can do to drive relevant communications and align and support their sales organization.  In truth, what drives ABM implementation is very relevant in life sciences.  These pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies are looking to gather intelligence, drive demand, encourage conversion, and identify new advocates.

 

So how can life science companies implement an account based marketing program when they don't market to traditional "accounts?"

 

What Classifies As An Account?

One of the first steps in the ABM process is defining the universe of accounts to be targeted.  It's within this first step that many life science companies give up because they're not sure how to define accounts.  But if we broaden our definition of accounts beyond individuals working within the same organization, then we can begin to identify ABM opportunity.  For example, a life science company may want to target all physicians within the same ACO, or perhaps cardiologists operating out of the same hospital, or maybe even all endocrinologists in a region that accept the same payer insurance. 56-images.jpg

 

What Are My Account Requirements?

With the "accounts" defined you can now begin to identify the commonalities and difference tied to their drivers, challenges, and interests.  This should require a fair amount of research to understand requirements.  You can consult prior Digital Body Language that aligns with the personas of those accounts and identify the journey and supporting content that best aligns with their interests.  It's important to remember that the engagement and interests of these "accounts" will vary, and not just by specialty.  A physician associated with an ACO will probably take a greater interest in patient impact and satisfaction than one that still remains in private practice.  The value-content you deliver to a provider who accepts BCBS versus Anthem will also vary depending on your relationship with the payer.

 

What Do I Measure and Score?

Equipped with this information you can now begin to plan marketing activities that align with the objectives of sales and the larger business.  Ensure that your sales and marketing teams align to the campaign framework as well as the agreed upon scoring models and processes for follow-up. You'll want to measure account revenue potential, account communication coverage and engagement, and sales activity corresponding to each account.

 

How you measure and score these accounts will also vary depending on whether your ABM strategy is tied to intelligence and clinical research gathering, brand awareness development, decile prescription conversion, edetail or CME nurturing, or KOL advocacy. Ideally, your ABM strategy should flow beyond awareness and demand creation and into post-customer lifecycle stages.

 

Building out the framework for each of these steps takes time, as does executing an effective ABM program.  But with a greater understanding of how the broader ABM framework can be applied to life sciences, now you can execute step 1 and move further through the strategy development process.  If you're looking for more detailed information on building ABM frameworks I recommend you consult the information provided by SiriusDecisions.  If you're interested in exploring account based marketing application in the life sciences space I'm happy to field any questions you might have.

 

How do you envision applying ABM in a life sciences company?

PWC published a report outlining the Top Health Industry Issues of 2015.  As the health and life sciences industries continue to merge, the focus of these organizations is on the patient.  Health and life science companies want to better support and advocate for patients across all channels, especially digital channels.  This continued evolution across these industries is allowing marketers to take on a greater role in developing content that meets the needs of all audiences, delivering communications across the channels that matter most, and providing the personalized health experience required by patients, caregivers, providers, and even payers.

 

Below are some of the top health industry challenges, and recommendations for how marketers can work to address each one.

 

Do-it yourself healthcare

Patients are owning more responsibility for their healthcare.  They're becoming their own advocates.  Just as treatment and medications are focusing on the individual, it's imperative communications follow suit and support the needs of each individual.  For example, let's look at medication adherence communications.

 

Medication adherence programs have evolved from the "take 2 and call me in the morning" practice, to more advanced apps that remind you it's time to take your medication.  Many applications now provide reminders around medication consumption, diet, and exercise on the channel which you prefer.  But just as medications need to be adjusted for the variances in individual chemistry, adherence programs need to be adjusted to the individual.

 

Lifestyle has an effect on how frequently someone can consume medications, the hours in a week they can exercise, and the caregiver support available.  The issue is not always "are you taking the prescription?" but instead "are you taking the prescription the way it was prescribed?" Medication adherence programs must certainly account for preferences in communication distribution, but also must manage the dynamic content accompanying these personalized medication and wellness regimes.

 

Balancing privacy and convenience, especially the impact on mobile apps 48-health_IT.jpg

Apps are a fantastic way to deliver interactive content that promotes healthy lifestyles and medication adherence.  Bayer has an app to help MS patients manage meds.  Novartis' oncology division produced a few apps too, such as My Acro Manager to help patients with Acromegaly track test results, medication updates and improve their knowledge of their condition.  Medication adherence apps and a tool to track symptoms from HIV treatment are among Merck's apps.

 

Many of these apps are also utilized by HCPs.  In fact over 50% of healthcare apps are accessed by HCPs.  Top apps include HCP tools and medical reference guides. These apps empower the patients and HCPs to self-educate and become their own advocate. Capturing engagement with the app can allow companies to collect important insight to better service their audience and drive the direction of their R&D and content creation.

 

However, while these apps are a convenience to the patient, and benefit to the provider and pharma company, it's important to understand the role privacy plays.

 

73% of consumers state data security matters more to them than convenience.  As you develop your communication strategy, align your marketing, IT, and compliance teams.  Understand regulations, what those regulations actually regulate, what they do and do not prohibit, and know the cost of non-compliance.  Recognize there are no data tricks and question your technology vendors.

 

High cost patients and putting a price on positive outcomes

The role healthcare organizations play in patient care is evolving because healthcare organizations are owning provider education which ultimately impacts the quality and efficiency of patient care.  This is especially true when you consider Accountable Care Organizations.  One of the key challenges for hospitals and physicians is that the incentives in ACOs are to reduce hospital stays, emergency room visits and expensive specialist and testing services.  This is a dramatic shift when you consider this is the way hospitals and physicians have made money in fee-for-service systems.

 

Healthcare organizations are making a commitment to provider education.  Provider education is instrumental in delivering efficient and quality patient care.  Organizations are working to empower providers, as well as patients, with the delivery and coordination of care.  Learn how Baylor is developing programs around provider education.


Open everything to everyone

Patients are concerned over the relationships between pharmaceutical companies and providers, and that concern is contributing to a lack of trust.  Pharma companies and providers must align around the patient and provide communications and content that support both the patient journey and patient experience.

 

Ensure your key message meets the needs of the patients at each specific point in their disease progression.  Understand that a strong inbound strategy is necessary to drive engagement with patients, and this cannot occur alone.  Enable patients to self-educate about impending condition experiences before they occur.  Deliver an FAQ sheet. This should contain information on common questions asked by patients of the disease. It should also contain a list of questions the patient should ask to the HCP during their next visit.  Shift from a marketing mindset to that of a facilitator of helpful information.  You no longer market and brand your drug, you connect patients and caregivers with information that helps and heals.  Develop healthy living communications that educate both patients and caregivers on proper diet, exercise and medication consumption.

 

Getting to know the newly insured and partnering to win across the ecosystem

Both providers and payers are responsible for getting to know the 10 million newly insured.  Individualized care must be communicated back through the entire care ecosystem.  It's not just multichannel communications that must be managed, but also multi-relationship communications that must exist amongst HCPs, providers, payers, and pharma.  Systems must exist that facilitate the visibility and transparency of data, ultimately working together to help the patient.  Identify opportunities to communicate with the patient throughout the entire healthcare ecosystem. Segment and target communications based on both the multichannel data, as well as the multi-relationship profiles. Ensure you're matching communications with preferences, interests, lifestyle, and individualized care

 

As the healthcare industry continues to expand across new audiences and new channels, marketing will be required to step-up how they manage communications.  Healthcare marketers must understand each audience, provide personalized and relevant content to each individual, deliver communications across a plethora of channels, and do all of this while remaining compliant.

 

How is your healthcare organization adjusting communication programs to compensate for the continued changes?

The life science industry spends billions of dollars on drug promotion, medical device training, sales recruitment and onboarding, and the development of patient and advocate communities.  And to support all of those efforts, a great deal of time and money is invested into content development.

 

Content is a wise investment, I don't disagree.  However, I do have to question whether companies truly evaluate the effectiveness of their content investment.  And if budget cuts are required, can these companies identify which content resources, creators, and channels should be eliminated?

 

Below are 6 considerations for measuring content effectiveness.

 

  1. Look beyond standard conversion metrics. Identifying which pieces convert into eDetail opportunities or prescription conversions is important, but don't underestimate evaluating what content is revisited, the duration of content engagement, and the origin of the engagement.  Also evaluate under-performing content.  Is the message off-point?  Are you publishing the content on a channel not frequented by the target audience?
  2. Audit and map your content.  Identify both personal and non-personal content.  Map the content to the intended audience both by high level personas like patients, caregivers, HCPs, and payers as well as interest like disease, specialty, and decile level.  Matrix the content type against the persona, interest, as well as the stage.  Is the content meant for pre-awareness, awareness, trial, adoption, or advocacy stages? 42-mobiledevices.png
  3. Measure and score your content contributors. Because you're investing large portions of your budget into content creation, understand what the engagement against individual contributors looks like.  Do you have agencies that consistently deliver high performing content?  Additionally, don't overextend content contributors like Key Opinion Leaders and Patient Opinion Leaders.  When a company manages many brands and many content initiatives, it's very easy to lose track of content assignments. It's imperative that content strategy and resource allocation is managed through a single Center of Excellence.  Without that single CoE, you risk the abuse of your greatest content assets. This CoE can also align with the compliance organization to ensure content meets requirements.
  4. Incorporate metrics into your content marketing strategy.  Identify the business objectives for each.  Define both internal benchmarks and external benchmarks.  Business objectives, metrics, available data, and data sources should drive this benchmarking.
  5. Calculate the ROI of your content marketing.  We recommend the following formulas for this calculation.
    • Investment
      • � (hours per month for creating content x hourly pay) + overhead rate (%) + other out-of-pocket costs (software, design, etc?) = investment
      • � Example: (20 hours x $40/hour) + 30% overhead + $500/month other costs = $1,540
    • Return
      • � Leads per month x lead conversion rate (%) x average life customer value ($) x average profit margin = Return
      • � Example 20 x 20% x $2,000 x 25% = $2,000
    • ROI
      • � ($2,000 - $1,540) / $1,540 = 30%
  6. Don't go it alone.  I speak from experience.  I used to manage content effectiveness through a very cumbersome Excel spreadsheet.  With the help of several team members and several days a month, we would manually execute the tactics listed above.  There are now tools that allow you to audit, map, and score your content.  You can measure content effectiveness, assign content projects, and control content project overload.  These tools allow you to plan, produce, publish, promote, and prove your content strategy success.

 

Content will continue to be a wise investment for your company as long as you can demonstrate the value of that investment.

 

Do you know the value of your content?

There's no question that policy changes have had tremendous impact on the healthcare system.  These changes can be felt through the provider and HCP networks, payer organizations, pharmacies, and especially the patient population.  These new policies are holding everyone accountable.  The provider and HCP networks are accountable for the quality of care, payers and pharmacies are tasked with balancing quality care with achievable cost savings, and patients own more responsibility in their own adherence care as well.  As someone stated, "we've moved from a volume based healthcare system to value based healthcare system".

 

We are seeing a shift in healthcare from a population approach to an individual approach.  With the data now available, and the policies now in place, healthcare is beginning to focus on each individual patient.

 

Personalized Pharmacy Care

One of the best examples of this individualized focus can be seen in compound pharmacies.  Compound pharmacies develop customized medication care for each individual.  The development of individualized prescriptions accounts for multiple variances like other medications prescribed, height, weight, body type, diet, lifestyle, even flavor.  Pharmacies recognize that the chemistry of each individual varies greatly and medications must be adjusted to account for these variances.  Additionally, instructions and patient follow-up communications must be personalized, accounting for the differences in side effects, prescription care, and adherence. 37-compounding_pharmacist.jpg

 

Customized Adherence Programs

But just as treatment and medications are focusing on the individual, its imperative communications follow suit and support the needs of each individual.  For example, let's look at medication adherence communications.  Medication adherence programs have evolved from the "take 2 and call me in the morning" practice, to more advanced apps that remind you it's time to take your medication.  Many applications now provide reminders around medication consumption, diet, and exercise on the channel which you prefer.  But just as medications need to be adjusted for the variances in individual chemistry, adherence programs need to be adjusted to the individual.

 

Lifestyle has an effect on how frequently someone can consume medications, the hours in a week they can exercise, and the caregiver support available.  The issue is not always "are you taking the prescription?" but instead "are you taking the prescription the way it was prescribed?" Medication adherence programs must certainly account for preferences in communication distribution, but also must manage the dynamic content accompanying these personalized medication and wellness regimes.

 

Multichannel and Multi-relational

This individualized care must finally be communicated back through the entire care ecosystem.  It's not just multichannel communications that must be managed, but also multi-relationship communications that must exist amongst HCPs, providers, payers, and pharma.  Systems must exist that facilitate the visibility and transparency of data, ultimately working together to help the patient.

 

Identify opportunities to communicate with the patient throughout the entire healthcare ecosystem. Segment and target communications based on both the multichannel data, as well as the multi-relationship profiles. Ensure you're matching communications with preferences, interests, lifestyle, and individualized care.

 

Each individual in the life science ecosystem is accountable for the care of patients. Understand your role and responsibility and map your communications to others.

 

How are you moving from a population approach to and individual healthcare approach?

The state of pharmaceutical sales is in flux.  The instability in the pharmaceutical space has caused companies to make cuts, and sales has been greatly impacted. Reports from SDI Health indicate that the number of sales representatives in the United States has decreased from a high of 101,818 to about 81,780, representing a 20% decline. Equally important is that the cost per engagement for sales calls remains high, ranging from $142 to nearly $600 per call.

 

These costs are forcing sales to perfect their field efforts.  Sales must understand where to allocate field resources, and equip them with the knowledge to provide a valuable engagement to the HCPs. Marketing must identify which practices and physicians they should target with eDetail and eSample programs. 30-doctor-money-300x195.jpg

 

HCP-Centric Sales Model

Because of this change, many companies are shifting from a brand-centric to HCP-centric sales models.  Reps are covering more territory and carrying more products.  They have to have a tremendous understanding of the service and value of each product. Now, targeting and focusing sales effort is becoming paramount.  Pharmaceutical companies must understand the Digital Body Language of physicians and practices.  It's imperative reps enter the call knowing what the HCP wants, and with the required education to manage the knowledge share.

 

Hybrid Sales Model

Another emerging sales model is the "hybrid" sales representative. Hybrid representatives have defined geographic territories and specific sets of target HCPs, just like typical field representatives. But they reach their physicians through a variety of channels like face-to-face, phone, and video and at times, like work day, after hours, weekends, which are preferred and most convenient for each physician. This model is proving to be very popular with physicians; 72% of survey respondents want "more" or "significantly more" hybrid representatives calling on them.

 

So with these new models, how do pharmaceutical companies know which practices to target with field sales versus eDetailing and eSampling programs?  How do sales and marketing know when to target, who to target, and what information is most relevant to the practice?

 

Multichannel Targeting

Just as companies leverage multichannel marketing to engage and educate, they must also implement multichannel targeting.  Targeting needs to extend beyond the singular data found in marketing automation.  Currently, reps are told when to target a physician or practice based on their Digital Body Language. Marketing evaluates which marketing assets they clicked on, how much time they spent on a webpage page, and what information was submitted via a form. And while these traditional scoring models are a vast improvement from cold calling a list of names, they?re not as targeted as they could be.

 

Now, tools like Lattice Engines enable the marketing and sales organizations to identify which accounts to engage for selling and retention. Lattice introduces other analytics into your scoring model.  They look at the practices' growth indicators, news events, activity against 3rd party assets, and funding or grants received by the physician or practices.

 

Using Lattice's modeling engine, companies can also pull in data from internal systems to evaluate prescription patterns, brand sample orders, products prescribed by practice, detailing history, and program enrollment.  Companies can also evaluate the behavior of similar practices, like pediatric practices, oncology practices, and cardiology practices.

 

Predictive Behavior

This multichannel targeting provides advanced insight into the probability of the physician to prescribe prescriptions.  By creating likelihood rules, sales reps can identify which practices to target for new prescriptions and decile conversions.

 

Marketing can understand which content will contribute to that prescription conversion.  Marketing can also compare practices in similar selling situations.  Marketing can the aggregate the view and format it so it's most relevant to the sales person.

 

This multichannel targeting allows marketing and sales to focus engagement and drive entry into marketing programs, like eDetailing and eSampling programs.  Pharmaceutical companies can now begin to model channel preference, develop segmentation strategies, manage sales resource allocation, and develop a contact strategy.

 

Which channels do you evaluate when developing a contact strategy?

Managed Healthcare Executive recently published an article entitled "The Future of Formularies".  The article states that specialty drugs are expected to account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018 and that formularies will hold more relevance and impact as the number of older adults and insured individuals through the Affordable Care Act increases.

 

Pharmaceutical companies must begin to adjust their communication strategies around these future changes. A few areas that will see the greatest impact are targeting disease communications to unknown patients, contributions in the offloading of medication costs, and reinforcement of medication adherence.

 

Below are recommendations on how pharmaceutical companies can begin to address those challenges.

 

Disease Awareness Targeting

When reviewing and analyzing the future trends in formularies, John Mackowiak, VP Pharmacy  and Education for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, emphasizes the need to focus on diseases awareness targeting.

 

"Tier 5 is extremely costly but may save money in the long run.  For example, the new Hepatitis C drugs may prevent a costly liver transplant; on the other hand many will live with dormant Hep C and never need the new medications.  How do we find out who needs these drugs and provide them in the nick of time to offset expenses?"

 

Pharmaceutical companies must have technology in place to capture disparate data as well as staffing that can make sense of it. Pharmaceutical marketers must succeed at driving strong inbound traffic through the development of disease education content.  Marketers must convert that inbound traffic through affordability and adherence programs on patient portals.  And further communications must be segmented, targeted, and personalized to the Digital Body Language of each individual patient and caregiver.  And this must all be accomplished in real-time. 29-01how-healthcare-reform-helps-savvy-article-3773.jpg

 

Medication Affordability

According to a report by Consumer Health, it's estimated that 46% of the people in the United States take at least one prescription drug. This means that there were 3.3 billion prescriptions dispensed in 2006. The total cost of all of these prescriptions was $192 billion. The average cost to fill one prescription with a brand name drug is approximately $111.02, while a generic prescription averages $32.23. This means that you would have to pay over THREE times as much for a brand name drug than as a generic one.

 

Pharmaceutical companies must educate the patient and the physician on the efficacy of their drug, as well as provide cost-alternative solutions. By providing physician and patient discussion guides around efficacy and drug alternatives, as well as providing co-pay programs, pharmaceutical companies can gain awareness and favor with both physicians and patients.

 

Bob Taketomo, President of Ventegra, recommends "adopting strategies to keep drugs affordable, while ensuring that patients can access what they need -- a move toward more deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and flat co-payments, along with stronger management of deductibles and coinsurance."

 

Leverage co-pay programs. There is an 18% increase in adherence when co-pay programs are offered.  Utilize patient portals as places to educate as well provide opportunities for patients to request samples, coupons, and co-pay programs.  With the change in formularies there will be "additional emphasis on co-payments, along with stronger management of deductibles and coinsurance".

 

Medication Adherence

Pharmaceutical companies recognize that there is a lack of medication adherence. They must develop communications that generate awareness of medication compliance and tools available for healthy living and disease management like medication tracking tools.  They must work with HCPs and payers to communicate the risk and rising cost impacted by non-adherence.   This is especially true when targeting the use of expensive specialty drugs.

 

Pharmaceutical companies must give consideration to developing healthy living communications that educate both patients and caregivers on proper dieting, exercising and taking medication.  These communications should be very specific to the disease of the patient.  Companies should also provide a medication notification form.  This form should allow patients and caregivers to set-up alerts for medication email reminders.  It's also important for companies to leverage multiple forms of communication.  Extend beyond email and leverage other tools like SMS.  These SMS communications, much like the emails, should be sent regularly, based on the medication notification form submission, reminding the contact to take medication as indicated.

 

David Calabrese, RPh, MHP, VP and Chief Pharmacy Officer, Catamaran states, "We manage drugs from an overall care management perspective and if consumers receive what they need, take them correctly and receive appropriate follow-up, medications can deliver value".

 

How is your company preparing for the future of formularies?

We all know that marketing's primary objective is to assist in driving revenue.  But for many life sciences companies that becomes secondary because of competing projects and constantly managing through the compliance minefield.

 

Many organizations are also implementing new sales processes and working with marketing and sales organizations with low tenure.  Life Sciences marketers struggle to support multiple brands and sales organizations efficiently. Marketers often become reactive to the needs of their teams and sales organizations are tied to the pace of the marketing department.

 

Marketing needs to become agile and proactive in the support, education, and enablement of their sales teams.

 

Start with the stars

Avoid launching new initiatives at the end of a fiscal quarter.  Schedule a review of new programs with your top performing reps, at the beginning of the sales quarter, and preferably when they are in the office.  Focus on the top performing reps because they are more apt to embrace new solutions to aid in their efforts.  If they have success others will soon follow.

 

Feed them bites, not meals

The last thing sales wants is another tool they "have to use" simply because its part of the process and the company needs that information, on record, from the sales team. While tools and technology are great, roll out one solution at a time, and only after the sales team sees positive results from the previous tool.

19-sales20and20marketing20alignment.png

 

Don't just explain, demonstrate the value

Merely explaining the benefits of sales tools will not equate to adoption.  Identify the top sales opportunities for those reps and showed them the activity against those contacts in CRM.  With the right tools sales can see form submission data, view marketing content, and set-up web alerts for specific contacts.  This will get their attention.  Eliminate the complaint that sales doesn't know what marketing's doing. Provide the forensic evidence of their contacts? activity so sales can approach their contacts better educated. Sometime you'll need to be proactive. Send reports to the sales organization with the results of their account activity.  As the sales teams began to see engagement you will see traction with the sales teams.

 

 

Work together, sell together

Many companies know that activity within their database is occurring, but that activity is often occurring as unknown visitor activity.  Use your sales teams to assist in converting unknown activity to known activity.  Because they communicate one-on-one they have a higher chance of conversion.  Develop messaging together that is determined by conversations that occur between sales and contacts.  As you continue to demonstrate support of sales efforts, the sales organization will begin to open its door.  The sales people will become much more comfortable sharing the successes and failures of various messages and campaigns.

 

Show them you care

Develop weekly "care packages"for your sales teams.  Each week provide suggested email templates your sales people can utilize.  In that template outline a key message for the week along with a corresponding blog entry and offer like a white paper, eBook, podcast, or webinar that supports that key message.  Allow them to customize their communication around this key message based on the conversation that occurred with the contact.  Not only does this result in more valuable conversation, but your sales members engage with this material and are learning as well.

 

Repetition + Reinforcement  = Retention

Reinforcing the value of the exercises above can be a challenge.  Consider creating an online tutorial for your sales team.  This can be done by recording a webex or even using a learning management system.  When developed in a LMS you can extend beyond basic tutorials and walk the teams through exercises and tests.  Additionally, sales managers can see how their teams perform and where they need assistance.  Ensure this is training reps can also refer back to and walk through the exercises again at any time.

 

How are you aligning your sales and marketing organizations?

Did you know, according to SiriusDecisions, 51% of the buyer?s journey is conducted digitally, while the other 49% involves human contact?  Did you also know that over one trillion dollars is spent annually on sales forces?  And 55% of people making their living in sales believe they don?t have the right skills and tools to be successful?

 

Many believe there is a gap in sales talent, but the challenge appears to be the inability of most sales organizations to provide the sales reps with the specific tools and training they need to be successful. This falls to the company to define a true sales process, share best practices, and coach sales reps to success. Companies must develop a sales enablement program.

 

I reached out to Melissa Madian, VP of Sales Enablement for Vision Critical, to understand her sales enablement best practices.

 

When I talk to different organizations about sales enablement, I typically get a lot of blank stares. So while it?s certainly becoming a more popular term, to many, the term sales enablement is still unfamiliar. How do you define sales enablement?

 

It?s a good question. I think why it?s so confusing and why it varies is because it?s a function of where the role actually sits within an organization. If sales enablement sits in marketing, how folks view it tends to be on content enablement and the handoff between marketing and sales. And if sales enablement sits in sales there?s a tendency to focus on only sales training.

 

How I view sales enablement, and my definition of it, is a really nice marriage between those two functions. It?s about providing the process, the tools, and the training that any revenue generating role within an organization needs in order for them to be able to close more business faster while still growing personally and professionally in their role.

 

You?ve introduced sales enablement programs at several companies. Why do you believe this is a growing practice, and why are companies making the substantial investment in this  23ee0e8.jpgprocess?

 

I?ll explain it best by telling a brief story. Way way way back, between my first and second year of university, I got a job as a telesales rep for an industrial manufacturing supplier. On my first day I was given a tour of the office.  I filled in all my HR paperwork, and I was shown to my desk.  On my desk was an industry phone book - a phone book listing all the companies in the industry that we were selling to - and a computer terminal.  I was also given a stack of product brochures. I was told to call through the phone book and sell whatever I could that was in the product brochures and any leads that I generated I had to record in the computer terminal.

 

No training, no sense of how to use the equipment, and I had no idea what the products did or what the value proposition was or why anybody I was calling would actually want to buy these products.  Needless to say I heard a lot of ?no?, and I heard a lot of dial tones throughout that summer.

 

That was 20 years ago, and organizations today still do this to their sales people, which is really disturbing, because your sellers are the most expensive resource in your organization. And they have the highest probability of turnover if they?re not successful. So why would you leave these folks to fend for themselves?  That realization is why companies are starting to make the investment in their sales organizations to set them up for success.

 

A lot of companies view development of a sales enablement initiative as overwhelming.  Considering the work you?ve done with Vision Critical, what advice do you have for a company that?s looking to launch a sales enablement program? Where do you recommend an organization start?

 

It can be a very overwhelming and daunting task.  I look at sales enablement in three key categories.

 

  • The knowledge that the sellers need in order to sell the products and services the company has.
  • The sales skills that they need to get their jobs done and grow personally and professionally.
  • The behaviors that the organization wants the seller to exhibit that is in line with the corporate brand and the corporate culture.

 

You have knowledge, skills, and behaviors.  Using those three as your guideline, start with an analysis of what?s working, and what?s not working. Ask the sales organization where they are struggling or what?s working really effectively.  Then you can start to categorize the responses in those three buckets: knowledge, skills and behaviors.

 

Once you?ve done that you can start to identify the first few quick wins that you can achieve to get the enablement ball rolling. I tell this to our selling organization all the time: it?s a journey, and there are many steps that you have to take along the enablement journey. It?s not a quick fix, it?s not an overnight thing.

 

 

So how does a company know when they?ve succeeded?  What are some sales enablement KPIs to consider? 

 

That?s really the magical question, and KPIs are an area that I?m still exploring at Vision Critical.  My answer to your question is going to be a little lean. Right now we?re tracking time to first close for new reps, as they?re part of an onboarding program.  I?m interested in any correlation to completing their onboarding process and how quickly it takes them to close their first deal.

 

I am testing new ideas with integrating a learning management system into our CRM, which I hope will allow us to track completion of tasks, learning modules and their guided learning paths and see if there?s a connection to the pipeline that they?re developing and the business that they?re closing.

 

Currently my effectiveness tracking has been largely anecdotal.  It?s seeing how the sales team as a whole is performing.  Are we hitting our number?  I?m compensated on the company hitting their target, so when we do that I consider it a win.  Presently there?s no direct correlation to the sales team achieving target and the training, certainly not measured in our CRM, but I make sure that the executive team is reminded that sales hit the number because they took all the training.

 

Listen to the entire interview with Melissa here.

Gamification is one interactive platform that most industries are still trying to understand.  Gamification enhances customer engagement by collecting additional data, crowdsourcing ideas, and educating in a fun interactive way.  Some companies cite a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics including unique views, page views, community activities, and time on site.

 

In the pharmaceutical space, companies are looking to extend gamification value beyond website engagement. These companies are also using gamification to drive changes in patient behavior.

 

Reinforcing Education Amongst Children screen640x640.jpeg

Some organizations have used the tool to drive greater education across their audience.  Eli Lily has seen success with their Destination Discovery game which educates players on the process of drug discovery.

 

Last fall, Sanofi launched their diabetes game for children. The app can be used on mobile devices as well as PCs.  Through a ?wise sensei??, players learn about living with Type 1 diabetes, managing hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, and maintaining a healthy diet.  They can earn points as they navigate through the game, eventually becoming a ?Grand Master?. 

 

The objective of the game is to educate kids about their disease, as well as share these learnings with others.  And because kids spend so much time in school, Sanofi wants to educate the teachers and classmates too.  Teachers have access to an education pack containing the Mission T1D game, videos, and quizzes that can be used to educate the classroom.

 


Driving Adherence With Kids

Sanofi continued to build on their Type 1 diabetes focus when they launched their Monster Manor game.  Monster Manor encourages kids to test and log their blood glucose levels regularly by rewarding them with a digital pinata they can smash.  Aside from winning prizes with the pinata, parents and the patient care team can gain insight into glycaemic trends.

 

Bayer also introduced a Type 1 diabetes game.  This games synchs the Bayer DIDGET Meter with the Nintendo DS. Kids are encouraged to test and enter their blood levels into the system.  When the levels are within the target range for that child, tickets are awarded which can be used for game enhancements.



Gamification Is Not Just For Kids

Bayer and Sanofi have found gamification to be a great way to educate and reinforce adherence amongst kids.  But gamification can also have a profound effect on adults.  This is especially true when you see how some are using gamification to focus on improving the wellness of the patient beyond the pill, beyond medication adherence.

 

In a study at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, researchers are testing the impact of video games on MS patients.  Patients diagnosed with MS often struggle with balance, and currently there is no medication to slow this state.  Researchers at Sapienza have begun to test the impact of the Wii Balance Board on boosting the balance of MS patients.

 

Through Wii Balance Board games like yoga, snowboarding, and dancing, practiced 30-40 minutes for 5 days a week; MS patients are experiencing an improvement in their balance. The research team also used diffusion tensor to monitor physiological changes in the patients? brains.  They?re finding that this gamification is addressing, and positively impacting, wellness.

 

 

Gamification is certainly opening new doors for pharmaceutical companies.  Gen-Y and Millenials have grown-up in a device-centric world with self- education a mere thumb-tap away.  Gamification offers pharmaceutical companies a new opportunity and channel to connect by providing tools for self-education, adherence, and improving wellness lifestyles.

Accenture recently published a report on patient services as an underutilized resource.  According to Accenture?s patient services survey, 65% of patients surveyed said the pre-treatment interval is the most frustrating period for them. Patients are often unaware of their disease risks and tools that are available to them.  In this same survey six out of ten patients will use these services when they?re available to them. This challenges the common pharmaceutical practice of focusing on post-treatment services.

 

What is a pre-treatment patient service?

But therein lies the problem; most patients have zero awareness of these services.  In fact, when I read this report I had no idea what type of ?pre-treatment patient service? would be offered by a pharmaceutical company.  I reached out to almost a dozen connections across the pharmaceutical space looking for answers and all responded with having never heard the term.

 

But there are several pharmaceutical companies who are unifying the relationship across patients, HCPs, and hospitals.  These companies have recognized the significant opportunity in providing services at the earliest possible point in the patient journey.  Currently one-third of patients believe their physician is inaccurate in producing patient preferences. Because of this, these pharmaceutical companies have done one better.  While there?s an issue with patient preference accuracy, pharmaceutical companies recognize that patients prefer to receive healthcare guidance from their physicians and care teams; therefore they?re driving awareness around their patient services with HCPs.  This is developing a stronger relationship between pharma and HCPs because the pharma companies are enabling the HCPs with educational content to better service and engage the patient.

 

Merck?s Vree Health pre-treatment offering

One of the biggest complaints from patients is a lack of notification of being at risk for a condition. The global survey found 34 percent of patients across all therapeutic areas were frustrated they had little warning that they could be diagnosed with a condition. Merck?s venture, Vree Health, is focused on health checks and wellness tracking.  Through this tracking the patient can monitor their health and look for changes that could signify disease or chronic care complications.  Merck has even defined a 2 week patient journey. Patients have access to care liaisons that provide wellness coaching.  Merck?s Vree Health offering also deliver?s care plan adherence, a nurse hotline, and transportation assistance. 65-hqdefault.jpg

 

And to drive that required HCP awareness and enablement, Merck has added whitepapers, videos, case studies, and infographics that educate on patient outcomes and discuss how their patient services and products can positively affect those goals.  The care liaisons also act as a central point of contact across the patient?s care team, sharing information and allowing the clinician to focus on patient care.  Hospitals and clinics can identify solutions that will reduce cost of care and ideas that support broader community healthy management goals.

 

Janssen?s Healthcare Innovation pre-treatment offering

Janssen?s Healthcare Innovation has developed many pre-treatment services, most notably their ?Care4Today? programs.  These programs provide support that begin in the pre-treatment phase and extend throughout the entire patient journey.


Their mental health solutions provide support for both the healthcare team (staff, administrators, and implementation managers) and patients from diagnosis to ongoing management.  They offer patient and facilitator workbooks and videos, web and mobile tools, reminder services, and outcome analysis.   Their objective is to educate everyone that?s a part of the journey to reduce relapse and re-hospitalization.


Their orthopedic solutions provide patients management programs for people undergoing orthopedic surgery. The education content is designed to help patient recovery at home and improve patient outcomes.


Janssen has plans to launch a heart health solution including a technology platform, support center, personalized exercise program, and education curriculum. These support services also include mobile health manager apps for family members to monitor medication adherence, a reward program to allocate charitable donations based on adherence, and reports that track medication schedules.

 

Pharmaceutical companies are partnering with HCPs, hospitals, and clinics to better support the patient during the pre-treatment phase of their journey.  What service offering do you deliver?

As I do research and read to keep myself in the loop, I like to share what I find as additional resources. Here is a recent report from Deloitte, in case you haven't seen it:

 

http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/files/2015/01/us_2015-life-sciences-outlook.pdf


Remember, sharing is caring, so feel free to post what you find out there!

I love to see some great examples of engagement so if you have any to share, please post or send me a message!

If you need ideas or inspiration, here is Greg Cohen's 2014 presentation "Multichannel patient engagement through social media". Really nicely done.

 

http://www.eyeforpharma.com/multichannelusa/content.php


Check it out.

Just a few links that may be useful for anyone interested in Life Sciences regulations:

 

State of Compliance 2014 - Pharmaceutical and life sciences industry brief from PWC

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/risk-management/state-of-compliance-survey/assets/pwc-soc-pharma-and-life-sciences.pdf

 

Deloitte - A tall order to  fill: Enrolling young adults in health insurance

http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/life-sciences-health-care/us-chs-a-tall-order-to-fall.pdf

 

Navigant Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis

http://www.naviganthrp.com/pulse-weekly/

 

Taking Flight: Pharm Exec's Top 50 Pharma Companies 2015

http://www.pharmexec.com/taking-flight-pharm-execs-top-50-pharma-companies-2015

 

A simplified ACA timeline:

http://www.optimahealth.com/healthreform/Pages/HealthReformTimeline.aspx

 

Policy and Medicine

http://www.policymed.com/

 

The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association

http://www.nhcaa.org/

 

America's Health Insurance Plans

http://www.ahip.org/

There is no denying the increasing role of content marketing in the life and health sciences industry.  89% of physicians use the internet to access health information and of those physicians 57% use terms related to conditions and 36% use terms related  to treatments and trials.  Additionally, 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information in the past year, and of those searches the most commonly researched topics are specific diseases and conditions.

 

Richard Fouts with Gartner said a lot of well intended marketers dive straight into content marketing's creative process at the expense of crafting vision and goals. Yet research shows that marketers with a content marketing strategy are 600% more likely to be effective. In an industry where brands are at the centre of the universe, how can health and life science marketers use content to refocus on the patient?

 

We reached out to Buddy Scalera, Content Strategist, Transmedia Storyteller, Life and Health Science Industry Thought Leader, and Senior Director of Content Strategy at The Medicines Company to get his recommendations on this topic. 62-mind-the-gap-content-gap-analysis-feature.jpg

 

There's an increasing trend in physician, patient, and caregiver self education. And while well intended, much of the pharmaceutical brand content developed both from a health and life science company perspective, doesn't necessarily align with the search needs of their audience.  Why do you believe that there is a content gap right now between what's being published and what's desired?

 

I think probably it goes to the way the industry is structured and the requirements from the FDA, and really staying on label. That is, what you're indicated to treat. So brands have a responsibility to be the expert of their brands. And they can talk deeply about what they can treat and how they are indicated.

 

But the needs of the average user are wide and deep. And what the role of the brand is, is to talk confidently about what the brand does and what they are indicated for. In other words, we talk on label. And we can't really discuss things off label. So a brand content strategist should focus on making sure that we answer all the questions about the brand, how it's used, and all the different patient education materials that go with it, but not to try to be all things to all people.

 

As health consumers, searchers, ourselves, we know that we have to pull together information from different sources. And the brand really has to be an expert on the brand. What do we have permission and credibility to speak about? That's what you need to start with.

 

We're not going to satisfy all of the needs of every patient on an individual level, they still need to consult with their healthcare professional. But we really do need to be the expert and authority on our particular brand and what we're indicated for.

 

 

Where do you believe health science and life science marketers have the greatest opportunity to leverage content marketing when engaging  HCPs, patients, payers and other stakeholders?

 

This is tapping into something that is really the core of content strategy. And the reason for that is because we need to think about what those individual user types need.  Not "what we want to say at them," or "what our message for July or August is going to be."

 

What we need to think about is, "what does that prescriber need to know about our brand?" And not every prescriber is going to prescribe our brand, certainly. But in order to help them facilitate a decision, what's best for that patient or the caregiver? We need to understand their needs.

 

So I think the question is "where can we have the greatest opportunity?" The greatest opportunity is understanding what your customers want from you, and how you can provide that information while still remaining on label and accurate. 

 

Start from the perspective of what people want to know about your brand and your treatment, and then the long term of what does it mean to them.  Answer those questions and that's how you should be structuring your content strategy plan.  It's a bit of a reversal for traditional marketers, or even traditionally advertisers who've paid to have a banner or a commercial in front of people.

 

It's fairly forward thinking for an organization in the health and life sciences space to recognize the need for a content strategist. Many organizations are trying to understand if they should outsource content strategy and content development, or if that's something that they should bring in house and build.  So for companies that are looking to refocus their content marketing efforts, what are some recommendations that you can offer for that early stage?

 

I think one of the things that they really drive home at Content Marketing World is planning.  Planning allows you to know what you?re hoping to get out of that content creation, because content is expensive and difficult to create, especially good content. It's measurable. But ultimately a great plan will lead to governance, and if it's nobody's responsibility, then nobody will actually get it done.

 

Certain companies are hiring agencies to do the content strategy plan, and obviously there?s a person there, and some companies are bringing it in house on the brand and corporate level, and then there's a person there. But to have somebody responsible for a deliverable and the governance and the plan is really what you need in your early effort.

 

You'll find you have a lot of well intentioned people executing tactics. And what you have to do is say, alright, here's how this tactic fits into the strategy. So the first thing I typically do is I create a map that maps out the entire year.  It outlines what we?re doing, where each tactic fits in, when it happens, who's responsible for it, how we?re going to measure it.

 

With this one visual map, things make sense.  That's how a brand or a team that?s trying to get off the ground, or can't figure out what to do, can start to understand where all the pieces fit in. You'll find that some pieces do fit in, and often many of them don't. But going forward next year you have a better chance at a unified content strategy.

 

One of your great specialties is the area of visual content strategy and visual storytelling. How have you seen companies leverage visual storytelling, and are there some best in class examples that stand out to you?

 

It's amazing that people still think about the web first in text. I'm, by trade, a copywriter.  I'm very comfortable with words. But it's amazing how long we will iterate and discuss the text version of a manuscript. Then we give the design team a week to pull it together and then we?re surprised when they have the lady with the little headset on the Contact Us page.

 

We have to recognize the web is essentially a visual medium. Even the way you render text and the type of text choices you make are visual. It is a visual medium that people will interpret quickly; if they like it, if they're going to stay, if it's credible. You need to go at it holistically.  Get your designers in a room much earlier than you have in the past. Get your user experience and user interface experts in the room earlier rather than later, and tell them what you want to accomplish.

 

There's a saying in organizations that it's a "need to know basis -- and you don't need to know." But really at the end of the day, this is visual storytelling. And with storytelling being a fluid term of interpretation, you need to be able to communicate the story you're going to tell.

 

Think about how you dress for work.  That's a visual story and there's messages that you're imparting about yourself, about the way you carry yourself, the clothing choices you wear, the way you keep your hair and your face. These are all visual elements that as humans we interpret quickly. We're doing the same thing on the web. We don't become different people because we're looking at a screen, a big one or a small one or a mobile one or whatever. We have to think about the visual storytelling hook that we want to tell, and how we ensure that the visual storytelling experts are in there early enough to help us tell that story. Start earlier with things that traditionally were further down the continuum of the project plan, because they?re more important than people realize.

 

You can listen to the entire podcast with Buddy Scalera here.

 

You can also see Buddy present on these topics at the Content Marketing Summit at LinkedIn in July as well as Content Marketing World in September.  He?ll also be speaking at New York Comi Con and teaching classes on writing and panel to panel storytelling.

 

You can also see more of Buddy's work at buddyscalera.com, wordspicturesweb.com, as well as comicbookschool.com.

Fierce PharmaMarketing published a great post highlighting recent successes pharmaceutical companies are experiencing thanks to some new digital marketing programs.  As I read the article I was very impressed by metrics like 28% year-over-year brand sales and Clio awards.  And while the use of social media, patient sites, and innovation labs are spot-on, I was curious about what type of content was leveraged in these programs.

 

The digital channels facilitate interaction, but content is what ultimately engages the audience.

 

Novartis Uses the Words of Patients

Norvartis developed a smart social program around their Gilenya brand.  Using the phrase ?Take That MS?, MS patients posted what they?d like to say to the disease.  By personifying the illness, patients became the hero.

 

There does appear to be additional opportunity to provide follow-up content.  Once a visitor converts to the site they see panels of patients? responses and then an ?ask a medical expert' pop-up.  As I navigated further I found that even the content positioned as helpful and educational, like ?Questions to ask yourself? and ?Questions to ask the doctor? focused on the pill, and not the condition.

 

Upon further navigation I did find a section buried a couple levels down entitled ?Living with MS?.  This page containS numerous hyperlinks to MS resources which are all very informative. Novartis would be well served to move this content to a more prominent location.

 

Genentech Provides Content to Improve the Lives of Patients

An example of fantastic patient-centric content can be found on Genentech?s Rheumatoid Arthritis site.  Every piece of content on this site is written with the patient in mind.  In fact, most of the content is written by actual RA patients.  You can read each of their bios under the ?Meet the Experts? section.


Patients can find how-to videos on cooking with RA, daily inspirational quotes published by patients, community polls requesting input on future site development, expectations around lifestyle adjustment, healthy tips and advice for staying productive.  There?s an ?Around the Home? section that provides advice on setting up the kitchen, fashion tips, and easy to use household tools for RA patients. The site also provides content for the families and caregivers as well as doctor discussion content.


Every ?offer? on the site is educational in nature.  The only form on the site does not lead to drug information, rather it offers a treatment tracking journal. 


This helpful content also extends to their brand site.  Their use of infographics provides perspective around the condition.   61-EELBKDHDsnODobxRy1c4fw-temp-upload.gdsqxxoa.320x480-75.jpg

 

Janssen Healthcare Extends Content Across the Patient Journey

Janssen Healthcare has created several ?Care4Today? programs.  These programs provide support that extends throughout the entire patient journey.


Their mental health solutions provide support for both the healthcare team (staff, administrators, and implementation managers) and patients from diagnosis to ongoing management.  They offer patient and facilitator workbooks and videos, web and mobile tools, reminder services, and outcome analysis.   Their objective is to educate everyone that?s a part of the journey to reduce relapse and re-hospitalization.


Their orthopedic solutions provide patients management programs for people undergoing orthopedic surgery. The education content is designed to help patient recovery at home and improve patient outcomes.


Janssen has plans to launch a heart health solution including a technology platform, support center, personalized exercise program, and education curriculum. These support services also include mobile health manager apps for family members to monitor medication adherence, a reward program to allocate charitable donations based on adherence, and reports that track medication schedules.

 

Bayer Healthcare Crowdsources Innovation

Bayer has a hit a home-run with their Grants4Apps program.  This program not only scores big wins with innovation, but also with the use of content to drive grant submissions and communicate achievements in healthcare innovation.


Bayer is driving innovation submissions for mobile applications, services, wearables, medical devices, hardware, and software.  They?re looking for innovative solutions that will overcome challenges tied to compliance and adherence, prevention, healthy habits, and patient empowerment.

 

They?ve driven tremendous interest in this program by utilizing the #InnovationOnWheels and through their Grants4Apps Twitter handle.  They use this social channel to promote new initiatives like Partner Your Antibodies, to highlight through visual snapshots people working on their ideas and programs, draw attention to new trends and progress in healthcare, and show the success and interest of this initiative through Vine videos.

 

Certainly much of the traffic and visibility tied to these programs can be attributed to the digital marketing used.  But ultimately the content is what delivered on interaction and follow-through. Technology facilitates but content engages.

 

Where are you seeing success in your content programs?

Future Care hosted a tweet chat centered on the dichotomy of population health and personalized care.  Over a period of 60 minutes healthcare thought leaders discussed the future of population health management, steps needed to accomplish integrated care, balancing patient and population care, meeting the needs of patient, providers, and payers, and future challenges to population health management.

 

Below are the top tweeted responses to each discussion.  Enjoy the takeaways from these to healthcare thought leaders.

 

 

Q1- What are your organization's strengths and weaknesses on #futurecare population health management?

 

Q2- What do you think are the keys #futurecare to developing truly integrated care? 60-images.jpg

 

Q3 -How do you balance patient-centered care and population health management?#futurecare

 

Q4 - What are the different values, for patients, providers and payers, of proactive and preventative care? #futurecare

 

Q5 - What are some of the challenges #futurecare to population health management projects and goals?

Health and Life Sciences companies are finding that more and more decision-making is now occurring by committee.  Not-for-profit corporations, group purchasing organizations, and hospital value associations are driving decisions around equipment, devices, and other medical products. These organizations work with hospitals and care facilities to identify potential savings.

 

Companies are now recognizing the need, and feeling increased pressure, to meet the demands of the "buyer by counsel" sales process.  And the driving force behind that process is financial justification. This is especially relevant when your company may not be the lowest cost entry point.

 

So how can you provide financial justification as well as a value story that will resonate with each member of the buying committee?

 

I spoke with the team at Alinean.  Alinean was formed in 2001 by Tom Pisello and other ex-Gartner ROI / TCO experts.  They combine value marketing with ROI and TCO practices to assist companies in delivering value to every customer conversation through value messaging, interactive tools and training for today's more skeptical, frugal buyer. 59-Buying+Cycle+and+Tools.png

 

Getinge Demonstrates Financial Value

This was the case with Getinge, a health and life science company that specializes in sterilization and washers.   Getinge found that buyer-by-counsel opportunities were on the rise and they had a need to provide a strong value story.  They worked with Alinean to develop a value matrix. Alinean worked with Getinge on persona development for their targeted buyers, users, and influencers.  They identified not just roles and responsibilities, but also their pain.

 

With that information they could then develop a value matrix organized by labor productivity, operating costs, clinical outcomes, worker safety, equipment up-time, and revenue growth. Each of these challenges was then mapped to the defined challenge, opportunity, loss, solution, differentiation, and evidence.

 

With the strategy in place Alinean was then able to demonstrate additional value by leveraging their ROI analysis experience and providing metrics around current spend, savings, and proposed spend as well as projected annual savings.  These tools enable Getinge to deliver executive reports demonstrating value and a relevant story to those committee members.

 

Medidata Enables Their Sales Organization

This value and financial storytelling isn't resigned to benefit estimator tools.  This approach can be applied to online value calculators as well as internal sales enablement.  Medidata sales executives can communicate and quantify the value of Medidata at streaming study planning, reducing risks, and accelerating time to market.

 

Using value story application management, companies can create an interactive presentation for the sales executives to deliver in person to a physician, purchasing, agent, nurse, or any other decision-maker.  Vignettes are then queued up based on the individual?s response to questions.   The sales executive can then deliver a personalized presentation addressing hot button issues or interests along with a value calculator that delivers results in real-time at the conclusion of the presentation.

 

GE Healthcare Drives Demand

Other organizations, like GE Healthcare, are using calculators on public-facing web pages for demand generation and top of funnel activities.  This type of lead capture assists in building out an individual or account profile to determine opportunity and future communications.  GE Healthcare?s productivity assessment provides healthcare organizations a comparative analysis based on facility type, department, and patient volume.

 

Companies can no longer compete on feature/function, they must have a compelling value story that demonstrates financial value to the buyer.  And this value story must also address the needs of each member of that committee.

 

How are you currently delivering the value required of the committee?

Patient-centricty and patient engagement are, consistently, 2 objectives defined by life science companies.  In an effort to support and educate patients, many companies are considering the development of patient communities.  These companies are often torn between the development of their own community, or contributing to existing 3rd party communities.  There are often concerns around regulatory compliance and whether the patient population warrants a specialized community supported by a particular therapy.

 

Certainly risk, compliance, and existing community support should all be factors affecting the decision.  But there are additional considerations life science companies must discuss. 55-index.jpg

 

Community Purpose

The most important, and often overlooked, step is defining the community purpose.  Are you developing a support community for patients?  Is your objective to deliver content and resources to improve the lives of patients?  Are you focused on therapy R&D?

 

Merck partnered with PatientsLikeMe to focus on community building.  This was an effort to test how a new kind of online evidence network could inform drug development using real-world health outcomes in psoriasis, the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the US. Merck had 2 goals, to provide a tool to help improve patients' lives, and to gain knowledge about symptoms, self care, and the lives of patients over time to more clearly discern how people use medications with a goal towards informing the development of future treatment. They accomplished both objectives.  They drove greater patient support and resources for those patients.  They also learned that insomnia was a common issue for those with psoriasis and could now work to overcome those challenges.

 

 

Community Participation

Once you define the community purpose you must then decide how to drive opt-in to the community, as well as participation. Will you, the company, deliver content to engage and drive conversations, or are you looking for the community members to do this?  Will you have HCPs engaging in conversations or do you want patient opinion leaders driving engagement?

 

The use of patient opinion leaders continues to be a growing trend.  Companies want to capture and marry credible content with their community efforts. Companies recognize that they need to offer more 3rd party content which is why they utilize KOLs in authorship, speaker bureaus, and clinical trials.  But the challenge is KOLs are sometimes viewed as biased.  This is the reason behind the shift from key opinion leaders to patient opinion leaders.  The persuasive content comes from the testimonials of patients.

 

Community Promotion

With the purpose and participation defined, the promotion and community communications can now be discussed.  For example, you'll need outbound campaigns to drive individuals to opt-in to the community.  Social media is also important because, while the patient community platform wouldn?t be built on a social channel, it will be key to identifying influencers, patient opinion leaders, patient concerns and topics of interest around the disease, and inbound traffic to the patient community site.

 

Finally, you need to have a good handle on your content.  Do you know what content currently engages each persona and at what stage (community interest vs. community engagement vs. advocacy)?  Have you audited your content and mapped it to the patient experience (disease diagnosis vs. treatment, etc)?  Do you have a platform in place that allows you to deliver targeted and personalized outbound communications around community interest, opt-in and community updates?  Do you have content marketing resources for auditing, mapping, and measuring which are essential to community effectiveness?  Can you execute social listening, influencer identification, and inbound marketing?

 

The decision to pursue patient community development is influenced by a number of factors.  When in doubt, ask the patients what they want.  Which patient community best practices would you add?

To achieve buy-in, budget approval, or a project green light you must first engage.  As marketers we study the art of engagement.  We develop programs, content, and analytics to maximize engagement with HCPs, patients, KOLs, POLs, payers, and policy makers. We recognize that we must deliver content that educates, nurtures, and motivates.  As marketers we recognize that we must deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time, and through the right channel.  And as marketers we understand that the most effective form of engagement results from storytelling.

 

So why do we fail so miserably at engaging our internal audience?  More than any business unit, marketing should have perfected the business presentation.  And yet, we often fall back into the bad habit of bullet-point heavy PowerPoint presentations, charts and graphs, and messaging that focuses on what's missing versus what is possible.

 

"It's no longer a conversation about overcoming deficiency.  It's a conversation about potential."

  • - Aimee Mullins, Paralympics champion, actor, model, inspirational speaker and double amputee

 

In order to succeed you must create an internal environment for success.  To do this you must guide the company to the realization that the initiative is a change for the better and that they are a part of that positive change.  And much like engaging with your external audience, engaging with your internal audience requires preparation, analysis, relevant content with context, and storytelling.

 

54-life-sciences-project-green-light-how-to-gain-corporate-buyin-1-638.jpg

VIEW SLIDESHARE

Amongst marketers there has been discussion over compliance resources.  Balancing the need for speed and marketing acumen with the effort of keeping up to date on regulations and a CYA mentality, marketers have been torn over whether to beg, borrow, or steal compliance resources.

 

In fact, there's a fantastic article on the 5 stages of grief around compliance programs. The article breaks down denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  So once marketers reach the acceptance stage, what approach to compliance resources should they take?

 

I reached out to Kristy Junio, Senior Director of Product Management for Health and Life Sciences within the Oracle Marketing Cloud, to get her approach to compliance resources.  Below we define the pros and cons of whether to beg, borrow, or steal.

 

Beg:  I should rely on the compliance team to manage compliance and I should have a checklist of what to provide them when I need them.

This approach expedites the compliance approval process.  With timeliness as a focus, expectations are set up front. Depending on the size of the compliance team, this process would likely be more consistent.  This also places the legal and compliance teams as the party responsible for staying up to date on regulations.

 

It's important to note that depending on the volume of work and requests from other teams, departments, and LOBs, requests may be prioritized against other programs prolonging the review process.  Compliance may also not understand business requirements and may take a hard-lined compliance approach versus considering business impacts. 53-179432966_640.jpg

 

Borrow:  I should have compliance train my team.  I should have a frequently asked questions sheet and workflow defined.

A good rule of thumb is to remember that an informed organization will likely not make the same mistakes over and over again.  This will contribute to the creation of more efficiencies since fewer issues will have to be resolved at the legal review phase. Knowledge share through the use of tools like portals and documents is also a benefit.  Best practices can be shared amongst an informed team, once again creating more efficiencies in the process.

 

While training and knowledge share is a best practice, ongoing training and updates may create resource constraints for teams that have competing priorities.  It may also be hard to ensure that current information is distributed in a regular fashion.  Ensure that you have someone maintain updates to tools such as frequently asked questions.

 

Steal:  I should hire my own internal compliance resources.

For many companies, if budget allows, this is the preferred best practice.  By managing an internal team of compliance resources, marketers can maintain control over prioritization of work and speed of review, if the volume is not an issue.

 

The challenge is that these new compliance resources may be disconnected with other resources.  You're also limited if overflow becomes a problem and your compliance resource is at capacity.  Depending on the communication structure and work agreements, this person may not have connectivity into the larger compliance organization.

 

If you take this approach put SLAs in place with Compliance and develop a dotted line reporting structure.  If volume is too high, the same capacity issues may arise, like having to wait in a queue with a broader compliance team.  Evaluate at what point you risk reaching diminishing returns.

 

Ultimately, whether you beg, borrow, or steal is reliant on existing resources, available budget, and internal culture.  Consider the pros and cons of each approach and determine which method is best for your team and the company.  And of course, engage your compliance and legal teams in this decision making.

 

Which approach has your company taken?  What are the pros and cons you've experienced?

The HIMSS Annual Conference is the largest health IT event in the industry.  This year over 41,000 individuals attended.  Healthcare professionals, clinicians and executives from around the world gathered to explore the value of health IT through education, networking and solutions.  I've attended large events before but nothing compares to the massiveness of HIMSS.  Unlinke most conferences where the exhibitors are limited to a room adjacent to the event, at HIMSS the exhibit floor is central hub.  All sessions occur around the perimeter of the exhibit floor which stretches on and on and on.  The floor itself boasts the latest in healthcare technology with robotic doctors buzzing about.

 

And aside from the amazement of the floor, the content found within each session was outstanding.  Every attendee surely left discovering new ways to advance innovation, make a greater impact and improve outcomes.  Below are my takeaways from HIMSS15.

 

 

Over lunch last week a customer asked "are we focused on the right things?"  It's an important question, but it's also difficult to answer.  In order to answer that question a company needs to take account of their current activities and focus, measure and analyze the results, and identify future potential.  But where do you start?

 

I reached out to John Tepe, Marketing and Sales Consultant with Customer Discovery.  John brings decades of marketing and sales experience and insight to every interaction. He's worked in various industries, successfully operated his own ad agency, and was the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales at ChoiceCare (Humana).  John melds the creativity of the Mad Men era with the strategic insight required for Modern Marketing.

 

When John engages with companies he has them self-audit their marketing effectiveness.  This helps the company identify what those "right things" are which then makes identifying gaps and mapping future work all that easier.   John guides his clients through the following 36 Points to Ponder.  He encourages each team to rate each point "Agree/Disagree" on a scale of 1-5 and then to assign a priority level ranging from 1-5.  John emphasizes the importance of the priority ranking because it forces the company to identify a focus as well as those criteria that are most critical and needing attention.

 

Below are the 36 Points to Ponder.  While these speak primarily to life science companies, health science companies can use a very similar framework.  How do you score?

 

  1. We have a clearly defined Annual Marketing Plan (with budget)
  2. We have identified our competitive advantage - differentiator from our competition.  We demonstrate this through clinical trial data as well as comparative data sets, budget impact models, and health data outcomes.
  3. Each medication/device has a value proposition for HCPs, patients, caregivers, pharmacists, and payers. The value proposition is adjusted for each journey stage and for the patients experience at each stage.
  4. Our plan specifically identifies methods to understand the needs of HCPs, patients, caregivers, pharmacists, GPOs, and payers.
  5. Our marketing materials (including website) are consistent both visually and in content.
  6. Social media is planned with sufficient resources allocated including alignment with, and support from, the compliance team.  We have also developed contingency plans for our social communications and programs.
  7. Content development is planned with sufficient resources allocated
  8. We maintain detailed records of the quantitative results of our marketing activities
  9. Our marketing materials are accurate and up to date with old materials discarded
  10. Target market trends are regularly monitored
  11. Value-added communication is regularly distributed to HCPs, patients, caregivers, pharmacists, GPOs, and payers. The content addresses each journey stage and for the patients experience at each stage.
  12. Our brand and look are clearly established on every form of communication 51-ppc-seo-audits-obxmedia.jpg
  13. We are intentional about creating newsworthy information for the press
  14. Patient value and values have been identified
  15. Our marketing efforts are aligned with our Strategic Direction
  16. Our website is current and email response is closely monitored
  17. We have a carefully maintained relationship management process for HCPs, patients, caregivers, pharmacists, GPOs, and payers.
  18. Our marketing materials are more about wellness benefits to patients than our company.  We're thinking beyond the pill.
  19. The image we project in our marketing is consistent with reality -- "our promises kept"
  20. We are FOCUSED re: target market, target audience, message, marketing tactics,
    sales support
  21. We have identified our sweet spot for each market segment that we target
  22. Our positioning reflects keen understanding of target market segment, and audience perception of competitors and us
  23. Competitors are closely monitored -- e.g. website changes, value proposition, sales collateral, promotion offerings, distribution strategies, pricing, news releases
  24. We understand the decision-making process and criteria for decision-making for HCPs, patients, caregivers, pharmacists, and payers.
  25. Marketing tactics are aligned to specific steps in the cycle -- i.e. pre-awareness; awareness; trial; adoption; advocacy
  26. Sales leadership and marketing leadership are in sync regarding Marketing's support
    of sales activities
  27. The HCP database is kept up-to-date (at least monthly basis) with accurate prescriber data, digital body language information, content preferences, and both personal and non-personal engagement metrics and scoring.  This data is used to target, segment, and personalize communications.
  28. The patient database is kept up-to-date (at least monthly basis), is kept private and compliant, and used to appropriately deliver opted-in communications.
  29. Marketing and Sales concur on how to best demonstrate value
  30. Marketing and brand managers spend at least one day per month in the field going on detailing calls
  31. We rely on facts during discussions (debates) relating to major marketing decisions
  32. Consensus between Sales and Marketing is important
  33. We have identified and regularly nurture our high engaged, high decile prescribers.  We have also identified and regularly engage with in-person detailing low engaged, low decile prescribers.
  34. Marketing works closely with Sales to develop forecasts
  35. Consideration for major risks in achieving Marketing and Sales success is addressed
    in the Marketing Plan
  36. I would invest $100K of my own money in the current marketing program

Every industry faces the challenge of marketing and sales alignment.  But in the life sciences space, the ownership of key communication tactics is met with some confusion.  Many multichannel communication tactics touch both the marketing and sales organizations.  And with the economic turmoil of 2008, many firms were forced to reduce spending across the board.  This spending restriction is still occurring today, and pharma, biotech and medical device firms are forced to do more with less.  One major consequence is a reduction in the sales force.  This places an added strain on firms where only 56% of prescribers are willing to meet with reps, and that interaction averages only 98 seconds.

 

So where should you focus field sales efforts, and where should you leverage marketing?

 

The development of scoring models allows organizations to identify engagement levels for each individuals, and then focus sales efforts where they're needed both.  Scoring for life sciences companies is very different then what you'll find at most companies.  The explicit and implicit data for scoring is particular and the scoring process is also special.

 

Below are 5 steps for developing an HCP scoring model for life science companies.

 

Step 1: Decide on the Program

Decide what type of scoring program you want to implement.  Discuss persona, brand, and HCP specialty scoring models.  If this is your first scoring program it's recommended that you start with a scoring model which runs in the background and gauges funnel effectiveness.

 

Select a beta scoring program.  You don't want to launch a scoring model that's too complex and would be launched across multiple brands.  As an example, we'll select "Zonall", a fictional diabetes medication.

 

Step 2: Discuss the Fit

Discuss explicit scoring options related to specialty, region, states licensed, CE education due date, if they're KOLs or speakers on certain topics, primary account payer type, primary account formulary contract expiration, medical school, and if they're an advisory board member.

 

You'll also want to score on prescribing history.  Decile level and their script writing behavior is key in an HCP scoring program. Pulling in this data from a provider like IMS Health, you can begin to leverage this behavior.

 

In this example we want to keep things simple so we'll score based on decile level, specialty, primary account payer type, and CE education due date.  50-Matrix.png

 

Step 3: Agree on Engagement

Evaluate implicit scoring options.  Consider high value pages, physician portal behavior, product pages visits, entry channels (email vs. inbound), frequency of visits, number of assets accessed per visit, previous CE event attendance, detail history, and brand app engagement.

 

For this example we'll score implicitly on whether the HCP portal site was visited, if more than 3 pages were visited, if the website was visited more than twice in the last month, and if they visited the Zonall page.

 

Step 4: Score and Evaluate

Score the explicit and implicit information and evaluate handoffs.  This is where the life science use case is very different from a standard scoring model.  Typically you want to identify those individuals who are most engaged and funnel them to the sales team for follow-up.  Those individuals who are not engaged are traditionally placed into a nurturing program of some sort.

 

Not the case in life sciences.  If there is an HCP who is engaged and prescribing then you want to continue nurturing that individual, but you probably don't want to allocate a resource-strained sales force to detail them.  You want your scoring program to identify those HCPs who are disengaged and not prescribing so you can properly target those individuals with relevant content and face-to-face detailing efforts.  It's sort of a reverse scoring program.

 

Step 5:  Modify When Needed

As you begin to evaluate the scoring model you'll want to pay close attention to the output.  Is the scoring model capturing the funnel correctly?  Is the sales organization allocated to those HCPs who need the most attention and follow-up? Are the highly engaged HCPs who are in nurturing programs continuing to engage and prescribe?  Where needed, make adjustments to both the scoring models and opportunity assignment process.

 

If engagement amongst low prescribing HCPs continues, evaluate which content has resonated with the engaged HCPs and utilize that content in personalized digital outreach and in-person detailing.  As a final best practice, it's recommended that a picklist be standardized for all values. Ensure that all explicit data is being captured in SFA and from inbound forms.  Also ensure that the picklists in SFA and your marketing automation system mirror each other.

 

What types of HCP scoring best practices have you implemented and found successful?

Patients engage with physicians a few times a year and payers only when they need to.  However, patients engage with their employer almost every single day.

 

Patient engagement along the patient journey is dependent upon programs offered by employers.  Even providers and physicians rely on employers for education and outreach.

 

But 250 vendors work with the top employers in the country - leading to fragmented health care benefits experience for employees.  Additionally, employees' decisions about health care are made in times of stress, in a complex system, leading to bad choices

 

Here are 18 Tweetable Takeaways, identified at the 15th Annual Employer Health Care Conference, for employers to consider as they embark on employee wellness and healthcare initiatives.


49-3-18-2015+8-57-30+AM.png

VIEW SLIDESHARE

Hospitals have long been focused on patient care.  But the role healthcare organizations play in patient care is evolving because healthcare organizations are owning provider education which ultimately impacts the quality and efficiency of patient care.  This is especially true when you consider Accountable Care Organizations.  One of the key challenges for hospitals and physicians is that the incentives in ACOs are to reduce hospital stays, emergency room visits and expensive specialist and testing services.  This is a dramatic shift when you consider this is the way hospitals and physicians have made money in fee-for-service systems.

 

But whether an organization is an ACO or fee-for-service, providers and patients alike are evaluating healthcare organizations on support and resources offered.  The result is that all healthcare should focus more and more on efficiency and quality, while still trying to drive volume. 47-care_coordination.jpg

 

How is efficiency measured?

Efficiency is measured in a number of ways.  Time savings, increased productivity and volume, and fewer errors are all factors considered.  Quality of care also weighs heavy when considering efficiency. Organizations typically evaluate episodic care.  When a patient enters the hospital with an issue, ordered test, frequency, hospital versus ambulatory care, and prescribed medications all affect the cost of care.

 

This total cost of care combined with length of stay, ER visit rates, bed days per visit, and readmission rates all factor into efficiency calculations.  This is why physician education and enablement is becoming a focus for many healthcare organizations.

 

Healthcare organizations are making a commitment to provider education.  Provider education is instrumental in delivering efficient and quality patient care.  Organizations are working to empower providers, as well as patients, with the delivery and coordination of care.

 

Baylor's Commitment to Educating Physicians

Baylor has a made a commitment to educating its physician staff.  They promote resources to physicians that include care coordination, care gap resolution, wellness coaching and chronic disease resources, and data analytics. They've developed a member website and utilize a physician liaison team to distribute materials and information.  Other physician education resources include dashboards, directories, a medical director's blog, a care coordinated microsite, newsletters, video blogs, targeted email campaigns, and town hall meetings.  I'd also like to note that the digital resources are mobile enabled so physicians can access and engage with content on the go.

 

The BaylorQualityAlliance.com site contains information for both patients and physicians. For patients they offer content like physician finders and health plan partner information.  The website also provides member only content that is secured. This secured area of the site contains a repository for all BQA communications, physician performance dashboards, quality measures, and contact information for administrative and clinical leadership.

 

Physicians and hospitals alike are now being evaluated by patients based on the quality of care offered.  It's imperative that healthcare organizations invest in the continued education and support of both providers and patients.

 

How is your organizaiton educating and enabling providers?

Biosimiliars are gaining traction in the pharmaceutical industry.  Aside from the $250 billion sales potential, biosimiliars are introducing improvements in healthcare as well as significant cost savings potentials.  And while biosimiliars offer great opportunity and potential, pharma companies are facing an uphill battle due to a fear caused by lack of education around biosimiliar benefits.

This lack of education is an issue with patients, but also with providers and pharmacists.  Education efforts must extend to physicians, nurses, and patients.  Pharmaceutical companies must begin to educate and provide clarity around prescribing regulations as well as the benefits of biosimiliars.  This is especially true when you consider 82% of patients say their physician decides their brand of medication and 69% of patients also consult a pharmacist. 46-images.jpg

 

Educating Providers

Pharma companies are well advised to consider and invest in educational content around biosimiliars. In order to influence physicians, pharma must significantly adjust their commercial message, buying process, and use of KOLs.  Physician engagement programs centered on education must be developed.  There's a lack of guidelines, as well as information on quality and efficacy.  Companies must address non-consumption as well as how patients can overcome the inability to afford costs.  They must speak to comparative data sets, health data outcomes, and budget impact models. This can come in the form of white papers, blogs, slideshares, and even recorded videos.

 

With an understanding of what needs to be communicated, pharma must also develop engaging ways to educate.  Eli Lilly's use of LillyPad and their gamification content program, Destination Discovery, provide good examples of engaging content. There are some good biosimiliar content examples that can be found in a thought leadership video produced by FDA physicians, a "What is a biosimiliar?" video published by Hospira, and recorded Biosimiliar Basics webinar hosted by the FDA. This content and content delivery should be considered by pharmaceutical companies.

 

Educating Patients

With the benefits that accompany biosimiliars, there is a complexity in the development and manufacturing which raises the cost due to time required and risk of production.  This cost increase is passed on to the consumer in terms of price.  Because of this, there's an additional educational element required in patient communications.

 

There's a consensus that pharma must also educate the patient on the facts and benefits of biosimilars.  However, I found it difficult to find content focused on educating the patient.  In fact, most of what I found was focused on recruiting patients versus helping them.  There is a patient toolkit offered by the International Alliance of Patients? Organizations that educates and enables patients on this topic.  Pharma companies would be well advised to develop similar patient-centric education.  Focus on FAQs, visual explanations, and where possible incorporate POL-driven content.

 

Remember to focus the message on the needs of the patient and the patient experience which is dependent on lifestyle and disease state.  Understand that a strong inbound strategy is necessary to drive engagement with patients and caregivers.  Provide information that will empower patients and caregivers to take control of their lives and lead a healthy lifestyle. Shift from a marketing mindset to that of a facilitator of helpful information.  You no longer market and brand your drug, you connect patients and caregivers with information that helps and heals.

 

There are great benefits to biosimiliars, but it falls to the pharmaceutical companies to educate providers, pharmacists, patients, and even payers on the value.  This can only be done if companies invest in content development that engages like Lilly Pad and educates like the FDA.  Most importantly, remember that patient communications should emphasize the improvement to their lives, not the impact their recruitment has on your revenue.

 

Have you seen examples of effective biosimiliar content?

Group Purchasing Organizations are the "Unsung Heroes of Healthcare Form", but they are also an added complexity in the medical device selling process.  There are approximately 600 active GPOs serving healthcare providers across the country.  Between 96 percent and 98 percent of hospitals nationwide belong to at least one GPO, according to a Healthcare Supply Chain Association report, and approximately 72 percent of hospital purchases are made through GPO contracts. 

 

Enacted by Congress in 1987, the Medicare and Medicaid Patient Protection Act 1987 allows GPOs to charge administrative fees to suppliers while providing services to hospitals.  GPOs aren't without controversy.  In a recent HSCA report, healthcare economists at Dobson DaVanzo & Associates found GPOs could help reduce overall healthcare spending by up to $864.4 billion by 2022, approximately $55 billion every year. But there are questions around the contract administrative fees, which GPOs collect from vendors.  These fees average about 3 percent of their negotiated contract, according to a Government Accountability Office report.  Some believe that GPOs favor larger vendors with more market share and higher pricing because the contract administrative fees, which GPOs use to cover operations, but also sometimes distribute back to hospital members. 45-2-14-2015+4-16-22+PM.png

 

The GPOs don't directly purchase the products; they only negotiate contracts for the hospitals and providers.  But, they are a powerful influencer and a very important channel in the medical device distribution process.  In fact, many GPOs are looking to partner with medtech companies for the long term.  GPOs are a channel that requires specific messaging and a concerted effort.

 

Below are 5 best practices for engaging with GPOs.

 

  1. Integrate the GPO perspective into your messaging and deliver content that aligns with that perspective.  Just as companies are adjusting communications for payers, the same must be done for GPOs.  While GPOs are often looking for the best deals, they also want to understand if devices have a proven track record of benefits, such as reducing readmission rates or preventing infection.  Communicate the information that will best educate and enable both GPOs and hospitals.
  2. Stress brand and message alignment. Manufacturers must communicate their alignment with both the GPO and the hospital.  Ensure in your communications you reference any environmental friendly attributes, if you're part of a minority or woman owned business, and if you're approved by the Clinical Advisory Board.  Demonstrating a commitment to a shared vision to and commitment to both the patient and provider is also key.
  3. Align with the offerings of GPOs. Many GPOs offer services, outside of contract negotiations, to hospitals.  For example, HealthTrust recently launched HealthTrust University (HTU), which is an online, virtual university that provides supply chain management, clinical, professional development and HealthTrust-specific training programs. In addition, HealthTrust hosts an annual HealthTrust University Conference, which provides an opportunity for the membership to network with contracted vendors.  Have a communication program that promotes, supports, and follows up on these events.
  4. Capture, and act on, the Digital Body Language of GPOs. Understand which GPOs are engaging with your content, and which content they're evaluating.  Use this information to proactively reach out to GPOs and inquire into projects instead of waiting to react to an RFP.  Also ensure that you capture within your marketing automation system the corresponding GPO(s) your target providers engage with.  This will allow you to segment and target your communications as well as reference this information dynamically throughout your content.
  5. Remember that GPOs are influencers, but not the purchaser.  Don't neglect your relationship with hospitals and design and execute a communication strategy that nurtures and educates the provider.

 

Which best practices would you recommend for GPO engagement?

In recent observations I've found that many life science companies have become complacent with their social media postings.  They rely on the typical "upcoming event" alerts to provide enough content for that particular week.  But these organizations have so much more to offer.  So how can life science companies expand their social media use beyond job postings and whatever that day's disease # might be?

 

The answer is simply "better content".

 

OK, so better content is easier said than done, but understand that better content doesn't necessarily mean new content.  Better content may just mean better use of existing organic content and 3rd party content.

 

Content That's Relevant

Bayer has found ways to extend their relevancy on social media by tapping into current events and those topics that interest their audience. Several months ago the United States experienced an alarming scare tied to an Ebola outbreak.  Bayer used this event to drive attention to the needs of Ebola ravaged countries.  Across their social channels Bayer posted Ebola content around supplier donations. Bayer identified a crisis that had captured the nation's attention and redirected that attention to a good cause.

 

I was also very impressed with Bayer's program around science.  In an effort to encourage young students to pursue the science field, Bayer ran a social media campaign encouraging students to answer "I love science because..."  They continue to provide content and support around STEM education.

 

Content That's Underutilized 44-2-6-2015+9-43-45+PM.png

Sometimes the content required to improve your social media initiatives is right under your nose, you're just not leveraging it entirely.  A few months ago C.R. Bard posted a fantastic picture and a note of congratulations to the Director of Endovascular  Services at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for being the first user of the Lutonix 035 DCB in the U.S. post FDA approval.  It's a wonderful example of taking a product and adding some life to it. What's missing in the post is the link to information on the catheter.

 

Many life science companies become consumed with the pressure to demonstrate ROI, or increase "likes" and "follows".  Oftentimes, as in the catheter case, social media provides another platform for education and conversion.  By placing links to product pages or additional testimonials, corporate marketing organizations can quickly begin to demonstrate their contribution to product awareness and education.

 

This can ease that challenge around content and overcome the coupon offer status quo.

 

The Coupon Status Quo

On most life science websites the offer used to convert is a coupon.  I spoke with one company who said one of their marketing objectives was to identify anonymous web visitors.  We started discussing what offers were used to convert visitors on their website and the answer was "coupons".  The offer on display ads? Coupons.  The offer in emails? Coupons.  So even if they identified those unknown visitors, the only offer they would provide is the same offer the audience already rejected on every other channel.

 

In the case of Bard, the photographic testimonial of a revered surgeon would be enough to convert the audience to a page where they could read more about the tool, request additional information, or even register for training.

 

Final Words

I reached out to one social media expert and he offered the following advice.

 

"I think that one of the best things for marketers to understand is how to listen and plan prior to posting. Unless your business is funny cat videos you don't have content ready-made for social so you really should keep an eye on a social platform for a couple of months to get a feel for it and tailor content to it before you even think of posting for your business."

 

What social media advice would you provide to life science companies?

Sales enablement is a topic that causes much grief and anxiety for life sciences companiesA study by Capgemini Consulting and QuantiaMD found that 64% of physicians work for healthcare organizations that either ban pharmaceutical sales reps or limit their access. A much larger percentage of younger doctors -- 90% -- are joining these groups right out of school, as compared with 50% of established physicians.

 

This trend towards low-see and no-see physicians means that marketing must better support the sales organization.  But enablement is more than just devices, content, and tools.  True enablement requires strategy, structure, systems, skills and a culture of accountability.  And this culture of accountability must align medical, sales, marketing, and compliance.

Below are 12 enablement tactics life sciences should consider implementing. 43-medtronic-sales-presentation.jpg


  1. Reinforce without overextending.  Marketing needs to become agile and proactive in the support, education, and enablement of sales teams.  Provide sales with the opportunity to deliver the right message at the right time. Avoid the fractured HCP experience. Allow for immediate follow-up with HCPs.
  2. Ask sales what they want. Include them in the conversation and decision-making process.  Speak with your sales members to understand what they need.  Oftentimes they're interested in physician writing habits, decile history, and content engagement.
  3. Not another @!#$ tool?! Context and positioning is imperative. Your first challenge will be introducing new tools without overwhelming an already overwhelmed sales team.  The last thing sales wants is another tool they ?have to use? simply because its part of the process and the company needs that information, on record, from the sales team. Pharma has been burned by the iPad roll-out trend.
  4. Baby steps: Rollout one solution at a time and only after the sales team sees positive results from the previous tool.
  5. Start with the best. Avoid the end of a fiscal quarter. Get them in the office.  Focus on the top performing reps because they are more apt to embrace new solutions to aid their efforts, and if they have success others will soon follow.
  6. Explaining the benefits will not equate in adoption. Show forensic evidence of activity.
  7. Implement a smart form strategy to eliminate cold calls and educate sales. Your sales and marketing teams should jointly consider what information is queried on a form.  Improve submission queries by implementing progressive profiling.  Stop asking for information you already have, or can supplement.  Ask your sales organization what information they need in order to qualify, and build that into your profile development.
  8. No secrets. Get transparent and proactive with data sharing. 
  9. Avoid shallow and cheap engagement. Identify high-value content offers for sales.
  10. Use these tactics to improve revenue as well improve content development and direction:   Avoid a bottleneck of opportunity with your sales team.  Many companies focus so much on filling the funnel, but generate virtually no activity to support the sales organization with funnel movement.  Properly qualify opportunities, capture the required information around writing habits and interests tied to drugs, safety, and clinical trials. Nurture with content that aligns to those interests.
  11. Repetition + Reinforcement  = Retention
  12. Tell the story up. Ask them what they want. A single view provides shared perspective.  Lastly, find a way to communicate success.  Interview key stakeholders to determine what information and trends each is interested in.

 

Which enablement tactics would you add?

There are a number of market trends impacting the health and life sciences space.  There are issues around data security and growing tension between data and privacy.  Factors like Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Electronic Health Records (EHR), and data exchanges are driving more concern.  The escalation of healthcare cost containment across all audiences is also receiving plenty of attention.

 

But there are 3 trends driven by the patient consumers that are worth exploring more.  These are requests, issues, and wants as defined the patient.  These are trends that are also grabbing the attention of many businesses because of their concern and interest in the patient.

 

Below are 3 consumer driven trends and examples of companies addressing each. 41-Patient-Engagement-Cartoon.jpg

 

Expanding the Definition of Patient-centricity

Companies recognize that they need to place more emphasis on the patient and patient care.  "Improving the lives of patients" is an objective of many providers.  And organizations are building in more patient-focused communications in order to educate patients and build relationships.

Wellspan is a company that is expanding the definition of patient-centricity to mean "partnering with patients, asking for their feedback and having them join their quality council meetings".

 

Wellspan has asked its practices to invite patients to become members of its quality improvement teams.  These teams already include a manager, lead nurse and lead physician or clinician.  They meet monthly to discuss quality, data and how to improve practices. The patients also receive training in advance so they understand the terminology and goals discussed during the meetings.

 

The Patient Partners have helped the practices develop surveys that ask a range of questions about the office environment to the provider experience.  Some of these Patient Partners are joining quality councils for medical groups, participating in physician onboarding programs, and sharing personal stories.

 

Introducing Blue Button Technology

Consumers are requesting increased access to data.  They desire transparency.  Customers want, at a touch of button, access to all their healthcare information.

 

The U.S. Veterans Affairs Health program has introduced the VA Blue ButtonThe Blue Button is a tool to make patient medical records easily available for patients to download and share with members of their health care team. This tool enables patients to create a single electronic file that can include of all their available personal health information, as well as manage their health care as patients in VA medical facilities.

 

Their website also contains resources for developers to find ways to integrate VA Blue Button data with applications that allow Veterans to view their health care records on a smartphone or in another personal health record system. There are also developers working to enable other non-VA Electronic Health Records to receive health summaries from Veteran records safely and securely.

 

Evolving Patient Engagement Responsibility

There is an evolution in the responsibility of patient engagement, specifically the role employers play.  Patient engagement has historically fallen to providers.  However, patients only see physicians a couple times a year but employers see patients 8 hours a day.

 

Over the last several years many companies have implemented employee wellness programs.  The Affordable Care Act has raised the financial incentives that employers are allowed to offer workers for participating in workplace wellness programs and achieving results. It?s important to note that these incentives can be both reward and penalty based.  Among the two-thirds of large companies using such incentives to encourage participation, almost a quarter are imposing financial penalties on those who opt-out, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health and benefits consultant Towers Watson.

 

But several employers have found that participation in wellness programs does not necessarily result in changed behavior.  Attitudes around wellness need to from "wellness-or-else" to wellness education.  This is why companies are introducing benefits literacy programs.  These programs work to educate the patient-employees on what benefits are available, how to use them, and steps to improve their health.  They're focusing on the why behind wellness.

 

These engagement programs convey the value of an individual's health, the value of engagement, and the role they need to play in managing their health. Paychex is a company that has received repeated recognition for their wellness programs that leverage social networking, mobile technology, and dedicated online tools.  Helen Darling, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, commented, "We are proud to honor Paychex for its ongoing commitment to providing lifestyle improvement programs that encourage healthy lifestyles for their employees. Paychex is among an elite group of organizations that are leading the way to promoting healthy workplaces and lifestyles."

 

Because these are consumer-patient driven initiatives, they should remain at a top priority for companies. Because they rely on patient interaction and require response and engagement, it's imperative companies develop an infrastructure that supports these communications.

 

What consumer-patient trends would you add to the list?

Were you aware that there have been 104,933 reported HIPAA complaints, with 22% resulting in actionable concerns? Did you also know that along with HIPAA, the HITECH Act is going to have a growing impact on healthcare?  Health and life science marketers need to offer targeted, personalized marketing content that will help them get their message to the right people.  They're also required to safeguard information, and manage proper allowable use based on the patients -- and consumers -- opt in requests. So, how can these marketers align both marketing and compliance best practices?

 

We discussed this topic with Kristy Junio, Senior Director, Product Management for Healthcare and Life Sciences with the Oracle Marketing Cloud. 40-KJunio.jpg


Kristy, can you provide us with an explanation of the impact regulations like HIPAA and the HITECH Act are having on marketers?

The regulations are requiring health care and life sciences marketers to put into place new and different practices and processes to ensure that information is protected for consumers. Beyond the normal safeguards of what is applied to any type of personal information, protected health information also requires safeguards as to how information is stored, transferred and so on. It changes the game on how many marketers need to handle and manage their day to day work in the digital space.


What are some trends you're seeing from marketing in response to these regulations?

In addition to requiring marketers to change how they do their day-to-day work, there is also a different level of expertise that is required, new skills that need to be honed. It's requiring many marketers to step back into training to address how and what they need to do differently to ensure that they are using tools and systems effectively, efficiently and for the health care and life sciences marketer in a manner that keeps that in compliance with government regulations. Furthermore, consumers are also becoming savvier, which creates more opportunities for us as marketers to increase how and what we talk about with consumers.


Kristy, you have an extensive background in the health sciences space, what are some best practices you were mindful of when developing and executing against your marketing strategy?

First and foremost, know your audience, use data to help segment your target audience. Pair that with insightful content that helps people to drive toward their desired health outcomes. But make sure that when it comes to marketing to consumers that you get the right permissions to speak to them, I can?t underscore the importance of the opt-in for health care consumers. All and all, its classic marketing applied to a new medium.

Regarding content, there is so much happening in the health care industry today that it's important to ensure that content stays fresh and up to date. With that being said, marketers should continue to look for ways to simplify health information, make sure that the content is easy to understand and help your consumers build better health care fluency, which by the way continues to be a concern for many health care professionals: how to make health care information easy to digest. With marketing automation, we assist by enabling marketers to break down content into manageable bite size pieces and delivering it to people in a choreographed manner to enable improved understanding of information. Well timed, easy to understand information is part of the equation for a successful program.


In order to achieve the marketing and regulation alignment necessary, are there tools or skill sets companies can employ?

I think most importantly is the ability to develop a close partnership with marketers and legal colleagues within an organization. Although the regulations are very detailed, interpretations may differ from company to company or even person to person, therefore it's important to ensure clear communications between legal, regulatory, marketing and sales partners. It takes a great partnership to ensure that what is intended with programs is carried through into our market messaging. And make sure you have a good plan in place with the right check points. Test your content, your data and use the relevant information to help you continue to improve your tactics. Digital marketing in the health care space is not a sprint, its marathon. Continue to build on what you learn in each campaign by making sure you have the right tools in place to build a compliant program that allows for you to track and learn with each marketing campaign.

 

Balancing compliance best practice with marketing best practice will continue to be an exercise many marketers will implement.  If you'd like to hear more from Kristy on this topic you can access the entire podcast interview here.

To date, technology investments have been focused on ERP software, supply chain improvement, security infrastructure, and CRM platforms.  Gartner forecasts that 2015 will be an even better year for IT vendors, with companies spending $3.9 trillion. That will represent a 3.7 percent gain over 2014, if the forecast turns out to be accurate. But where will that increased spending be focused.  I've read several articles that continue to point to high investment dollars being allocated to CRM projects.

 

However, when evaluating the pharmaceutical industry I have to wonder if CRM is becoming irrelevant. 39-0fed8d9.jpg

 

The Changing Sales Model

The state of pharmaceutical sales is influx.  The instability in the pharmaceutical space has caused companies to make cuts, and sales reps have been greatly impacted. Reports from SDI Health indicate that the number of sales representatives in the United States has decreased from a high of 101,818 to about 81,780, representing a 20% decline. Equally important is that the cost per engagement for sales calls remains high, ranging from $142 to nearly $600 per call.

 

Some pharmaceutical companies are moving from a brand-centric to an HPC-centric sales model.  Reps are covering more territory and carrying more products.  They have to have a tremendous understanding of the service and value of each product.

 

We're also seeing the emergence of the hybrid sales model where representatives have defined geographic territories and specific sets of target HCPs, just like typical field representatives. But they reach their physicians through a variety of channels like face-to-face, phone, and video and at times, like work day, after hours, weekends, which are preferred and most convenient for each physician.

 

But companies have found that expecting sales reps do all things regarding communications is high risk for the business.

The biggest trend appears to be the elimination of the sales representative altogether.  Some companies are outsourcing their sales efforts to wholesalers like AmerisourceBergen.  This is allowing pharma to focus entirely on R&D and innovation.

 

Demand for pharmaceutical sales representatives will likely continue to shrink in the near future, driven down by industry mergers; the expiration of blockbuster drug patents; and a shift toward flexible, regional, specialized sales teams, experts say.   This trend will only be exacerbated as government payers take more control.


Current Investment vs. Future Investment

Companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into CRM systems. CRM can run, on average, $3,000 per seat per year, if not or more.  And while a worthy investment, CRM has its share of challenges.  The CRM process is driven by human input.  CRM is a pull system that requires sales reps to diligently enter information, which is often an interpretation of interaction.  CRM is starting to have less tribal knowledge because of the declining sales force.  It's a tool meant for sales to drive the sales process. 


But as we all know, the consumer now drives the sales process.  This is most evident in the pharmaceutical industry.  Pharma reps don't sell, they influence, and it's very difficult to measure influence with a tool like CRM.  With the emergence of technology like marketing automation, CPQ, MDM, and SRM, the consumer controls the sales process.  Unlike the pull process required of CRM, these tools push the behavior, interactions, and interests of the consumer to the sales organization.  Sales reps used to be tasked with being the data people; "find out this info about your territory".  These consumer-centric tools now deliver that information.  They allow businesses to measure the influence of each individual asset against each individual at different stages of the person's journey.

 

While CRM provides insight into the behavior of the sales representative, customer experience technology provides insight into the behavior of the consumer.  CRM tools allow sales reps to schedule future calls and details.  CX technology allows companies to deliver personalized communications containing information relevant to the consumer based on their behavior and interests.  CRM is sales-centric, CX technology is, well, customer-centric.


When evaluating the movement of the industry, and the interests and behaviors of HCPs, patients, and payers, it appears companies are overbuilding their CRM systems.  So much attention has been placed on the CRM platform, and not enough has been focused on those efforts meant to improve the customer experience.  Perhaps it's not that CRM is going away altogether, but the investments, both monetary and resource, should be allocated to other customer experience systems that will deliver more of a return to the consumer and the business.


Do you agree or disagree, is CRM becoming a thing of the past?

Health and life science marketers need to offer targeted, personalized marketing content that will help them get their message to the right people.  They're also required to safeguard information, and manage proper allowable use based on the patients' and consumers' opt in requests. So essentially, the info can't be used in a way that the consumer hasn't approved.  Often those in the health and life sciences sector are pulled between marketing best practices, and what's permitted by compliance.  These marketers must understand how to align both marketing and HIPAA best practices.


Below are 7 HIPAA best practices, as they relate to marketing communications, for health and life science marketers. 38-hipaa_compliance.jpg


  1. Align marketing, IT, and compliance.  Checklists exist within most companies to ensure they're meeting compliance across HIPAA, as well as local regulations.  Most concerns are focused on data and less around campaign management. Ensure your campaign management tools enable and support the data requirements.  A lot of marketers have a high level understanding but don't understand system data information exchange and file storage.
  2. Understand what HIPAA regulates.  HIPAA regulates the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information, which is any information about health status, provision of healthcare, or payment of health care that can be linked to a specific individual.
  3. Understand what HIPAA doesn't prohibit.  HIPAA does not disallow DTC healthcare marketing but the system has to meet security standards.  Approach communications carefully.  There have been 104,933 reported HIPAA complaints, with 22% resulting in actionable concerns.
  4. Recognize there are no data tricks.  You cannot use codes or color codes to segment contacts like "red = diabetics".  Companies should fully encrypt data at every touch point, keeping it safe within a data center while ensuring it remains just as safe as it flows in and out of that center.  Marketing departments should consider a marketing information buffer to protect customer identifying information and protected health files, while still creating targeted audiences.
  5. Know the cost of non-compliance.  Penalties can be up to $1.5 million per segment and there are 15-17 segments which HIPAA monitors.  Implement security management to log opt-in and opt-out options and ensure changes around security credentials are properly stored.  Deliver email in a secure way, giving patients a unique set of credentials in order to access their emails through a portal -- making it impossible to forward those emails to a third party.
  6. Learn about other regulations impacting the health and life sciences industries.  The HITECH Act is going to have a growing impact on healthcare.  A massive expansion in the exchange of ePHI is anticipated.  This widens the scope of protections available under HIPAA, increases the potential legal liability for non-compliance, and provides for more enforcement for HIPAA
  7. Question your marketing technology vendors.  Healthcare and life science companies own HIPAA compliance responsibility, not vendors.  HIPAA does not require a software solution itself to be HIPAA compliant but as a business partner of any covered entity, the Business Associate must comply.  Technology vendors can offer solutions that enable marketers to be compliant but must have safeguards in place to work with a covered entity. HIPAA compliance is a journey, not a process.  Technology vendors should enable their customers to be HIPAA compliant, but customers should not use tools, like marketing automation systems, with the expectation that they are now HIPAA compliant.  If a marketing automation vendor states they are HIPAA compliant, red flags should be raised.

 

Understanding around HIPAA compliance is imperative, but not always understood.  Remember to align your marketing organization with both IT and compliance teams to ensure you're delivering impactful communications in a compliant manner.

 

Which best practices would your company add to this list?  What HIPAA questions most often arise in your marketing programs?

 

You can read more about covered entities here.

A Trend in Unbranding

Many tenured companies are working through rebranding exercises. They want to shake off the image of an out-of-touch company, or perhaps a tarnished reputation. They begin to explore new messaging, tone of voice, and logo changes. It's important to point out that your brand is more than a logo and corporate color scheme. A brand is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with.

But perhaps rebranding isn't what's needed.


I've noticed a trend in many regulated industries to unbrand their content. Let?s look at the pharmaceutical space. In order for pharma companies to effectively sell into the health care provider space they must enable and educate HCPs. HCPs want access to information, key opinion leaders, and peers. HCPs cited journals as their top info source, with 64%-68% reading about new products in journals three or more times per month, followed by colleagues (52%-53%), websites like Epocrates, Medscape and UptoDate (46%-52%), apps (27%-32%) and package inserts (25%-29%). Similar numbers were seen for learning about established products.


Traditionally, HCPs have not trusted the content they've received from pharmaceutical companies. Because of this, pharma organizations are now investing in the development of unbranded sites, content, and communities. These unbranded sites aren't designed to be deceptive, rather to demonstrate that these pharmaceutical companies are more than the pill offered and very much a part of the wellness process. They?re focused on developing content that promotes healthy living, educates the audience about disease awareness, and stresses the importance of medication adherence.


A Case for Content Curation

And while developing organic content around healthy living and patient education is important, it's also a challenging task.  The expertise resides within the companies, but capturing that knowledge and producing quality content at the pace required is more than many companies are prepared to take on.  This is why content curation must become a focus. 36-images.jpg Leveraging content from trusted 3rd part publications, patient advocacy groups, and other thought leaders is a solution for many content-starved organizations.  Curation allows these companies to stay relevant by leveraging the experts and gathering a range of content from medical studies, videos, and blog posts.  And just as valuable, content curation allows the pharmaceutical companies to join and align with the wellness conversation.

 

Alex Butler EMEA Marketing Communications Manager, EMEA Strategic Marketing at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals states "The big challenge will be how can we take part in the curation of that content for people, but not based around our own assets, but based around helping people to find the right information for them at the right time. I think that that has many challenges, both ideological in a sense but also challenges regarding copyright, ownership, and also whether we are prepared to serve our communities? in a way that is best for them, or whether we still just want to push our own agenda and our own message on people."


But how do you utilize this 3rd party curated content, and still see results for your own marketing efforts?  While content creation leads to higher conversion rates, links to owned pages have a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate than posts linking to third-party websites.


A Win-Win Solution

LookBookHQ has created a tool that allows companies to control the content experience, and maximize content engagement, while they have the attention of their audience.  Using that curated content from blogs, white papers, eBooks, videos, and more, marketers can educate the HCPs, patients, and caregivers, while also driving traffic to relevant portals, online communities, and app downloads.


Marketers can organize their content to align with the different journeys of HCPs, payers, pharmacists, patients, and caregivers and then tie that corresponding content together using LookBooks narrative boxes. You can guide oncology patients to recipes for chemotherapy patients published by "Cure", patient opinion leader content about what to expect during the patient experience at each stage of the disease progress, to online patient communities for those with the same diagnosis, and then direct them to your patient portal which contains physician-patient FAQs.  And you can do this without losing attention or traffic.


LookBook makes it easy to focus an audience's engagement exactly where you want it.  For longer form content, pharma companies can add notes and choose where the document opens -- for example you can direct attention to specific clinical trial data relevant to that physician specialty.  You can also add forms to the content.  For example, you can have an eDetail registration form appear after an HCP has engaged with the clinical trial content for more than 5 minutes. 


LookBooks also track "beyond the click" data.  You can see what your audience actually read and found useful, not just what they clicked on.  Pharma can record engagement data on a per physician basis and push this back directly into a marketing automation platform for entry into eDetail, clinical trial investigator, and medical education event campaigns. This engagement data can then be used for physician scoring, additional workflows, segmentation and insight. Of course, identifying that 3rd party content for curation does take time and resources.  Some publications I've seen leveraged include P4dc.com, Insomniasleepfoundation.com, PartneringforCures.org, Lungevity.org, Lungcancercoalition.org, Lungcancerprofiles.com, Hematology.org, and Cure.


Content curation allows pharmaceutical companies to meet the demands of content development, align with the wellness conversation, and build credibility.  When used in conjunction with the right tools, content curation can also lead to greater audience engagement and insight.

How are you leveraging 3rd party content in your marketing strategy?

With increasing regulation and other disclosure mechanisms due to the Sunshine Act in USA and the EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) code paving the way for more statutory disclosure in Europe , companies are turning to events to better educate and drive awareness around their offerings. In 2011, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries provided 32 percent of all funding for continuing medical education courses in the United States?$752 million out of $2.35 billion. Unlike other industry hosted events, the attendance of HCPs and the disclosure mechanisms add a layer of complexity to the event planning process. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologicals that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitalsIn Europe , the EFPIA transparency initiative is acting to meet the increased external scrutiny of interactions between pharmaceutical companies and HCPs at national level with:


  • Legal provisions in: Denmark, France, Portugal, Slovakia
  • Self-regulatory provisions in: The Netherlands,  The United Kingdom

 

There are also disclosure activities in Japan.  As part of this program, companies are now required to submit reports on individual and aggregate payments, transfer and ownership information made to HCPs and HCOs.  Tracking of HCP contact information, specifically the state in which they practice is essential for the Sunshine Act Compliance. Regulation dictates what can be spent on each HCPand HCPs from various states can fall under different policy guidelines.  Event coordinators must report on travel, lodging, and catering costs, as well as, other incidental costs e.g. honorariums for each HCP.  Capturing this event information, against each HCP, as well as delivering a personalized experience before, during, and after the event is challenging.   35-images.jpg

 

There are now technology tools that enable companies to manage the CME (Continuing Medical Education Process) event process. Certain is an event management platform that powers personalized event experiences, facilitates meaningful connections, and tracks event costs down to the individual attendee.  It has a portfolio of pharmaceutical customers who have been successful in building events requiring the level of sophistication arising from statutory compliance reporting  like the Sunshine Act, The EFPIA code and other  disclosure mechanisms making it one of the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) technology platforms enabling this integral transition for the life sciences industry.


Track, Report, and Respond to the Data

Using the Certain event dashboard, companies can evaluate the type of event, completed status, session attendance, session ratings, participant demographics, cost center and profiles, and detailed spend on each participant on an event-by-event basis.  This data allows companies to truly measure against the defined KPIs and disclosure requirements.  By analyzing these metrics, companies can evaluate how they compared with previous event benchmarks, as well as what approaches, channels, and content resonated.  Companies can also track spend information, payments and transfers of value like the cost of travel and the cost of meals during presentations.


It provides the ability to manage group and individual registrations with the tools available through Certain, an event organizer can also use mobile applications to engage HCPs with real-time session ratings, Twitter feeds and other social media integrations.  Organizations can also provide HCPs with access to personal agendas, event locations, venues and relevant content. It also provides the ability to interact, connect, and build relationships with other HCPs and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) as well as provide event feedback. 


Engage During and After the Event

By enhancing the experience for HCPs, companies will see a measurable increase in engagement, and that engagement can be used to score and segment individuals into campaigns. Companies can use this real-time data capture to funnel opportunities into the appropriate follow-up campaign.  Whether you have 5 people attend an event, or 100 people attend, providing real-time follow-up will result in increased engagement.  For many companies, it's difficult to remember each conversation and deliver relevant content to that HCP, days after the event occurred.  HCPs can automatically be entered into targeted post-event nurture tracks.

 

It's important to nurture event relationships by providing relevant content in the weeks following the event. Provide content associated with topics covered at the event.  This can be in the form of articles, blogs, reports, white papers, infographics, and video.  Offering valuable content and providing an opportunity to select subscription preferences, or opt-out of such communications, is a best practice. Remember to engage compliance from the beginning.  When planning content for the event, best practice is to allow ample time for content approval with the in-house legal team.  It's recommended that all post-event content be created, approved, and programmed before the event so post-event follow-up can occur immediately.


Because entry into follow-up campaigns can occur at the event, companies can begin to track the velocity of opportunity against trial and recruitment campaigns.  This allows for a more complete post-event report containing successes, opportunities for improvement, analytics, leads, lead follow-up, and recommendations for future events.  And because Certain provides automation capabilities, it's easy to incorporate, and then replicate, all those lessons learned into future events which saves time, resources, and money.

 

By incorporating these practices, companies can align with Sunshine Act and EFPIA requirements, better automate communications, capture information for future segmentation and understand the preferences of HCPs.  This insight allows for more effective spend management, communication, relevant content delivery, and relationship fostering with the HCPs resulting in a more positive experience for the HCP, and ultimately drive revenue.

In the last several weeks there have been several events targeted to the Life Sciences industry.  After attending the events and reflecting back on the Twitter feeds, I found there were several themes were trending at each event.  Speakers and panelists focused on transformation and innovation, technology and data, and multichannel marketing.  But what I found to be most compelling is that each theme tied back to one common thread, the audience.

 

Each takeaway from the following 33 Tweets addresses how companies can better align and support the HCPs, patients, caregivers, payers, and pharmacists.  These life sciences companies are committed to evolving their business, technology, and strategy in an effort to improve the lives of patients.

 

Transformation and Innovation

  1. Changing corp culture and org structure are key when embarking on a transformational marketing event. Some companies are just not ready.
  2. Changing P&L structures is hard. Change focus instead. Incentivize on overall performance, not by channel. - @peter_sheldon #ForrForum
  3. Why change initiatives fail. #forrforum  34-11-26-2014+10-51-26+AM.png
  4. #FORRForum Org transformations: Understand and acknowledge emotions, anticipate perceptions and understand and align motivations.
  5. #FORRForum Tear down the walls of bureaucracy and enable organizational transformation. Getting things done leads to employee satisfaction
  6. #FORRForum Use the same digital strategies that have made you successful the past 3-5yrs...and fail. Time to transform!?
  7. If you don't have 20%+ projects that you think you will fail, you're not trying hard enough @EdStening #efpMCE
  8. #efpMCE Don't do innovation for innovations sake
  9. Charlotte McKines says don't let perfect get in the way of good...couldn't agree more! #efpmce

 

Technology and Data

  1. #FORRForum We spend 85% of our time with 9 apps. Look at the ecosystem of where your clients reside.
  2. #FORRForum. Cool usage of mobile by Merck...mobile dosing device Drives reimbursement based on proper usage and compliance.
  3. #FORRForum "mobile moments" $689 Billion in mobile sales by 2017...2X eCommerce
  4. #FORRForum 21% are there and 29% are making the mind shift to mobile anywhere, anytime for commerce
  5. #FORRForum "Digital Marketing is Dead"...all marketing should have digital component at this point
  6. #FORRForum "Only 1/3 of CMOs decide on marketing IT decisions and only 1/4 sit on an implementation team"
  7. #FORRForum "having a customer profile is great but getting under the data and understanding intentions are next level"
  8. #FORRForum digital meets physical, buy online, pick up in store...where can we build cross sell opportunities within that cycle?
  9. #FORRForum "we have a first mover disadvantage here in the U.S. With a lot of legacy IT sitting out there"
  10. #FORRForum "digital agencies scare the CIO" - Peter Burris, Forrester
  11. #FORRForum "Technology can connect customer to capability" - Peter Burris, Forrester
  12. Consider data as an enterprise asset - it's the secret sauce that makes processes successful. Tarun Kumar, Bayer Healthcare. #efpmce
  13. @EdStening says Technology companies are diving into #digitalhealth and #mhealth because #pharma can't focus 'beyond the pill' #efpmce
  14. @EdStening the future for #pharma is taking risks and trying new things #efpmce
  15. Buy as much new tech as you possibly can so that you can experiment rapidly -@EdStening#efpMCE

 

Multichannel Marketing

  1. #FORRForum "Get out of your marketing silo and come up with a point of view on digital marketing". Understand the terminology used...
  2. #FORRForum "you want a single view of your customer and...they want the same of you"
  3. No channel should live in isolation - multichannel results need to be analyzed holistically, not by channel. #efpmce#pathFW
  4. Key #MCM IT necessities 1) Begin with the end in mind 2) Establish the rules of engagement 3) Build for the future #efpMCE
  5. Multi-channel is simply multi-silo and misses the point if not coordinated. #efpMCE#multichannel#strategy#Marketing
  6. Content is next frontier - push the content creators to think about making content agnostic. Charlotte McKines. - YES! #efpmce
  7. #efpMCE Sharon Dotson highlights focusing on customer to understand the channel choice; it is not always digital
  8. Multichannel Marketing (MCM) is just #MARKETING. It needs to be part of your DNA as a brand marketer, not a separate activity #efpMCE
  9. Marketing Integration is the holy grail - MCM tech will enable pharma companies to get closer to key audiences #efpMCE

 

What are some examples of patient-centric practices you've seen implemented?

Awareness and recognition, presentation and diagnosis, treatment selection, brand selection and access, switching and persistency.  Those are the phases of the patient journey as practiced by many companies.  And that's a good patient-centric journey to follow, but is there something missing?

According to the Industry Healthcheck 2014 report published by eyeforpharma, 85% of respondents agree that patient-centricity is the best route to future profitability.  And many companies are adjusting their strategy to focus on that patient journey. Through mobile applications, drug conversion and medication adherence programs, and patient portals, pharmaceutical companies are working to provide content that guides the patient through a journey. 33-Market-Drill-Down-fig1.jpg


But this week at the Pharma Marketing & Engagement Summit I listened as companies discussed the innovations they're bringing to market in order to improve the lives of patients.  It struck me that the benefactors of these advancements are patients who have struggled with long-term conditions.  I also learned that each patient is unique in how their condition changes over time.  Healthcare and pharma must align to communicate to the patient the right information at the right stage of disease progression.

 

  1. Ensure your key message meets the needs of the patients at each specific point in their disease progression.  If you have a prostate cancer patient recently diagnosed, offer him support through a patient advocacy network.  If the patient is beginning radiation or chemotherapy treatments offer informative content developed by compatible POLs as well as recipes for meals that will alleviate nausea.
  2. Understand that a strong inbound strategy is necessary to drive engagement with patients, and this cannot occur alone.  Healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies must align to provide the best care and support to the patient.  In the case of Bayer's drug, Xofigo, they decided on a micro-approach.  They focused on 41 comprehensive cancer hospitals across Canada.  They implemented a key account management approach.  Bayer also developed workshops to educate the entire treatment team from HCPs to hospital administrators on radiation safety and technology. Work with these HCPs to deliver the content required for patient support.
  3. Enable patients to self-educate about impending condition experiences before they occur.  Deliver an FAQ sheet. This should contain information on common questions asked by patients of the disease. It should also contain a list of questions the patient should ask to the HCP during their next visit.  Shift from a marketing mindset to that of a facilitator of helpful information.  You no longer market and brand your drug, you connect patients and caregivers with information that helps and heals.
  4. Develop healthy living communications that educate both patients and caregivers on proper diet, exercise and medication consumption.  These communications should be very specific to the disease of the patient as well as the disease stage of the patient.  Exercise and diet restrictions will vary by disease and condition stage and this communication must be adjusted accordingly.  Also consider a medication notification form.  This form should allow patients and caregivers to set-up alerts for medication email reminders and track medication adherence in a format that can be easily shared with the HCP.

 

While each patient will certainly travel a journey, it's imperative that the information delivered addresses the individual experiences of each patient along the way.  How are you adjusting your strategy to meet the needs of the patient experience?

The C-suite values value.  The problem is, most marketers fail at demonstrating value. According to the 2013 CMO Survey, just 36 percent of CMOs have quantitatively proven the short-term impact of marketing spend, and for demonstrating long-term impact, that figure drops to 32 percent.  And according to a piece by HBR, almost two out of three CMOs are using qualitative measures to show impact, or aren't measuring impact at all.

 

Marketing organizations are scrutinized for their spending practices, demand generation, and commitment to the customer experience.  This is especially true in the health insurance space where changes in legislation have created increased pressure for organizations to consistently measure, analyze, and improve the customer experience.

 

I spoke with one of the nation's largest health insurance companies, and learned how they transformed their organization from a cost center to a cost recovery hub. 32-Depreciation-4665_l_17b43c439d6477da.jpg

 

The Need

This company recognized that there were industry-wide changes on the horizon which created a need for a streamlined customer experience.  In order to streamline the experience for the external customer, the marketing team wanted to streamline the experience for the internal customer as well.  To do this, they created an internal agency to service the needs of the company.

 

The marketing team recruited 5 experienced individuals to both build and consult.  They worked with the business to develop agreed upon SLAs.

 

The Model

The internal agency model is meant to encourage investment in those opportunities that will deliver the most value.  The model has both a variable and fixed cost structure.  Internal customers select from a menu of services, using an internal rate sheet, that include execution of campaigns, purchase of contacts, and consultative best practices services.   They also focus on enabling their internal customers to understand the data output of their programs. Internal customers can certify as power users which affords them the ability to run campaigns free of charge, while still paying a contact fee.

 

The marketing team works very closely with other internal creative agencies.  Because of the strong alignment across the business they can execute complex campaigns within a week of receiving finalized copy.

 

The internal agency model is also improving internal practices.  This agency model prevents the team from being overwhelmed because they focus on those programs the company is willing to invest in.  They can reject projects if they don't meet best practice standards or if the data is bad.  If content is late, and they're not notified, a charge fee is assessed.  This has caused productivity to increase, and others in the organization have become more cognizant of the effort and process surrounding these projects.

 

The Communications

The COE team executes almost all internal communications and broker onboarding programs.  Programs like star ratings have directed the company to focus on improved customer communications.  They focus on bringing value to customers by providing education around gaps in care.  As an example, they work to educate customers about flu shots by evaluating what the customer does, and doesn't know, around the value of medications and health.  They are also focused on wellness as well as understanding the ways in which people will consume it.

 

Through multi-month communications, they work to clarify and guide customers through their customer site. The site is very information-rich and by understanding the Digital Body Language of their customers, they can direct its customers to the appropriate content.

 

This customer focus has resulted in 25-50% open rates with 25% click through rates (industry average is 17% and 3% respectively).

 

 

The Results

Starting with a 4 year plan that they would adjust annually, marketing achieved their goals 6 months early. Their presence within the organization has grown 20x with the number of internal teams using their services, and the marketing team is now an even more powerful force to be reckoned with. Senior level executives using their services are raving about the results, and the Marketing team's ability to provide measurable and actionable metrics is really setting them apart, with a powerful voice. They're now working to leverage data for "personable" (not just personal) communications as well as to continue with segmentation advancements.  They recognizes that they are continuing on their journey and, because of that, continue to invest in their people.  For example, the marketing team is encouraged to spend 2 days a month in training.

 

They now run 30% more campaigns than last year.  About 50% of their communications are centered on events and webinar attendance has increased by 50% over those 3 years.

 

Marketing conducted very strict test groups on what marketing channels performed best and email received the highest response.  They also found quickly that brokers and prospects need two separate emails.  Some internal groups were trying use just one email for both audiences, but data quality quickly became poor because brokers would reply as prospects.

 

What started with 3 internal customer segments has grown to dozens of internal global customer divisions. The marketing team is a non-revenue generating department, they are a cost recovery center, so all ROI comes from what they provide to other teams.  At one time marketing leads were considered a joke, but the scoring models implemented by the COE have won over many in the business. They provide unparalleled metrics for their campaigns, which is delivering incredible value to the CMO, VP of Marketing, and Business Units.  Marketing has a quantifiable voice and value that they didn't have before.

 

The marketing organization measures against contact growth, internal customer growth, customer satisfaction, and quantity and complexity of campaigns, but financial targets are what ultimately demonstrate success.  Their objective is to finish the year revenue neutral.  They want to see that they've charged exactly the same amount of money the team cost that year.

 

How are you adjusting your marketing structure to service the customer, as well as the needs of the business?

                    "Our company is afraid of change"

 

                                                                                    "We're complacent"

 

                                                  "We're risk averse"

 

                                                                                          "Effecting change in our organization is too much work or will take too much time"

 

              "We don't have the resources required for our change initiatives"

 

These are the most common objections I hear when talking with life sciences companies.

 

Earlier in the year I sat on a change management panel with Michael Reardon, Principal Change Management Consultant at Blackbaud.  He summarized change best when he said "The definition of insanity used to be doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.  The new definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same outcome."

 

The world around us is changing, and so must we.  Below are 7 steps for implementing change within your organization.

 

  1. Recognize change is needed.  This doesn't mean you have to recognize a problem.  Change doesn't always result from the negative, changing to improve or excel is a great motivator.  A great example of effective change is what Glen Bradley did with Ciba Vision. Through his "Healthy Eyes for Life" initiative, Bradley encouraged the company to pursue whatever technologies and opportunities they had to promote healthy eyes.
  2. Accepting your company's adversity to change is equally important. List all of the reasons your organization is adverse to change.  These reasons could include fear, culture, risk, and resources. 31-Exigen-fear-blog.png
  3. Develop an internal support group.  Change cannot occur alone, and it cannot occur in a silo.  Identify those individuals who want to impact change, and find those champions both internal and external to your team.  This could include brand marketing, marketing operations, sales, sales support, pricing, R&D, even KOLs and patient advocates.
  4. Identify your bowling pinsHBR states that you have to motivate key influencers. Like bowling kingpins hit straight on, they topple all other pins.  Most organizations have several key influencers who share common problems and concerns.  Even better is if you can recruit at least one onto your team.
  5. Understand that conflict is natural:  Provide a secure and controlled environment for managing the conflict.  When harnessed appropriately, conflict can progress a simple strategy into a corporate movement.
  6. Focus your change efforts.  You are not going to change an organization overnight.  Identify one project.  I believe that proof is in the data.  Identify a change project that you can benchmark and measure.  Select a project that also delivers business insight. Find a project that will provide insight into the patient or HCP experience.  Delivering data to your organization that they haven't seen before, that aligns with larger business objectives, and that makes them smarter will win favor and positive attention.
  7. Build out a 12 month maturity plan and break down key initiatives by quarter. Benchmark. It can be discouraging when companies believe they're far behind. Below is some marketing benchmark data specific to the Life Sciences space.  Use this to compare against, benchmark your measurements today, and then compare your progress against your quarterly maturity model.

 

Healthcare marketers have spiked marketing activitiesWhich industries are turning cookies into contacts?
Providers = 68% increaseNew Traffic = 90%
Medical device manufacturers = 14% increaseNew Traffic Yield = 17%
Payors = 71% increase
Bio pharma manufacturing = 86%Do email benchmarks vary by industry?
Click rates
Which industries are poised to tackle big data?- Best in class = 5.6%
Increase/Decrease in engagement rate = 30%- Average = 1.3%
Increase/decrease in average reporting executions = 23%- Laggard = 0.4%
Open rates
Click-through rates: How does your industry stack up?- Best in class = 27.9%
Life Sciences = 2.6%- Average = 13.8%
- Laggard = 8.3%
Which industries are adapting to email changes?Click-to-open rates
Open rate improvement = 0.6%- Best in class = 22.1%
Click rate improvement = 0%- Average = 9.1%
Click to open rate improvement = -1.2%- Laggard = 1.8%

 

 

Yes, writing about change is much easier than executing change, but change is inevitable.  You must work towards an internal corporate culture focused on evolution, driven by the patient and HCP experience, and supported by analytics.  Like it or not, patients, caregivers, pharmacists, HCPs, KOLs, POLs, policymakers, and employees are forcing a shift in the way life sciences companies do business.

 

How are you positively effecting change in your organization?

I'm not going to spend any time arguing the merits of content marketing.  By now we should all recognize the imperative role content marketing plays in our business strategies.  However, for the last few years, content marketing best practices have centered on the cool and innovative tactics traditionally executed by B2C and tech companies.

 

But in the last year other industries have started to play content catch-up.  And now, it appears these companies are upping the ante on content marketing.  Pharma companies are considering what's important to their audience; time, credibility, relevance, and interest.

 

Pharmaceutical companies have recognized that they can develop educational content.  Content that engages.  Content that stirs emotion and elicits a response.  Content that is interactive.  And, also, content that is compliant.

 

But how do you develop content that resonates across various channels?  How can you amplify the voice of you KOLs and other thought leaders?  How do you develop content that can be used by sales to engage key decision makers?

 

Below are 10 Tweetable takeaways when considering your pharmaceutical content strategy.

 

Tweetable Takeaway #1: Pharma companies are considering what's important to their audience; time, credibility, relevance, and interest

 

Tweetable Takeaway #2: Digital Resource Report states there is a strong need by HCPs for 3rd party non-branded content. Pharma must meet this challenge.

 

Tweetable Takeaway #3: Consider gamified content to educate users about the risks and challenges of drug discovery.

 

Tweetable Takeaway #4: Leverage online Use medical apps to collect insight to better service your audience and drive the direction of content creation.

 

Tweetable Takeaway #5: Leverage online communities to improve patients' lives and drive future drug discovery

 

Tweetable Takeaway #6: Incorporate other digital channels into your social media initiatives.

If it works, run with it.

 

Tweetable Takeaway #7: Leverage tweetchats to engage your audience and grow social presence.

Plan upfront for issues that might conflict with regulations

 

Tweetable Takeaway #8: Consider a payer forum to provide content important to payers like comparative effectiveness and budget impact models

 

Tweetable Takeaway #9: Use the analytics captured from these communications to justify the additional efforts and budget required to grow relationships

 

Tweetable Takeaway #10: Develop strong content, unify digital channels, and focus on data forensics to grow revenue, extend reach, and empower sales

 

 

 


What tactics would you add to the list?

According to the Digital Resource Report released by EPG Health Media, there is a strong need by HCPs for 3rd party non-branded content.  Followed by budget, multichannel integration, and customer centricity, this is a tremendous challenge for pharmaceutical companies to overcome.

 

Most HCPs don't access content from pharmaceutical marketing channels.  They use independent medical websites, journals, and treatment guides.  They avoid pharma channels because they find no value in the content.  They do find value in diagnostic tools, online CME, medical news, drug data, medical association websites, independent medical websites, clinical trials, medical apps, patient tools, webcasts/videos from medical conferences, and pharmaceutical educational websites. 28-hospital_patient+304.jpg

 

And this isn't a sentiment isolated to HCPS; payers, pharmacists, and patients are all weary of pharma content.  Pharmaceutical companies must work on developing content that is credible in substance and credible in context.

 

KOL vs. POL

So how do you capture and marry that credible content with your marketing efforts?  Companies recognize that they need to offer more 3rd party content which is why they utilize KOLs in authorship, speaker bureaus, and clinical trials.  But the challenge is KOLs are sometimes viewed as biased.

 

This is the reason behind the shift from key opinion leaders to patient opinion leaders.  The persuasive content comes from the testimonials of patients, but capturing that feedback can be difficult. But now there are solutions make that feedback and data capture much more efficient.  These tools allow companies to capture the voice of patients and uses that data to create compelling content.

 

Understand the Patient Experience

Through the use of web-based survey tools, pharmaceutical companies can collect information from patients to better understand how their products are prescribed, the context provided by doctors, and how patients follow through after a doctor's office visit. The data output can provide timely evidence and useful knowledge around how products are actually used.

 

This can also provide an additional value-add to HCPs because pharma companies can provide data surrounding a patient's perceptions of their visits and their health goals, including information on the prescriptions they received and their understanding of how to take them safely.

 

Evaluate the Clinical Trial Experience

Pharmaceutical companies are aiming to make a greater investment in understanding the patient's experience of taking part in a clinical trial, in order to identify opportunities in improving that experience.  Companies and patients both agree that there should be more opportunity to give and receive feedback to the trial staff and pharmaceutical company both during and after a trial.

 

Using a web-based questionnaire, patients can now easily offer this feedback. Through the simple development of charts and graphs and case studies, pharma companies can more effectively communicate the progress of clinical trials.  Effort is also being made to improve public understanding of the importance of clinical research. This is important because many people don't understand the value of clinical research in developing innovative new medicines.

 

These web-based tools also allow trials to become more patient-friendly. People can get actively involved in clinical research in a number of ways. They can take part in clinical trials as a trial participant. They can also help shape and improve research by expressing their views on how clinical research is designed, commissioned, managed and supported.

 

Data Usage

The data collected is displayed through charts, graphs, case studies, performance metrics, and patients proof points.  This powerful content can be used to communicate to HCPs during eDetailing, patients on a patient portal, and payers to support reimbursement, funding, and formulary listing.

 

Capturing the voice of the patient, and utilizing it across multiple audiences and channels is an objective of every pharmaceutical company.  How are you capturing and using the voice of the patient?

I'm not going to spend any time arguing the merits of content marketing.  By now we should all recognize the imperative role content marketing plays in our business strategies.

 

However, for the last few years, content marketing best practices have centered on the cool and innovative tactics traditionally executed by B2C and tech companies.  But in the last year other industries have started to play content catch-up. And now, it appears these companies are upping the ante on content marketing.

 

Pharma companies are considering what's important to their audience; time, credibility, relevance, and interest.  And their using their audience as their content strategists.

 

Eli Gamifies

Eli Lilly recently launched its "Online Discovery Game" called "Destination Discovery".  The content is meant to educate users about the risks and challenges of drug discovery.  They're driving engagement with the content through a clinical research edition of trivial pursuit played on what looks like a digital Candy Land board.  The user is asked multiple choice questions that vary depending on what stage of drug discovery your player resides on the board. 27-Lilly+Board+Game+2.jpg

 

Lilly is driving engagement and (hopefully) capturing the Digital Body Language of its player.  By doing this they can begin to gain insight into the knowledge gap of their audience.  This can help Lilly identify future content opportunity.  The target audience is a bit unclear, but the stickiness of the content format is outstanding.

 

And while gamification may be a new area for pharma, don?t let that fool you.  Pharma has a leg up on interactive content.

 

Pharma Trumps in the App Space

Look at the usage of apps. Apps are a fantastic way to deliver interactive content that promotes healthy lifestyles and medication adherence. Bayer has an app to help MS patients manage meds.  Novartis' oncology division produced a few apps too, such as My Acro Manager to help patients with Acromegaly track test results, medication updates and improve their knowledge of their condition.   Medication adherence apps and a tool to track symptoms from HIV treatment are among Merck's apps.  And while the target audience of these apps are patients and caregivers, many of these apps are also utilized by HCPs.  In fact over 50% of healthcare apps are accessed by HCPs.

 

These apps serve several purposes.  They provide the sales organizations with a value-based offer.  They empower the patients and HCPs to self-educate and become their own advocate.  Additionally, they provide companies a tool to capture interaction with the app. These companies can collect important insight to better service their audience and drive the direction of their content creation.  Certainly driving this type of interactive self-learning is key to the success of brand and revenue growth for pharma.  But encouraging community development is also an objective for many organizations.

 

Merck Builds a Community

Merck partnered with PatientsLikeMe to focus on community building.  This was an effort to test how a new kind of online evidence network could inform drug development using real-world health outcomes in psoriasis, the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the US. 27-Picture3.png

 

Merck had 2 goals, to provide a tool to help improve patients' lives, and to gain knowledge about symptoms, self care, and the lives of patients over time to more clearly discern how people use medications with a goal towards informing the development of future treatment. They accomplished both objectives.  They drove greater patient support and resources for those patients.  They also learned that insomnia was a common issue for those with psoriasis and could now work to overcome those challenges.

 

How is your audience driving your content development?

A report by the National Council on Patient Information and Education noted that lack of medication adherence leads to unnecessary disease progression. In the US, lack of adherence is estimated to cost $177 billion annually in total direct and indirect costs. 22% of non-adherent patients site saving money as a reason for not filling medication.

 

Pharmaceutical companies recognize that there is a lack of medication adherence. They must develop communications that generate awareness of medication compliance and tools available for healthy living and disease management like medication tracking tools.  They must work with HCPs and Payers to communicate the risk and rising cost impacted by non-adherence. 26-prescription.png

 

Additionally, Life Sciences companies recognize that the best way to drive patient advocacy is to facilitate relationships between patients and HCPs. Pharma companies need to encourage patients to contact their HCP and ask questions that are pertinent to their health. This ensures that the patient is properly diagnosed and treated.

 

Below are 12 practices to enhance your medication adherence programs.

 

  1. Segment and personalize communications to both patients and caregivers.
  2. Implement a medication survey form.  This is a form should ask a series of questions about the patient?s daily habits around exercise, diet, and medication consumption.  Use this form as entry into a medication reinforcement campaign where they will receive content relevant to the interests around diet, exercise and medication adherence.
  3. Develop healthy living communications that educate both patients and caregivers on proper dieting, exercising and taking medication.  These communications should be very specific to the disease of the patient.
  4. Provide a medication notification form.  This form should allow patients and caregivers to set-up alerts for medication email reminders. 
  5. Send regular communications, for those that opt-in to the medication notification and based on the patient's preferences, reminding them to take their medication as indicated.
  6. Deliver information and educate patients and caregivers around the importance of taking medication and the benefits of long-term medication adherence.   26-medication+adherence.jpg
  7. Congratulate those patients, who indicate through the medication adherence form, about their healthy lifestyle.  Praise them on making the right decisions regarding diet, exercise, and medication consumption.
  8. Extend beyond email and leverage SMS.  These SMS communications, much like the emails, should be sent regularly, based on the medication notification form submission, reminding the contact to take medication as indicated.
  9. Include social media links on all communications.  Include a brief statement about the value they'll receive by "liking on Facebook", or "following on Twitter".  Examples can include wellness and healthy living tips.
  10. Leverage co-pay programs. There is an 18% increase in adherence when co-pay programs are offered.
  11. Deliver an FAQ sheet. This should contain information on common questions asked by patients of the disease. It should also contain a list of questions the patient could ask to the HCP during their next visit.
  12. Develop a patient portal that engages with the patients and caregivers.  Don't just push information to patients.  Allow patients to ask questions about physician visits and offer clarity on advice given.  Generate a platform where those with the same disease can engage with each other.

 

How do you encourage medical adherence?

There's a growing recognition amongst pharmaceutical companies that they need to focus as much effort communicating to payers as they do to patients and healthcare providers.  Pharma companies must effectively communicate to the payers.  25-health_costs.jpg

"A 2011 Monitor survey of more than 200 pharmaceutical company executives showed that payers have gained significant influence in health care in recent years. Meanwhile, the influence of general practitioners (GPs) has practically evaporated, calling into question the vast amounts of money and human resources pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in communicating with GPs."

 

Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to strengthen these payer targeted communication efforts.  Many organizations are unifying their payer profiles and segmenting payer communications by drug, drug recipient, the payers? economics, patient populations, and the competitive landscape.

 

What are the payers asking for?

But one of the biggest oversights might occur in the content delivered to the payer.  Pharmaceutical companies are failing to recognize unique payer communication needs. In a report released by EY, they discovered that less than 50% of payers surveyed found pharma info credible.  EY states that ?Payers want straightforward information and they want pharma to engage payers in a way that addresses their value and competencies, and want discussions that ?are not mere negotiations around access and price, but...relationships? that help payers address their challenges.?  Payers put a premium on real-world results and are more interested in comparative data sets than they are in clinical trial data.  So while pharma communicates about programs that increase drug adherence and patient engagement, that information is not as persuasive as comparative data sets and comprehensive trials.

 

Integrate the payer perspective

Pharmaceutical companies must deliver the content, in context, which the payers require.  They want to see clinical data that compares Drug A to Drug B to Drug C.  They are not interested in Drug A vs. placebo.  Because there are now multiple options for just about every condition, payers need to understand the efficacy of Drug A versus Drug B.  They must also answer how their drug reduces costs overtime.  Even if the pharmacy cost is more expensive, the long term care cost may be reduced by a more effective drug, and vice versa.

 

Pharma companies would be well served to leverage the monograph.  The message and benefits of the drug will reside in the drug evaluation monographs. The monographs evaluate all drugs in all aspects in relation to all similar agents.  They will contain information on the need, effectiveness, risk, and cost of the drug.  It will contain an FDA classification approval rating.  It will consider efficacy, safety, patient convenience, drug interactions, storage and handling. The monograph will communicate any advantages in efficacy, safety, or patient convenience relative to other agents on formulary.  It will also address the needs of the institution, including medical staff needs, distribution concerns, and drug availability.  Links to this information should be provided across all payer communication channels.

 

Segment trial recruitment

It's necessary that pharmaceutical companies target clinical trial recruitment.  Payers want an even representation across age, ethnicity, genetic predisposition and gender.  For example, women are often underrepresented in clinical trials.  Some payers extract data from clinical trials and combine that with their own claims data.

 

Pharma companies can find success in targeted trial recruitment by leveraging community development communications.  Patients and caregivers affected by disease often feel alone and are dealing with many emotional challenges on top of the diagnosed condition.  Community forums provide patients with access to others facing the same challenges.  They can chat about diet and exercise tips, questions and concerns around the condition or physician, and experience emotional release with those who can relate.

 

Life sciences companies are providing secure platforms, as well as social media, for patients and caregivers to communicate with each other and to drive awareness around conditions, identify trial participants and potential advocates, and crowdsource R&D ideas.  Marketing tools are allowing for the advanced segmentation necessary for targeted trial recruitment and engagement.

 

Overcome the challenges

There are challenges that accompany payer communications.  Regulations like FDAMA Section 114 contain rules for promoting health economic information.  Pharmaceutical marketing departmenst may also experience a lack of knowledge around the payer needs and desires as well as B2B marketing best practices.  Additionally, with companies tightening resources there may be limited staff dedicated to payer marketing.

 

But those communications should not be ignored.  Genentech is a biotech company making advances in marketing to payers.  They've created a series of tools that speak directly to the payer about comparative effectiveness and clinical trials and contain budget impact models, health outcomes data, and cost effectiveness assessments. And while a site like Genetech's Forum may be a year out, segmenting and personalizing communications to payers is not a stretch. Additionally, with the content defined above, companies can begin to drive that payer engagement and capture the Digital Body Language required to gain insight into the payers? interest. Marketing organizations can also use the analytics captured from these communications to justify the additional efforts and budget required to grow the payer relationship.

 

What efforts are you making to grow the payer relationship?

Eyeforpharma recently published their Industry Healthcheck 2014.  In this report, 85% of respondents agree that patient-centricity is the best route to future profitability.

 

"Moving from a product to a customer centric business model is the path to patient-centricity. The healthcare industry will move into a solution provider to help physicians and the healthcare system to provide best treatment quality at reasonable cost. Patient-centricity as a strategy is also the result of the shift in decision making power in the more complex and educated stakeholder landscape."

Christoph Schmidt, Head of Global Commercial Excellence,

Actelion Pharmaceuticals

 

Healthcare consumers are becoming more independent when it comes to researching disease, their health, and medical options. Patients and caregivers continue to turn to the internet for research. Life sciences companies must not only provide that content for self-education, but they must also have a presence across all channels so they're easily findable. 

 

According to PEW Internet Survey, 59% of Americans look up health information online. 62% of consumers who research online health information believe the Internet helps them take care of themselves. 46% of online consumers use social sites for health. 24-pt-empowerment-cartoon-e1399665406499.png

 

Life sciences companies must drive awareness and conversation around disease, wellness, and treatment options.  Below are 7 practices to adopt when shifting to a more patient centric practice.

 

  1. Ensure your key message meets the needs of the patients and caregivers.  Shift from a product focus.  Emphasize that the daily decisions you make affect your wellness.
  2. Understand that a strong inbound strategy is necessary to drive engagement with patients and caregivers.  A focus on educational non-branded content is a must.  Leverage and measure all inbound channels including blogs, display ads, podcasts, videos, eBooks, industry journals and publications.  Build SEO and social media tactics into this inbound strategy.
  3. Provide information that will empower patients and caregivers to take control of their life and lead a healthy lifestyle.  Content should focus on healthy living and reinforce the prescribed care.  Focus on content that delivers non-branded educational information on diet and exercise.
  4. Make available to patients access to samples, videos, and co-pay savings coupons.
  5. Deliver an FAQ sheet. This should contain information on common questions asked by patients of the disease. It should also contain a list of questions the patient could ask to the HCP during their next visit.
  6. Develop a patient portal that engages with the patients and caregivers.  Don't just push information to patients.  Allow patients to ask questions about physician visits and offer clarity on advice given.  Generate a platform where those with the same disease can engage with each other.
  7. Shift from a marketing mindset to that of a facilitator of helpful information.  You no longer market and brand your drug, you connect patients and caregivers with information that helps and heals.

 

How are you effectively connecting with patients?

There's a big word in your industry right now.  Well, it's a big word said in a couple different ways.  Multichannel, Omnichannel, Cross-channel.  Call it what you want but it all means the same thing.  Challenge. An unrealistic expectation of perfection.

Communication channels are multiplying.  You are tasked with communicating a consistent value message across email campaigns, direct mail campaigns, print and digital ads, social media, websites, blogs, events, press releases, physician and patient portals, and on and on and on...

And with that comes the multiplication of audiences.  You have physicians, pharmacists, payors, and patients. And each of those has a sphere of influence made up of individuals who are often very difficult to identify.  Oh, and you need to do that all the while remaining compliant.

But this is also where you have a tremendous opportunity.  You can now set your set yourself apart.  For the longest time you had to fight for face-time time with HCPs, and fight for access to key decision makers, and fight for the attention of payors and patients. But now these mutichannels are providing you that visibility.  They're providing you opportunity.


Extend traditional communication channels

A story was recently published about Boehringer Ingelheim and the success they found through the use of social media.  They also an opportunity to extend a more traditional KOL communication tactic, their roundtable discussions, through the use of tweetchats.  They pulled together patient advocacy groups, HCPs, and pharma companies, and using the #ChatAFib they conducted an hour long discussion.

The results were quite impressive.  They saw 35 active contributors during the hour, including healthcare providers, patient advocates, healthcare journalists and pharmaceutical company representatives.  But more importantly they reached 206,166 Twitter accounts, saw engagement through retweeting, and gained over 200 new followers from the discussion.

I'm sure you're asking, "how did they get compliance on-board?!"  Well, they engaged compliance from the beginning and prepared for issues that might conflict with regulations.  They planned upfront for what happens if someone mentions a specific product?  What happens if someone mentions a side-effect?  What happens if misleading medical information is presented?  What happens if off-topic discussion is initiated about a company or its products?  They then worked with compliance to develop contingency plans.


Integrate channels for maximum effectiveness

While social media is a powerful tool, it's even more effective when integrated with other channels. The Thomas Collective enhanced their MCM tactics through the use of social media.  After conducting brand awareness research, Thomas recognized there was opportunity for increased awareness.  They developed a social media character and used her in a social media contest.  Through focused and consistent social media communication, The Thomas Collective increased its Facebook fan base by 666%, its liked posts by 4,484%, and shared posts by 15,400%. 

Because this initiative developed such a great results they decided to integrate the program across other communication channels.  This campaign now extends beyond social media pages and has made its way into all digital programming such as advertising, public relations, event execution, sampling, corporate communication, media buying and promotions.

The brand has attributed social media, along with advertising, to the brand?s awareness growth from 39-55%, outpacing its entire competitive set by well over 10%.

 

Identify channels not delivering a return

Certainly developing brand awareness is a key benefit of multichannel communications, but this orchestration of channels generates not only new opportunity, but can also reduce unnecessary spend.  PerkinElmer invests a great deal of time, money, and resources into their event programs but they never understood the return on these events.

PerkinElmer enhanced a traditional marketing channel by orchestrating the assets into a more comprehensive MCM program.  They pulled together email invites, confirmations, and reminders.  They created an event website which contained hypersites and registration forms for each event.  These forms were both external facing (for event registration) and internal facing (so internal teams could order event collateral and check-in attendees on the day of the event).  All of these channels were tied to an event module where marketing could pull an event dashboard.

PerkinElmer learned a lot from this initiative.  They recognized that their events were not one-off activities, they were longitudinal programs that involved engagement from their audience before, during, and after the event.  They began to grow the universal profile of their attendees by capturing their engagement against these event communications.  They saw which employees were leveraging and accessing available event tools.  And they finally understood the marketing return on investment.  Through this program they reduced unnecessary events, increased attendance to premiere events, and saved $345,000.


Start with a channel audit

And while these are great stories, many companies don't know where to start.  STEMCELL Technologies started with a digital audit.  They wanted to know which channels were feeding into their marketing and sales programs.  After conducting this comprehensive audit they learned they in fact only had 3 lead sources.  But this audit identified gaps and channel opportunity.

STEMCELL Technologies recognized an opportunity when they realized there were communications channels, like live chat, not effectively tied to their marketing and sales programs.  Through the use of digital tools they now evaluate 21 different communication channels.  This has improved sales and marketing alignment, productivity, and conversion rates because they've increased the engagement opportunities.  They also now have greater insight into marketing communication effectiveness.  They understand which content is most effective across each channel.

 

Revisit your content, segmentation, and form strategies

But companies that tie together all the right channels sometimes still struggle with reaching their desired audience.  Whether you're trying to reach patients or the C-Suite, content is the code breaker.  Optum cracked into the c-suite through smart content marketing.  Optum has achieved what many organizations struggle with, they have successfully engaged with the C-Suite. 

When launching their new Accountable Care Solution they revamped their content marketing efforts and they did this by focusing on 3 things.

1.  Content Strategy:  Optum revisited their content strategy.  They identified the personas in their targeted C-suite and mapped their content to the personas and journey.  By identifying and mapping their content journey, Optum has connected, and engaged, with key decision makers by delivering the information they're most interested in. This also allowed them to focus their communications on 6 pieces of content.  This content has established Optum as a trusted advisor in the arena of health reform.

2.  Form Strategy:  They implemented a smart form strategy.  Because these were targeted communications they stopped asking for information they already had like first name, last name, company, and title.  They asked the sales organization what information they needed in order to engage and then implemented that feedback into their form strategy.  They also implemented progressive profiling to gather information over time.  This was a less invasive approach, increased form conversions, and built trust between the C-suite and Optum.

3.  Segmentation Strategy:  Optum also focused their content efforts. They targeted their content on organizations that were chosen by Medicare to participate in its Pioneer ACO pilot and its Medicare Shared Savings Program.

These efforts resulted in a 700% improvement in sales accepted leads.


Remain compliant

Through all of this, you still probably have that lingering "compliance voice" in the back of your mind.  While the majority of you have compliance processes in place, some companies are going a step further.  Thermo Fisher Scientific developed a Marketing Center of Excellence to not only enhance their marketing efforts and return, but to also meet the strict compliance regulations.  They developed, documented, and automated governance around Privacy Policy, Global eMail Policy, Data Standards, Digital Brand Guidelines, Reporting Standardization (Divisional, Group, Corporate Analysis).


Support your decisions with data

Life sciences orgs are finally obtaining that data insight to make smarter business decisions.  By capturing and analyzing an individual's Digital Body Language across all channels, companies cannot only develop that sought after universal profile but also understand things like cost of recruitment efforts, cost of acquiring new prescribers, cost and effort to convert prescribers from one decile level to the next  and effectiveness of their communication outreach across regions.

Companies can also begin to understand Sales Rep revenue potential.  You can see which reps are not only driving the most revenue, but are also the most engaged, which reps have the greatest potential to grow revenue through prescriber prescriptions as well as converting decile prescribers, and which reps are generating the greatest return on investment. 

In short, you can identify which reps to invest in.

Through the development of strong content, unification of digital channels, and focus on data forensics companies can grow revenue, reach hard to see HCPs and KOLs, and empower sales to engage with the right prescribers and payers at the right time with the right message using the right channel.

Social media in the life sciences space continues to be a debated topic.  Companies want to engage on social but are risk adverse, and for good reason. Recent publications around social media regulations have only complicated the issue for many companies. In an effort to remain socially in-tune, but still remain compliant, many companies are engaging in social listening.

 

Why You Listen

Social listening allows life sciences companies to identify and assess what is being said about them, a disease, or a particular product.  Social listening is allowing companies to understand sentiment, monitor conversations, adjust messaging, and contribute to product development.  But with all those benefits, many companies are not using social listening to engage.  Again, because of risk, conversations rarely evolve.

 

But there are now ways to extend social listening beyond information gathering and into real conversations.  You can now use social listening to trigger conversations off social platforms, and through compliance approved channels.

 

How You Can Converse

Let's look at an example.  You want to better identify, engage with, and nurture your key opinion leaders.   You can now evaluate a KOLs Digital Body Language on social platforms to deliver the right communications, to the right KOL, at the right time.  You can understand what motivates the KOL and how that KOL defines quality engagement.  You can nurture your relationships and be proactive in your communications. 23-7-1-2014+4-01-47+PM.png

 

Using social monitoring tools like Attentively Social Behavior Sparkplug you can segment and score KOLs based on social influence.  You can target KOLs with a strong presence on specific social networks.  You can listen for opportunities to add-value by creating watch lists around terms associated with products, diseases, and events.  For example, when an HCP mentions a specific disease or side-effect a relevant, pre-approved, compliant communication containing content from an associated KOL could be sent. 

 

The Profiling Potential

These tools also allow companies to develop a more comprehensive Universal Profile of the KOL.  By defining a list you can run a social match against the list and collect demographic data as well as pull social bios.  The Universal Profile you build is defined by the individual through their Digital Body Language and in their own words.  Even better, this information capture and universal profile creation is pulled back into your marketing automation systems. 23-7-1-2014+4-03-25+PM.png

 

Lastly, you can leverage this social listening across multiple channels.  Depending on the audience, and HIPPA regulations, you can trigger response communications across more than just emails.  You can extend the opportunity for engagement across digital ads and other social channels.

 

By utilizing available social tools and focusing on what your audience is saying you can now engage in a conversation that is effective, relevant, and compliant.

 

How are you extending your social listening initiatives?

There is no question that policy changes, like the Affordable Care Act, are having drastic changes on the healthcare space.  Healthcare is shifting from an industry that's rewarded for volume to one that is praised for quality of care.  And with this renewed focus on patient healthcare, marketers are now carrying a new responsibility for patient and physician experiences.  Healthcare marketers must drive not only awareness, but education pre and post admission, and must empower the patient to self-advocate.

 

This week at the Argyle CMO Leadership Breakfast for Healthcare and Life Sciences I listened as leaders in the space offered their insights.  Below is advice from the top marketing leaders in healthcare.

 

"As quick as the patient wants information and feedback, physicians want it faster.  More and more physicians are using their mobile devices.  Clinicians are having text conversations with physicians via their mobile devices.  You must also commit understanding the needs of the patient in both content and content delivery.  For example, don't overemphasize the value of videos.  Healthcare wants to build a video for everything, but videos don?t engage the patient.  Videos are often boring and disenfranchise the patient."

  • Margaret Coughlin, SVP and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer with Boston Children?s Hospital22-7653605_s.jpg

 

 

"Social engagement is no limited to the major channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  To meet regulatory risk concerns some organizations are building their own social platform that physicians can use to self-educate and engage with one another. You can't control the conversation but you can be a part of it.  Utilize your advocates.  Be authentic. Remember that response is important."

  • Shannon Hartley, Managing Partner, Healthcare Industry Leader Rosetta

 

 

"Not responding to a social post is like not answering the phone.  Some of our biggest mistakes were underestimating the volume as well as the commitment around the activity required.  Develop a digital scorecard.  Measure engagement.  Evaluate the volume and response.  Begin to understand the sentiment around both your organization and your competitors."

  • Darren Rodgers, SVP and CMO Healthcare Service Corporation

 

 

"Recognize that there are more than the 4 Ps.  You?re responsible for communicating to the physician, payor, patient, pharmacist, and policy maker."

  • Joff Masukawa, Vice President and Global Head, Government Relations & Public Affairs Shire Pharmaceuticals

 

 

"The ACA's provision to move from fee-for-service (volume-based) to fee-for-value (efficacy, cost-based) payments/reimbursements is pushing the industry to a more open stance in terms of data transparency across the value chain. I see this, in addition to the rise of EHRs, as important influencers to break down walls to freer electronic information exchange, thereby opening the door to a more open attitude to digital marketing, as well.

 

22-teaching+back+2.jpgThe Internet of Things (IoT) is another important evolution with more data not only being produced directly from device and drug therapies, but new tools and approaches to making sense of the data for various purposes, including the aforementioned efficacy metric, as well as adherence, which is a huge loss area for pharma companies today. According to some estimates, medical non-adherence results in $188B in lost pharma revenue. This is just considering the revenue loss and does not consider the overall cost to the healthcare system in terms of re-admissions, lost productivity, or most importantly, overall patient population health."

  • John Danese, Senior Director of Life Sciences, Oracle

 

What advice would you offer to those marketing in healthcare space?

Social media has faced resistance in the pharmaceutical space for 2 reasons; compliance and proving return on investment. While the industry is certainly making strides on the compliance front, many marketers still fight to prove the value of social media.  Marketers need to educate business units that social media isn't necessarily a tool to drive transactional sales.  Social media can build brand awareness, and if you benchmark your metrics you can prove a positive return on your marketing investment.

 

Build Awareness by Enhancing a Traditional Activity

Pharmaphorum recently published a story about Boehringer Ingelheim and their use of social media. They found success through Tweetchats. These tweetchats allowed them to extend roundtable discussions and engagement with KOLs.  They pulled together patient advocacy groups, HCPs, and pharma companies.   21-c0f02e08ac919fe2306728728dd86726.jpg

 

The results of this initiative were outstanding.  Using the #ChatAFib they saw 35 active contributors during the hour, including healthcare providers, patient advocates, healthcare journalists and pharmaceutical company representatives. They also drove greater awareness around the issues of stroke.  They reached over 200,000 twitter accounts and saw engagement through retweeting. Through these tweechats they gained greater visibility amongst patient associations and medical experts.  They also gained over 200 new followers from these discussion.

 

I'm sure you have the lingering compliance voice in the back of your mind.  How did they get compliance on board?  Well, they involved them from the beginning.  They met with compliance and documented a series of "what if" scenarios. What happens if someone mentions a specific product?  What happens if someone mentions a side-effect?  What happens if misleading medical information is presented?  What happens if off-topic discussion is initiated about a company or its products?  They then worked with compliance to develop contingency plans.  This allowed them to approach this social initiative confident they could control the conversation while still maintaining positive engagement.

 

Build Awareness By Integrating Social

Social, when integrated with other channels, can own brand share.  The Thomas Collective enhanced their MCM tactics through the use of social media.  After conducting brand awareness research, Thomas recognized there was opportunity for increased awareness.  They developed a social media character and used her in a social media contest.  21-Facebook-PR-Campaign_The-Thomas-Collective.jpg

 

Through focused and consistent social media communication, The Thomas Collective increased its Facebook fan base by 666%, it's liked posts by 4,484%, and shared posts by 15,400%.  Because they saw such great success  this campaign now extends beyond social media pages and has made its way into all digital programming such as advertising, public relations, event execution, sampling, corporate communication, media buying and promotions.

 

The brand has attributed social media, along with advertising, to the brand's awareness growth from 39-55%, outpacing its entire competitive set by well over 10%.

 

What examples of social media success have you seen in the pharmaceutical space?

Pharmaceutical companies often leverage unbranded content and eHealth newsletters to nurture patients, HCPs, and KOLs.  But there's potential to extend that content beyond basic nurture practices.  You can use those channels to grow and build your contact database by presenting relevant information.  You can further engagement and be first on their mind when consulting medications.

 

Consider launching a program that further engages and nurtures the relationship with your patients, HCPs, and KOLs.  Below are 6 steps to developing a program that will extend the relationship with your newsletter subscribers.

 

  1. Audit your content.  Identify where it resides and track its performance. Map this content to each persona's journey, measure the performance, and score the process. This will provide insight into what content resonates with each segment.
  2. Identify potential.  Review the content audits across brands and segments to identify existing collateral assets to be used in the campaign at each stage of the cycle.
  3. Utilize a smart form strategy.  Where possible, implement blind form submits for content.  Consider the option to progressively profile for additional information when building out contact profiles or capturing missing contact data. Limit this progressive data capture to 2 fields for each stage of the campaign.  This is an unobtrusive way to mine the readership to build your database while presenting relevant information and nurturing the relationship. 20-eHealth.jpg
  4. Filter when relevant.  Based on the engagement with pre-identified high value content, filter these contacts into eDetailing campaigns, sample and trial campaigns, medication reinforcement campaigns, or even advocacy programs.  This will allow you to provide more segmented and relevant high value content and will increase rates of conversion.
  5. Align with your sales organization.  Confer with brand marketing and sales managers for each division to communicate the goals of the program and receive their input and support.
  6. Commit to the evaluation and improvement of the campaign.  Because contacts will be continuously entered into the program based on their Digital Body Language is important to avoid the "Set it and forget it" mentality.  On a weekly basis review the engagement against each content asset, the lead flow through the entire journey, and revise assets as necessary.  Pay close attention to trends in engagement.  Recognize offers or messages that drive spikes or drops in engagement.
  7. Leverage lessons learned across all digital channels. When evaluating and making decisions based on those trends in engagement, make sure your other digital assets reflect what works.  Websites, digital ads, and social posts should all test the bright spots from this program.

 

Along with nurturing and educating your audience, this campaign will help align your marketing and sales groups. Through automation, analysis, and reporting you can better enable sales with the tools, content and context they need.  It will also demonstrate the measurable benefits of your newsletter efforts beyond thought leadership.

 

Equipped with this information your sales organization can now leverage relevant content at the right point in the journey. By mapping content to the journey, and creating templates that align with the sales process and sales stages, sales can deliver, measure, monitor, and leverage the effectiveness of this content.

 

How do you extend the reach of your eHealth newsletters and unbranded content?

The Rockley Group recently hosted a conference on "Intelligent Content for Life Sciences and Healthcare". In her opening remarks Ann Rockley references a survey her team executed.  The survey turned up a series of content challenges faced by the industry.

 

Below are those challenges along with recommendations on overcoming each.

 

Regulatory Concerns

In an industry where compliance is involved in almost every step of the creative process, regulatory concerns certainly trouble the mind of life sciences content marketers.  But there are ways to develop effective and engaging content while remaining compliant. Align your marketing and legal teams and provide the information that will put their compliance concerns at ease.  Outline your compliance process and where marketing communications fit in.  Leverage built in approval and tracking toolsExport communication workflows.  Define what data is captured in each systemAllow ample time for development, revision, and approval processes. Create an employee training and education programBy executing these tactics you can meet customer and compliance expectations.

 

Cost Around Multichannel Delivery

Multichannel marketing as a tool for content delivery is a need, but also an investment.  Some companies devote dollars and resources into the development of content through Key Opinion Leaders, but don't place a similar emphasis on the communication of that costly content.  Recognizing the risk and return in R&D, should companies consider a similar investment in their marketing efforts? Multichannel marketing supplements a diminishing sales force and increase in no see physicians.  Even a 10% investment in multichannel marketing could deliver an increase in eDetail engagement, sample and trial conversions, and inbound results tied to digital advertising.  Content falling on deaf ears is wasted.

 

Rapid Customer Response

Time is of the essence. Customers expect consistency in their customer experience across industries.  In order to respond to customers in an acceptable time-frame you must have a streamlined execution and review processes.  Digital marketing tools like marketing automation and CMS allow businesses to streamline processes. These solutions increase productivity by automating, templatizing, and increasing the speed of approval and execution in communications. But they also provide data which can indicate potential for productivity optimization.  By analyzing this data you can respond quickly and even begin to identify problem indicators before they occur.  With a strong social strategy you can also develop pre-approved social media responses so you can respond quickly and compliantly.

 

Publication and Management of Content

Companies understand that content is the guts of their marketing.  But many don't know what to do once content is created.  Life sciences organizations must create content, but they must also have a strategy for publishing and managing that content. With content marketing tools you can manage content versions and revisions.  You can identify content topic opportunities, assign content, and simplifying the publication of content across multiple channels.  You can also score your content to understand the effectiveness of individual pieces across channels and different personas.  This allows you to align persona-based content with a customers' digital body language to increase engagement, improve the quality of opportunities, realize return on your marketing investment, and increase customer loyalty.

 

Translation Requirements Due to Geographic Reach

Translation of content is a common problem.  Whether you're an enterprise company, or a local pharma manufacturer, you're most likely communicating to a global customer base. Content must be delivered to the right customers at the right time through the right channel and in the right language.  But meeting translation needs across multiple geographic regions can be very costly. But there are tools that can alleviate the pain of translation.  For example, Cloudwords has developed a tool that accelerates and automates campaign localization to maximize revenue from global markets. You can localize more content, more frequently, and with higher quality.  Cloudwords actually integrates cloud to cloud with Eloqua.  Content is just one click away from taking your campaigns and content to any market in any language.

 

I recommend taking 20 minutes to listen as Ann Rockley delves into each challenge a bit more.  I recommend starting the video at the 5 minute mark.

How are you meeting the needs of intelligent content?

Winning prescribers and driving awareness amongst patients is a focus of most pharma marketers.  But identifying, recruiting, utilizing, and nurturing Key Opinion Leaders should also be a core component of the marketing strategy.

 

Key Opinion Leaders have tremendous influence over their peers, and their resulting prescribing behavior.  It's imperative that marketing organizations follow a series of best practices when engaging with potential, and existing, KOLs.

 

Below are 7 best practices to build into your KOL communications strategy

 

  1. Capture what matters.  Pharma companies tend to select key opinion leaders based on high prescribing habits.  Measuring and tracking decile conversion and prescriptions is good, but because physicians look to true thought leaders you also want to identify true influencers.  Capture academic standing and clinical trial information against contact records through the use of forms.
  2. Segment before you recruit. Based on the data captured above, look at your database and segment recruitment communications. Consider the size of your company, therapy, and adoption of the drug.  Also segment the audience of your KOL.  Identify their physician network, their influencers, and where they go for information. 17-slide-engagement.jpg
  3. Score recruitment behavior.  Just like you can score lead behavior, you can also score KOL recruitment behavior. Understand which potential KOLs are most engaged, and gain insight into what recruitment content is most effective. Focus your efforts on those candidates who are most engaged with your company.
  4. Be easy to work with.  KOLs need a fast and easy way to contribute content. Look at tools like content marketing systems that allow pharma companies to identify content needs and assign content topics based on the need.  These tools also allow the KOL to easily submit content for review and streamline the review and approval process while honoring compliance procedures.
  5. Use 'em so you don't lose 'em.  The bulk of your content marketing should center on KOL generated content.  Leverage them in you written content, CME courses and through speaking engagements.  Record their CME courses and speaking engagements and then utilize segments of the recordings as 2-3 minutes snippets on your website, YouTube channel, physician portal, and in eDetailing follow-up campaigns.
  6. Be transparent.  As a result of the large number of potential KOLs within a life sciences network, different departments within an organization may unknowingly approach the same physician. Sales and marketing teams, clinical research and contract research organizations, and medical education and clinical affairs groups have contact with KOLs on a regular basis but generally lack a reliable way of tracking these KOL relationships. Manage not only KOL data across the organization, but also develop and communicate universal profiles based on the KOLs Digital Body Language.
  7. Automate your communications.  Marketing automation is not for marketing alone.  Leverage process automation, rules based workflow, and a contact's Digital Body Language to deliver the right communications, to the right KOL, at the right time. Understand what motivates the KOL and how that KOL defines quality engagement.  Nurture your relationships and don?t communicate only when you need something.  As stated in an article by PharmaExec, often KOLs value access to Medical Sciences Liaisons.  Work to facilitate that relationship.

 

What tactics do you use when engaging with KOLs?

Payer influence is on the rise.

 

"A 2011 Monitor survey of more than 200 pharmaceutical company executives showed that payers have gained significant influence in health care in recent years. Meanwhile, the influence of general practitioners (GPs) has practically evaporated, calling into question the vast amounts of money and human resources pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in communicating with GPs."

 

Payers are pitting manufacturers against each other when there's commonality in efficacy.

 

"Morris says research suggests that payers are more aggressively managing specialty categories like oncology, RA and MS through tools like prior authorization and preferred formulary status."

 

16-Cost+vs+Demand.jpg

 

The error is that many organizations invest resources in price optimization rather than communication and relationship enhancements and analysis.

 

With this in mind, how can pharma companies begin to include payers and regulators into their communication strategy?

 

Consider including the following 6 tactics into your payer communication strategy:

  1. Segment your payers.  Identify those Pharmacy & Therapeutic committee members that are a part of the quality control group for a payer that reviews and approves products to be in formulary.  Segment your payer lists by drug, drug recipient, the payers? economics, patient populations, and the competitive landscape.
  2. Unify payer profiles. Because there are many divisions within a pharmaceutical company communicating with payers, it's necessary that these companies work to develop a universal profile of the payer. Capture those payer motivators and their digital engagement across all communication channels and all organizational departments.
  3. Integrate the payer perspective.  Work to understand the mind of the payer.  How will payers and regulators access your products and find information about them? Define the personas for those segments identified above.  You must define the communication journey (especially as it relates to the life of the drug), map the content, and identify gaps and opportunity.  Make it easy for payers to seek and engage with information. Reduce the clicks across the channels. Don?t complicate the navigation; drive them directly to the content they desire, mostly likely in the monograph.
  4. Leverage the Monograph.  The message and benefits of the drug will reside in the drug evaluation monographs. The monographs evaluate all drugs in all aspects in relation to all similar agents.  They will contain information on the need, effectiveness, risk, and cost of the drug.  It will contain an FDA classification approval rating.  It will consider efficacy, safety, patient convenience, drug interactions, storage and handling. The monograph will communicate any advantages in efficacy, safety, or patient convenience relative to other agents on formulary.  It will also address the needs of the institution, including medical staff needs, distribution concerns, and drug availability.  Links to this information should be provided across all payer communication channels.16-insurance.jpg
  5. Clarify the value of, and economic justification for, the drug.  Provide information on the current state of the disease, links to pharmakonetic studies and clinical trials, and notifications of package inserts.
  6. Align sales resources with the payer channel.  Develop account teams focused on the payers.  Provide sales tools that allow those sales teams to deliver timely and relevant communications.  By providing pre-approved messaging, and the tools to deliver that communication, companies can empower their teams while remaining compliant.  Digitally capture information on these payers to better understand their decision making process.  This can be accomplished through form optimization and Digital Body Language analysis.

 

How are you including payers and regulators in your communication strategy?

A recent article published by Brainstorm Digital was entitled "Is email more effective for Pharma than social media?" The article argues that pharma marketers should consider email as their primary marketing channel and that social is best used for list development.

 

The article cites a study by McKinsey which states "E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media -- nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. The rate at which e-mails prompt purchases is not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17 percent higher."

 

While I don't disagree that email is vital, I'm concerned that content delivery is viewed as one-dimensional.  Digital marketing channels are meant to serve two purposes; to deliver content for consumption and to provide a platform for engagement.

 

So, should pharma marketers focus on the consumption, or the engagement?

 

I believe that providing that content for consumption ultimately leads to the desired engagement.

 

To effectively sell into the HCP space you must enable and educate HCPs.  HCPs want access to information, key opinion leaders, and peers.  HCPs cited journals as their top info source, with 64%-68% reading about new products in journals three or more times per month, followed by colleagues (52%-53%), websites like Epocrates, Medscape and UptoDate (46%-52%), apps (27%-32%) and package inserts (25%-29%). Similar numbers were seen for learning about established products. You must develop a cooperative relationship with HCPs. Selling to HCPs is not simply a transactional sale.

 

And HCPs are greatly influenced by not only peers, but the patients they treat.  A study of direct-to-consumer marketing revealed that consumers were most likely to ask their doctor about a product after they had seen an advertisement that gave them information they had not previously known. Rather than rehashing the same messages in all marketing campaigns, pharmaceutical advertisers need to ensure that they are providing up-to-date, useful information, as this approach seems to be most likely to trigger patients to take action and request the medication.  Communications must extend to the patient, and on the channels those patients prefer.

 

Capgemini also released a report supporting a broader digital marketing initiative.  The study of nearly 3,000 primary care physicians and specialists from the QuantiaMD U.S. community, found that 67 percent of physicians now rate digital media as their preferred source for accessing information, compared to just 20 percent who prefer pharmaceutical representatives. This shift is compelling pharmaceutical companies to place more emphasis on their digital strategies to maintain their role as a trusted information resource.  Digital marketing certainly includes email, but it also encompasses edetailing, websites, social media, advertising, digital events, and HCP portals.

 

Lastly, no matter the channel, if the content is poor then neither consumption nor engagement will occur.  The bulk of your efforts should be channeled into creating content that contains value.

 

While social media in the pharma space may not drive the desired engagement response, neither will email alone.

I think we all agree that you shouldn't forsake one channel for another.  Pharma companies must develop that multichannel marketing strategy which encompasses all communication channels and guides HCPs through the pre-awarness, awareness, trial, adoption, and advocacy journey.

15-5-1-2014+2-48-39+PM.png

The life sciences industry has been on the receiving end of some volatile change.  This change is seismic, has been felt throughout the entire industry, and has created waves of impact across all divisions of an organization.


But change isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Change equates to opportunity.  And this change is creating plenty of opportunity for life sciences marketers to better engage with HCPs and patients, drive revenue, and win influence with the c-suite.


Below are 10 seismic shifts in the life sciences industry, and the opportunity created by each.

  1. The patent cliff results in the end of product patent protection.Pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers face steep cuts in sales and marketing budgets due to many of their blockbuster drugs losing their patent protection.  $38 billion in branded drugs are scheduled to face generic copies in 2013 and $142 billion will lose patent protection by 2014. Drug manufacturers face 80% of revenue loss after 1st year of generics. Therefore drug  manufacturers are focused into cost cutting measures targeting sales, general, and administrative expenses, re-structuring the way they go to market, and acquiring generics and bio technology manufacturers to fill their portfolios. Sales enablement and controlled digital automation can assist in overcoming this challenge and empower the sales and marketing organizations to own HCP relationships.
  2. Increased regulatory complianceMedical device manufacturers face product safety considerations, increased regulatory oversight and compliance, and pricing pressures.  And because they are in a regulated industry, marketers face stiff penalties for off label promotions.  With the advent of the Sunshine Act, you must now capture and report all direct and indirect payments to doctors, group providers, and hospitals. Physician payments for sponsored CME courses will also need to be reported to CMS which may discourage doctors to get medical education online. On the other hand, samples and patient education materials do not need to be reported which will likely result in increased sampling and patient education materials as part of pharma HCP and patient websites.   Pre-approved templates that are locked down can control messaging.  Tracking Digital Body Language can also provide insight into engagement with digital communications.
  3. A transformation in sales and marketing strategies is occurring. Companies need to figure out ways to reach more doctors, payors, and influencers with less sales reps.  According to a recent study by Accenture, big pharma will undertake a wholesale redesign of the sales and marketing function -- electing to "blow the function up" rather than merely evolve it -- in response to constrained budgets and the revolution in stakeholder engagement. Big pharma's strategic priorities for 2013-14 are: reducing costs, mastering multichannel marketing, improving use and effectiveness of digital marketing, harnessing analytics to drive improved ROI/customer satisfaction, and improving sales force effectiveness.  Automated communications can improve efficiency and tie together the entire MCM process.  Analytics captured also provide insight into where resources and budget should be allocated.
  4. Some doctors are inaccessible.  They have busy schedules and decreased time for in person promotions.  Doctors use the internet to research drugs on their own time and rely less on sales reps. In 2010, only 25% of prescribers are willing to meet with reps and a full product discussion occurs in only 15% of face to face meetings. The average rep interaction only last 98 seconds.  Most prefer information they can review on their own schedule.  1:1 personalized communications and preference centers give the control back to the HCPs.
  5. And some doctors are going digital30% of HCPs want more marketing content to be delivered via digital media. Doctors are also busier and more digital savvy and prefer to get product information online via desktop, mobile and social online communities instead of in person.  There is a need for tracking and measuring doctor digital engagement to improve sales effectiveness.  Doctors can use the online tools to ask questions about drugs, order free samples and find out which insurers cover certain treatments. Sometimes drug-company representatives will engage doctors in live chat, or phone them back if they have more questions. Patients can use the tools to get special offers, co-pay coupons, and health and wellness information.  Capturing and leveraging this Digital Body Language provides HCPs with personalized communication that meets their needs. 14-image-life-sciences.jpg
  6. Drug adoption influencers are growing. It's not just doctors who influence a drug being prescribed and adopted -- managed care organizations dictate what drugs are approved for insurance plan formularies and influence what drugs are prescribed; patients and caregivers research diseases and cures online before they visit doctors.  All these influencers need to receive consistent and compliant messaging to drive trial and adoption.  By capturing Digital Body Language across multiple digital platforms, companies can begin to understand the circle of influence, and market effectively to those influencers.
  7. Data matters more than everThere is an increased use of analytics to target sales and marketing spend and drive improved marketing ROI.  There's also an increased use of digital and multi channel interactions and increased use of third-party service providers.  There's pressure to spend less on meetings and events, and consolidate agencies, decouple digital content production, and streamline globally.   Capturing and analyzing digital engagement and ROI can provide insight into where there's potential opportunity, and where resources and spend should be allocated.
  8. The Affordable Healthcare Act is having an impact. There are now more patients to see and less time to see reps due to the healthcare reform.  Obamacare announced there are 1 MM new enrolled members in health plans via the federal exchanges. But with the same number of doctors it means less time to see sales reps.  Leveraging sales tools and 1:1 automated communications supplements the face to face sales engagement. 
  9. There is a rise in multiple buyers and influencers. Life Sciences marketers need to influence multiple "buyers". They need to influence doctors, nurses, office staff, doctors? peers and influencers. They need to identify who the doctor key opinion leaders (KOL) and peer influencers are, and in what social channels these influencers are active in order to promote their products. They need to influence pharmacy and therapeutic committees at private managed care organizations and public exchanges to ensure their products are part of their plan or exchange formularies. They need to influence patients and caregivers to become educated on their products. They need to educate their own sales reps on the latest approved product messaging. And all buyers and influencers are online and empowered with information that influences if and when they adopt a therapy.  Companies can now target and deliver personalized 1:1 communications to these segments.
  10. There is a rise in communication and mobile channels.  HCP's and influencers prefer to access product information on their own schedule and through their preferred media. Doctors read printed and online medical journals and research papers. They research product information via search, social media, doctor online communities (medscape, doctor channel, Wikipedia), and printed medical journals. They use desktop computers at their office or mobile devices. According to Novo Nordisk market research,72% of U.S. doctors own a smartphone, and 95% of them use it to download medical applications. Patients research healthcare information online using desktop computers or mobile apps. LS manufacturers are creating unbranded and branded healthcare apps to engage doctors and patients and increase product adoption and adherence.

 

What changes in the life sciences industry do you view as opportunities for marketers?