Digital relationship marketing

There are many challenges in the pharma industry these days. Digital relationship marketing addresses a few of them.

The situation in the pharma industry

There are many challenges in the pharma industry nowadays. Patent expiry and loss of revenue from the blockbuster medicine (patent cliff) is one of them. Despite different strategies aiming to prolong a medicine’s lifecycle, the patent cliff is inevitable. It becomes also a challenge to replace one blockbuster medicine with a new one since the complexity of new medicines is higher, research takes more time while the time pressure is very big.

Another important aspect is the communication between a pharma company and a practitioner. Reps seem to be the best solution but in the case, cost-effectiveness plays a key role. At the same time, communication via automated tools such as emailing is not effective anymore. Doctors receive numerous mails and either they don’t have time to open them or they are bored with this sort of communication. Despite the efforts to make emailing more personalized, the tool assumes mass communication which is less and less involving. It should not be a surprise that its efficiency stays on a very low level.

In highly competitive pharma industry, there is a need to maximize the sales of the existing portfolio within a limited time period. The tools are to be chosen with care as the industry pushes for cost and performance effective digital marketing. One of the market proposals is the broader usage of relationship marketing.

Relationship marketing

Relationship and personalization are keywords in the business today. According to Gartner, the year 2018 is likely to become the year of the customer for marketers. With 64% of marketing leaders who report using or showing the intent of the use of personalization technology, the customer-centric trend is here to stay. [source] The trend is also observed by McKinsey and personalization is called the heart-beat of modern marketing, next to data activation. [source] Relationship marketing is an aspect of customer relationship management (CRM). It places communication between a company and a customer in focus. In the business relation, customers are more of partners in the dialogue and ideally, they should become brand ambassadors one day. The idea is to give customers an added value, show them their importance to the company before one can expect any transaction. The communication with a customer is two-way. Not only does the company communicate the message to the customer but it is also interested in gathering feedback from customers. The move of communication to the digital world was the next, natural step. In contrast to relationship marketing, one can point transactional marketing which aims at a closing transaction and not establishing any relationship with customers.

The market shows that there is a need for a high-performance digital relationship marketing tool created specifically for the pharma industry.  The ideal tool should be up to date and it should use modern channels of communication. Building a relationship between reps and practitioners should be simplified. The content, which a practitioner gets, becomes better targeted and much more interesting in terms of tools. It should allow for better communication between the brand and the practitioner.  It should allow for a quick response to the doctor’s request.

Relationship marketing tool for pharma

As the answer to the demand, Highp comes up and improves communication between a company and a practitioner. Highp is a communication platform for the existing CRM tool in the company. It empowers the marketing and sales team to deliver the best Customer Experience (CX) by supplying one unanimous message to the customer. In a highly competitive environment, it is important to use channels that are effective but not overcrowded. Highp uses SMS or mail as media. Mobile devices are called by Gartner's most popular consumer engagement points these days [source], while Deloitte predicts further that the usage of smartphones will be even more extensive. [source] The real change, however, comes with the fact that more interesting formats can be embedded in communication, such as personalized videos or presentations. Videos have gained much popularity in social media recently and they are much more impactful than any other format. Videos allow for a personalized message in an easy way and shorten a distance in communication between a practitioner and a rep. On the side of the practitioner, there is no receiving barrier since no effort is needed for app installation. The message opens easily on every device: be it a mobile, iPad, PC or MAC. It should be also noted that the flexibility of the tool allows for working within smaller teams as well as large ones.

As noted by McKinsey, technology is at the point where real-time data can be used in a way that is beneficial for customers and profitable for companies. [source] Highp allows for reaching and communicating with the customer in real-time. The same refers to reporting. Highp allows for tracing customer's behavior and instant campaign evaluation based on previously set KPIs. The platform allows for an option such as ‘call to action’ or decision-based presentation (DBE) which makes the interaction between a rep and a doctor more vivid.

From the user's perspective, the Highp platform received very positive feedback: 93% of customers report a positive experience with the tool, 55% were engaged in the message communication and 67% requested further contact. Comparing to emailing which has an opening rate of less than 10%, the double-digit figures speak for themselves. The channel used for communication is yet not so much crowded which makes the engagement higher than with other traditional marketing tools.

Deloitte states that “winning and retaining customers in the digital era requires a mix of personalization, relevance, exclusivity, and engagement across all the different channels”. [source]  It seems that Highp has found the recipe for the digital relationship marketing tool. The solution has been trusted and implemented by numerous global pharma brands.


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