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  • Episode 27: Omnichannel and CDP (Customer Data Platforms): What Every Pharma Marketer Needs To Know About Using Data To Enable Seamless Customer Experience, Drive Engagement, And Lift Rx

Omnichannel and CDP (Customer Data Platforms): What Every Pharma Marketer Needs To Know About Using Data To Enable Seamless Customer Experience, Drive Engagement, And Lift Rx

with Nirmal Vemanna, Senior Product Manager of Pharma at Tealium

  • What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP), and how is it used to break data silos, become the heart of omnichannel orchestration, and drive a lift in Rx and engagement?
  • Why is CDP vital to personalizing HCP interactions both digitally and in person?
  • First-party data versus third-party data: pros and cons and how to think about both data sources?
  • Why is first-party data the “connective tissue” for HCP behavior and represents the foundation for pharma CDPs?
  • HCP registration versus no-registration: what’s the value of registration, and should pharma companies insist on it?
  • “No-see HCPs:” How can Content + CDP help engage and educate this HCP segment?

To answer these questions, Bozidar is joined by Nirmal Vemanna, Senior Product Manager of Pharma at Tealium.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • [ 01:11 ] - CDP, or Customer Data Platform, was coined in 2013 as a software platform that centralizes customer data from various sources like websites, mobile devices, IoT, and more. Its purpose is to make this data available to other systems such as CRM, websites, and email servers, enabling effective marketing, customer service, and other customer-related initiatives. The core idea behind CDP is to create and maintain a comprehensive view of the customer, eliminating any gaps in their journey and making it as seamless as possible. By ensuring the right data is available on the right channel at the right time, CDPs help address these gaps, allowing businesses to personalize customer experiences and enhance the overall journey.
  • [ 07:43 ] - The pharmaceutical industry faces numerous challenges, with compliance being a significant concern. However, various other obstacles make pharma unique, including the difficulty of standing out amidst a shopping mentality applied to research and general marketing and customer engagement challenges. Navigating stringent regulations is another critical hurdle, as pharmaceutical marketing requires a high level of sensitivity and empathy to address the complex needs of patients and healthcare providers. Moreover, the potential for unintended data leaks poses a major liability, necessitating stringent data protection measures to safeguard patient information. Overcoming these challenges demands a comprehensive approach that combines compliance, differentiation, regulatory expertise, and data privacy vigilance to succeed in the ever-evolving pharmaceutical landscape.
  • [ 09:38 ] - When it comes to creating an exceptional user experience that seamlessly combines Pharma and CDP (Customer Data Platform), the key is to break down barriers between different areas of operation. In an ideal scenario, we envision a world where online data, such as research activities, can be used to facilitate meaningful real-world conversations. This entails the reciprocal influence of online behavior on the offline world, and offline behavior on the online world. In essence, it involves ensuring that real-world conversations consider a person's previous online behavior. Similarly, when an individual resumes online research on a product after a real-world conversation, that conversation should also be taken into account.
  • [ 12:56 ] - With the rise of technology, the challenge of using first-party data has significantly diminished. Initially, pharma companies were cautious about embracing such technology, but they are now becoming more aware of the possibilities it offers, including customer data platforms. First-party data holds immense value in collecting information directly from customer interactions, such as through websites. This data is highly valuable and automatically resolves trust issues, although it doesn't imply that third-party data is unreliable. While acquiring third-party data may not be as reliable as first-party data, the ever-expanding network of third-party providers makes it increasingly accessible. Establishing a robust infrastructure for first-party data is essential but does not fully bridge the customer data gap. This is where reliable and trusted third-party vendors come into play. By combining the two, you can build a foolproof data strategy.
  • [ 17:58 ] - Registration is crucial as it enables a better understanding of individuals. If someone conducts research on one site without registering and then conducts research on another site where they register, it becomes difficult to connect the two individuals. We may perceive them as separate entities, unaware that they are the same person. However, as individuals provide more information about themselves, we can establish a connection and identify them as the same person. Registering upfront significantly simplifies this process. Moreover, having the right ecosystem and trusted partners to collect research information on individual behavior is essential. These partners, with their trusted network, excel at encouraging individuals to register by offering significant value in return.
  • [ 25:28 ] - The rising trend of no in-person communication has led to the challenge of engaging individuals who do not see or interact with you directly. To overcome this, offering valuable content becomes crucial in creating brand awareness, particularly among the younger demographic, who are adept social media users and prefer consuming digital content over face-to-face interactions. First-party content, especially videos, plays a significant role in future customer engagement strategies, making them an essential component of any effective strategy.

If you want to learn more about leading a successful pharma marketing campaign in the US, tune in to this episode of Pharma Launch Secrets, a Podcast by Evermed.

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About the Podcast

Pharma Launch Secrets” is a podcast by Evermed and hosted by CEO Bozidar Jovicevic, where we host direct, actionable conversations with world-leading pharma launch experts and help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and strategies to help you launch your product successfully.

Episode Transcript

Bozidar: Hello, and welcome to the new episode of the Pharma Launch Secrets podcast. Today, I'm joined by Nirmal, senior Product Manager of the Pharma Vertical at Tealium, the number one most trusted customer data platform. Nirmal has over ten years of experience in life, sciences and technology as a product lead, and he previously worked at pharma companies such as Merck and GSK as a product manager and product owner. And he also worked at IQVIA and American Board of Internal Medicine. Welcome, Nirmal. Pleasure to have you here today on the show.

Nirmal: Thanks, Bozi. Thanks for having me. And pleasure to be here too.

Bozidar: All right, so today we'll be talking about CDPs. Sometimes when I say CDP, I spend a lot of time talking to pharma companies, device companies, societies. Sometimes I need to explain what CDP means and some people know, some people don't know. And so it would be really good to really understand first to start with definition. So what is a CDP, what does it stand for? And why is it important for companies to have CDPs?

Nirmal: Yes, so there are a few definitions floating around. Yeah. Well, I'll give you the one we like best. But one thing everybody can agree on is CDP stands for Customer Data Platform. So the term was first coined back in 2013. As I said, there are a few different definitions floating around. The way we see it, it's a software platform. That's what a CDP is. That centralizes customer data from different sources, like websites, mobile devices, IoT, etcetera, and makes all this data available to other systems like CRM systems, websites, email service and what have you for marketing efforts, customer service efforts and other customer related initiatives. Or, the idea behind the CDP is to create and maintain a single comprehensive view of the customer and leverage this view to eliminate any gaps a customer may see in their customer journey and make the journey as seamless as possible. When we say gaps in the customer journey, what are we talking about? If you've ever received an email from, say, a merchant recommending a product that you already purchased at that same merchant's brick and mortar store, that's a gap. This gap could have been easily addressed by making the purchase information from the brick and mortar store available to all marketing channels, including the email marketing system. So having a CDP helps you address these gaps by making sure the right data is available on the right channel at the right time.

Bozidar: Thank you. And I remember I was struggling to explain in some meetings what CDP means. And I found on your website this visualization that shows various data sources, like all going into one center, which is the CDP, and then from there being used for various channels online and offline channels. So that visual with logics coming into one place. Remind me of a keyhole in a way just horizontal. Is that the best way to think about CDPs?

Nirmal: You can say, so it's like think of it as a data orchestration engine, if you will. We're not trying to replace a CRM system or an email marketing system or anything like that. It's very much like a complex rules based data orchestration pipeline. You're able to easily bring data in from different sources. You're able to build complex rules on how these data should be used and unique profiles are created using these complex rules. And then that same unique view of a customer sent to anywhere that view needs to reside. So it's very much like a complex rules based data orchestration pipeline that helps you break down the silos a company may have within their customer data systems, if that helps.

Bozidar: Got it. And then does that mean, again, to understand the fundamentals, does that mean that you're building a profile of an individual, let's say doctor case, a pharma of individual, 360 profile of all the interactions they had with, content, with the company with anywhere else. And then you have data on that individual so that the marketing can be really done in a personalized way afterwards.

Nirmal: That is correct. That is correct. And not only that right, you're doing personalization. But if your CRM system isn't talking to your email system, which isn't talking to your website personalization system, you are engaging the Hcp. But you don't have a single view of the customer correctly. The experience ends up being very disjointed. So by building, getting all this data into one place and making sure that view is what gets used anywhere, that's really what you're trying to achieve. So what that happens is as the customer moves from channel to channel, for example, you mentioned Hcp, which is very relevant for the pharma industry. So as they are doing drug research on a specific site, and when they go check their email, whatever email marketing content they receive takes into account their behavior, the research behavior elsewhere. So that's what we mean by seamless and consistent.

Bozidar: Yeah. Got it. Because I will think of the opposite experiences again, just to help listeners understand how valuable that is. All of us have experienced it. I often use a hotel example. So you use one channel to book a hotel and then offline they give you something because they know that you've been a member of, let's say, Marriott. And then you enter the hotel room and then you see another message for you that you have something extra. And then so the opposite of that experience is that you get non personalized Blast emails.

Nirmal: Correct.

Bozidar: And even worse, you may already be a customer, so you're getting blast something even though you already bought it. So that would be to me, kind of the opposite example. That all of us have experienced and can relate to. Absolutely. Okay, good. I wanted to check that for you.

Nirmal: And if you're a VIP customer correct. Like you're expecting VIP treatment, which if you're not guessing, it leads to a very disappointing experience. So that's really what we're talking about.

Bozidar: Got great. And the overall, I think trend has been for some time, but even more and more with this precision and personalization at the individual level in the same way that Instagram and TikToks and others are able to adjust to our individual needs. And Netflix then here that any company can adjust to our needs and use a channel that we want and interact with us at the right time, in the right way. Could be content, could be a person, but in the right way at the right time. Okay.

Nirmal: Correct. And ATPs and patients are they are customers at the end of the day. They are spending a lot of time on Amazon and Netflix. They're expecting a curated experience. When they're doing research on a pharma brand, they don't even know it, but they are bringing that online shopping mentality. So it's good to know, it's important to know where they're coming from, what their preferences are and then cater to them accordingly.

Bozidar: Got it. Okay. And then when it comes to pharma, so how is you are leading the subject matter expert as well on the pharma side on Tealium. So when you discuss with your colleagues from other verticals, how is pharma different in terms of their needs when it comes to CDPs, is pharma behind ahead in personalization? Are there any specific needs in terms of compliance and things like that?

Nirmal: Absolutely. So compliance, yeah, that's one of the many challenges, right? So pharma is kind unique. I mean, they have several challenges. Some of them are unique, others are general marketing challenges, customer engagement challenges. So one challenge that they're facing is what I just mentioned. Correct. Like patients and ATPs, they have access to so much infect. So it's getting harder since they're bringing that mentality, the shopping mentality to doing research, it's harder for brands to stand out, especially if you're talking a therapy area like oncology there is a lot of competition, for lack of a better word, in this therapy area. So it's harder to stand out. That's one challenge farmer brands are facing in today's world. And the other challenge is regulations. As you just mentioned, farmers are heavily regulated industry, as we all know. So when it comes to pharma marketing, we're not talking about selling a pair of shoes to a customer, right? It requires a great deal of sensitivity and empathy to be to do successful pharma marketing. And especially if you're talking patient marketing and if Phi, protected health information, is involved in any shape or form, then HIPAA becomes a major concern. And online tracking is getting more and more sophisticated by the day. So there is a lot of room for unintended data leaks and that could be a major liability for pharma companies if you're talking phi again. So pharma companies have been very risk averse for this reason. When it comes to customer engagement, the other challenge coming back to the ACP realm is the no see doctor trend. You may know what this is. I mean, these are ACPs that flat out refuse to see sales reps. This was on the rise even back in 2018. The pandemic has further accelerated the strand. So can national HCP marketing focus on building a relationship with the Hcp and getting FaceTime? This is just not possible with a nosy doctor and which you can easily say, oh, this is like postcamp covert, I don't want to see you, I don't want to spend any FaceTime with you. Yes, these are some challenges I would say unique to pharma industry.

Bozidar: Got it very clear. And then when it comes to a great user experience, just to bring this together, pharma and CDP. So great user experience. Let's say on the Hcp side is that the pharma company if I'm an Hcp, that pharma company would know whether I use a product or don't use a product, whether I interacted three weeks ago with a piece of content they sent me or on a third party or first party website, and that I had a question that I asked medical information. Folks on the pharma website. So now when I get approached by either rep or MSL or person, they have all that context and they can have meaningful conversation with me, let's say in that setting. Would that be like an example of good experience?

Nirmal: Absolutely. So yeah, it's really about, like I mentioned, breaking down of silos. Correct. That's what a CDP does. So the ideal world we're looking at is online data, like what research they're doing, being leveraged to have real world conversations, whether it's by a sales rep or an MSL or even like the video contribution we serve. So online behavior influencing the offline world and offline behavior influencing the online world. So basically you're talking about so if you're having a real world conversation that's taking into account what their online behavior was and if a real world conversation did happen, when they go back to, let's say, doing research on the same product, that real world conversation must be taken into account as well. So everything is like one unified experience.

Bozidar: Really got it very clear. So now the logical question that comes to known experts, CDP, the logical question is I heard that when I had my first class in market research was the professor said garbage in, garbage out. And so that means that we really need to pay attention to getting the data sources clean, comprehensive, as robust as possible data set. And so how does that work for the pharma industry? Let's say talking about HCPs, how much of, let's say 100% is maximum, which is how much is realistic to be able to obtain from all the interactions that an Hcp would have with first party or third party, which I'll come back as a question on that as well. But from, let's say, 100% data, everything the doctor did on first party, pharma owned, let's say, website, and on a medscape interacting with something they're related to the pharma products, what's realistic to have is to shoot for 50% or 70 or 80% so that people don't be too tough on themselves. Right?

Nirmal: So I would say it depends on the different therapy areas. And are we talking rad diseases? Are we talking something a bit different like oncology? It depends. But I would say without giving a 70% seems realistic to me based on what we've seen. And not to mention there are new data providers coming into the mix all the time, so there is a lot of huge impetus to do digital transformation within the Pharma space. So not only are there well established data provider players in the space, but there are knowledge gaps, there are data gaps that the new players are trying to address. So I think the gap is getting closed all the time. So, yeah, depending on the therapy area we're talking about like well over 70% seems pretty realistic to me from what I've seen with customers.

Bozidar: Got it. Great. Now, which brings me to the question about first party and third party data. And again, just to clarify, I find myself needing to clarify what it means. So first party, let's say pharma owned website like Apple owns apple.com, right? So they have all the data before doing there, they can choose whether registration is needed or not. And the third party is like, let's say medscape, proximity, any place is like what's called publishers, right, where doctors spend their time. And so there is, of course, last two or three years, there are discussions about cookie-less world where there is increasing emphasis on having your own first party data. But on the other side, doctors, like anywhere else, they first look at kind of third party reviews of something and then they look at first party what Pharma says about their product. One is more trusted, one is less trusted, everything has its role. But in terms of collecting the data in medicine, I know that a lot of these websites and publisher places have a piece of code where doctors are kind of spending time online and that you actually can know whether Dr. John Smith went to multiple websites or not. So how difficult or easy is to collect first party versus third party data and what is unique specifically for the population of doctors versus other industries that you see?

Nirmal: Yeah, so with the right technology, first party data isn't that much of a challenge anymore. Again, pharma companies were very risk averse at the beginning, but now they're starting to wake up to the technology out there, like CDPs, when it comes to collecting first party data and first party data is huge. And pharma companies it's really website is one example of first party data. It is the data you're getting directly in your from your interactions with your customer. Correct. Like it's it's highly valuable. The trust issue is automatically solved. Which is not to say third party data is unreliable, but first party data should be at the heart of their digital transformation and customer engagement ATP engagement strategy. So I would say it's getting it's easier than pharma companies realize when it comes to third party data. Yes, it may not be as reliable as first party data, but again, we're talking about an ever growing network of third party providers. Correct. And the data sources they collect the data from are also expanding on a daily basis. So it is easy and essential to have your own first party data infrastructure but that won't solve the entirety of the customer data gap. So that's where reliable trusted third party vendors come into play as well. So by combining the two, that's when you have a foolproof data strategy, if you will, in engaging your customers. Not sure if that answered your question, but feel free to ask follow up questions.

Bozidar: And do CDP companies work with publishers to be able to kind of know that Dr. John Smith didn't even do injury watch something on Medscape and that data goes into CDP so that Pharma company can benefit from that.

Nirmal: Correct. So that's where certain key integrations and partnerships come into play. You have to keep in mind pharma is a very niche industry. Correct. It's not the Facebook's of the world, the metas, the Instagrams of the world. They're not really catering to this industry because you are talking about very niche specialized websites where all this research, brand research is happening that ATPs are conducting. So there are specialized providers that work with these network epidemic sites to identify what products are being researched and who's researching them and what content is being consumed, things like that. So that information gets collated. And it's essential to have partnerships for a CDP bundle to have partnerships with these niche providers to make that identity research information available so that fall value can be unlocked about from knowing who the ATP is, where they come from and then that way when they come to your website you already know where they've been got.

Bozidar: Yeah. So that's like, you know, the ideal situation of and I was reading actually yesterday a book about content, experience and personalization and I will be talking to the author of the book soon on my podcast. And it was interesting because he said it across different industries this was not farmer related. He said across different industries people are in general comfortable sharing their data as long as they see a benefit of personalization and they trust the brand. So if they trust Medscape, Medscape, they have no problem that Medscape is tracking and sharing that if their experience is more personalized because of that. Right.

Nirmal: And interestingly, doctors are more forthcoming than you might imagine. When you're talking patients, that's a conversation for another day. But doctors with the right network, when they're on certain sites, when they trust the site, that information, they do tend to be more honest about what they're expecting, what could be offered to improve their customer experience, if you will. And that data insight, those insights are available there. They're sitting there to be leveraged, and pharma brands will do very well by acting on them.

Bozidar: Got it. Okay, very clear. And one other question I wanted to ask you about that is the value of registration versus not registration. Because oftentimes I'm in conversation with pharma and they say, well, it's notoriously difficult for doctors to get them to opt in unless there is specific reason. And sometimes it comes down to also the skill of the marketeer, the copy, the headline, the knowledge of the landing pages and conversion mechanisms and all that. So at the same time, Netflix is able to, and Spotify for me, those two examples always come to mind. Spotify has those made for you, like Playlist made for you. I think they call it made for you. It's incredible. But one of the reasons why they're able to do that so well is because we are always registered there. So how important is to have a doctor to register, whether it's on a pharma first party or Medscape, in order for data to be collected?

Nirmal: I would say it's very important. It makes it understand if they don't register and if they doing research on another. So one research site they're registering, other research site they're not. It could be very hard to tie the two people together. We may think they're two different people, but they are one of the same, but we don't know that. Eventually, as they provide more information about themselves, we can make the connection and tie the two people together and say they're one of the same person. But registration upfront makes it much easier. And as I said, having the right ecosystem, having the right partners to collect this research information about ATP behavior is important because the trusted they come with the trusted network of partners. And these partners are very good at getting the Hcp to register because they offer a lot of value in return. Right? Like, why would they feel compelled to provide, register, and reveal who they are? Because they're not getting value in return. Just about offering enough value to the Hcp so they feel more comfortable registering and they are getting value in return.

Bozidar: Yeah, it has to be some sort of give and take. I know that we've tested this on our side, different ways to do that. And we would first offer some content for, if it's a video content for 30, 60, 90 seconds, and then ask for an opt in because you get a sample. Is this worth me kind of putting an email knowing that everyone has a fear of then being bombarded by emails?

Nirmal: Absolutely.

Bozidar: It has to be some sort of give and take.

Nirmal: It's a casual nature, isn't it? Like you have to give them the right content so they feel interested, but without knowing who they are, it gets harder to give them the right content. So there was a delicate dance there for sure.

Bozidar: Yeah. And I talk to doctors in all the time as well, and they're like, oh my God, there is company sending me three emails a day. Come on. And so there is that fear, we all experienced it. And so it has to be really clear. Sometimes I'm thinking on the opt in pages or registration pages, we should put like, we will not email you every day. And then almost like, you know, this opt in for software services when it says like, free trial will not require your credit card information. So immediately alleviate the number one concern. That's really great to know. And differences like CDP, pharma, first party, third party registration, non registration. So what are some of the biggest sources of data flowing into the CDP right now, across the board for, let's say, doctors with Dutch and patients as well?

Nirmal: Absolutely. Before I go on, funny you should mention them. Ignoring emails and feeling bombarded, that's where something a technology like a CDP can come into play rather than asking, hey, how often would you like to be contacted? Right? If they specified their email address. By having a CDP in place, we can learn their behavior. If they're ignoring these emails. You said three emails a day. If they're not being opened, we can track that information correctly based on the email open rate. So we're already learning, okay, we sent all these emails, they didn't open any of them. Maybe we should back off. So by having tech like CDP in place, we can analyze the data, understand, set up automatic rules to say, okay, if this person doesn't open emails, don't stop sending them emails, maybe checking with them once a week or so rather than three times a day. So I just wanted to give you that example to add some context. But coming back to your question, yes, the first party data, as I said, is huge. My employee, we say first party data is the connective tissue when it comes to understanding and engaging the target audience. Yeah, it just gives you insights that you couldn't get elsewhere. But obviously that first party data alone isn't going to be sufficient. So third party trusted third party providers do play an important role. If you're talking examples, let's say first party, you have to ask what questions are you trying to answer? Right? For example, what white papers are the ATPs download? What kind of product related content are they most interested in? Are they interested in dosage info? Are they interested in side effects? What product related videos are they watching? All of this. This is all like first party data, essentially. It could be data setting in the CRM system. It could be data setting in the pharma company's master data management system. So these are all insights that the pharma company learned from their direct interaction with the Hcp. If you're talking patient data, that could be prescription data from a farm, like a pharmacy, it could be. And that it's very necessary to measure script lift. If you're trying to measure the success of your ad campaigns, script lift is important to measure. And the only way you can do that is by using prescription data. And it could be data around product research done by HCPs across different endemic sites like you mentioned, WebMD, Medscape and what have you. There is a huge network of those sites, and any data coming from those sites is important. And they would become third party data. Another example of third party data would be professional affiliation data. Where does this ATP work? In what capacity? And their demographic information? What's their geography? What is their specialty? What's their title? Are they an MD? Are they a Do? Are they a PA? Things like that. And even marketing campaign impressions and metrics companies are blazing ads on third party sites. But how are these ads doing? So campaign impressions and other metrics also are examples of third party data? I would say. So essentially, any data that helps pharma companies create a personalized experience for the ATP. So patients should be treated as a potential data source, whether it's first party or third party. Then it's coming up with the strategy to obtain get your hands on the data.

Bozidar: Got it. Okay. There are obviously many different sources, and it's interesting that you use the term connective tissue. I never thought of this like first party. So can you just elaborate a little bit more on that? Why is that a connective tissue? And do you first start with third party data and then you add the first party to kind of connect and find more truth in the data? Or just if you can elaborate more on that.

Nirmal: The order doesn't matter. I think it goes to show the importance of the first party data. Really? Like we mentioned earlier, first party data is like highly it's trustworthy, correct? It's what you get by interacting with your customer directly. So having that as the foundation for your data strategy becomes very important. Whether you set up the first party data strategy and then get the third party data, or vice versa, it doesn't matter the order in which you do it. The point is how important first party data is when it comes to customer engagement. That's what we mean by connective tissue. And it brings it all together. It acts as the foundation for all other insights you learn about the Hcp of your patient .

Bozidar: Got it. foundation of all the insights. That's really powerful. And now when it comes to content right? And we help pharma companies, of course, with having a Netflix like personalized Content hubs. And personalization is a massively big trend across different industries. Some industries are well ahead. Pharma. I think it's really coming in a big way. The question is, what's the role of content in obtaining the first party data? Especially having in mind that pharma companies traditionally struggle with producing on demand content because every word needs to go through a careful review and approval process. MLR and PRC committees and at the same time I've seen in other industries, content being the main source of first party data. And HubSpot has introduced the word inbound to the world. And many companies started to produce a lot of content. Hire journalists, have articles, then they switched to audio and video. So now we have a mix. So really becoming like a content marketing machine, producing a lot of content where each piece of the content qualifies a potential customer or prospect shows indication of interest, tells us a little bit more what they are interested in. And a HubSpot has got that to really next level over the years and many other companies follow. There's Content Marketing Institute and a lot of books came out and Pharma on the other side if you look at it. it’s a very small amount of content that comes out. It's more and more. So I wanted to understand is content one of the looking at the future? You expect content to be one of the leading data sources, especially first party content. Data sources that will grow whether it's a webinar or whether it's an on demand something. But really content? Or there are other sources that you think will grow more than content.

Nirmal: I would say no. Content is great. I mentioned the whole no CHCP trend being on the rise. Correct. So yeah how are you supposed to engage them if they don't see you if they're not making FaceTime with you? Which means you have to offer content of value. You want to create brand awareness. This is especially something we've seen the younger HCP demographic correct, like they're social savvy social media users. So they are very good at consuming content that is digital rather than in person face to face interaction. Yeah, I would definitely say content. Especially first party content. It plays a huge part in future customer engagement strategies. Simply putting videos are a great way to do it. Great. How much time do you spend looking at YouTube shots or YouTube videos to learn something rather than googling something going on a website or reading a book or reading an ebook? So I would say videos and digital content in general play a huge part in that future strategy.

Bozidar: Yeah, 100%. And with video, another thing, you can also in the context of data, you know exactly how much someone watched and. Whether at 52 seconds they clicked on a conversion button. It's like, oh, it's something in that video that we get someone to watch to that second, they will actually ask for a sample or request a rep visit. So it can be extremely powerful. With article it's a little bit more difficult, I think, with heat maps and everything's possible, but it's still harder. So yes, we see that world also in which there is more content. More content is being produced simply because the behavior of doctors has shifted. And with COVID that shift has accelerated in the sense that they prefer convenience and short form and then if they're interested more, okay, let's talk to, let's say, human being rep or MSL from the pharma organization. But then I ask as a doctor more technical questions and also more prescriber kind of questions rather, or also ask for samples rather than asking basics. What's the efficacy of a product? I have seen that and I recently ran a poll on my LinkedIn profile and I said it's very straightforward, like obvious kind of answer, but it was doctors, in your opinion, do HCPs trust more? Option A, KOL talking about the efficacy of your product. Option B, your rep, talking about the efficacy of product. So 95% was last week, 95% says KOL. I'm like, okay, so why don't you try KOL on a video instead of rep in person and see how it works. And also videos don't get tired, we're 24/7 scalable and things like that.

Nirmal: But even then, one thing to keep in mind, even then, the ATPs are unique beings, correct? Yeah, they prefer chaos, but they may want to hear about different aspects of a brand. For some it may be therapeutic benefits, for others it may be dosage side effects. So again, understanding for a given HCP, yeah, we serve content, but what were they interested in? How much time did they spend on any given video? Did they finish watching a video? Are there videos that they completely ignored? Like all those insights are valuable as well. It's not a one and done thing correctly, it's a continuous loop, if I may. So you're constantly learning about what this ATP likes when engaging with their content. So we can give them more of that and give them less of what they're not interested in.

Bozidar: All right, great. So we talked a lot about data sources, quality of data, cleanliness, first party, third party, data registration, non registration. And we touched a little bit on what comes after that, after the data is being processed inside the CDP. And you mentioned some of the ways that, for example, the CDP can give you data, whether email is the right channel or not. Now, I assume at this point, and it's probably been for some time, that CDP is apart from being that central digital place is an orchestration place as you said, where there are powerful prediction mechanism that actually can tell you? Well, based on everything we know about Dr. John Smith, the next best action that we would suggest that has 67% of probability is to call them or email them and then maybe even be able to say, well, if you use this, the likelihood of them starting a prescription is XYZ, like predicting even the second next best action. So how far is the technology with that? Is technology ready? Is ChatGPT helping with all that? So I'm curious to maybe that's a separate question, but how much can CDP help with prediction and recommendation for the next best action? Yes.

Nirmal: So there is some confusion out there in general, right? Like in a CDP still, it's like, as I said, there are a few different definitions for CDP and there is some misconception around what a CDP does as well. So a lot of people mistake it's an Next Action Engine or it includes an Next Best Action Engine, but it doesn't. A CDP is not an NBA engine. Next Best Action Engine. What it does is it uses data on where a customer is in their journey, it takes all these customer data points, and then it applies statistical analysis to predict what the next action should be for a brand to engage their customer. A CDP doesn't exactly do that. What a CDP does is it allows you to create complex rules and it allows you to trigger specific actions based on these rules. For example, we can create a rule that says if an ACP meets or exceeds a certain threshold around email rate, the example we talked about earlier, if they meet a certain threshold, or if they don't fail to meet a certain threshold, we can either serve them more emails or we can stop sending them emails altogether. But this is not based on any probabilistic or statistical model as it is with a Next Best Action engine. It's more deterministic in that you defining what these rules are based on what you know about your customers. However, Next Best Action Engine, I did say it uses data and then it applies statistical analysis to predict the next best action engine. The word data is key here, right? Without comprehensive data on the customer, whatever an NBA action engine predicts, it simply ends up being the next action rather than the next best action. So what a CDP does, how it works with the Next Best Action engine, is by giving the engine a comprehensive view of data about the customer. And you can also get data from the next best action engine. These engines, they're not typically built to send the insights exactly where the insights need to be correct. They're not supposed to be a data pipeline like a CDP is, so that's the gap of the CDP can bridge. CDPs are meant to be good at activating customer data and insights across the omnichannel. So CDP can take the insight from the engine and then send it to the right channel in real time if needed.

Bozidar: Got it. Okay, that's great. So you can actually program some of the rules based on knowledge of the market, subject matter, expertise, and together with the next best engine and the rules that, let's say, human beings have put into the system based on knowledge of the market, create the most optimal next step in the journey of a customer. It reminds me a little bit like how lead scoring works, and every company has a different system to do it and design it, because these are rules that are created by humans. And I learned from Garry Kasparov, the chess master, former world champion, and he worked with AI 25 years ago. It's like one of the biggest learnings was the man and the machine always beat the machine. So it's very interesting to think about now we see a proliferation of AI assistants. I remember he was saying this 20 years ago. The AI assistants are man and the machine beat the machine for now. Machines will dominate 50 years from now. All right, so what is the role I have to ask you this, what's the role of AI and GPT in CDPs? Those language models are going to improve how CDPs work. Are they relevant, irrelevant at all? Do you have you guys had a chance to kind of go deeper into this or it's still early.

Nirmal: I would say it's very early, right? Like, at least the way we think about CDP is supposed to be the deterministic data pipeline, if you will correct all about the data. We're all about integrating with best of breed tech and doing this tech what it does best, whether it's an NBA engine, whether it's an email server, whether it's something like ChatGPT. So giving it the data, we're all about breaking down the data silos and giving it the data it needs to do what it does best, right? So we may not try and replicate the functionality that these best of breed tech do, including ChatGPT, for example, but it's simply about making sure they have the right data at the right time so they can just run with it. So that's really the goal. Having said that, it's early stage right now in exploring the possibility. But if you conceptual, if you think about it, what data can we serve up an AI tool like this in order for it to do its thing? That's the way we think about it. So that philosophy hasn't really changed, but in terms of how the insights coming out of that could be leveraged, that's something we're still exploring.

Bozidar: Got it. Clear and clear. People talk about GPT, different business models. One of the more advanced things is to have a proprietary data set going in so that you can actually build a layer of infrastructure that would affect the output. Then it's pretty unique. And then when it comes to any examples that you can share or conceptually companies that do this well. Pharma companies that do this well, whether it's HCPs or patients, what do they do versus the companies that you think are in a little bit earlier stage, less mature when it comes to use of CDPs?

Nirmal: Yeah, I'm not at liberty to name specific names, but I would just say some companies, you'll be surprised. You would think

Bozidar: Sure, I never asked for names of the companies. Correct.

Nirmal: So you would think in some cases the bigger companies would be slow to move. That may be the case, but in certain examples, certain use cases, what we're seeing is the bigger companies are more nimble than many of the smaller companies when it comes to adoption. Correct. They're doing very the example I can think of would be, hey, you're searching for a BMW car and all of a sudden you go to a site and you see a Mercedes Advertisement. So that's a very good example. Again, you're talking about researching one particular brand, but you're seeing a competitor's brand when the ATP goes on a different site. So that's just one example. So there are use cases, some pretty cool use cases that companies are exploring and they doing it not by just by looking at one data source. They taking into account so many different data points coming from so many different disparate sources to enable these use cases. So I would say some companies are doing a much better job than others. They're being more agile, being more nimble, while others are being risk averse. And not to mention they have fear of tech. Like CDP kind of co-opting their existing tech stack and we try to explain to them, no, we're not trying to replace any of the best in breed tech you already have. A CDP is supposed to really sit at the heart of it and then talk to all these systems so they don't have to talk to each other. Because for them to talk to each other in the way you want them to, that would take a lot of time. A CDP is really there to break down the barriers. So the companies that understand that are really able to unlock the value of the data investments they already have by putting the CDP on top of it. The ones who don't, they're still struggling, they want to, but I think they're still stuck in the old school mentality.

Bozidar: Yeah, got it. And then I really like how you say it's, really sitting at the heart of, I would say Omnichannel orchestration.

Nirmal: Exactly. We're not supposed to supplant anything, we're not trying to replace anything. It's there, it's going to break down the barrier. And companies are they have all these expensive data investments and like this data isn't cheap. There are companies who rely on doing this research, like mining gold, basically, so pharma companies can act on them, but they're not getting the full value out of all these data assets. But when they are able to break down the silos and get all this data, view it all together in a unified customer profile, which is what a CDP facilitates. All kinds of interesting use cases revealed themselves that they couldn't think of before because these assets were, they really were disparate. They were just really not interacting with each other. No, they are.

Bozidar: And I would assume, and I maybe could have asked you this at the beginning, I would assume that there is a direct impact on top line and bottom line that was demonstrated the use of CDPs in Pharma industry and other industries. So if you do this right, you can expect a certain percentage increase in ROI or engagements, things like that.

Nirmal: Script, lift, ROAS, all kinds of metrics. Yeah. The difference before and after, provided they are willing to unlock the they're willing to keeping an open mind, they're taking a ball move and implementing these use cases.

Bozidar: Yeah.

Nirmal: The difference is day and night. Definitely.

Bozidar: Yeah. Okay. And then last question I wanted to ask you before I ask you series of short questions about you, so listeners learn more about you, is how is Tealium different versus other CDP companies in the context of pharma?

Nirmal: Sure, we don't like to do a direct comparison. We tell our customers who we are and they connect the dots. So that's what I'm going to try and do today. So Tealium was founded in 2008. Our mission has always been to connect our customers data so they can connect with their customers. And we're definitely a pioneer in the CDP space. It's one of the original CDPs that came in the market. You can again, as I said earlier, TLM is a rules based data orchestration engine. We have over 1300 turnkey integrations to help with real time data collection and activation. So wherever the data is sitting, we can connect to it. And wherever the data needs to go, we can send the data there in real time. So we have a pharma specific CDP product called Helium for Pharma. In addition to the core Tealium CDP features, our Telempha product comes with specialized out of the box integrations and features to support the Pharma marketing and customer engagement efforts on the part of our customers. So using these integrations, customers can build unified ATP and patient profiles by leveraging data from CRM systems, brand websites, endemic research websites and what have you. And once all this data is in and once these customer profiles are created, then they can be activated across any channel where they need to be. Website, call center, email service, CRM, what have you. Again, it's about offering the CDP, the CDP, offering the Hcp and the patient a seamless experience to improve health outcomes for the patients. And we've also been HIPAA compliant. We have been HIPAA compliant since 2015. We were the first ever CDP to become HIPAA compliant. So if marketing efforts requires the handling of Phi. We're built to handle that.

Bozidar: Wonderful. Very clear. Some questions for the very end. It's been fantastic conversation in many ways educational. I think we have whole separate episodes of just focus on patients or focus or more advanced deployments of CDP. I think my goal is sometimes to really help people get on the same page because when we talk about Omnichannel and personalization, there is no discussion about Omnichannel orchestration without data at the heart of everything. And so my goal is to make sure that everyone understand the foundation first and then we can go into a little bit more advanced stuff. So, first question, what do you believe will be the industry buzzwords of 2023? One word or two words

Nirmal: Omnichannel.

Bozidar: Omnichannel.  Is there any book that you read over the last year or two that comes from top of my mind that left an impact on you? Made an impact.

Nirmal: Actually, It's not a data related. I'm reading a novel called Musashi set in feudal Japan. It's a bit philosophical, bit historical fiction. Yeah, not work related, but something I've been enjoying it's. It's a massive book. Tough read, but very, very well worth read.

Bozidar: I assume that you don't read only books related to work. That's what I expected. What is your go to music genre or song when you need some inspiration?

Nirmal: I've been getting into a lot of soundtrack, believe it or not. Typically I've been like an alternative or a classic rock kind of guy, but I think I've been really getting into soundtrack a lot. I think this is a post pandemic trend for me. I've been watching a lot lot of movies and TV shows. So I like when I listen to the soundtrack is like they tend to be very evocative and I think soundtrack as a genre is crazy underrated, in my view.

Bozidar: Yeah, we're just about to go to Han Zimmer. They have this in New York where like a piano only Han Zimmer and candlelights, called candlelight concerts.

Nirmal: That sounds amazing.

Bozidar: Yeah. What's the one sentence advice you would give to someone just starting in the world of pharma commercialization and more specifically the world of data and CDPs?

Nirmal: I would say be persistent or persistence, if you're looking for a single word. Pharma industry has a  lot of regulatory landmines. We have to be very careful. So things you will face setbacks, but be patient and be persistent in your marketing efforts. That's what I would tell them.

Bozidar: Great. And then where can people find you online?

Nirmal: Oh, I'm on LinkedIn. LinkedIn would be the best way to reach me. I don't have social media, I don't have Instagram or Twitter or anything like that. I'm very, I guess, old school. Bit of a luddite when it comes to social media in general. But LinkedIn is such an amazing platform, so much activity and buzz is going on there. So I would be missing out if I weren't on LinkedIn.

Bozidar: Got it. Clear. So then we'll use LinkedIn data on your behavior to put in our CDP system.

Nirmal: Sounds great, right?

Bozidar: Great. It's been a phenomenal conversation. In many ways. It feel very educational, informative for the audience. So thank you so much for joining today. We'll stay for a few more minutes after we hit the stop button, but this has been great. Thank you.

Nirmal: It's been great. Fantastic questions, Bozi. Appreciate your time.

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