Three warning signs that big pharma’s multichannel strategy is failing


Every pharma company today knows for a fact that:

A: The commercial model, driven primarily by sales reps, is dying

B: Multichannel strategies driven by digital channels are the key to future success

That said, no pharma company is doing multichannel totally right (as confirmed by this year’s Taking the Pulse survey from DRG).

If you're a pharma company executive trying to build and implement a multichannel strategy (some people like to use a more fancy term, “omni-channel” strategy), here are the 3 warning signs that the strategy is failing:

1. Your HCP-focused websites have little or no return visits.

We are not talking here about using humongous amounts of money to drive paid traffic (Google ads, display ads, Facebook ads) to your websites. That’s easy as you’ll always get clicks if you spend a lot of money on paid traffic (and look good in front of your boss for a short amount of time).

We are talking here about hundreds of thousands of HCPs genuinely wanting to visit your websites for the first time AND wanting to come back again and again. To our knowledge, no pharma company has managed to achieve this so far.

2. Your multichannel strategy meetings are focused on IT/software solutions.

Why does this happen? Typically because it's much easier to discuss fancy IT deployments (CRM, video hosting, CMS, email campaign software) and do lengthy RFPs. After all, that’s familiar territory.

What’s way more complicated is having a content strategy that cuts through clutter, engages HCPs, adds value, is credible, and builds trust with them over time.

If you have that, technology questions will be easy to solve.

Next time you see an agenda for multichannel meetings being focused on technology, ask for a change of topic.

3. You don’t have a way to measure the impact of your multichannel efforts.

The ROI question (“what’s ROI on that new digital channel?”) was a tough one to answer back in the early 2000s. Today it is not. In fact, you should know exactly how much extra sales you’ll make from investing in each of your digital channels...as long as your strategy is clear and all the steps are connected in one cohesive manner.

To recap, the 3 warnings signs of a failing multichannel strategy are:

1. Your HCP-focused websites have few or no visits.
2. Your multichannel strategy meetings are focused on IT/software solutions.
3. You don’t have a way to measure the impact of your multichannel efforts.

If this article strikes a chord and you want to learn how to build a multichannel strategy that works, starting with credible, useful content that engages HCPs, builds trust, and make them dramatically more open to your promotional messages, contact us and we’ll be happy to share it with you.