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Smart Thinking blog

Insights and expert advice on the key issues facing today’s pharma marketer

New technology can unlock revenue opportunities for pharma brands

Keep engaged with customers as new touchpoints emerge
unlock revenue opportunities

The need to have a single customer view is now a priority for marketers across all sectors, a key factor in enabling a deeper engagement and interaction with their target audience. The technology explosion of recent years has created more customer touchpoints, enhancing the opportunities for brands to engage with customers in a far more targeted way.

However, this has also presented them with a challenge in understanding how to best meet their new needs and preferences, in order to gain the most value from their customer relationships. While the financial and retail sectors have led the way in adjusting to this shift brought about by technology, other sectors, such as pharma, still have a way to go to ensure they are reaching the end customer successfully, and gaining the returns as a result.

Research from Gartner suggests that, by 2016, midsize to large companies will spend 33 per cent more on application integrations than they did in 2013. With this it's clear that brands are turning their focus to understanding how to deliver more to the customer and will continue to do so over the coming years. But while the benefits are clear, and being widely discussed across the industry, it's evident that the pharma industry is lagging behind, unaware of how to ensure they are getting the most from the customer data available to them, which will create long-term relationships.

More brands are competing to reach the end consumer and failing to invest in a marketing system that enables this is no longer an option if brands want to be market-leaders. Additionally, as compliance is now high on the industry agenda, pharma brands must be illustrating that they are putting customer interests first to earn their trust and eliminate risk across all activity.

Implementing the correct technology to collect customer data across all touchpoints, and crucially, having the tools to enable the necessary insights to be taken from this data and reinvesting these to create personalised interactions, is a must for brands. It's these data-driven insights that will put brands ahead of competitors.

While dissecting data management was once the only option, the capabilities to consolidate all data to one single platform are now available, giving brands the complete view of customer behaviour and enabling them to make more informed decisions as a result. Customers interact with brands across multiple channels at any one time, meaning that siloed marketing processes will seriously restrict the level of engagement a brand will achieve. Investing in the technology now to provide this holistic view will enable them to have meaningful engagement and dialogue with the end consumers.

Adapting marketing systems to deliver a single end-to-end platform is also vital to enable brands to overcome compliance challenges. In the pharma industry in particular, where patient needs and security are paramount, brands need to ensure they are putting the correct measures in place to enable them to exercise control, have total visibility across all data and are accountable. Technological advances have certainly changed the way brands and customers are interacting for the better, but the sector must move towards improving and modernising its entire approach to data handling if it is going to reap the benefits.

Digital developments have seen customer expectations and behaviour shift completely. In today's world, where consumers are always on, they expect brands to be available when and where they choose to interact with them. The notion of speed should be front of mind for all brands looking to increase market share. Integrating marketing platforms and gaining the complete view of the customer as a result will give brands the capability to engage with them in real-time at any given touchpoint.

Data latency is often an issue for brands storing data across multiple platforms. Consolidating this data into a single, integrated platform will enable them to make quicker, more informed decisions that will allow interaction with the end consumer at the pivotal moment and therefore drive the crucial returns for the business.

Brands have never had a greater opportunity to engage with customers, but the impact of technological explosion is yet to be truly recognised by the pharma industry. With so much to gain, now is the time to act and invest in the tools that will enable them to target the end consumer effectively. Data holds the key to driving returns in the long-term, ensuring brands aren't missing out on crucial customer insights, while meeting compliance needs, should be front of mind for all marketers with the ambition to lead the industry.

Article by
Christopher Kollat,

is country manager UK & Ireland, marketing applications, Teradata 

23rd May 2014

From: Marketing

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