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Strictly personal: how to deliver 360-degree engagement to support your organisation’s agility and impact

By Simon Grime

In the second of our three-part Smarter Strategies series, Wilmington Healthcare’s Simon Grime takes a practical look at how to use a 360-degree view of the customer to support a highly personalised engagement strategy.

Traditionally near the bottom of digital adoption league tables, pharma is now looking to mature its digital engagement practices at considerable pace. Investment in digital activity is rising year-on-year while customer expectations follow a similar trajectory, with many healthcare professionals (HCPs) saying they want to continue taking a major proportion of pharma rep calls online after the pandemic.

Yet taking successful and effective steps to improving your digital engagement, as my previous article explained, fundamentally requires a 360-degree view of the customer to deliver greater personalisation. Here, pharma is still playing catch-up, with less than 20% of HCPs saying the content they currently receive is personalised to their needs. How, then, can it put this right?

A multi-dimensional approach to data

A truly customer-centric approach starts with customer-level data at the centre of the plan, giving full data visibility of each individual HCP. It’s then enriched with additional data layers wrapped around them to give the complete perspective of how the individual may be influenced by the changing environment around them.

This layering of enriched data sets helps clients to create a richer understanding of what drives the individual’s behaviour, mindset and priorities. From a base knowledge of the customer’s individual preferences, we can drill down, for example, to see a region or locality’s patient population, Rx by indication, by Trust, waiting lists, indicators of capacity and tendency to adopt innovative medicines across their Integrated Care System.

Similarly, analysis of the clinical networks and relationships that shape decision-making and power dynamics at system, place and neighbourhood levels (as appropriate) can help to map the critical relationships that shape and inform decision-making within a locality. This might include data such as their involvement in formulary committees, their profile within ICS steering groups and any clinical leadership roles they hold within place-based partnerships.

By using these enriched data sets companies expand the data their teams can draw upon, thereby providing the personal and contextual intelligence necessary to support meaningful engagement with customers and build a multidimensional view of their priorities, needs, preferences, profile and influences.

Activating your 360-degree engagement plan

A Wilmington 360-degree view of the customer starts with a dashboard view that helps navigate through not only the customer’s roles, specialties and organisational structure but also data on their digital, preferences and previous engagements, plus the influencers that they are connected to. This includes data on how they relate to other key opinion leaders (KOLs) in their networks.

Additional data sets then show the way they are connected across the locality, how receptive they are to different forms of communication and how influential they are, in terms of their membership of committees, presence on social media networks, recently published articles in clinical journals and so on.

Mapped against this, data must also speak to the impact of NHS reform on HCP attitudes and behaviours and we can suggest how you build in relevant intelligence on the strategic priorities, capacity issues and pain points at system level to give commercial teams a fuller picture of who the new customer is and what drives them within this re-sculpted landscape.

From this base, it’s then possible to quickly generate precise target lists drawn from segmentation of the data. This can be based on the locally relevant criteria and/or the previous engagement preferences and habits of the customer, enabling pharma to quickly and precisely engage its customers using their preferred channels, content and messages.

Finally, as you derive feedback and intelligence from the engagement activity, the resulting analytics help to continually optimise the customer engagement activity and enrich the customer profile further creating a powerful feedback loop: in the end, if you know what your customer likes and doesn’t like and what they’ve engaged and responded to historically, you can start to build predictive models for engagement based on what they might do next, helping to optimise use of resource and drive up the return on investment.


In short, this is a critical period for the relationship between industry and the NHS as both parties come to terms with new realities. It has therefore never been more important to use enhanced and integrated customer data, smart segmentation and agile delivery of content to fully grasp and reflect the needs of your customer. With time at a premium, and so much competing for their attention, this is an essential next step in pharma’s digital evolution.

On Thursday 31st March from 3-4pm, Simon Grime will be taking part in a Smarter Strategies webinar hosted by PMGroup to accompany this series. Register for this free event.

In association with

23rd February 2022


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