Monday, January 27, 2014

Five Things Companies can do Today to Create Better Multichannel Experiences

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Today's blog post comes from Peter Lammers, Vice President, Multichannel Strategy at Veeva Systems. Lammers is a 28 year veteran of the pharma industry with senior leadership roles spanning sales, marketing, and operational areas. During his pharma tenure, a significant focus was placed on advancing digital and multichannel capabilities. Peter is solely focused on working with Veeva’s customers to develop robust multichannel strategies that yield positive outcomes.

Five Things Companies can do Today to Create Better Multichannel Experiences

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At its crux, multichannel is about creating a seamless, integrated experience for customers. Consumers expect information on demand, and the life sciences industry is no exception. Healthcare professionals, pharmacists, and payers want pharma to deliver relevant information and services that they want, when and how they want it delivered. Today, any number of communication methods is available – customers could receive information on their smart phone or tablet, via the web, through a call center, from a rep in-person, or some combination of channels.

The ideal outcome is to be one step ahead of the customer. To answer their questions before they even ask; to meet their present and future needs before they even know what they want. This, of course, is a ways down the road, but there are a few things companies can do today to get on the path. Effective multichannel doesn’t have to be “all or nothing.”

What can a brand do today?
  1. Be brilliant at the basics – Create a basic multichannel campaign, starting with a handful of integrated channels. You don’t need to try to integrate all channels at once, but you do need to get there eventually. Execute a few simple campaigns against your customer segments, monitor, and learn. As you learn and continue to scale, layer on additional channels – pull in your sales efforts, closed loop marketing (CLM) campaigns, and emails.
  2. Focus on your content – In multichannel, content is king. Many times, brands think about content by tactic. To achieve multichannel excellence, you need to think about creating a library of modular content, in a variety of formats, so it can be reused.  
What can organizational leaders do today?
  1. Get roadmap alignment – The organization needs to get aligned on working towards a consistent enterprise-wide multichannel strategy and operating model. Simplify to a common engagement platform and agree upon how you want your organization and brands to mature over time
  2. Standardize –Your organization may react to the “s” word – saying this is going to kill my brands’ creativity and innovation. But this is really about creating a consistent experience. Developing standardized content and templates not only creates consistency for the customer, but it also frees up resources – both dollars and people – to focus on campaign execution or reinvesting in new channels or analytics
  3. Re-examine business processes –Digital content can sometimes take longer to go from concept stage to the end-customer. Many times, the processes that support non-personal channels aren’t optimized for digital, prolonging cycle time. Look for ways to streamline the MLR process and agency utilization.

To learn more, listen to Peter’s podcast or read about Veeva’s multichannel CRM solution.

Veeva Systems will be an exhibitor at this year's ePharma Summit taking place February 10-12, 2014. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1906VEEVA, you'll save 15% off the current rate!
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