Monday, February 16, 2015

White Paper: Customer Engagement Strategies Drive Brand Growth

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Pharmaceutical brands have been put under pressure recently to connect with physicians and patients in the same way as they interact with consumer brands in their everyday lives. A recent whitepaper by Alliance Life Sciences looks into the ways that development of physician (customer) engagement is critical for the optimisation of resources and brand growth. They highlight a four step process that they underline as being important for driving brand growth.

The four steps are:
  • Deep Customer Knowledge (Data and Analytics)
  • Journey Mapping
  • Touch Point Strategy & Execution
  • Measurement
Each point focuses on giving the physician/customer a personal journey throughout their experience with the brand that is unique to him or her. The study stresses how traditional approaches to gaining customer insights is no longer enough. In order to gain true customer engagement, customer centralised strategies are vital.

There is an impetus throughout the four steps on additional data and analysis that meets both the rational and emotional needs of a customer. Uncovering characteristics or sensitivities of a customer can help to create a more personal relationship with a customer that helps give them their, what the study calls ‘Moments of Truth’.

The Moments of Truth are when the physician contemplates a level of clinical fact and has experienced an emotional perception which helps them onto the next stage of their engagement journey to advocacy. Getting these Moments of Truth are not always guaranteed and to help customers get there a Customer Journey Map is needed that takes them through five steps – Awareness, Consideration, Trial, Adoption and Advocacy. Not every stage is as important as others for different customers; but with expanded data sources, the Journey map can deliver a customer through the 5 stages toward advocacy.

Touch points are considered useful for associating with certain events within the 5 stages of Journey Mapping. For example an event could be a physician writing a script that moves them from the consideration to trial phase. Brands can help reinforce an event, such as a physician’s treatment choice, by supporting them with outcome data or brand adoption statistics. By giving supportive data and keeping the physicians experience personal can keep them using the treatment option.
Customer-measurement combines the multiple touch points that occur and measures the success at different decision points across the timeframe. The measureable objectives are designed to move the customer further along the journey. Similar to cross-channel analysis, it combines performance of multiple tactics with defining success based on each tactics performance.

Though I have not been able to been able to go into as much detail as the report, the main elements that have come out from Alliance Life Sciences’ report are that in depth customer interaction is vital and that helping the customer through each stage of their journey towards advocacy is key to keeping them using the brand. Customers are more likely to use a brand and stay loyal to them if they have easy access to detailed information for what they need. This can be done through advanced data collection and analysis technology that align to meet customer needs and goals. Strategies like this are already in place in retail, hospitality and other such industries so it is now the turn of healthcare.

Alliance Life Siecnes s is a sponsor of this year's ePharma.  You can meet this February 24-26, 2015 in New York City.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP2006BL, you can save $100 off current rates

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at
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