Matthew Van Wingerden, GM Advanced Services, Aktana
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The future of HCP engagement in the post-pandemic world isn’t clear. But in the wake of pharma’s forced digital migration, the need for an effective omnichannel strategy is.
Luckily, most commercial teams already have a strong data and analytics infrastructure in place and are beginning to activate non-personal channels at scale. But for an industry that’s more complex than most, what does a transition from the legacy commercial model actually look like?
AI will be indispensable as pharma brings intelligent omnichannel engagement to life, but implementation isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Follow these five steps to ensure your omnichannel approach balances impact with scalability for maximum results.
1. Create a Clear Picture of Your Customer
Successful omnichannel campaigns require a detailed understanding of each customer. Lack of data isn’t the problem. The challenge is considering all data sources simultaneously while separating the signal from the noise.
Working within the context of your brand strategy, machine learning algorithms can scour mountains of data to predict which combination of channel, engagement time, and marketing message will yield the greatest impact.
Along with evaluating past brand interactions, AI can use individual healthcare provider (HCP) attributes to make predictions, evaluating every characteristic — from patient coverage data to when they graduated medical school — against a large dataset of HCPs to determine communication preferences and likelihood to engage on a one-on-one level.
2. Break down Silos with Real-Time Visibility
An AI-driven intelligence engine is your best ally for ensuring every touchpoint enhances what precedes it and sets the stage for what follows, aligning teams in two critical ways.
As a next-best-action tool, it links sales and marketing in a virtuous cycle, empowering the field to understand how their efforts support brand strategy and capturing on-the-ground intelligence to optimize future interactions across channels. An intelligence engine can also function as a commercial command center, bringing all channels into one interface that provides the necessary perspective for managing complex campaigns.
3. Bake Agility into Your Brand Strategy
With so many moving pieces, conflict between channels and analytical inputs is likely. To mitigate this, add business rules that clarify when certain triggers should take priority, enforce compliance with local regulations, and set blackout periods to prevent redundant contact, constraining AI-driven suggestions within the bounds of what’s reasonable for the brand and HCPs.
This is critical for producing suggestions and insights that “feel right” and driving adoption among your commercial team.
4. Balance Optimal Experience with Optimal Resource Use
When communicating with one HCP, optimizing brand interactions is simple: the most preferred channel + the optimal time to engage = the ideal touchpoint. Machine learning allows you to expand that approach to multiple customer journeys, making it easy to weigh the value of an action against its cost to determine the most efficient next step.
In addition to an HCP’s bandwidth for “information overwhelm,” be sure to consider each channel’s limitations. How much email content do you have? How many virtual visits can a rep reasonably accomplish in a week? Automate and learn from these tradeoffs to continually optimize your approach.
5. Start Small and Scale
A great way to incorporate intelligent omnichannel engagement in your daily workflow is on a campaign-by-campaign basis. For example, instead of automatically sending an HQ email to all conference attendees two days later, task AI with evaluating channel affinity, engagement timing, and other interactions to select the next-best-action for each HCP.
With this approach, you can orchestrate hundreds of highly targeted, personalized customer experiences from one campaign — without manually micro-segmenting your audience. It’s a win-win: less work for you, more value for your HCPs.
Campaign Objectives Are Brand Objectives
Omnichannel doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. In the interest of long-term adoption, it shouldn’t be. By taking these measured steps, you’ll not only ease change management for your team, but also lay the groundwork for a successful strategy that can easily scale.
As you increase the frequency of launching discrete campaigns and begin to reshape your internal processes in parallel, leveraging AI to chart the best path forward throughout the entire targeting process will be a natural next step.(PV)
Aktana is a pioneer in intelligent engagement for the global life sciences industry. Its Contextual Intelligence Engine leverages a proprietary blend of AI, human insight and other advanced technologies to help life sciences teams seamlessly coordinate and optimize personalized omnichannel engagement with healthcare providers.
For more information, visit aktana.com.