Connecting Intelligence Through an Orchestrated Tech EcosystemBy Mario Muniz | Thu, 10/07/2021 - 15:04
There is no doubt that technology is assuming a central role in every industry and life sciences is no exception. Making wise technology decisions, however, has been a challenge due to the number of options and the different avenues a company can choose to move forward.
Not long ago, a general manager for a midsize pharma had the responsibility of making an important decision regarding which CRM system to implement. After a thorough examination, he decided to follow one of the countries in the region and moved on with what he called “the most innovative platform” for a CRM system.
Sadly enough, a few years later the system didn’t meet the changing demands of the company and a replacement was needed. It has been hard to keep up to speed with dynamic, integrated, and flexible technology that allows life sciences companies to adapt in real-time while remaining compliant with all regulations.
On the other hand, our experience suggests that within Latin America, about one in five local pharmaceutical companies still develop in-house technology systems for customer data and relationship management. During the COVID pandemic, most of these companies felt the pressure and extreme difficulty of adapting in real-time and upgrading their technological arsenal.
Pharmaceutical marketing in 2021 is described alongside words like remote engagement, e-detailing, closed loop marketing, real-time data management, automated customer journey, multichannel platform, and omnichannel orchestration. This calls for a better technology ecosystem rather than individual disconnected tools to address the needs of life sciences companies.
The market is growing ever more complex with new and different customers, multiple touchpoints, increasing regulation, and higher customer expectations. Today’s business environment calls for coordination, speed, and personalization, supported by a common foundation of data.
When platforms and resources are designed to work together across functions, processes are streamlined, data integrity is ensured, and internal stakeholders have a common language and uniform information from a central data repository. Such an orchestrated approach to the commercial ecosystem becomes a strategic differentiator that enables a customer-centric approach.
When systems don’t interact properly, confusion and distrust emerge over customer records, sales reports and other information. When sales and marketing organizations have only a partial view of the customer, their contacts are not coordinated and they risk alienating their customers, who expect more personalization while engaging with the company. Ultimately, this may damage the corporation’s image and performance.
By contrast, when life sciences companies opt for an integrated ecosystem, the applications are engineered for rapid deployment, with pre-built connectors, a common user experience, and a minimal setup and configuration period. Information integration is kept current when the data structure changes, which happens rapidly today. Likewise, the one-stop shopping approach reduces the complexity of managing multiple vendors while troubleshooting issues. Ideally, the same vendor will provide end-to-end data management capabilities, including data acquisition, master file maintenance, security, harmonization, and warehousing.
Fortunately, the shift to an integrated ecosystem can be achieved via a gradual transition. It does not have to be – and rarely is – done in one sweeping step.
An orchestrated commercial ecosystem is about understanding, communicating with, and serving the customer, all in a compliant way. Offering an exceptional customer experience is vital to success in today’s competitive market, and requires access to a common, up-to-date dataset and to analytics that make insights accessible as well as shareable – the hallmarks of an integrated technology platform.
Furthermore, we need technology to connect us, along with omnichannel solutions that allow us to communicate seamlessly across all the stakeholders and across all the different channels, all in alignment to provide the best experience to the customer by enabling us to easily adapt and change the message or change the journey based on the environment and their needs, empowering our teams to ultimately develop trusted relationship with our customers. To succeed in this new world, we really need to create this personalized experience, one that is relevant and valuable for the customers. To achieve this, we are going to need specific insights that, by the way, are only half the journey; the other is adjusting to such changes based on the feedback received by customers.
Contacting customers with the message they want, the way they like it, with the information that is relevant to them, at the time of the day they want to use it makes them more likely to engage.
Connecting Intelligence with workflow technology can transform the way we tailor specific messages to specific customers by bringing predictions and recommendations to the users, therefore, providing contextual intelligence and helping them make the next best decisions for the customer. Embedding intelligence in the workflows delivers precision, speed, and recommendations that fundamentally change the way the work gets done.
The life sciences engagement model has changed in significant ways in recent years, making it vital that companies have the insights, tools and coordinated approach necessary to address a complex mix of stakeholders in a dynamic environment. An orchestrated commercial ecosystem can improve operational efficiency and effectiveness with the customer at the center of all decisions, making it a strategic differentiator.
According to Erich Olvera, IT Director North Latin America at IQVIA, the best way pharma companies can deal with the complex, ever-changing environment is to think of a technology ecosystem instead of individual tools or non-connected capabilities. Connected intelligence is key to understanding and responding proactively to HPC’s needs as we move forward in a world where connectivity outsmarts complexity.