Every pharmaceutical company pursues a multi-channel strategy – but few companies pursue a holistic, data-based approach to their target groups. But in an increasingly digital world, it is not enough to rely on traditional distribution models and existing relationships with the target physicians. As a result, many companies leave considerable revenue potential untapped – and are vulnerable to the activities of new competitors.
A globally active oncology company found itself in a similar situation when it contacted Homburg & Partner. It was experiencing a loss of market share for its most important blockbuster drug. A new competitor had introduced a treatment in the same indication. It was now starting to enter the market with a drug that had a comparable clinical profile. Both players were struggling to gain access to the same target group: doctors in private practice. Our client’s goal was to secure their established market position.
“In today’s competitive environment with a multitude of drugs and modes of action, it is crucial to deliver the right content to the target groups via the right channels in the right frequency and order. A balance between push and pull channels is essential to meet the busy schedules of doctors and limited opportunities for personal visits.”
Like many other pharmaceutical companies, our client already collected tons of data before the project started, but only used a fraction of it effectively. Surprisingly, the key data needed to develop an optimal go-to-market approach was not part of his original data cube. So, right at the start of the project, we closed any remaining information gaps and created a small but effective set of actionable customer information that would add real value to marketing and sales.
As a next step, we developed personality profiles for our client’s target group, which included factors such as accessibility, needs, preferences and recommended actions. These profiles were prioritized in terms of visit and call frequency. The creation of differentiable personas reduced complexity and paved the way for a personalized go-to-market approach. Each persona profile had a specific set of KPIs, which made it easier for the sales force to assign the doctors to the respective personas.
As a result, together with the client, we developed a tailor-made customer journey per persona profile with the aim of achieving high market coverage and at the same time building long-term relationships with the doctors. This Customer Journey includes not only the goal for each individual step, but also clear instructions on which channel sequence per personality profile to use, with corresponding content and interview guidelines.
The final step was the development of an agile operating model that continuously improves go-to-market efficiency through live targeting and highly individualized customer touch points. The implementation of regular and cross-functional account review meetings ensured that customer needs and requests could be met immediately. To avoid an initial reluctance to embrace the new agile way of working, joint training sessions and workshops were held to highlight the added value of agile working principles. Practice provided the best arguments: After initial early success stories within the company, agile working methods and principles quickly spread throughout the organization.
As part of the project, we introduced a list of actionable target KPIs that enables field sales representatives to easily identify personality types and preferences after each visit. The underlying database for the KPIs was already available to our client, but had not been used effectively before. By identifying the most relevant data points and reducing data complexity, we enabled our client to focus on the most important information and use it in a targeted manner to meet customer needs. This focus on the essentials provides sales representatives with a transparent, understandable direction and increases the overall effectiveness of the sales force.
At the beginning of the project, the target group segmentation of our client was based on a few factors: doctors were only segmented according to their prescription potential based on the number of potential patients. By gaining an understanding of what drives individual physicians, what content is of interest to them, and what their preferred channels of access to our client are, we were able to develop easy-to-understand persona profiles with therapy goals, channel and content preferences, engagement opportunities, and other characteristics. This allows our client to align their targeting with the core results of the personas, ensuring an effective go-to-market – as well as increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
In order for our client to be able to implement the knowledge gained from the persona profiles in sales practice, the development of persona-specific customer journeys was essential. We took this individuality into account in a detailed Customer Journey Playbook. This provides our client’s marketing and sales specialists with a clear plan for addressing target customers and enables them to continuously adapt individual customer journeys if our client’s strategic orientation or physicians’ preferences change. The Playbook thus provides the basis for more flexibility in customer processing and channel mix – and at the same time a central knowledge base for individual customer journeys.
Individual targeting, dynamic customer journeys and a flexible channel mix: To ensure the implementation of these project results, an agile working environment is an important success factor. In the course of the project, we therefore initiated a corresponding cultural change together with our client. Essential here was the implementation of an agile operating model that promotes the acceptance of the innovations in the workforce through first-hand experience. In the course of this, guidelines for the new way of working were established and appropriate roles, processes and responsibilities were defined. Through the agile operating model, our client not only increased their revenue, but also the commitment and innovative strength of their employees. For example, a team developed a new way of conducting interviews with key opinion leaders in the target group by launching a “quiz taxi series” in which doctors are interviewed during a car journey. Such a format not only expanded the knowledge base about its target customers, but also increased their recall rate.
If you are interested in finding out more about our services regarding multichannel management or would like to discuss similar approaches for your company, please do not hesitate to spend a few seconds to leave an inquiry via our contact form. Our partner Christian Zuberer will personally contact you promptly after that. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact us by emailing or calling us!