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Know Your Audience and Provide Value

Guest Blogger

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Today I am in the City of Brotherly Love with a few colleagues from Intouch at eyeforpharma’s Customer Centric Marketing for Pharma USA Conference 2011. In their own words, the conference is aimed at "facilitating the impending transition in pharmaceutical marketing from product-centricity to customer-centricity." Throughout the day we have heard from a number of industry thought leaders from pharmaceutical companies and agencies on how to drive engagement, loyalty and retention to handle this shift.

The day began with the first session dedicated to customer centric marketing excellence. Jacquelyn Nowik, Senior Product Manager from Takeda, started with the "why." She made it clear that in today’s market, customer centric marketing is vital to patient and physician engagement and retention. She was followed by keynote speakers Eric Dube, VP Oncology from GlaxoSmithKline, and Owen Morris, Director, Promotion Allocation Refresh Sales Support and Analytics from AstraZeneca, with case studies detailing their companies’ approaches to customer-centricity for both patient and physician audiences. Additional case studies showing the customer centric philosophy in action, including Sanofi, were shared throughout the morning.

Intouch’s own Wendy Blackburn, executive vice president, and Mary Clark, director of user experience, kicked off the second session by presenting "Implementing a Customer-Centric Digital Marketing Strategy." With the transition from volume to value, customer service is essential to effectively maximize your digital marketing strategy. For marketing campaigns to bring value, they must address the customer’s unique needs.

"It’s not about you, it’s not about the brand, it is about the customer."

Wendy defined "customer centricity" online: as an approach, it’s a mindset and in practice it is a discipline. She went on to say, "It’s not about you, it’s not about the brand, it is about the customer." For this reason all marketing tactics must be integrated and consistent using channels of preference to their fullest potential. You have to be where your customers are, and you must speak to them on their terms. All this has to be done while remaining true to the overarching mission of most pharma companies: delivering on the ultimate promise of helping patients.

Mary advised pharma marketers "to set out from the beginning seeking to fully understand your customers." She made it clear that user experience is more than usability. The core principles that drive her User Experience (UX) work are respect, relevance, simplicity and efficiency. Empathy, she added, is key to creating a successful user experience.

The overall message to conference attendees from our Intouch experts was to start with user-centricity online and move toward a shift in corporate culture that comes from the top down and upholds the promise to patients. It’s about moving from an inside-out approach to an outside-in approach and truly making customer centricity a competence that crosses corporate silos, not just a function within a department.

For a wrap-up of all the presentations and conversations here at eyeforpharma’s Customer Centric Marketing for Pharma USA Conference 2011, look for a post later this week from Wendy.

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