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  • DeWayne Manning

Pharma Digitalization 101 | PharmaDCX

Moving beyond e-services to the Pharma Digital Customer Experience

As consultants to many in the industry, we’ve been neck-deep in e-services for some time now. E-services have been – and will continue to be – vital for efficient, streamlined connectivity for brands. However, the digital age has put customers in the driver’s seat when it comes to evaluating therapeutic options, making the ability to engage with them throughout their journey a key to the success of any pharma company’s commercial model. E-services alone are no longer enough.

The pharma and biotech digital evolution that began quietly a few years ago is now accelerating and expanding rapidly. Today, the transformation goes way beyond e-services into the full digitalization of all touchpoints with customers. As such, our industry has effectively moved into the era of the Pharma Digital Customer Experience, or PharmaDCX.

The Pharma Digital Customer Experience

What is PharmaDCX and what’s included?

PharmaDCX is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, resulting in fundamental changes in how a business operates and the value delivered to customers. Like all business transformation, the customer experience should be at the heart of PharmaDCX. A well-designed PharmaDCX initiative should make products and services more personalized, customers more engaged, decisions and product evidence more data-driven, and business processes more immediate.

A well-designed PharmaDCX creates a culture that is based on the integration of technology, data, and automation. In driving both innovation and strategy, PharmaDCX typically creates new revenue streams.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a PharmaDCX, although ease of use is always a key requirement. Prescribers in particular, are prone to returning to a known, fast, and easy way to initiate patient treatment; don’t let a complex platform drive these essential customers away.

Because your customers are unique, your approach will depend on their individual needs. Effective PharmaDCX strategies today will typically include a customized mix of some or most of the following:

  • e-Services – ePA, eRX, eBV, eSignature, eText, eChat, etc.

  • CRM

  • Wearables

  • Patient communication & communities

  • Customer service

  • Personalized care

  • Person-to-person touchpoints and engagement

  • Coaching – clinical call centers

  • Company/product website and app

  • Marketing

  • Field-based sales tools

  • Supply chain

  • Real-world data & pharmacovigilance

  • Medication reminders

  • Social media touchpoints

  • Journaling

  • Photo sharing and uploading

Why is PharmaDCX so important?

When working to build a successful brand in a highly competitive and matrixed marketplace, it is essential to provide your customers with a consistent, comprehensive experience across all touchpoints…including digital touchpoints.

Today, pharma companies need to elevate their technology and digitalization conversations to something altogether more holistic – bigger, broader, and much more strategic. PharmaDCX is about your customers and their entire digital experience with your product and your organization. Remember, customers are in the driver’s seat, and their loyalty follows organizations and products that engage when and where the customer needs it most.

As a financial decision, PharmaDCX can be a no-brainer. The “pioneers” in pharma digital transformation are currently outperforming their industry peers by an average of 26% in profitability.* However, because digital transformations often require significant financial investments, it’s vital to understand build-out and maintenance costs on the front-end to establish reasonable ROI expectations.

How can PharmaDCX effectively and reasonably be implemented?

Too often, we see pharma companies working from the bottom-up when developing customer experience strategies. This has the potential to leave key stakeholders disconnected, leading to tactic-driven conversations that can result in disjointed, piecemeal programs. Well-managed PharmaDCX strategies force top-down approaches that keep planning and tactical execution aligned to what will ultimately create the best digital experience for your customers.

In pharma, we’re beginning to understand what luxury consumer brands have known for a long time: consistency across all touchpoints is key to creating the best customer experience. This is especially true in PharmaDCX. Technology solutions that are cobbled together make it difficult to deliver the kind of unified experience customers expect. Achieving a desired level of consistency takes integrated IT and consolidated internal processes, often with the use of a digital experience platform or another solution that is specifically developed to break apart data silos for more unified management.

Whenever possible, engaging partners and vendors who have experience implementing effective PharmaDCX strategies will be the fastest, easiest path to success.

When is the right time for PharmaDCX?

If you haven’t started your digital transformation, it’s safe to say that you’re behind. The time for PharmaDCX is NOW(!) for the most important reason of all: customer demand. Begin by making sure you and your team fully understand the implications and opportunities surrounding PharmaDCX, and that each step forward aligns with your business goals. Driving your PharmaDCX vision methodically with a strategic business plan, as opposed to allowing tactics and solutions to drive the vision, is paramount. Then, engage the right partners and vendors who have experience implementing effective PharmaDCX strategies and can offer the guidance and tools you need.

Archbow Consulting has embraced the PharmaDCX evolution by working with pharma and biotech companies large and small. Contact us today to start driving revenue and growth through digital transformation.

*Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in Healthcare and Pharma, in association with Adobe

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