TTM associates Article
Winning in the pharmaceutical market requires massive focus on continuously delivering better customer experience for a trusted and transparent relationship over time. Scientific progress, augmented intelligence and more empowered patients are driving changes in the delivery of healthcare into a personalized experience that demands health outcomes as the core metric. Innovation, productivity and access to patients remain the industry’s biggest challenges. These trends challenge the capital strategy of every function in the pharmaceutical value chain, from R&D and product supply to product launch and patient-centric operating models.
Where is the value in ‘Patient insight’?
Any meaningful journey starts with defining a destination. Historically, pharmaceutical companies have focussed on treating the disease versus understanding the whole person battling the disease. As a result, patient needs and insights were relegated downstream into the drug commercialization phase. A key challenge in the pharmaceutical journey now is that patients have a much broader definition of value. Patients consistently expect services from pharmaceutical companies, before they are treated for a disease regardless of the type of illness that they have.
What ‘patient insight’ means for the pharmaceutical industry?
Retail, consumer products, telecommunications, FMCG companies have been focusing on differentiating the customer experience for decades and have become passionate and consumer driven by Engaging the right customer with the right message and content, through the right channels, at the right time and way. For companies born in this empowered customer era, such an engagement is part of the normal way of doing business. However, for companies with a long heritage in traditional sales and marketing models such as pharmaceutical companies, adapting to this environment represents a challenge. Managing the patient experience has become complex, as society and technology is evolving. Customers are overwhelmed in a world full of information and options while experiencing and comparing how organizations perform with them.
Accenture’s 2015 online survey of 10,000 patients revealed that patients don’t just want pharmaceutical companies to provide services that complement the products they sell—they expect them to do so. The study showed that patients are proactive, digitally enabled and continuously seek and consume health-related services from a variety of channels and sources. The survey revealed a surprising and significant gap between the services that patients want to get, and those that they are receiving.
Pharmaceutical companies have recently understood the importance of reinventing the way they engage with their customers in this changing world and are racing to evolve their traditional “push” sales and marketing model toward a “pull” model that allows engagement of customers, new technologies, in order to discover new ways to create and capture value.
Pharmaceutical companies know they must invest in digital, embrace data analytics, focus on outcomes or be patient centric…but how?
Strategies to ‘patient insight’
A key barrier pharmaceuticals are facing is the isolated and fragmented way in which customer planning is currently done. The following strategies can help deploy a better customer experience:
Organizations will need to consider the mix of initiatives that is best aligned with the company’s strategy; delivering a great experience requires new capabilities. Consistency is critical, as experiences are built up over time, with every interaction. True “engagement masters” have the right blend of focus on the technology, business processes, data and insight, and capability development of their people. The careful design of a plan and the road map to develop the right capabilities that allow for effective customer engagement design is critical for success.
Pharmaceutical companies need to understand what patients truly value in services for their particular health need and how to best deliver them in a cost-effective, meaningful way. This opens up the opportunity to deliver a range of new outcome-based programs for patients through greater collaboration with the broader healthcare system including payers, providers, physicians, and government. In this way, they are able to differentiate themselves from the competition and navigate their way forward to achieve sustainable success in the new health-outcomes-driven ecosystem.