Transform Or Be Transformed: Digital Pharma East – Day 2

Special thanks to Ellen Hoenig Carlson for providing the following conference overview…

If I were allowed but one word to describe Day 2 of Digital Pharma East #digpharm, it would have to be the urgent need for transformation—the need for Pharma Cos to work faster than ever to effect internal change and to jump start meeting  current and evolving customer expectations.  Throughout both days actually, speakers talked about the industry having to move  from brand marketing to customer marketing, to move on your own with change or  risk getting moved… and creating your own ‘Kodak moment’ or worse yet becoming a dinosaur…

Day 1, Matt McNally of Razorfish DigitasHealth asked, “Our Customer is in Control”…so why aren’t we changing?

Leading Day 2’s keynote presentations were Ceci  Zak and Joan Mikardos outlining the  Sanofi-Aventis approach to their five year journey  of change and transformation:

  • Patients don’t want to be patients; they want to be healthcare consumers.
  • They introduced the ‘SOMOLO’ approach to be relevant: Think SOcial, MObile, LOcal.
  • Mobile is changing the way doctors practice medicine and the way consumers get information. Digital can help Pharma be where customers are, be a catalyst for conversation and learning, and help optimize and create ongoing relationships.
  • We need to change our thinking from digital as tool to digital as mindset—one that requires more agility and speed.
  • Digital cannot be owned by Marketing; it’s an acuity needed throughout the organization.
  • Organizations need to think about four actions to help transform internal mindset and effect change:  create vision, an ecosystem, an action plan, and enable grass roots efforts.  For Sanofi-Aventis, both top management support and grass roots efforts have been critical to their ongoing success.
  • At end of day, we’re here to create a value proposition behind the pills and treatments.

Also speaking to Pharma transformation was Murdo Gordon of BMS (my old alma mater).  Murdo suggests:

  • Industry should not start with the technology, but work backwards from the customer and their needs
  • BMS is evolving their approach to customer engagement by redefining the Who to engage from Physician-centric to Unit of Care focus; with What offerings from clinical trial data to evolving, real-world information; and How to maximize safe and appropriate use of BMS  products from pushing information to customers to on-demand information and services.
  • The vision for the BMS Customer Model Transformation is to provide customized, timely information to key members within the Unit of Care- to support them in making informed treatment choices and managing patient care.  To accomplish this, BMS is focusing on four drivers: superior customer experience, integrated information, payer partnerships and network connectivity.

Pamela Buford also spoke in a Customer Engagement workshop on the Astellas approach to customer focus change. Astellas is moving towards creating consistent structure, capabilities and processes across brands.  One area they have focused on is establishing a process to create actionable Digital personas that can be replicated across the organization.

Quality Health’s Chris Neuner outlined a new definition for Performance-based marketing (PBM) going beyond simply demonstrating  marketing/ROI performance and asking the industry to take PBM to its next logical step  in terms of execution and accountability across channels and platforms…Industry and advertisers only pay for hard results–incremental scripts or opted-in patients. He suggests a planning toolkit for performance-based marketing:  1. Access, 2. Conversion, 3. Analytics. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if brand managers execute PBM beyond Quality Health specific initiatives across their other brand channels and tactics.

Also speaking from the podium was Dr. Oliver Kharraz of ZocDoc on how to improve access to healthcare through technology.  ZocDoc helps consumers find a doctor and book an appointment on line and more. And Dr. Aaron Blackledge, founder of Care Practice, spoke about how he used innovative social media approaches to build his practice. His vision: Healthcare is a service. Give value to every person you touch—focus on the patient and they will be happy! He used design to help make healthcare cool; he wanted his practice to feel like a ‘funky neighborhood restaurant’.

Day 2’s breakout sessions covered four areas:  Customer Engagement, Pharma Marketing Trans-Formation, Marketing & Sales Integration and Multi-Channel marketing Strategies.

As we all get back to work and think about ways we can personally effect change and transformation from brand to customer, from talking at to talking with, from silos to seamless customer and channel integration, from one-offs to thinking digital ecosystem, remember…

This year’s digital conference was by far the biggest ExL Digital East Conference ever—a testament to ExL’s Jason Youner and team, the two chairman, Shwen Gwee and Marc  Monseau and all the speakers, sponsors and exhibitors.  The exhibit hall was a great venue for meeting new and established industry innovators.

Again, for more good reads and video interviews from the ExL Digital conference, read eye on fda’s  recap, GSW’s  IQ Innovation live blogs, and enjoy the live interviews by none other than Pixels & Pills.

Stay tuned for key insights from Day 3’s Mobile focus.  If you missed the topline of Day 1, click here.

And please add any additional comments or insights below that I may have missed!

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