Consumer-first digital pharma's focus in 2023, says Graphite Digital report

How can you win the Pharma digital race

As two in five pharma leaders say that moving to a consumer-first mindset is a priority for the next two years, digital customer experience agency Graphite Digital is to publish a special edition of its Contradiction Conundrum whitepaper report, released in partnership with Reuters Events Pharma last year.

For approximately 18% of pharma companies, an unchanged ‘product-first’ mindset and lack of proper user research have resulted in digital products failing to meet expectations. Furthermore, only 27% always consider user experience (UX), which hampers any benefit to be gained from consumer centricity.

Such a mindset shift, the Graphite Digital report states, is needed not just broadly within companies, but amongst their reps, as well. With one in five agreeing that it is important to shift from a ‘sales’ to a ‘customer success’ focus, what comes across in the report, however, is pharma’s commitment to putting HCPs and patients at the forefront of considerations going forward.

Nonetheless, comparisons with the digital experience offered by Amazon, Spotify, or Netflix are – according to 62% of pharma leaders – unrealistic.

Rob Verheul, founder and CEO of Graphite Digital, said: “Although the comparison isn’t direct – the pharma and healthcare sectors operate with limitations in place, such as regulatory constraints and a higher level of risk – there’s still a lot that pharma can learn from other sectors, such as big tech and consumer healthcare.”

The report states that a new cultural mindset must be introduced into pharma companies in order to deliver a customer-first approach. As it stands, only 27% conduct user research as a matter of course and 23% of pharma companies admit they don’t know the success or otherwise of digital product launches because they don’t measure UX.

Verheul comments: “Data collection and analysis are essential for the success of a digital product – from understanding the customer or end-user to identifying areas for improvement or measuring success.”

In the new special edition of the Graphite Digital report, Divya Yerraguntia, senior vice president, demand generation and sales enablement at Syneos Health, states: “Companies need to ask the question, what are we measuring? What is your definition of success? What you are measuring has a direct impact on behaviour, because that’s how people are being incentivised, and that behaviour drives how you will have an impact.”

Other new insights and contributions include those of Astellas, The Clinical UX Association, Haleon, and Amryt Pharma.

Regarding the latter, it was announced this week that biopharma and healthcare group Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. is to acquire the 2015-established Amryt Pharma Plc. in an all-cash transaction worth up to $1.48 billion, in order to expand its rare disease portfolio.