Three key drivers for digital transformation in life science sales and marketing

Introducing a new digital infrastructure for customer-facing organisations within life sciences companies is a major undertaking – but can create big dividends. Sanofi Pasteur MSD shared what they learned from their ‘digital transformation’ in a recent webinar. 

More life sciences companies are centralising their digital approach in order to realise efficiencies and improve processes from both a business intelligence and customer experience perspective.

Alexandre Gultzgoff, deputy director, IT, and Antoine Blanc, commercial excellence director, Europe, at Sanofi Pasteur MSD recently shared in a webinar how they transformed the company’s digital approach. Additionally, Chris Wade, Veeva director of multichannel strategy for Europe, provided insight on how life sciences companies can successfully execute multichannel strategies.

Sanofi Pasteur MSD embarked on a three-year- digital transformation plan, aimed at breaking down organisational silos and unifying its customer engagement approach. Here are three key areas of digital transformation it has realised as a result.

Three key drivers for digital transformation

1) Unifying customer engagement

To create a seamless experience for customers, companies need to integrate systems and functions across the business.

This is also useful for employees, but it’s incredibly common to see companies still stretched thin between legacy systems and running isolated reports and analytics for separate divisions.

As Antoine noted during the webinar, this can mean little-to- no central control or unified strategy as each regional office works towards its own directive or goals. Systems integration is key for a complete “harmonised solution across different markets and also across functions”. A single multichannel CRM solution provides a solid platform to build an insights-driven customer engagement strategy and focus company resources on delivering valuable interactions.

2) Improving online and offline customer interactions

In the age of social media, online communities, email marketing and other communications channels, the potential for inconsistent customer experiences or conflicting information is great. It was disparity across platforms, departments and regions that prompted Sanofi Pasteur MSD to seek a solution to orchestrate its messages across channels and ‘deliver value across every interaction’ for a seamless customer experience.

3) Future-proofing systems for long-term business strategy

The speed of digital innovation and shifting customer habits can blindside businesses, leaving them unable to modify their digital content and marketing approach. The advantages of being able to modify a digital strategy – to include a new content format or social network on the fly – cannot be underestimated. It is far harder to maintain this level of agility when spread across numerous systems and platforms.

Three major benefits of digital transformation

1) Increased accuracy and efficiency

Sanofi Pasteur MSD united its commercial organisation across Europe for a common view of the

customer via a single platform, improving brand alignment and better co-ordinating engagement. This can provide valuable insights to customer responses to each communication, and their channel and content preferences. For Sanofi Pasteur MSD, this allowed the company to create a seamless customer experience.

2) Improved customer engagement

So what results did Sanofi Pasteur MSD get for its efforts? The company has more than tripled the frequency of its customer engagement, and increased its reach without adding more sales reps. For example, with the Approved Email system it is using, sales reps interact with customers more often to help create ongoing personal relationships. The company has achieved open rates of up to 60% for rep-directed emails and an average of 50% on click-through rates. This moves beyond face-to-face interaction to continue the conversation at the customer’s convenience through his or her preferred channel.

In addition to expanding the customer journey across channels, Sanofi Pasteur MSD has engaged with customers in a more compelling way with interactive iPad presentations. More than 60% of the company’s sales calls involve closed loop marketing, and hold customer attention significantly better with richer, dynamic content.

3) Increased operational efficiency

By standardising processes, Sanofi Pasteur MSD was able to achieve dramatic increases in operational efficiency. For example, it has streamlined content development, distribution, and withdrawal of commercial assets. This also results in content reuse and, therefore, associated cost savings. Sanofi Pasteur MSD estimates overall efficiency gains of up to 33% annually, largely due to lower content development efforts from global content reuse.

For the first time, marketing teams across Sanofi Pasteur MSD affiliates have direct sight of global materials used across departments and can easily access and tailor assets for reuse in their own region.

To see the full presentation from Antoine and Alexandre on Sanofi Pasteur MSD’s transformation, watch the on-demand version of the webinar here.

About the author:

Craig Sharp is a healthcare writer at pharmaphorum. He has over eight years of business journalism experience in the healthcare, process excellence and display advertising industries.

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