Customer Intimacy - the Pharma Challenge


We are very pleased to co-sponsor a terrific Webcast with PharmExec Magazine on May 19 at 2:00pm ET (available on demand afterward) titled, Customer Intimacy – the Pharma Challenge. This is our opportunity to zero in on an industry with dynamics so complex that customer analytics holds great promise.

Like the closely related healthcare and health insurance plans industries, the pharmaceutical industry operates in regulatory environment that can make simply identifying their customers as straightforward as the lines in a bowl of spaghetti. So what does that do for marketing to them effectively? Just think about how purchase decisions can be made for pharmaceuticals – whether it is over the counter or prescription medications.

Let’s see - Am I their customer? I sure am! Is my doctor their customer? Yep – she is, too based on what she prescribes. How about my health insurance plan? Well, they do weigh in on some choices, don’t they? (like requiring generics, for example) Do I ever ask the pharmacist at the corner drug store for advice? Oh yeah, I almost forgot about them. Do hospitals buy pharmaceuticals? Of course - many of them by the truckload. How about the federal government? Ever hear of Medicare Part D?? Sure enough – CMS is also a customer (a big one) of pharma companies, when seniors are the patients. How about state governments? A fair number of them provide subsidies to some portions of their populations. I could go on and on with just identifying "customers" for pharma companies because each one of those entities named above exerts some influence in the decision for which drug to use. In the end, however, it always comes down to the patient actually taking the drug.

So the question for pharma boils down to this – how intimate can your marketing be with your customer? With all those layers and lines in the mix, that appears to be the $825 Billion question. And with increasingly digital-savvy, socially-connected consumers, can pharma companies be relevant with consumers? Can they engage with them in ways that create lasting relationships that build long-term value?

Well, it turns out that intimacy (and the marketing success that results) is not as elusive as one might expect. We invite you to tune in to hear this engaging discussion with experts from Sanofi-Aventis (Hans Sjoquist), Digitas Health (Mark Miller) and a Marketing Professor from Oklahoma State University (Dr. Goutan Chakraborty). Our esteemed panel plans to explore how to:

  • Gather deeper insights to customer behavior and needs,
  • Manage the unique challenges that the world of digital presents,
  • Leverage new found insights for meaningful dialogue to boost relevance, and
  • Create a continuous learning process to constantly improve.

Tune in and let us know what you think!


About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm + John Balla. I’m a digital content strategist here at SAS, and co-founder and former Editor of this blog. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions and maybe even challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I stay busy with my wife and I keeping up with my 2 awesome teenagers, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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