By Dr. Andrée K Bates
As the world of marketing channels grow, it has inevitably become more complex to tease out the impacts from the different channels. Sure, you could run a study group and a control group for an activity…but how do you know if other activities the study group are being exposed to are not biasing the results?
Pharmaceutical marketers implement multiple techniques to achieve different results. Each channel used has its own set of rules, benchmarks, potential results, and often even its own Manager (sometimes outsourced) to keep things working as planned.
Although, theoretically, each channel can work on its own, issues arise when individual marketing channels operate in silos and from my experience, we see this happening a lot; for example, the eMarketing team often works independently, although they meet and update the Marketing team on what they are doing occasionally. Lack of communication can create conflict, which can lead to lost opportunity. Putting together reports from separate channels on their results isn't enough to maximize the opportunity of the cross-channel mix. Rather, marketers need a holistic approach to maximize the synergy.
Where can you begin?
Diagnose the problem, and perform competitive intelligence
To know what you're doing right in the mix, what is not performing in the mix, and what results you are getting for each channel against each other, perform Eularis’ Accelerated Growth Program Analytics. This is the only accurate way I have seen to really compare and contrast what results you are getting. As part of this kind of analytics, you can also get a good idea of what your competitors are doing and what is working and not working for them - which can provide even greater insight. You may find some things you want to change yourself. For instance, you may be operating in more channels than necessary to acquire the customers that your competitors are getting using fewer channels, less money and better focus.
Effective management of costs
With multiple channels, acquisition costs can quickly add up, posing a major challenge to marketers, especially in the current Pharmaceutical economy where every dollar counts. Looking at results and spending across all channels is the best way to streamline efficiency and control costs while continuing to drive strong profits and results. We sometimes see that Advertising is creating market share growth, but at a massive cost. While for a fraction of that cost, PR is providing even more growth. Look at the costs and the results to see how the mix can be modified.
Test, optimize, and then test again
Incremental differences in testing can drastically affect the results of a campaign and can also be applied across multi-channel marketing programs. Using Eularis’ Accelerated Growth Program Analytics and the shares conversion index, in conjunction with the promotional sensitivities indicator, you can also war game these test changes for even greater accurate of impact prior to results.
Integrate your teams
It is critical to make sure that everyone involved is communicating. Miscommunication can mean a huge missed opportunity. For example, if the IT Department changes URLs without communicating to the marketers, it could drive traffic to the wrong place, resulting in lost (and costly) traffic that can never be recovered, as well as a poor user experience.
Stay on top of Industry changes
The Pharmaceutical and Biotech, and even Medical Devices, sectors are in a state of change. Ensure you know what the changes are and how to utilize these to your products’ benefits. In addition to that, the landscape of the channels is changing – where was Twitter 5 years ago? The online landscape has changed some of the boundaries tied to traditional marketing. Know your market!
Remember that your results are tied to keeping your channels optimized and synergistic. Eularis’ Accelerated Growth Program Analytics can assist you to optimally allocate your sales and marketing resources across all channels of promotion, within a brand, or across a brand portfolio, across regions and globally, to ensure maximum return on your marketing investments. This helps you effectively measure the impact of your marketing and also maximize ROI on each marketing channel while helping you to create actionable strategic plans that are aligned with your business goals and objectives. Our online dashboard also allows you to war game with various allocation scenarios to see what the impact would be for changes in allocation either up or down. This means you have the flexibility to create your own business scenarios to accurately reflect your business constraints and the current market environment as well as evaluate scenarios in a global environment. Be warned, this can become addictive when competing with yourself to grow your brand even faster.