The Digital Transformation of Pharmaceutical Product Launches


Mar 25 2019

Staying ahead: How companies can overcome marketing challenges with insight-led approaches

In association with pharmaphorum

The pace of change in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) has accelerated enormously, changing the face of how innovative new treatments come to market and shortening how long they have before a competitor arrives.

At the same time, digital technology means pharmaceutical product launches can use multi-channel marketing to produce communications which can be rapidly deployed as well as tailored to the needs of diverse target audience groups.

Whilst multi-channel marketing makes launches faster, more integrated and targeted, it also makes them much more complex.

The great depth and breadth of data the industry can now monitor creates a huge challenge for pharmaceutical marketing teams. As new marketing data supplements traditional sales data, understanding how to combine them is also a challenge for marketers today.

They need to identify the key factors that can help differentiate messages from competitors and ensure they meet payers’ and prescribers’ needs effectively.

Finally, traditional pharmaceutical business models are fragmenting as more companies diversify into areas like consumer health and nutrition, adding new layers of complexity to what is already a challenging industry landscape.

Four key areas for pharmaceutical companies to focus on when considering digital product launches:

1) Establish a clear understanding of payers’ and prescribers’ needs

The needs of the payers and prescribers that comprise the industry’s core customer base are not currently being met, resulting in some challenges for pharmaceutical launches.

Research from Bain & Company last year showed that nearly 50% of launches over an eight-year period had underperformed analyst expectations and more than 25% failed to reach even 50% of external revenue forecasts. With new launches expected to generate up to 80% of industry revenues by 2021 that should set alarm bells ringing.

2) Build a launch expertise

The latest trends in Tag’s eBook – Digital Transformation of Product Launches reveals just how many elements are required to be aligned for a successful product launch in today’s digital age. But there’s no one-size-fits-all model that can be applied to every territory.

Carsten Grandke, who leads the Multi-Channel Marketing Centre of Excellence for Teva Pharmaceuticals Germany, says within the report:
“Really, you have to do a lot of local launches and then a successful global launch is just a summary of a lot of successful local launches. Across Europe there are still a lot of differences between local markets.”

3) Be flexible and responsive

The on-demand nature of digital media and communications can put tremendous pressure on internal pharmaceutical teams to be more responsive.

But, being able to manage this requires streamlined workflow systems to be in place to ensure that any materials produced and disseminated remain within the bounds of the pharmaceutical industry’s highly-regulated environment, and there are specialists who can help pharmaceutical companies achieve this goal.

4) Measure what matters

The old model of gaining more sales by putting more salespeople in place has evolved and is rapidly being replaced by multiple customer touchpoints, multiple channels and the need to measure impact.

The explosion of data presents one route towards this but it also offers those implementing multi-channel marketing solutions a plethora of options. Consequently, it can be hard to decide what to do with this information which is why it is important to work with partners to help ensure you get the answers you need to make data-driven decisions.

To gain more insight about the latest approaches, download our eBook: “Digital Transformation of Product Launches.”

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