Remember the good old days (pre COVID), when reps could see HCPs and you felt you had measure of your relationship with your customers?
This year has posed many challenges to the traditional model, with reps relying on video calling to engage with doctors. Things have been particularly challenging for secondary care reps; more reliant on “passing trade” in the hospital corridors. Getting appointments and follow ups with hospital specialists has been tough.
But we’ve been talking about
multichannel (sorry, got to call it omnichannel now) marketing for years, so surely this is its time to shine. The reality is that Pharma is now going through the frustrations and challenges that many other industries have found themselves in for years; struggling to talk directly to customers, and finding it difficult to measure the impact their efforts are having.
With traditional outbound marketing (such as F2F rep calls) you get instant feedback on your results. Who have you seen, what did you talk about, how engaged was the customer, what’s the next step?
The world of inbound marketing is like selling in a dark room with a blanket over your head. You have few good quality metrics and have to replace these with patience and faith. Patience, because there is very little timely feedback, and any effect is typically the result of an accumulation of effort over time. Faith, because you feel like you are shouting into a void and have no idea whether anyone is listening.
I’ve spoken to very few people that feel like they get multichannel marketing right, and those that do normally precede it with “after years of trying, unsuccessfully, we finally feel like we are getting somewhere”.
So here are some tips we’ve picked up along the way:
Compared with face to face calls, relying on omnichannel marketing feels uncertain, frustrating and immeasurable. However, that’s been the reality for many B2B environments for many years, and with another wave of COVID about to break on our shores, nothing looks set to change in the short term. Looking to the long term return to some sort of normality, we think it is clear that those companies that do omnichannel well now will be far better placed to engage with their customers than those that don’t. The investment and the pain/uncertainty will be worth it.
If any of the above resonates with you and you want to discuss (via another Zoom/Teams call 😊), then please do drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.