How to empower local markets to deliver on your brand strategy
Many life sciences companies are experiencing the same problem: global brand strategies are often excellent but aren’t having the expected impact. So, what’s happening?
The issue generally isn’t the plans themselves. These provide excellent customer insights and contain useful strategic frameworks to better apply digital technology and improve the customer experience. Rather, it’s that they are not being fully implemented.
What often occurs is that channels are built locally that make minimal reference to the global brand strategy. In effect, you get a website or an eDetailer that could have been created even if the global brand strategy didn’t exist.
At Anthill, we’ve been working with pharma companies to bridge this gap between strategy and implementation – unlocking the potential in global brand plans – which we explain in our latest eBook.
Too much ‘channel thinking’
The problem at an operational level is often what we call ‘channel thinking’ rather than customer thinking. What happens is that locally there tends to be an immediate jump to start focusing on channels: eDetailing via sales reps, websites, apps, email. From the global plans, key messages are taken and applied to these channels but most of the thinking and analysis goes to waste.
What’s missing is a consideration of why some channels are relevant and others aren’t, how to best leverage them, and how this will drive the strategy – setting up the next marketing cycle in a meaningful way.
“What’s missing is a consideration of why some channels are relevant, and others aren’t, and how to best leverage them”
Unlocking the potential
To create change this change, we need to get operational teams working in new ways – and help them do it. This is achieved by enabling local markets to build communications around their customers. Rather than jumping to channel building, they now have to consider an HCPs needs and preferences and start designing for that.
To get there, the global brand team needs to work together with affiliates in the initial stages of their planning – helping them leverage the insights and strategies of brand plans and apply them to their specific situation. Rather than placing messages in channels, they now create connected communications that respond to customer needs.
Learn how to do it
In our latest eBook we explore how to do this in more depth – providing some simple tools that we’ve been using with clients around the world. The results have been startlingly effective. The now customer-centric communications leverage global brand plans and make better use of technology for an improved customer experience.
While every company is unique – and every brand poses its own specific issues – we know from our clients that there are plenty of shared challenges in pharma too. Some of these are timeless questions like ‘how do I provide a better experience for HCPs?’ which can now be solved in new and better ways.
Those that truly understand the needs and interests of HCPs and the trends in their behavior see increasing returns from personalised and data driven marketing that provide an effective advantage over their competitors.
Approved email can be highly effective – empowering reps with pre-approved content to engage HCPs. And it’s definitely been proving its worth right now with face-to-face HCP meetings being restricted. But it still has to be done right.