Clickbait. Millennials. Going viral. As marketers, we’re used to buzzwords. The latest hot topic in Pharmaceutical Marketing seems to be Omni-Channel, but with all of the new terms out there, it’s difficult to keep everything straight. Here’s a simple overview of omni-channel marketing and what it means to you in the pharma world.
What is omni-channel marketing?
Techtarget.com defines omni-channel as “a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a bricks and mortar store.” An omni-channel program is simply multi-channel with well executed integration. By strategically integrating your current marketing channels and adding a layer of personalization, you achieve omni-channel marketing.
Why do I need to worry about omni-channel capabilities?
Another marketing trend in pharmaceuticals right now is the transition from brand-centric marketing to becoming truly patient centric.
In order to best serve patients, your marketing teams need to deliver services and capabilities that enable patients to be active participants in their health outcomes.
However, it’s important to remember that with the variety of channels and devices available to patients, someone could begin interacting with you with one channel and continue his or her engagement in other channels. In order to best serve your patients, your marketing team must provide a seamless experience with your brand, regardless of channel or device.
Who needs to be involved in our omni-channel strategy?
Participation can make or break your omni-channel strategy. To ensure the success of your program, you must engage all of the key stakeholders. You will need buy-in from your executives, the support of IT and of course your entire marketing team needs to align on objectives for the program.
By involving executives and IT in the design and build of this platform, you can optimize your capabilities and ensure your strategy is aligned with the technology available. This avoids any confusion or disappointment after launching the platform. Additionally, it will be important to involve your customer service teams and any staff directly involved in patient experience.
Communication should remain open, complete and bi-directional among all of these participating parties to ensure the patient has a seamless experience regardless of channel.
What capabilities should I consider integrating?
As previously mentioned, integration differentiates multi-channel marketing from omni-channel. Your company must design your own omni-channel platform to optimize channel integration and patient experience. Align tools and programs to solve the patient's needs while supporting the business objectives. You can start small with integration and add future expansion to your roadmap for the strategy. Here is a list of capabilities you can consider for integration and personalization:
- Case Management
- Agent Desktop
- Guided Scripting
- Secure Messaging
- Text Messaging
- Online Services
- Direct Mail
- Live Chat
- Communities and Forums
- Social Experience
- Retail Alliances
How can I create a successful omni-channel program?
A few key steps can ensure the success of your omni-channel program.
- You need to optimize your business processes surrounding integration.
- Security plays a vital role in helping patients to trust your company with so much data about them.
- Accurate personalization provides a unique experience to each patient, while remaining context aware guarantees that these experiences are relevant to each patient at the specific time of interaction.
Acing these keys for success will satisfy and delight your patients and provide a stellar brand experience every time.