Amazon has become a household name as the leading online retailer and is approaching What Life Sciences Marketing Could (and should) Learn From Amazon Image 2.jpgWalmart’s sales levels. The online retail giant has taken full advantage of the digital experience to ensure its success through the internet boom and bust. As consumers and demographics evolved to adapt to the digital age, Amazon defined a new shopping model, leveraging strong digital marketing strategies as part of its success.

Though pharmaceutical sales are drastically different than direct-to-consumer retail sales, the foundation of Amazon’s marketing success can be leveraged to drive patient outcomes and brand growth.

Can health and life sciences companies, with entirely different business models that generally restrict selling products directly to consumers and operate under stricter regulations, really leverage digital marketing like that of Amazon? Absolutely! The foundation that supports Amazon’s success can be used in life sciences to bolster marketing efforts. 

While the products and messaging are distinctly different for Amazon, the ability to target and tailor messages is Amazon’s secret sauce. Amazon uses vast amounts of data collected from various sources including browsing history, demographics, and customer personas to pinpoint customers likely to buy, or incent them to buy a specific product, and to buy it from Amazon.

Life science organizations need to take a page out of Amazon’s playbook. Amazon’s ability to find and attract potential customers is the first step in converting potential customers into actual customers and key to Amazon’s success.

Where Amazon centralizes and organizes data, life science companies struggle to bind data together and suffer from decentralization. While Amazon leverages Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and data mining to find customer insights and drive marketing messages, life science data is isolated and unorganized, not suitable for in-depth analysis.

Despite the differences in products and sales models, data mining done well can and will increase brand penetration in any industry. Data mining results in the identification of new customers and new insights on existing customers, which leads directly to new outreach and messaging opportunities. It also allows for customized messages, tailored to your customers, for greater impact. Call centers, sales reps, and digital properties can work in unison and deliver messages specific to the customer based on an understanding of the customer. Instead of driving generic campaigns to all customers, companies must tailor messages that are more engaging and relevant are more effective:

  • Link sales representative information to population health demographics to identify healthcare providers (HCPs) whose patient population is at high risk or underserved.
  • Deliver relevant brand or therapy information to inbound call center interactions during IVR call routing using the HCP phone number for targeting.
  • Leverage contract threshold and status combined with patient demographics and HCP specialties to assist HCOs in identifying opportunities to meet incentives and goals.

The difference between generic marketing messages and targeted insights is a game changer.  Transforming your marketing strategy, through data mining, is not out of reach. Here is how you can prepare your organization for transformation:

  • Identify data assets – Locate data within your organization, which may be hidden. Know what you have and why you have it.
  • Categorize and classify your data – Develop standard data dictionaries to ensure a common understanding of your data. This will help your visionaries develop new strategies by clearly understanding the information available.
  • Eliminate redundancies – This will not only reduce data acquisition and maintenance costs, it will also ensure a single source of truth.
  • Recognize and close data gaps – Evaluate new data sources such as population health, CDC information, census information, etc. to identify information that can enhance insights.
  • Connect your information – Understanding how data relates will identify connections that were not obvious.
  • Innovate – Analyze the information you have and imagine new marketing strategies.
Taking these steps will enable your organization to leverage Big Data analytics. Predictive modeling will allow for better customer targeting with more insightful and meaningful messages and position your brand for growth and adoption. Move to the next level of marketing or risk being left behind.