To say that things have changed for animal healthcare over the last couple of years would be an understatement. In the world of healthcare, we are seeing traditionally offline methods of customer engagement becoming increasingly ineffective as Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) prefer digital no-contact engagements as the default medium for product information and demonstration.
However, trying to blend the old with the new has created pockets of disjointed experience for customers. Within the healthcare ecosystem, human healthcare is a good point of reference to address this challenge. Leading human healthcare organizations have embraced new ways of marketing with bold investments in technology to innovate customer engagement. Here are 3 of their tried and tested strategies that we believe animal health marketers could take inspiration from.
1. Adopting digital channels natively into customer experience
While the pandemic has necessitated the adoption of digital channels, an ineffective paradigm would be to treat digital channels as an add-on (or piggyback rider) to the pre-pandemic marketing operations and strategies. By integrating an omnichannel digital experience with the touchpoints used by their brands to interact with customers, human healthcare organizations have rebuilt their customer journey from scratch. Their marketing content and campaigns are created using digital channels in mind as the preferred medium for engaging customers; resulting in consistent, interactive, and accurate information on all communication channels.
According to industry reports, brands now engage with up to 20+ doctors daily, up from 8 to 10 doctors per day—primarily due to the increased comfort of HCPs to interact via digital channels.
Prioritizing digital content has helped human healthcare engage with customers via personalized messages on their preferred channels while driving cost savings, reusability of content, and helping them measure the success of their communication.
2. Building centralized commercial operations capabilities
Over 92% of pharma companies worldwide state that multichannel integration is a challenge when it comes to HCP engagement. Building the right process, people, and technology stack across the marketing ecosystem is critical, but the mix is incomplete without a centralized vision and decision-making framework. Having a central “guiding force” helps immensely with change management and investments.
In a multibrand ecosystem, centralization makes it easy to operate consistently at a global scale by driving efficiencies and reducing the gap between sales and marketing. Human healthcare has achieved this by having a central commercial team that oversees revenue goals, manages brands, targets accounts, and monitors customer retention and engagement goals.
In addition, it makes it easier to observe, track, and better utilize insights from data-driven campaigns such as those that use strategies like audience segmentation. Segmenting one’s target audience and then approaching them with personalized campaigns is known to significantly increase conversion rates. Centralization enables marketers to track the performance of campaigns and make real-time changes to strategies. These insights then become the building blocks of future campaigns, helping brands achieve all-around marketing excellence.
3. Embracing technology to drive efficiencies
Since the pandemic, the speed with which human healthcare companies have created highly interactive and personalized content has been incredible. This has been made possible by upgrading their commercial operations with a carefully selected marketing technology (MarTech) ecosystem crafted to suit their specific needs. In fact, at Indegene we have seen content volume almost double in 2020 and forecasted to grow by up to 300% over the next 2 years.
MarTech solutions such as CRM platforms have maintained a solid presence in the healthcare space for over a decade, but the pandemic has seen healthcare companies adopting newer MarTech offerings like marketing automation platforms, customer data platforms, and automated modular content that enable brands with global customers to ensure consistent messaging across markets, while enabling content reuse to drive cost efficiencies.
For instance, consider the case of automated modular content. The healthcare industry has worked with modular content for years, using it as a more efficient way to create and approve content. However, it was always limited as it is a human-powered authoring process. Automated modular content on the other hand creates content using artificial intelligence, which makes exponential scaling of content possible and has the potential to reduce sales and marketing spends by up to 50% in some cases.
Those are our top 3 picks for strategies that we believe will benefit animal health marketers. With increased pet adoptions globally and larger investments being observed towards the health of livestock, aqua, and equine segments, it is safe to say that animal healthcare is on the cusp of an industry-wide boom. Valued at $50 billion, the animal health industry has grown by 9% during the pandemic with trends estimating the growth to remain consistent in the coming years. This presents a great opportunity for animal health marketers to implement the best practices adopted by other subsegments of the healthcare industry.