Life sciences marketers – Are you facing the Ferrari dilemma for your MarTech stack?

12 May 2022
Life sciences marketers – Are you facing the Ferrari dilemma for your MarTech stack?

Delivering a superior healthcare professional (HCP) experience requires personalization at scale – driven by sharp marketing strategy and technology involvement. The right MarTech stack and processes can help you save not just time and automate processes, but also help you understand your customers better.  

Unfortunately, the majority of life sciences organizations struggle with low levels of MarTech stack utilization. They also face issues with the relevance of their existing MarTech technologies and alignment with commercial goals. Very often, they miss out on the seamless interlinkages between various technologies – and compromise on maintaining the integrity and connect with the larger customer experience (CX) vision. 

A recent report by Gartner shows that marketing organizations still utilize only 58% of their MarTech stack’s full breadth of capabilities. The result is a siloed MarTech stack that makes it difficult for business functions to work together to get a data-driven, seamless, and personalized CX. This has a direct impact on the customer satisfaction and engagement of target HCP audiences. 

“Roughly one in two HCPs who were recently surveyed indicated that they were not satisfied with the content shared by pharmaceutical companies” – The Digital Savvy HCP, Indegene, Jan 2022 

What is preventing life sciences organizations from realizing the full potential of their MarTech stack? 

  1. Disconnected MarTech Strategy and Commercial Vision: 

Life sciences organizations face misalignments when it comes to selecting the right MarTech tools mapped to commercial outcomes. As a result of fragmented and isolated ecosystems of commercial activities operating within a large organization, different brand teams end up investing in expensive marketing tools for their immediate needs or projects, assuming it can be easily tailored later on to fit specific business models, target audiences, and CX objectives, resulting in wasted budgets, overlapping capabilities, and redundant systems.  

  1. Lack of Strong Customer Data Foundation:  

To meet their target audiences in real-time, life sciences marketers constantly add marketing technologies and platforms to manage new channels and touchpoints. This generates a tremendous amount of valuable customer data. In such situations, the absence of a strong data strategy stops these organizations from collecting, connecting, and accessing valuable customer insights in real time. Along with this, there are enterprise-wise breakdowns of customer data and siloed processes, which are handled manually. Therefore, executing meaningful marketing outcomes and achieving superior CX becomes a challenge. 

  1. Poor Cross-functional Collaboration: 

Due to evolving global product launches and market-specific compliances, there are many siloed teams in large life sciences organizations. Right from the C-suite, marketing operations, and commercial IT, to individual brands and external agencies, there is slow decision-making around MarTech systems and related services. A functional conflict between business/brand marketers versus commercial IT/CIO organizations leads to poor implementation of marketing and commercial decisions.  

  1. Weak MarTech Value Architecture: 

When it comes to MarTech adoption and utilization, success hinges less on the actual technologies and more on the peripheral architecture that includes processes, people, and partners. A poorly defined value architecture leads life sciences organizations to face challenges such as defining relevant industry use-cases, business rules, and customer journeys in an omnichannel context. This also leads to issues in building a consistent brand value proposition across systems and channels.  

Owing to all these issues, global life sciences organizations are facing a "Ferrari" Dilemma 

All these challenges lead global life sciences organizations to a “Ferrari” dilemma around their MarTech stack. They end up making large investments, but use only a fraction of those – and often find themselves facing this question – "Should I optimize my existing capabilities or Should I invest in new ones.” This is the equivalent of having the budget to buy a high value and worthy investment like a Ferrari, but not having the skill or knowledge to drive it. 

To unlock the value of a full MarTech stack, life sciences organizations must approach this using a 5D framework  

  1. Discover their as-is state of the marketing technology stack and improve its business value by eliminating or consolidating redundant solutions 

  1. Define the future MarTech blueprint aligned to the commercial vision, industry perspective, and scalability 

  1. Design a phase-wise roadmap for capability activation and hire MarTech specialists suitable for specific tasks and budgets, or partner with an external industry-specific specialist or agency. 

  1. Develop agile delivery approaches for MarTech stack planning, implementation, and integration 

  1. Drive future success by unlocking value from advanced features and capabilities powered by AI and ML. 

Ultimately, CX and brand loyalty are closely linked to integrated MarTech, and life sciences organizations must move quickly to resolve their challenges by connecting with expertise and elevating their current state. It is vital to identify priorities that matter to larger CX goals – as this is the only way large life sciences organizations will not just be able to handle their Ferrari investments but make them grow significantly. 

Our next blog will cover strategies and approaches to how life sciences marketers can develop a marketing technology blueprint to achieve their CX goals. Keep following this series to know how to determine your current state of Martech, diagnose your criticalities, solve for exemplary customer experience, and achieve your commercial vision. 

Sources: 

  1. The Digitally-Savvy HCP.

  1. Gartner Says Nearly 60% of Marketing Leaders Expect Moderate to Severe Cuts to Martech Budgets.