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Activating precision marketing at scale in the life sciences industry

24 Sep 2023

What is precision marketing?

Precision marketing is a data-driven approach that utilizes in-depth customer data to target specific customer segments with personalized and relevant messages. It usually involves garnering detailed insights from market segmentation and customer behavior and preferences to create effective marketing strategies. Going beyond traditional marketing, precision marketing is not just about reaching a broader audience but connecting with the right audience in a more impactful and meaningful way, providing better customer experiences.
In this digital landscape, where competition is fierce and customer expectations are high, precision marketing can help enhance customer retention, cross-selling, and upselling. When you adopt precision marketing tools and strategies, you are better equipped to deliver data-driven communication that drives better outcomes for your business.

Why precision marketing is important in the life sciences industry

Here’s what businesses can expect when adopting an effective precision marketing strategy.

Data-driven insights

Combining machine learning algorithms with real-world data, marketers can access insights on customer needs, choices, and behavior. This leads to crafting more effective and customized marketing campaigns targeted at audiences which are more likely to respond. This level of personalization can help improve the response to your current ad campaigns.

Targeted engagement

Precision marketing allows delivering targeted messages to specific audience segments throughout their journey. It not only improves media efficiency but also the reach to highly qualified customers, bringing you closer to conversions.

Personalized communication

By focusing on customer behavior patterns and preferences, companies can deliver customized communication through precision marketing. For instance, by gaining an understanding of a patient’s treatment stage or symptoms, you can deliver customized information that patients demand, leading to higher patient satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Cost efficiency

It is important that your marketing dollars are directed toward the right messages, channels, and demographics. When your campaigns resonate or align with your target audience, you can expect cost efficiencies in your marketing efforts.

How to create effective precision marketing strategy in life sciences

When creating an effective precision marketing strategy, consider the following steps.

Develop brand guidelines and identify target audience

Before you get started, establish clear brand guidelines. This will help you create personas that align with your brand’s values and communication style. You can then identify the specific group of people that you want to target and gather as much relevant information as possible about them. This is where data analytics capabilities will prove useful.

Utilize data analytics

To better understand HCPs and patient’s needs, behavior, and preferences, you would need to leverage the vast amount of data available and use deep data analysis. This information can better guide your approach and engagement strategies for enhanced outcomes.

Go for segmentation and targeted messaging

It is important to understand your audience segments to deliver targeted messaging throughout their journey, through the right channel and at the right time. This approach allows for better reach to the customers who are closer to conversion. Also, consider your evolving audiences and media diversification in your segmentation strategy.

Consider integrating CDP (customer data platform)

Integrate your CDP with existing CRM to gain access to AI-driven insights and predictive modelling. This integration provides a unified view of your customers (including HCPs), fostering effective engagement and lasting relationships.

Define measurable goals and success indicators

Define specific yet measurable goals for your precision marketing strategy—these goals can be related to increase in engagement, reach, etc. Use marketing data analytics to track the performance of campaigns. This will help you proactively identify bottlenecks and continually refine your strategy for better outcomes and cost efficiencies.


Customize your messages and other marketing materials to the specific needs of your target audience. You can utilize customer data to define segments and activate personalized content for engagement at each stage of the funnel.

Adapt to market dynamics

Stay agile and responsive to the derived data insights. This can help you in making quick decisions based on evolving market conditions as well as HCPs’ and patients' needs.
Amazon, Netflix, and a handful of brands across industries have pushed the boundaries of personalization via precision marketing at scale. Can the life sciences industry take a leaf out of these brands’ playbooks and get the precision marketing journey right?
Lauren Li, Senior Director, Global Head of Commercial Digital Innovation, Ipsen, and Anurag Thakore, Senior Director and Head - Digital Operations, Bayer Pharmaceuticals shared their perspectives on this topic in the Indegene Digital Summit 2023.
The key highlights of their conversation are summarized below.

Pharma’s new go-to-market model priorities

Talk to any life sciences commercial leader, and they will have an interesting story to tell on how marketing has changed post-Covid. Life sciences organizations have had to significantly evolve their marketing strategies. But Anurag reminds us about the first principles - “It’s not about the channel, the content, analytics, or the brand. It’s always about the customer”. While marketers continue to place great weightage on content, they are thinking about hyper-segmentation and how to take the right message to the right audience, at the right time, and via the right channel. Why? The degree of hyper-personalized engagement that the bulk of HCPs and patients have started to seek now, is unheard of in the life sciences industry.
In theory, precision marketing at scale enables life sciences organizations to go beyond broad strategies and tailor their marketing efforts to individual customers' needs and preferences. By utilizing sophisticated data analytics and customer insights, organizations can identify patterns and trends that influence data-driven decision-making, allowing them to craft personalized and targeted campaigns.
Think of precision marketing as one holistic incubator, and a collaborative, cross-functional model
– Anurag Thakore
What we now need to see is for organizations to step back and take a more comprehensive and deeper view of customer psychology and insights that encourage data-driven decision-making. Sounds daunting? Not as much, if you use the right technology, that is!
But given the influx of new technologies, be it the Metaverse, or more recently, Generative AI, how can life sciences leaders make the right bets? Even as Generative AI use cases in life sciences get well-defined, both Lauren and Anurag agree on one basic premise: that organizations and leaders must thoroughly evaluate the business problems they are trying to solve, and then zero down on the technologies they want to embrace - rather than the other way around.

Adopt data-driven decision-making in healthcare

Everything starts with looking at the right data, through the right lens - a sentiment both executives echo. In fact, adopting digital (66%), and building a culture of data-driven decisions (63%) are among the top 3 ways through which life sciences leaders are building future-ready capabilities, per the findings of the Future Ready Trends in Life Sciences report, which surveyed over 100 global life sciences leaders, from different functions and with different geographic responsibilities across different scale and segments.
The quality and quantity of the data is important. That will ultimately define the kind of outcomes you can drive. Equally important is the specificity of the questions. If you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t get the right insights.
– Anurag Thakore
It doesn’t end there though, according to Lauren. Understanding what customers want, whether that's physicians or patients, is key.
It’s not enough to just get the targeting right. We need to delve deeper and understand how they consume not just our content, but also which types of content - on what platforms/channels.
– Lauren Li
Such an approach helps marketers test their hypotheses, on what works and what doesn’t, in a more data-driven way. You can accordingly adjust and fine-tune the initial hypothesis and make it more and more tailored at the individual level.

Enterprise-wide collaboration is key

To make precision marketing strategy truly effective, Anurag believes it’s not about one function or aspect alone. It’s about looking at all the pieces - across commercial, medical, market access, content, data, analytics, and more - and bringing it all together in the form of one holistic incubator.
Lauren cites the example of modular content, and how it’s become almost table stakes today. Ultimately, the content from across functions should be in sync, she stresses.
HCPs don’t care which function shares the content they need. They just want an integrated, well-orchestrated content experience.
– Lauren Li
Precision will almost become synonymous with personalization, according to both leaders.

Will hybrid omnichannel drive the future of personalization?

The industry has heavily focused on a sales rep-led model for commercial success. While sales reps continue to remain critical, not many life sciences leaders are looking at sales reps as a channel - albeit an important one - that’s part of the larger hybrid, omnichannel mix.
A sales rep needs to become the quarterback of all the different channels.
– Lauren Li
We think that’s a very realistic proposition. The findings of the Biopharmaceutical Hybrid Go-To-Market Model Trends, which surveyed over 100 life sciences commercial leaders around the world, reveal that, in the face of ongoing challenges to HCP access, leaders cited improving access as a top motivation to transition to a hybrid model. 24% of respondents ranked it as their top priority, and an overwhelming 59% ranked it as a top 1, 2, or 3 priority!
Precision marketing is here to stay, and organizations that master how to do it at scale, will leave those that don’t, far behind in the commercial race.

Insights to build #FutureReadyHealthcare