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Next-Gen Customer Experience Management (CXM): The New Frontier of Biopharma Success

8 Sep 2018

Next-Gen Customer Experience Management (CXM): The New Frontier of Biopharma Success

Gartner calls customer experience (CX) the "New Competitive Battlefield" and Forrester has highlighted that 84% of firms now aspire to be a CX leader. 1,2 Since the healthcare practitioners (HCPs) and patients are also consumers of customer-obsessed B2C companies who want to deliver frictionless experiences, ie, make it really easy to do business with them, it only makes sense to keep up with the ever-growing trend to deliver great CXs for these types of customers, instead of focusing on the brand alone which biopharma has been known for.

What Is CXM?

CXM is defined as the sum total of all experiences that customers have with a company's products, services, and all customer-facing touchpoints, each influencing how a company is perceived, and hence purchasing decisions. CXM has a direct influence on customer loyalty, revenues, and referrals.

Why Has CXM in Biopharma Lagged Compared to Other Industries?

Given the changing reality in life sciences, where blockbuster drugs are less common and more specialized treatment options with smaller patient pools have become the typical R&D investment, large marketing budgets have become a thing of the past. This also means that the old "one-size-fits-all" approach to the brand strategy and field enablement no longer works and needs to be replaced with a customer-centric experience.

With the advent of digital natives among HCPs, CXM has finally emerged as the next frontier for biopharma to remain relevant while Amazon, Google, Apple, and other tech majors enter the life sciences services domain.

Life sciences organizations have also suffered from disparate systems creating silos of customer data and consequently an ability to establish a cohesive companywide customer data strategy which would be solved by the implementation of a global-scale CXM solution.

The world of pharma products is truly shifting towards the evolved preferences of HCPs and those who adapt and deliver the appropriate customer experiences will succeed in the modern era. McKinsey research found in a study covering the launches of 184 drugs between 2006 and 2011 that less than half reached their peak-sales estimates within five years of launch.5

Case Study - Higher CX Increases Prescriptions

A follow-up study by McKinsey surveying 600 immunologists in Europe and the US found prescribers who were satisfied with their journeys in discovering drugs from a particular pharma company, were twice as likely to prescribe them compared with to those dissatisfied with their journeys.

A New Way to Focus on Serving Customers

Unified Systems for Consistent, Relevant CXs

By simplifying the current customer-facing systems and processes into a single, unified platform, life sciences organizations can truly understand customer preferences and behavior. Deep customer insights in turn can help deliver that "always-on" digital and contextual experience irrespective of the channel and state in the customer journey. Embedded intelligence can make every interaction meaningful and frictionless.

CXM platforms today offer modern drag and drop customer journey planning that visualizes and schedules the cross-channel flow of field and marketing activities, ensuring all segment types are receiving the right message at the right interval across channels.

Meeting Changing Needs of Life Sciences Customers

It has been said that there is a binary-shift, where the "push" marketing model will soon become entirely "pull". That is where the customer will no longer accept the push of marketing messages, instead demand information with the expectation of an instantaneous response.

With HCPs today resisting traditional sales and marketing push models, pharma has started to offer remote engagement tools to communicate with customers at their convenience. Digital content capabilities and medical bots have enabled doctors to receive content and information when they need it. Self-service portals provide a completely personalized and immersive experience, which act as a one-stop shop for all customer needs, while allowing life sciences companies to be at the center of all information and research inquiries, in place of other sources on the Internet.

Single View of Customers

AI-powered CXM platforms focus on previous responses to activities, existing relationships, and content interests in real-time to identify ways to engaging an individual customer, enabling personalization at scale. Deep customer insights are embedded directly into the workflow through multiple algorithms that are included with the platform. This greatly reduces the time, effort, and costs typically spent trying to make old-generation CRMs intelligent.

Getting Ready for Delivering Superior CX

Besides the right technology and systems, delivering improved CX requires collaboration across functions and departments, and reskilling employees to ensure every touchpoint meets customer expectations. It is recommended to look at the entire customer journey, rather than increasing channels and focusing on individual touchpoints in isolation.

The right question to start with is, what do you stand to lose by not focusing on your CX? To learn more about CXM, connect with us.


1 .   Sorofman J, Thompson E. Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield. Gartner Research. https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3069817/customer-experience-is-the-new-competitive-battlefield. Accessed Sep 12, 2019.

2 .   Thompson B. Forrester: Good and bad news on CX day. Customer Think. https://customerthink.com/forrester-good-and-bad-news-on-cx-day/. Accessed Sep 12, 2019.

3 .   Halligan B. Experience disruptors: a new breed of growth leaders. Hubspot. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/experience-disruptors-a-new-breed-of-growth-leaders. Accessed Sep 5, 2019.

4 .   Animesh Gandhi. Life Science CIOs: Use Artificial Intelligence to Optimize Sales Force Effectiveness. Gartner. https://www.gartner.com/document/3904865?ref=solrResearch&refval=-1&qid=c68a2df54c51a5202540400811130ac2.  Accessed Sep 17, 2019

5 .   Ascher J, Höglund D, M’lika A, Ostojic I, Vancauwenberghe M. From product to customer experience: The new way to launch in pharma. McKinsey & Company.https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/from-product-to-customer-experience-the-new-way-to-launch-in-pharma. Accessed Sep 4, 2019.


Colleen Youngblood
Colleen Youngblood