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Web strategy for life sciences: How to unlock its true potential and deliver maximum engagement

4 Nov 2022

Websites have become the starting point for customer lifecycle management. From looking up information, seeking help, or engaging with the brands, websites are instrumental in delivering curated and personalized messaging, sharing real-time information, and making meaningful connections. These digital platforms not only drive a large volume of customer traffic but also enable organizations to market their products, gather leads, drive conversions (newsletter signup, consent for retargeting, etc.), and generate customer insights – at scale. A well-designed and functional portal or website can mean a world of difference between a great and poor customer experience. Though the vast majority of life sciences organizations recognize the importance of these channels, they are yet to unlock their true potential.

At the Indegene Digital Summit 2022, industry experts from CSL Vifor, Calliditas, and Boehringer Ingelheim spoke about the key issues that life sciences organizations need to keep in mind while designing and delivering a web strategy that is scalable, successful, and exceeds the customer expectations, and fulfills the overall omnichannel vision of the organization.

The key highlights from their session are summarized below.

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Putting the audience at the center of web strategies is pivotal - around which all digital orchestration is done. If the website fails to engage customers, life sciences brands stand to lose not just on their CX agenda, but also face critical issues in their entire customer life cycle management – and eventually brand loyalty and customer relations.

“The web has become the central hub for all our communication strategies” – Dana Smith, Director, US Marketing at Calliditas Therapeutics

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So, what must life sciences brands consider while crafting a web experience for their customers?

1. Think global, act local

Standardized experience is one of the key pillars for a successful global web strategy. This is easier said than done, as global life sciences brands often operate under a wide range of local regulations and compliances. Though a centralized approach is vital, brand teams must also realize that this is often tricky – and what helps is having a standard vision of website UX and locally compliant rollouts.

“A centralized web design and content management system for brands and agencies help in scaling user experience” – Dr. Michael Kurr, Head of Global GTM Services, Boehringer Ingelheim

Working with local agencies is important as they understand local preferences and compliances – but a global level of standardization is critical too.

Brands operating across several countries often struggle to maintain a unified user experience on their websites – due to language, compliance, and target audience preferential constraints. To tackle this, global life sciences organizations must prioritize a set standard of design, content management, and industry-appropriate messaging that is used in brand websites – and not stick to individual websites with different designs and communication. While local content is best for small-scale strategic priorities, it also implies messaging and designs siloes. Global life sciences brands must seek to overcome this challenge, as it creates disjointed user experiences and disconnected messaging.

2. Integrate technology with content to drive CX

“Adding tools on top of content makes web customer experience as relevant as possible – Paolo Vitali, Head of Global Omnichannel Customer Engagement at CSL Vifor

Tools and technology integrated with the websites can be great assets to develop a deeper understanding of customer behaviors and preferences. Insights from such tools can help in building brand loyalty, generating leads, and creating a robust customer data set for the brand itself. However, tools and technology are not the most important factor while creating a website for delivering a superior user experience. In a specialized industry such as life sciences, content matters. It is content on the website that must be relevant, and it must be incorporated with user-appropriate design so that relevant information can be delivered seamlessly and on time to the audience.

3. Standardize first, experiment later

New technologies such as Web3.0, Metaverse, social media marketing, and immersive commerce are changing the way customers interact with brands. Even though life sciences brands have been late to adopt innovative technologies, those that intend to experiment with emerging technologies can start at a smaller scale.

Most global life sciences firms have a far way to go when it comes to unifying website experiences across their brands operating across the world. And so, it becomes a top priority for them to achieve a standard level of website experience before they can adopt innovation at scale. Large organizations which have seen their website strategies come of age have started with metaverse and other such immersive offerings for small and niche products, but first-time launchers must get their basics right before starting to experiment with new tools.

Ultimately, a robust, unified, and relevant website is a strong starting point for all life sciences brands, Life sciences organizations must approach their web vision with a holistic view and keep in mind that as their brands evolve, their website strategy must also change. This not only ensures strong brand connections with audiences but also leads to deep loyalty and meaningful engagement, all leading up to meeting customer experience and commercial vision goals.

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