If your New Year’s Resolutions include finally cracking the code to deliver Next Best Actions for every HCP engagement, these experts have some advice.

Embedding data-driven practices into your organization requires resilience, persistence, and organization-wide governance and commitment.

With large global organizations, how do you move toward one shared vision when the business is scattered around the world?

This past fall, at the Reuters Pharma Marketing USA Conference, experts from Novartis, GSK and Takeda came together to share best practices and lessons learned through their own enterprise transformation initiatives.

We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the need for our industry to be hyper-targeted and customer-focused more than ever before. In the past, the field force was disconnected from marketing. Data was siloed. In early 2020, we saw shifts in HCPs not wanting to meet with field representatives, but now there is more of an openness to hybrid interactions and in some specialties, face-to-face engagements are back to over 90% of pre-Covid levels.

It’s clear that the sales force is still at the center of these HCP relationships, but now less is sometimes more. Interactions need to be tailored to what the customer is looking for at that specific time based on what channel we are using. Customers – HCPs and patients alike – want seamless experiences and don’t want to wait for what they need or be bounced around from one person to another.

Data is mission-critical to help us understand HCP and patient needs and experiences, but the panel cautioned that being data-driven is really less about data or digital skills – and more about organizational culture: teaching the organization how to use data to approach problems and giving them the psychological safety to listen and act on what the data says.

It’s imperative, of course, to make sure that your data is organized, integrated, and available. Having the data is table stakes, but having the data is only the foundation. Connecting marketing research to real-world customer journeys requires moving beyond traditional KPIs to include experience-based metrics and new ways of thinking about how we apply data.

Madhavi Ramakrishna, Global Vice President, Pharma Commercial Data Analytics & Insights, GSK

Madhavi Ramakrishna shared that often commercial leaders point to data needs without fully thinking through the problem they are trying to solve, or the foundational processes needed to apply the insights. She encourages them to pause and be thoughtful about what they need by asking “if we gave it to you today, are you ready to act on it?” Madhavi is working with her organization to supplement traditional metrics with quality and experience indicators to better understand customer journeys and make them actionable.

To get your organization to embrace the promise of data, it’s important to embed insights and analytics within every process you have within the company. In every function, tie it to very specific business cases that are measurable and trackable – and then center the business around it.

Samer Ansari, Head of Digital & IT, Global Oncology Business Unit, Takeda

Samer Ansari agreed that the internal ways of working need to change. It’s time for pharma to introduce agile mindsets, put the customer at the center and build our teams around them. Often pharma has tried to layer digital channels on top of traditional tactics but often there isn’t even a common definition of what good looks like. Consciously moving away from traditional reach and frequency metrics can force the organization to think differently about how to identify the moments that matter across all channels and create innovative pathways to support them.

Bharti Rai, Vice President and US EC Member, Commercial Acceleration, Novartis

“Insights Generation is a team sport,” said Bharti Rai. “It takes sales, marketing, insights, analytics and data all sitting together, asking the right questions. It takes practice.”

What have you learned in 2021 that you’ll be putting into practice in 2022? Comment below to share your own goals and best practices or start a dialogue with your peers.

You can learn more about the 2022 Reuters Pharma Marketing USA Conference – or register – here: https://reutersevents.com/events/marketingusa/