Omnichannel Marketing For Pharma Sales

Omnichannel Marketing for Pharma Sales
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Table of Contents

It is no secret that companies have to keep up with the ever-changing world of business to stand the best chance of succeeding and staying ahead of competitors.

Considering today’s landscape, we are now looking at a very substantial shift towards everything digital. This is changing the way in which companies choose to operate and communicate internally, as well as with their clients. For instance, those in the engineering industry are now relying on applications to help them improve their release cycle or assist them with app store testing.

Pharmaceutical marketers are not impervious to this change. They also have to keep up or risk lagging behind others who have embraced a new way of doing business.

In particular, the world of pharmaceuticals used to be very product-centric, meaning that the product would speak for itself, and it was its properties that would attract or discourage customers. Now, however, given the rise in competitors and the consequent drop in prices, the pharma industry is becoming more focused around customer service.

There are various ways in which to connect with consumers, whether this involves online or face-to-face interactions. The latter can be effective under the right circumstances but has limitations, such as costs, especially when looking at large-scale operations or expansion. This does not mean that you should throw the notion of human interaction in the trash, however; rather, a solution combining both can be helpful, such as the use of an ambassador program for brands.

Since commercial models are moving away from face-to-face and much more towards the digital to market their product, online marketing and sales have become much more relevant in the discussion. This in turn leads us to the importance of customer service and customer experience.

Now that the product is no longer the star of the show, what will set you apart from the competition? Simple, the connection you can develop with your consumers and how well you are able to gauge their needs. Providing excellent customer experience and service is crucial to this. This is where omnichannel marketing becomes of relevance.


Omnichannel marketing for pharma sales

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What is omnichannel marketing?

Let’s look at what Omnichannel marketing is all about and have a brief look at what it entails, in order to get a better understanding how it could benefit pharmaceutical marketing.

Omnichannel marketing might sound complicated, but it’s actually simple. It refers to the optimization of all the channels used by your consumers to deliver a seamless customer experience. This is very important, as disconnected channels can lead to a very disjointed experience for the consumer.

A lack of cross-channel consistency can result in the consumer dealing with frustrating and repeated conversations with customer service representatives, delayed response times, and a confusing customer journey. Ultimately, this can severely affect levels of customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention. The delivery of cross-channel consistency is key to an excellent customer experience.

Now that we’ve established the crucial nature of omnichannel marketing, we’ll be having a look at what this means in relation to pharmaceutical marketing, and what you need to know in omnichannel marketing for pharma sales.

Before we jump into that, though, I’d like to first clear up a certain misconception: “A shift from face-to-face interactions to digital ones when it comes to pharmaceuticals would not be beneficial.”

‘Old habits die hard’. This is a popular adage for a reason: It’s true. Holding on to traditions and habits are a way for us to feel safe and comfortable. Change is scary. It is easy to cling to more traditional methods which, in the case of pharma companies, depend on in-person relationships and field sales, as it is what we are comfortable with and feel works best. However, change can be beneficial.

Look at the example of hybrid communication. Although remote work is not a new trend, it has increased in popularity since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hybrid communication involves connecting onsite workers with remote ones.

In order to do this, businesses have had to adapt to means of communication that facilitate the exchange of information; this can include the use of apps for daily messaging, project alignment, and video calls. This can sometimes be found together in one nifty platform. What’s even better is that these platforms and apps can often be used on cell phones to allow for quick and easy communication.

Said platform may, for instance, include VoIP (voice over internet protocol). For a long time, businesses used traditional phone systems to communicate both internally and externally.

However, the last few decades have seen a real shift from the traditional to VoIP, which allows you to call, message, etc. using your internet connection, and for several good reasons.

Switching from the clunky traditional system, to VoIP has provided businesses with valuable flexibility, improved communication, and reduced costs. Change really can be beneficial. The same can be said of digitizing the way in which pharma sales are performed.

Along with VoIP, utilizing text messaging and emails is a great way to establish hybrid communication. The great news is that there are platforms that can also do that too! They make it easy to send and receive calls, emails, and text messages all from there.


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Having looked at omnichannel marketing through the lens of pharma sales, the question that now needs to be addressed is this: How can omnichannel marketing benefit pharma sales?

To answer this, we first need to look at some of the most challenging issues faced by pharma sales and marketing teams.


Too many channels

Providing consumers with multiple channels on which to reach you is great. It gives them agency and allows them to opt for what is more convenient for them. However, this can quickly become overwhelming and difficult to handle if the strategies put into place are not suited to your business or simply not effective, or if the selection of channels you provide is not appealing to your audience.

It is important for any business to keep track of the channels they offer to their consumers and determine which are most widely used and why. This allows them to make necessary tweaks with the aim of improving the overall experience for their customers. This is hard to do when everything is muddled and there are too many channels to consider.


Mountains of data

Data is paramount when looking to develop the perfect strategies to take your business to the next level. However, the way in which you sort through this data and analyze it is crucial to this. What is the point of data collection if the analysis is sub-par or provides irrelevant information? What’s more, how do you even begin to analyze never-ending data? Being buried under mountains of data for omnichannel retailers can be very off-putting and counter-productive for everyone.


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Informed consumers

The increased access to knowledge people benefit from nowadays means that consumers are now more empowered than ever when making decisions. They are also more conscious about how their decision affects society and the environment. As such, it is no longer enough to rely on good rapport to sell products. Consumers need tailored content such as product videos, self-help articles and infographics which addresses their concerns and is of relevance to them.

These are not, by any means, all the issues faced by pharma marketers, however, they are major ones. The good news is that a properly planned omnichannel strategy can help turn these challenges into a thing of the past.


Internal Alignment

The alignment between the two departments that most often interact with potential customers is paramount. However, it can be tough to keep sales and marketing teams on the same page for different initiatives.

The lack of proper communication can be detrimental to a business, especially when this isolates departments and hinders effective cross-team communication. In fact, it can result in a lack of trust and understanding between teams. This in turn can lead to making situations more difficult than necessary and impede problem-solving, thereby slowing down processes that keep the business going.


What to look out for when it comes to omnichannel marketing in pharma sales

We’ve covered omnichannel marketing, its place in pharmaceuticals, and the kinds of obstacles companies within the industry are facing. Let’s now look at areas that you would need to take seriously when looking to shift to omnichannel marketing or improve your omnichannel marketing strategy.

Though the use of omnichannel strategy is rewarding when done right, it is not a simple task to master. If you’re looking to implement it make sure that you are aware of the following points. These will help you to get the most out of your omnichannel strategy, improve your sales efficiency, and tackle the issues that we outlined above:

Know your customers

In order to formulate a successful omnichannel strategy, and therefore, customer experience, it is imperative that you know your consumer’s habits. These can not only inform how best to develop your strategy, but also point to areas needing more TLC.

Who is your audience made up of? Which channel do they tend to use? What interests or concerns them? The answers to these questions will tell you where to direct your efforts, which channels to focus on, and what type of content to put out.

Highly-relevant content is more likely to attract a potential customer than an average already-seen-before blog entry. This can dramatically increase customer engagement and satisfaction and prevents you from wasting effort on unnecessary avenues. In fact, the rise in the popularity of content marketing only attests to its importance.

For instance, you might find that while the content you put out is mainly written by a certain demographic, your audience is actually made up of diverse individuals who likely find it hard to connect with the content due to cultural and/or social reasons. Adjusting your content accordingly to make it more accessible can greatly improve your consumer engagement. You can even use a diversity software to seek out content writers or editors who can help you achieve this.


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Data collection and analysis

Data is also instrumental in putting together a great omnichannel strategy. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics are very useful tools in collecting relevant data that you can then use to develop it. They allow you to gauge the success (or failure) of the strategies you have in place and tweak them as you go along, almost like a smoke test.

Such metrics and KPIs can also help you to identify areas in need of an overhaul or further development. Useful KPIs and metrics, such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the conversion rate, can give you a good idea of your customers’ satisfaction with regards to your business and the digital engagement on your channels, respectively.

You can also use other tools such as sales reporting software to facilitate the process of collecting and analyzing data. This is especially useful when there is a lot to look at and go through!

For instance, after using carefully selected KPIs and metrics, you may find that although there are many potential customers interested in your product, they have many queries or concerns that remain unanswered, deterring them from making a purchase. Simple solutions to this could be the implementation of an omnichannel contact center to handle all customer queries efficiently, and/or an FAQ page addressing recurring concerns to appease the customers’ anxiety.


Optimize, optimize, optimize!

It is not enough to offer multiple channels, they must be optimized to best suit your audience, whether in relation to user experience or content relevance. You can do this using the data you collect and your knowledge of your consumers.

Optimizing the platforms on which you operate, such as a website for instance, is very important to avoid issues such as involuntary churn and low conversion rates. A positive step towards this could be looking into UX design based on data and customer feedback for your website.


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Bringing your channels together to provide a seamless experience also means optimizing your content and staff training in such a way that all the elements of your business reflect your brand and ethos. As such, developing a set of guidelines or a manifesto can be highly beneficial, such as the agile manifesto put together to outline clear values that all the company staff can follow and adhere to.



Once you’ve got to grips with who your audience is and what makes them tick, and have mapped their customer journey, personalizing their experience across the various channels you offer is not overly challenging.

For instance, have you noticed that some of your customers seemed interested in a particular product you offer? Why not use this information to retarget them on another channel, such as a social media platform? Or send them an email concerning offers on similar products? These strategies can not only make your consumers feel looked after, they can also really boost sales.


Aligning with Sales

Once you have your marketing campaign planned and staged, the final consideration is how to ensure your message aligns with the conversations your sales teams are having in the field. The problem is, it isn’t always easy to get a remote and distributed sales team on the same page. This is where Sales Enablement comes in.

Since your sales teams already have relationships with providers, they are a great additional resource to get your message out to the public. The best way to ensure sales is aligned is by giving your teams exactly what they need to support your campaign.

From specific collateral to pre-written email and text message templates, the goal is to make it easy for sales while limiting the potential for confusion. Sales Enablement software simplifies this even further by injecting these campaign-focused activities directly into their day-to-day sales process—a win–win for both sales and marketing!



The shift from in-person interaction to a more digital setting in pharma sales is one which can be embraced and beneficial, providing you are using the right tools and approach the changes with full preparedness. Knowledge of your customers and data analysis are your best friends when it comes to this. Arm yourself with those, and you could be ready to tackle this and come out victorious!


Emily Rollwitz
Emily Rollwitz – Content Marketing Executive, Global App Testing

Emily Rollwitz is a Content Marketing Executive at Global App Testing, a remote and on-demand app testing and custom mobile app development company helping top app teams deliver high-quality software, anywhere in the world. She has 5 years of experience as a marketer, spearheading lead generation campaigns and events that propel top-notch brand performance. Handling marketing of various brands, Emily has also developed a great pulse in creating fresh and engaging content. She’s written for great websites like Airdroid and Shift4Shop. You can find her on LinkedIn.