Industry Insights

Leveraging Digital to Enhance Customer Engagement in Pharma Marketing

Posted by Alan Slavik on Sep 25, 2018 1:53:19 PM

Pharma has been trying to crack the customer engagement code in pharma marketing since the very first rep signed the log-in clipboard at the front desk for the very first time, detail aid in tote.

And with the advent of digital engagement, this code has become even trickier to crack.

But digital should make things better, easier and more efficient, right? Clearly, this is not always the case.

Pharma marketing in a digital world linkedin

The Reality of Pharma Marketing in the Digital World

For some, digital tools and channels have simply added another dimension to customer engagement, making the process better for all involved. A multitude of win-win scenarios, if you will.

For others, digital is a confusing operational and regulatory nightmare, a gigantic black hole where budgets magically transform into expensive KPI reporting tools, fancy dashboards and awe-inspiring visualization apps.

“It’s a digital world. We just live in it.”

When it comes to digital marketing and execution in pharma, teams often overcomplicate things. Some firms and thought-leaders are pushing omnichannel excellence, while others stick with the more traditional concepts around integrated multichannel marketing.

We think of digital marketing simply as:

Leveraging digital tools & channels to implement marketing activities to engage with your customers.

When it comes to engagement, digital should simply act as an enabler or potentiator. Another means to an end, if you will.

In our minds, the most important thing is to maintain a keen focus on customer needs and provide tools that add value and make people’s lives and/or jobs better, easier and more pleasant.

Aim for Customer-Centric Customer Engagement

This statement might sound redundant but it’s important stay focused on the ultimate goal: seamless customer-centric, value-added engagement.

A few years back, Capgemini put it simply and elegantly:

We can give the customer “what they want, how they want it, when they want it” increasing the likelihood that they will respond.

With all of this in mind, we prefer to get the engagement ball rolling with a series of questions:

  • Why do you want to engage with customers?
  • Why should your customers want to engage with you?
  • Which tools work best with your prospects & customers?
  • Can you provide compelling reasons for customers to engage with you?
  • Can prospects easily become an engaged customer or advocate?

A common complaint in pharma marketing is that it’s far more restricted than other industries.

Still, there is no shortage of available engagement tools and services. We like to think more about all that we can do as opposed to what we cannot do.

To be pragmatic, we suggest starting with the tools you already have at your disposal and the build it out from there.

The sky’s the limit here: detailing, e-detailing, email, phone, tablet, CLM, text, MSL, eMSL, IM/chat, video conferences, webinars, patient support services, case studies, print ads, SEO, web banners, physician blogs/portals, remote detailing, clinical trials data, websites, web apps, YouTube channels, social media, Twitter, Facebook, professional journals, KOL presentations, compliance programs, congresses & symposia, PR & public affairs, PME, HECON studies, just to name a few.

If you can successfully create differentiated value, engage in a healthy dialogue and establish true customer intimacy, this will ultimately yield great results, happy customers and actionable customer insights.

Take the digital quiz to find out if you are getting the digital marketing basics right

Take the Digital Quiz 


Leading in Biotech & Pharma in 2025 & Beyond: Free White Paper

Over the course of the next few months and in anticipation of our upcoming launch of CentrX Biopharma2.0, StratX is exploring The Big Six critical areas of development for the healthcare and life sciences sector. 

This new experiential learning & development solution is designed for success in 2025 & beyond and covers these core areas:

The Big Six learning and development areas in biopharmaWe’ll also be sharing a white paper on how Biopharma firms can improve their teams’ capabilities within The Big Six. Be the first to receive the free white paper by registering today. 

Register for the White Paper

Feel free to reach out, question, challenge, inquire or even pick up the phone and call us. Old school. (+33 1 53 46 69 00 for Paris or +1 617 300 8220 for Boston)

We’ll be happy to talk and share ideas. 

We hope you enjoy the ride and thank you very much for your time and attention. We greatly appreciate it.


If you’d like to hear more about our solutions and even participate in the testing phase and pre-launch cohort of CentrX Biopharma2.0, please connect with us. We’ll be thrilled to offer a free trial or workshop for your leaders and teams.

Topics: Digital Marketing, Biopharma

More Insights

Winning the Customer of the Future

How do you think the relationship with customers will evolve...

Learn More

How to avoid the pitfalls of bad business simulation implementation

Simulations are a great way to learn, but they have to be used...

Learn More

Driving results with learning programs: 8 criteria for positive returns

Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) rarely have the appropriate...

Learn More

What Are Business Simulations?

Discover our 1-minute interactive guide to understanding...

Learn More

4 Steps to Transforming Your Marketing Strategy

Strategy is an age-old concept that many organizations are...

Learn More

6 Emerging Trends in Leadership Development in 2019 & Beyond

Introducing the six emerging trends in leadership development...

Learn More

Leave a Comment