Limiting digital customer engagement in pharma to commercial and medical communication would be like asserting that the violins are the most important part of a symphony orchestra.
If you ask a violinist, he certainly will confirm. But dare asking the trumpeter.
Across any pharmaceutical organization there is typically a variety of digital ‘music’ played for physicians and patients …
- Commercial and medical have an intensive information exchange, where digital is providing opportunities via omni-channel approaches and digital content. But also clinical development is interacting with subgroups of physicians and patients in the scope of clinical trials. And R&D might include in their projects key scientists or clinicians in the field, typically also being KOLs.
- Digital tools, e.g. on disease awareness, patient support, data monitoring, or clinical guidance, are build and provided by medical, commercial and clinical development teams.
- Clinical data analysis projects, eventually supported by AI (“artificial intelligence”), involving physicians and patients, are typically done by clinical development and medical departments.
- Innovative eHealth solutions, either as supporting services for treatments or even as independent products, are developed by R&D departments or advanced by medical or commercial teams.
Obviously, different projects, initiatives, tools and solutions are touching similar customers if not the same, depending on the disease area. For example in rare disease, the likeliness to interact with exactly the same individuals in parallel (patients & physicians) is quite high.
For that reason, a close and cross-divisional/-functional coordination and alignment of digital of activities and projects is key. Having separate activities in different corners of the company is not the issue … but it needs to be ensured that they are all ‘concerted’, that they all tell the same story and send consistent messages.
It is like a symphony orchestra. It doesn’t really matter which instruments would be the most important with a particular piece of music. But it is absolutely vital that they all play together and listen to each other for ensuring harmony and an a pleasurable experience for the audience.