Why is multichannel marketing (MCM) a desirable strategy for pharmaceutical companies? The reason to adopt MCM strategies is twofold. First, all HCPs have different preferences for using various channels;
in fact, no single channel may be as effective at engaging HCPs as the next. An MCM approach allows you to engage more HCPs through more channels while using market segmentation to deliver a personalized experience based on their preferences. Second, MCM requires thoughtful planning and a clear strategy, providing you the ability to maximize your overall brand strategy.
Steps for developing your MCM strategy include identifying your campaign goals and segmenting your audience on the basis of the channels they prefer. Evaluating the communication tools and resources you need to disperse a clear and focused message is also an important planning activity. Market segmentation further supports a personalized experience for the users, and increases HCP engagement, driving valuable partnerships.
But perhaps the most important factor for successful MCM planning requires you to develop a comprehensive database of HCPs and stakeholders. A more sophisticated exercise is to assign a score for each HCP, designating their level of engagement and leadership.
In your targeting and segmentation exercise, it is good practice to identify the proper channels of each target group to maximize MCM efforts. The ability to evaluate and report on MCM activities is a key factor in a successful marketing campaign—it provides a measure of success for your MCM strategies and allows you to revise them accordingly.
The implementation of your MCM strategy determines the effectiveness of your campaign. Similar to your strategic planning efforts, the first key to successful implementation is to understand the needs of your HCPs: determine what kind of content physicians desire and how they prefer to consume the information. Furthermore, understand the best timing to engage your HCPs to build strong and enduring relationships.
When it comes to implementing content, focus on the message and not the medium. MCM means that the media used for each channel may have different requirements and that your message will need to be adapted to keep it relevant. That said, the medium is just the method of dissemination, so make sure not to lose the message when it comes to tweaking the language or the approach. And of course, make sure that functionality is achieved across all channels.
Your MCM campaign should outline concrete goals for implementation that can be measured and are defined by a clear set of deliverables. These goals should consider market segmentation, messaging, and the resources you wish to supply. This exercise will ultimately provide you with a foundation for a strong MCM strategy and a way to evaluate your progress and success. Without clear-cut goals, you will not be able to produce the statistics needed to identify your marketing achievements.
Measurement and Evaluation
Another critical factor for MCM success is the ability to measure, record, and analyze the results from an MCM campaign. This is the only way to know exactly what works and what doesn’t, and what can be changed or scaled to better achieve long-term success.
The ability of HCPs and stakeholders to gain access to the content they crave is one measure of the success of a campaign. Of course, the more channels you include in your MCM strategy, the more opportunities for engagement are possible. However, it is important to monitor and measure how frequently each channel is accessed to identify stagnant or underutilized channels.
Finally, you can also measure the quality of interactions—an extremely important aspect for engaging with HCPs and stakeholders. Quality interactions are necessary to get your audience to consume your marketing message. To measure an otherwise subjective concept, you need to evaluate the response of your HCPs using their participation in network activities (like webinars and online forums) and the length of their interactions, or through feedback via surveys and questionnaires.
Adapting Your MCM Strategy
Once you measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign, you can adapt your MCM strategy to improve long-term engagement. But to adapt your strategy, you need to first identify the changes that will improve your MCM campaign. For example, upon evaluation, you should be able to better understand the kind of content your HCPs want and how they prefer to communicate.
One tip is to scrutinize the channels that deliver the best results and compare them with less effective channels to see if you can approach them differently. Customizing your strategy for each channel and adapting the message appropriately may take some time, but will provide you a more comprehensive and effective MCM strategy in the end.