The Do’s & Don’ts of Multi Channel Implementation

Benjamin Tilly Pharmaceutical marketers finally understand the importance of digital communication techniques. The question on marketers lips this year is how can we develop a winning multichannel strategy which combines online and offline marketing channels and provides relevant and useful information to our customers?

It seems to me that there are mixed fortunes with some pharma ahead of the game with a clear strategy and implementation plan, while some are missing the mark and not quite making the most of the amazing technologies available to them or relying heavily on the traditional marketing and sales process. When planning your multichannel marketing strategy, it’s vital to understand who your audience is, know why you’re doing it, plan well to utilise the available tools and analyse the results to gage success.

We recently asked Benjamin Tilly, Channels Marketing Manager, Sanofi, for his thoughts on multichannel implementation, below are some do’s and don’ts to consider when developing a multichannel strategy for your Pharma business.

When Setting Objectives:

Do: Start with SMART objectives that relate to your brand plan

Don’t: Put ‘channels’ in your objectives. They are tactics and come later – you run the risk of your strategy becoming tactically led

When building a strategy:

Do: Spend time identifying the best solution for your objectives. Understand the customer, marketing landscape, situation analysis, competitor analysis and be evidence driven

Don’t: Jump straight in or make decisions based on your knowledge or that of ‘experts

When Setting KPI’s:

Do: Consider meaning full KPI’s that bear relevance to your objectives and you are able to measure. Consider follow up surveys if ‘digital’ metrics are hard to come by

Don’t: Think that Web Statistics or Email Open Rates are sufficient KPI’s for strategy level analysis

When Setting Budgets:

Do: Work out budgetary requirements from anticipated ROI though be realistic about what you need to spend to meet your objectives. Share your budget range with potential agencies

Don’t: Go from agency to agency until you find one that can deliver within your budget.

When writing content:

Do: Make sure content is valuable and interesting, digestible and easy to read, timely and relevant and addresses negativity

Don’t: Sacrifice quality, relevance and updates of content or shy away from bad news

When creating mutual value between you and your customers:

Do: Make sure there is value for you and your target customers

Don’t: Create something that you genuinely don’t believe offers value for your target customer – no matter how much value it offers you!

When considering mobile:

Do’s: Understand the difference between a mobile website (mSite) and Smartphone Application (App) and how your visitors are accessing your website (mSite = accessed via URL on a Smartphone , do not have to download an application vs. App = needs to be downloaded via an App Store and is often based around a limited resource or functionality)

Don’ts: Assume an App will negate the need for an Mobile Site or vice versa

When considering eDetails:

Do’s: Take time to weigh up the merits of different approaches; Online Vs Offline, Live (Rep) Vs HCP self-guided, Your .com Vs partner sites

Don’ts: Just broadcast promotional messages or include more content than you would in a paper version – 5 minute rule!

When considering social media:

Do: Be clear what you expect to achieve, consider using it as part of a integrated campaign and understand the regulatory implications of using them

Don’t: Do it just because you think you should or underestimate the effort it will take
Bringing it all together with a Multi-Channel Approach:

Do: Fish where the fish are, create multiple touch-points to engage users on the channels they want to use, link/integrate your channels to maximise every experience

Don’t: Forget to ‘bait’ your line, throw money at channels that aren’t going to be used

When measuring:

Do: Know how you are going to measure the success of your chosen channel(s) and ensure your measures of success relate back to your objectives

Don’t: Look at digital metrics in isolation

Hear more of what Benjamin has to say at DigiPharm Europe 2012 where he will discuss ‘Implementing a multichannel approach – how to decide and select what digital channels to use for your brand’.


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