Global healthcare leader Merz, in particular, got to the heart of the matter in a panel on Salesforce Intelligence and personalization. “Immediately when you think connectedness, you think, ‘this is 100 percent why we need clean, accurate data, and why we’re investing in things like Salesforce CDP [Customer Data Platform] and really wanting to make sure that we’re able to surface things from our patients to our practitioners and surface concerns from our practitioners back to our patients,” commented Christina Wall, executive director of digital customer engagement for Merz Aesthetics. Wall continued, “That idea of digital connectedness for us really translates back to the relationships that we’re building with our practitioners and how they’re building them with the patients.”
Digital connectedness—or what you might think of as bedside manner in the age of digital commerce—has long been tricky for companies in this space, and for the pharmaceutical industry in particular. There has been ample and understandable hesitation on the part of these companies to communicate directly with consumers, let alone leverage the knowledge gained through those interactions. Large pharma companies have engaged in very little two-way communication with health consumers and their patients generally, and it’s a problem they acknowledge. They know they need to do something; they just have trepidations about what. But from our perspective, the best next action step for companies that have acknowledged this gap is clear: begin making investments in data solutions that enable you to engage in that two-way communication most effectively.
Say you have a potential customer at the point where they’re just starting to understand their recently diagnosed disease. They may be interested in participating in a clinical trial, but first they want to learn as much as they can about their condition and potential treatment options. Enter anonymous user tracking: As the patient engages in information exploration online, you can track that exploration in a benevolent way and use that data to offer more relevant content, care options, and perhaps the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. The next step would be a formalized clinical trial process, and following the trial, as the drug emerges post-market, that same patient can continue to share their experience on everything from adverse effects to what their healthcare providers are telling them about the drug in question. Thanks to all these insights, you as a pharma company can envision what the patient's world looks like. And you can use that information to communicate with them in a very personalized and truly helpful way.
Of course managing and organizing the deluge of data coming your way is crucial to this effort, and that’s where having a customer data platform, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud CDP, becomes crucial. Such a tool allows you to create a unified customer data profile so that your view of that patient is complete and your ability to serve them is optimized.
Because really, it all comes down to patient-centric care. The point is to better serve the customer, and enhance offerings in the healthcare space. It’s about the application of data and technology to improve digital bedside manners. And isn’t that what it’s always been about when it comes to medicine and medical care? That’s long been the tension in this industry—that providers can be experts in their field and capable of performing medical miracles, but can utterly lack bedside manner.
Thankfully the tides have turned, and the impersonal delivery of care is giving way to personalization. The entire industry is leveraging technology, data, analytics, and insights to improve its engagement. Don’t mistake relying on technology as de-personalizing the experience, when in fact it’s enhancing the personalized experience and making patients feel seen and heard.
Patients and other healthcare consumers are demanding more-personalized and more-informed digital experiences than ever before, and our Astound Health division delivers solutions that meet those needs. Reach out to John Audette, Global Head of Health & Life Sciences, to discuss how we can support your digital strategy.