North Highland Attends Pharma Marketing USA 2022

North Highland attended Reuters Pharma Marketing USA 2022 in November 2022 to hear from global pharmaceutical leaders about the challenges they face building impactful and efficient 21st century marketing organizations. Speakers included pharma marketing experts from GSK, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck, Janssen, and more.

We wanted to share some key takeaways and highlight how North Highland can help pharma companies build nimble and effective marketing organizations.

  1. Connecting to customers requires a whole-of-enterprise approach.

Pharma companies have driven significant innovation in the drug discovery process by leveraging digital and data, but Ester Banque, Senior Vice President and General Manager of US Hematology at Bristol Myers Squibb, shared that pharma customer engagement strategies haven’t kept up. One key barrier to innovation in marketing and customer engagement is lack of cross-functional collaboration.

To bring together experts and great ideas from across the enterprise, “everyone needs to think like a CEO,” Banque said. Pharma marketers at big global companies need to take advantage of the capabilities their companies’ scale impart but avoid getting slowed down by the challenges that same scale can create.

At North Highland, our approach to transforming pharma marketing organizations begins and ends with aligning your organization and your people to innovate and perform at the top of their game.

  1. Personalize your messaging to rise above the noise.

There’s no shortage of data available to pharma companies – it’s taking action based on that data that’s difficult, according to a panel of marketing analytics leaders moderated by Ajit Menon, Vice President of Customer Engagement & Digital Transformation at Janssen. Menon shared that pharma companies may have a “270-degree view” of healthcare providers (HCPs) and their behaviors instead of the 360-degree view pharma marketers strive for, but that data is plenty to uncover actionable insights.

Implementing omnichannel enables pharma marketers to intelligently orchestrate digital and in-person touchpoints to influence healthcare provider (HCP) behavior. One use case panelist described was to leverage digital tools to let sales reps know what digital materials like clinical research papers or real-world evidence studies an HCP has recently consumed. This helps sales reps plan their outreach and make the most of every interaction with the HCP.

Achieving true omnichannel requires continuous transformation to stay relevant in a fast-moving market. North Highland’s Omnichannel Maturity Assessment looks at pharma marketing organizations holistically across eight key capability areas to build the foundations for successful transformation.

  1. Only inspired employees can inspire customers.

Pharma companies create medicines and vaccines that improve people’s health, and their employees are driven to perform by that purpose. To unleash the full potential of their workforce, pharma marketing leaders need to inspire and empower their sales reps.

Amit Sharma, Executive Director of Marketing Operations at Merck, shared that his team has worked to better understand how sales reps themselves consume and use data. This has enabled them to provide the reps with valuable, relevant information in convenient and accessible formats. Inspired and digitally empowered sales reps have the data tools and human touch required to delight healthcare providers.

North Highland believes the sales rep is central to the success or failure of any pharma marketing transformation. Our people-centric change approach drives behavior change and technology adoption among reps.

How can pharma marketing leaders mobilize to make change happen?

It can seem like a daunting task to mobilize an organization to embrace omnichannel and data-driven marketing, and speakers at Pharma Marketing USA 2022 shared no shortage of challenges achieving these aims. But, North Highland has a proven track record of successful transformations that help big pharma companies make the most of their scale – but avoid getting paralyzed by it.