Closed Loop Marketing, or CLM, requires understanding not only who your customers are, but using that knowledge to engage with them in a continuous feedback loop on a 1:1 basis. – Capgemini Consulting Life Sciences

When we talk about CLM, we’re really talking about the phenomenon that is The Amazon Experience. I’m sure you’re all familiar with it – everyone knows and loves Amazon. But what does that mean? In marketing, it means that every time you interact with the content on a site or that’s delivered to you via email, it learns more about you and your preferences, your wants and needs, and provides exactly the experience and products you’re looking for before you even know you need them.

Is it creepy, maybe? Or just convenient?

As we welcome 2018, I think we all know and accept that Big Brother is no longer just a concept created by George Orwell, but our reality when we use technology today.

We understand that when we’re on a website, analysts track where we click, what we spend extra time reading, and what we may skip over. All links in promotional email you receive are specially coded to see which call to action motivated you to click. And because of this insight, marketers can provide customers with more tailored content on the right channel. Customers are happier, promotional costs decrease, and the relationship between the marketer and the customer changes from a one-way street to a two-way conversation.

Capgemini Consulting created a model showing how companies can evolve from basic content and channel management to predictive analysis, a la Amazon. This model provides a high-level framework for assessing your current analytic capabilities and makes the development and implementation of such a model more manageable. You can learn more about it here.

Now, the multibillion dollar question becomes: Is this really possible for pharma? Can we gain a more complete picture of our healthcare providers so that we can anticipate the information and updates they’re looking for, deliver relevant and timely content, yet still maintain the integrity of our product label in compliance with government regulations? Can our websites get smarter when healthcare providers navigate through, so that we can show them content related to what they reviewed on their last visit, and phase out nonapplicable information?

In a word, yes. And pharmaceutical companies are taking greater strides now than ever before to make this possible. But the reality of such an undertaking is fraught with numerous (necessary) obstacles that keep our consumers safe and maintain our reputation across the globe. It hasn’t been and will not be an easy or quick transition, considering the many complex layers in our industry.

So how can you start on the path to providing an Amazon Experience to your customers today?

The first step is to start leveraging analytics. It’s a sad fact that we don’t know enough about what our customers need so we’re not putting out content they find valuable. Redundant efficacy studies are no longer cutting it – they want a lot more from us. Namely, they’re looking for a partner to come in and work with them to:

  • Help improve patient outcomes.
  • Provide support to help them to do a better job.
  • Create new ways to stay up to date on information without being sold something.
  • Get easy access to information on their preferred channel in a format they like.

If we look back at the CLM Analytics Maturity Framework, taking a thorough inventory of all pieces in market and analyzing their effectiveness is a crucial first step for pharma. Sure, we have tons of study information and efficacy data to share, but healthcare professionals are not responding to repetitive efficacy messaging by altering their behavior. The data shows that this information is not meeting their long-term needs.

If you’re working with an agency, chances are you’re aware of the basic statistics for your tactics: open rates, click-through, unsubscribes, bounces. But CLM demands that we go one step further. We need to use this information to learn about our customers, listen to them, measure their opinions of our marketing strategy, and evaluate results. We need to let customers tell us about themselves through this data and respond to it rather than simply pushing out the messages that we think they need to hear.

If our goal is to improve our customers’ experience by providing a more predictive marketing campaign and deliver what they truly value, we must start by identifying what the customer wants. We need to transform the content messages provided to us into something that will allow us to meet their needs, rather than our own yearly objectives. And we must give it to them in a timely, relevant fashion.

For more on this topic, check out The CLM Conundrum: Three Pillars of Success.

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