Pharma Deep Dive: Evolving your Go-To-Market Strategy in the Changing Digital Landscape

Nov 15, 2023 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Healthcare has become increasingly digitized, with consumers expecting personalized messages integrated into their daily lives. However, this digital maturity requires navigating pharmaceutical regulations, communicating with internal teams, and keeping up with evolving digital tools. How can you optimize and scale content for the consumer?

Before investing in any digital tool, you must identify your marketing goals and ideal customer persona. This allows you to leverage precise tools for content creation and customer personalization. Accurate customization occurs when marketing teams collaborate with legal, medical, and IT teams to establish data types, integrate unstructured information sets, and develop a sound data strategy. Healthcare providers can also merge digital and physical experiences to provide accurate medical suggestions and enhance the customer journey.

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant hosts Jim Gawley of Bayer, Doug Bell of Global Prairie, and Matt Merritt of Adobe to discuss customer personalization in the healthcare and pharma space. Together, they share how to measure ROI from marketing efforts, how to evaluate new technologies, and key digital trends in healthcare that marketers should consider. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Digital healthcare trends and evolving consumer expectations 
  • How to navigate advertising regulations in the pharma space 
  • Leveraging digital advertising tools in healthcare
  • Guidelines for developing a data-driven marketing strategy
  • Customer personalization techniques for advertisers 
  • How can digital advertisers measure ROI from their efforts?
  • Build versus buy: how to assess new technologies
  • The value of centers of excellence
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Event Partners

Global Prairie

Global Prairie delivers transformational branding, marketing and digital solutions through the lens of an organization’s unique purpose. Bringing together industry leading strategy, creativity and technology expertise, we generate measurable business and social impact for our clients, their stakeholders and the world.

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Guest Speakers

Jim Gawley LinkedIn

Director Digital Strategy, Specialty Franchise at Bayer

Jim Gawley is the Director of Digital Strategy for the Specialty Franchise at Bayer, a global enterprise focusing on healthcare and nutrition. As a pharma-focused digital strategist, he integrates data to improve performance and ROI for DTC and HCP campaigns. Jim has held multiple roles at Bayer, including Digital Strategist for the Cardiovascular and Renal Franchise and the Director of Visualization and Reporting.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Doug Bell LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Global Prairie

Douglas (Doug) Bell is the Co-founder of Global Prairie, a purpose-driven marketing firm helping businesses drive social impact. As a public affairs strategist, brand reputation specialist, crisis management counselor, and industry spokesman, he has counseled some of the world’s premier Fortune 100 publicly traded firms. Before Global Prairie, Doug served as a global healthcare executive focused on public health and policy and communications.

Matt Merritt LinkedIn

Digital Strategy Consultant, Healthcare & Life Sciences at Adobe

Matt Merritt is a Digital Strategy Consultant for Healthcare and Life Sciences at Adobe, where he advises clients on content supply chain optimization, customer experience personalization, and digital transformation. With experience crafting strategies alongside C-suite executives at some of the world’s largest life science companies, he specializes in customer journey innovation and data-driven marketing.

Event Moderator

Jim Gawley LinkedIn

Director Digital Strategy, Specialty Franchise at Bayer

Jim Gawley is the Director of Digital Strategy for the Specialty Franchise at Bayer, a global enterprise focusing on healthcare and nutrition. As a pharma-focused digital strategist, he integrates data to improve performance and ROI for DTC and HCP campaigns. Jim has held multiple roles at Bayer, including Digital Strategist for the Cardiovascular and Renal Franchise and the Director of Visualization and Reporting.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Doug Bell LinkedIn

Co-Founder, Global Prairie

Douglas (Doug) Bell is the Co-founder of Global Prairie, a purpose-driven marketing firm helping businesses drive social impact. As a public affairs strategist, brand reputation specialist, crisis management counselor, and industry spokesman, he has counseled some of the world’s premier Fortune 100 publicly traded firms. Before Global Prairie, Doug served as a global healthcare executive focused on public health and policy and communications.

Matt Merritt LinkedIn

Digital Strategy Consultant, Healthcare & Life Sciences at Adobe

Matt Merritt is a Digital Strategy Consultant for Healthcare and Life Sciences at Adobe, where he advises clients on content supply chain optimization, customer experience personalization, and digital transformation. With experience crafting strategies alongside C-suite executives at some of the world’s largest life science companies, he specializes in customer journey innovation and data-driven marketing.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Wednesday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the co founder Managing Director here at BWG Connect. We're a giant networking knowledge sharing group 1000s of organizations. And we work together to stay on top of the newest trends, the strategies, the pain points that are shaping, multiple different verticals, something really interesting we've seen happen over the past six and a half years is kind of this convergence, where, you know, we have all these different sectors that are now really relying on technology in digital advancement and digital acuity. And it's not just hey, I'm looking to sell a pair of jeans or sunglasses, it's it's gone outside of that scope as a whole. And so we've really expanded in this case, you know, a farmer deep dive today. quick housekeeping items, as we kick this off, feel free to shoot over any questions you have in the chat or the q&a, or in the q&a section there, I will try to answer as many of those real time as possible. If you can't get all those, if you'd rather email me, We can we can feel questions that way as well. We're starting here, you know, three to four minutes after the hour, and just you know, we're going to wrap up with at least three to four minutes to go in the hour as well. Maybe a little bit more, we'll just see where the discussion goes. But we're gonna give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late. And you know, maybe grab a cup of coffee along the way. And so with that, is we kind of kick off this conversation. We got some great friends, partners, supporters, the network come highly recommended from a ton of different organizations. I mean, Doug, the team, you know, we've done a lot of these with a lot of great orgs. And you guys just come highly recommended. So thanks for your support the network as a whole. But I'll kind of kick it off with you if you want to do you know, an intro on yourself? background a little period, that'd be great. And you want to kick it around the horn. We'll get all the intros in, and then we'll jump into the deeper discussion sounded happy to do it.

Doug Bell  2:11

Thank you, Aaron. Yeah, Doug, Bell, co founder of Global Prairie. If you're wondering what a Global Prairie is, we're a purpose led and focused marketing firm that really focuses in the life science base, specifically, healthcare, healthcare systems, providers, pharmaceutical companies do a lot of work in rare disease. And our real focus is on working with companies who kind of have a passion for not only wanting to do great work, but do great things for the world. So that's our focus and our intention. And my background is I'm an attorney by training, focused on public health and public policy did a lot of work on the corporate side, worked all around the world, focusing on lots of things, you know, first vaccinology, then more narrowly, and in the areas of rare disease, and kind of landed here with an idea that we thought we had a better way of doing things and working with great partners, like some of the partners we have on the call here today. So that'll be enough on me, and I'll kick it over to Jim.

Jim Gawley  3:20

Thanks, Doug. I'm Jim Gawley. I'm the Director of Digital Strategy here at Bayer Pharma, supporting the specialty franchise here, which is our hematology brands and our established brands. I've been with the company for a little over nine years in various roles and different iterations of the in house digital teams, as well as a little stint with the business insights reporting for the field. Interesting role that was but boy, were the learnings tremendous and really have been a real asset for the latest my latest role here in the digital strategy role. Prior to joining Bayer, I was on the agency side supporting only digital and only pharma clients. So you know, altogether, I've got just shy of 20 years supporting the digital side of Pharma. Awesome, we'll kick it over to Matt. Great,

Matt Merritt  4:19

thanks. So, yeah, my name is Matt Merritt. Great to meet you all. I am a digital strategy consultant in healthcare and life sciences at Adobe. So really partnering with some of Adobe's largest enterprise customers in the space on sort of anything that encompasses their digital transformation. So sort of reimagining what customer experiences look like for both of our patients and HCPs, optimizing internal marketing sales processes, looking at our end end content lifecycle and where we can drive efficiencies and growth with our customers. And a lot more A lot of our learnings also come from our broader team is also cross industry. So we learn from some of the largest retailers in the world CPG companies with massive customer sets and large marketing budgets that are really doing some sort of top notch edge things in personalization. Great to mutual. Yeah. Awesome. So a

Aaron Conant  5:24

quick reminder to everybody on the line, if you have questions, drop in the chat, drop in the q&a, and we'll answer them real time as we go. I'm kind of where I want to kick it off. And Doug, I'll kick it to you. And then we can kind of go around the horn with it as well. You know, just as we look at the ever evolving digital landscape, which is what's happening right now, and it's happening faster than ever, people are constantly wondering where they're at on the digital maturity scale. And then they're kind of benchmarking themselves to like trends that are out there. So are there any like, like, newer trends, things that you're seeing more recently that people should be on the lookout for? It's, it's just interesting, because it's moving so fast. Well,

Doug Bell  6:05

I think, you know, so I'll start first with my, my bias, refocus, right, it's this corporate purpose centered lens through which we're trying to operate, you know, the idea that there's increased competition, you know, both virtually and physically. And along with that, the pressure to differentiate yourself and connect yourself more closely with the your customer. It's funny, you know, Matt went, you know, to these other large, you know, retail based organizations. And my observation is, first, we believe that people are kind of betting with their wallets kind of aligning their own personal brands, with the brands they're purchasing. Right, that is something that's well documented, particularly as we look generationally, the younger and younger generations. The second thing that was kind of spurred by that thought, Matt, I think you actually triggered it for me was, you know, the expectations of your experience digitally, every day in life, whether it's clicking on a movie, or buying something on Amazon, etc, the expectation for that experience is changing completely. And I don't believe of the consumer or the patient, even for that matter, the HCP are going to tolerate an experience that subpar that as they enter into the healthcare decision making. So that's my, my point of view. I'm curious, Matt, I know you, you were initially in your own description, but that's what I see.

Matt Merritt  7:45

Yeah, I think we see that a lot with a lot of our top customers is really a focus on sort of that consumerization of healthcare that you're talking to. So it's possible in my day to day, I might be booking travel on Expedia, dealing with a real estate company, paying my rent at home, going to Starbucks, and going and visiting my doctor on the same day. And I really don't split my expectations as I go from vertical to vertical as a customer. So I expect when I come into the doctor's office, or I'm learning about a new therapy online or on TV or whatever channel, I'm really expecting some sort of tailored messaging to me. So I think as we talked about sort of that maturity model that you refer to Erin, it's really going from sort of that one to many approach of sort of broad based messaging around awareness around a new disease condition in the area or treatment area, and getting closer and closer to that one to one, tailored personalization. And that requires a lot. I mean, I think everyone on the call would expect it's always a goal for us, but how do we get there? And so I think that's a longer conversation of sort of how do we get the right data, processes and people in place to bring that to life for our customers?

Aaron Conant  9:13

Yeah, gym, I'd love to hear your thoughts there too. Because I love the way you put it in which is I have all of these expectations now around my life and how I'm shopping and interacting or whatever I'm doing. And if I run into something that's incongruent with the expectations I have it's like a hard stop for me and almost an instant frustration and I know I know it shouldn't be but it is because everything else I mean, the Amazon effect Israel, right, it made everything so simple to do. When I don't have it. It's it's now more evident to me by digital maturity isn't there at all or not. But Jim, I'd love to hear your thoughts in this space.

Jim Gawley  9:54

Yeah, well, so I totally agree and, and the big pharma world right where An additional disadvantage, right? Because if we have that user experience, disconnect, people are already skeptical, skeptical about engaging with Big Pharma. So we really need to be buttoned up in the user experience. And the other piece that we all need to realize is that the demand is there, physicians have less and less time to spend with their patients, more and more people are checking in with Dr. Google. And those check ins are really fruitful. I've had several experiences myself, where I've researched some issues and then said, hey, hey, Doc, what about this, I will test it. And then the outcome comes that, you know, you're right. You know, and heard other folks saying that, you know, I go to the doctor, and I'm nauseous, or, you know, have stomach upset frequently, I'll give you something for that. Well, I don't want something for that. I want to fix the problem, right? So there's lots of opportunities for us to deliver solutions that people are not getting there at their health care provider. So that's an area within the same theme. I think the other piece that, you know, we're faced with cross pharma, on the manufacturer side is we need to do more with less, you know, the budgets are cut, but we still need to deliver and we need to deliver more. And you know, that makes us be smart. Not every brands can have the same level of of digital support and media spend. And we have to figure out what's the right recipe for each of the different brands, versus, you know, a single recipe across all brands in a portfolio?

Matt Merritt  11:40

Yeah, and I think you touch upon a good point there, sort of bandwidth of can we meet these evolving expectations, and I'll apologize early on for being the first person to bring up AI this early into the conversation. But I think we are sort of entering a new lens, where really commoditizing AI, we can use it to sort of meet those bandwidth gaps. So beyond being able to create just the right content for every single HCP, we want to meet, how can we equip our sales teams with sort of modular content that can be optimized for the right customer in the right place at the right time, and sort of make that process easier for them so that we can get them right to those real one to one conversations where they're well equipped with all the right insights. And I think sort of as we expand to the patient lens, delivering that much content at scale, how can we use some new cooler, newer tools in the scope of generative AI to create those sort of hyper personalized pieces of content, that are really going to resonate with those customers and their evolving expectations?

Aaron Conant  12:50

Yeah, I mean, I want to kick this one to Doug, because that top of mind, for me, when you're saying, Jim, what you're saying you're at a disadvantage. I was thinking of it. from a different standpoint, having spent 17 years in pharma, by advertising, there are strict guidelines, right on what you can say, and there's some system restrictions. And I was gonna, you know, Doug, you're dealing with a ton of people, like, how do you manage those? Right? Because, you know, the pharma space is inherently restricted in this, there is the regulatory side, but there's also the creepiness side, right? It's like, what do you find out this a lot of times, you know, ahead of time, right, like, people that so? Let us there? Yeah,

Doug Bell  13:36

it's an interesting question. You know, Jim, I'm also thinking about our own experiences, you know, working inside of Bayer as well, too, but I'll put aside the creepiness factor for a moment, because I think they're, you know, highly regulated areas that, you know, help us to avoid some of that, you know, so there's that. But the thing to me, that I've noticed more and more and more is the teams that collaborate the best internally with the various functions, right, whatever you call in our role, we call it legal, Medic, medical and regulatory, right, that collaborate well, and bring together you know, think of it, it's just like fielding any other team in the world. I love my sports metaphors, right? So you can always tell a highly functioning team, when you look at that have what we would call a tight huddle, right, that they're they're centered around one clear objective, yes, certainly. They all have very different roles. But if they're highly aligned around what we're trying to accomplish together, the effectiveness of doing this well, not making mistakes, doing it, you know, you know, fast, you know, well and good, right, all those things at the same time. Is exorbitantly improved that As opposed to people coming with individual agendas, you know, hidden agendas that then create a really, you know, toxic environment to operate it. And so for what it's worth, what we've noted, particularly working with companies, like bears and example, is a highly collaborative team allows for it to be done well to be have it done effectively, but also something that creates some form of pleasure and camaraderie rather than tension. I don't know if you share that view. But

Jim Gawley  15:38

yeah, I mean, you're spot on. You know, there's multiple kinds of efforts around for what we call LMR, PRT, PRT optimization, and things like that. But it comes down to the basics of the relationship, like you said, you know, getting them in early. So saying, you know, turning the conversation flipping, right, how can you help me achieve this? versus the other mindset is, I'm going to complete this, and then I'm going to submit it to PRT. And then they're going to give me a bunch of changes and reasons why I can't do this. We'll bring him in early, put your arm around him and say, you know, I need your help. And getting this done. Let's do it together.

Aaron Conant  16:22

Is there any like? Because the team aspect is huge, right? Like, how do you think about building your team, then Jim, because I know, that's something that's huge right now is getting the right people in the right spot? How do you think about building that team, and then I'll kick it over to Matt about the tools

Jim Gawley  16:42

that as a whole that are needed. So it can vary, you know, the brand team really owns the relationship? You know, I'm part of the digital strategy team, which it sits in commercial operations, but it's bringing in the right players to answer the questions, and then also to educate. So we're thinking about a new media placement and a new social media platform, let's say tick tock, right, don't just shove the ad down their throat in a submission, you know, educate them about what does it look like? What is tick tock? A lot of them don't even know, and how is this ad going to function? How can patients interact with that ad? And make them feel comfortable with it? You know, there's some times where we brought in the vendor to talk to them directly and answer their questions. And, and that that goes a long way, in making them feel comfortable, and more likely to approve things and under and certainly understand a lot of times they reject things because they really don't understand.

Aaron Conant  17:46

No, I totally agree. It's an interesting standpoint, that that mean, we're running so fast and hard. Sometimes we are in we're living in in a day to day, the people around us are not, right. You know, I just, you know, a classic example, as you know, I went to the regulatory team, and like, Hey, I'm putting this on Amazon. And now this is like eight or nine years ago, and they didn't even know what Amazon was. And this is eight or nine years ago, everybody I thought knew, but they literally did not know that never been there and to buy things. So I like the approach, which is have the open mind and assume that they know you want to be condescending, but assume they don't know how Tik Tok works, and who the target demographic is going to be, and what the projected outcomes are, and the exposure rate and everything else now, I love it. I love it. I love

Doug Bell  18:33

your observation too, by the way there and I remember about the same time period, I'll go with an unnamed OTC company you referenced your OTC background is about the same time period, I said, you know, so important to understand what are the the experiences and seeing what the reviews are telling you the quant data quality data that the beautiful marriage of those things, and then they say, Oh, we are going to sell on Amazon. We don't need to worry about that. That is the mentality is udgivet experiences. It's it's a real thing.

Aaron Conant  19:07

Yeah, it's amazing. And inherently, the pharma sector is much more conservative for a lot of great reasons. But I mean, you almost have become a champion over and over and over and over again, because technology keeps changing. Right. And there's going to be another platform after tick tock. That means there's going to be the next big one. And it's going to be here faster than tic tock jump upon us. But, Matt, I'd love to hear your thoughts too. From like the tool side. Yeah, people need. Yeah.

Matt Merritt  19:43

Yeah. I think in terms of I think we've touched on a couple things. But in terms of I think we're talking through the review process and sort of the migraines it causes internally between teams. Even at Adobe we were not in the same space but we experience internally, there's review for all sorts of content. But with our customers, I think it's really about and I touched upon modular content a bit. And I don't think that's a new principle. But being able to break out content into components or fragments that are pre approved, and reusable for our teams. So taking those content pieces, allowing our marketers to sort of easily assemble new tactics with those components, and sort of piece it together so we can streamline that approval process. And then I think I'll try not to touch on AI and every question. But I think, bringing in tools like AI to help us further that scaling, so we could talk about how do we translate this content into several languages and all the markets that we serve? How do we optimize it for sort of the customer persona that we're trying to target in that area? I think there's a lot of tools that can help us just sort of streamline that process. But then again, we come back to sort of the people and processes of how do we get folks kind of using the same tools and aligned to sort of, yeah, grease that wheel, just making it as efficient as possible?

Aaron Conant  21:24

Doug, I saw you nodding your head a lot there like it was,

Doug Bell  21:27

it was where Matt was going. I will say I coined this phrase, but I heard this recently. Somebody recently was quoted as saying that your data strategy is an AI strategy. Your AI strategy is a data sorted, they're inextricably intertwined, right? And that's what to me, that's why AI it comes up so often is right first, what type of data do you have? Is it structured data? Is it unstructured data? How do we marry those things? So the normalized and they speak to one another? After we do that, how and what API do we want them to employ? Like Matt was talking about generative AI? For us, we're heavily involved in narrative AI, right? Because that is the bread and butter of our business in our experience. So to me, that's why it's, it's a P, you can speak about it if you're really being thoughtful about it now, because we know machine learning has been here for plenty of time. But what that's helped us to do is to be able to look backwards, smartly and well. And Jim, I'm not going to use the words, you're going to use the new acronym. We're also now looking at saying what have we learn for that, that helps us to be more informative and predictive of the future. However, as Jim knows, AI can't and doesn't do that alone. And that's where people that are fearful of it, are missing the other element,

Jim Gawley  22:57

right, Jim? Yep, it's the AGI portion of it. That human intelligence, right, where you can use the AI as a tool to really improve our productivity, and, you know, perhaps uncover some things that we wouldn't have uncovered without it, for sure. But it's then having that human portion to figure out what do we do with this? How do we maximize the value of this, that really will set, you know, companies apart from those that just say, AI will take care of it? So and, Doug, I think your point on the data is so so important. You know, I mentioned in the intro, my stint in Business Insights reporting, really got to understand the data landscape, you know, beyond digital, which is extremely important. And you've got the data that goes both ways for us in digital, right. There's a host of data that helps us for targeting, and we need quick access to that we need to see surface the data, it's important to us. But then on the flip side, we're creating all this data on the digital side, who's interacting, what are they doing, what's the next best message, and then that's all coming back to us. And so if our data strategy and figuring out what we want to do with it is not buttoned up. We're not in a good place. We're at a competitive disadvantage. And the problem is I used to sit tell the leaders of those groups is data is not sexy. So when you're asking for more money from leadership, they're like, it's day data. You know, someone's got to come up with a really good story to show the value in data and what it brings to the organization.

Aaron Conant  24:42

Yeah, but up until now, without AI, nobody could do it because there's so much right it used to be five years ago, everybody's talking about data lakes, and now everybody's talking about data, oceans and they just keep getting bigger until AI came along. Like you couldn't, there was too much of it. There was more flowing in on a day. The basis than anybody could structure. But though when you're interacting with, you know, different brands as a whole, like, what is that step one, because I think a lot of people are seeing on data as a whole. And people are thinking about AI. They just don't even know where to start. And if they do know where to start, they don't know, the eight different things they have to choose from to deal with it. Or maybe it's 20. And there's almost like a hesitation, right? Because the fear of the unknown almost guy.

Doug Bell  25:32

Right? Well, I think you nailed it Aaron. And you know, folks like Matt, and the folks at Adobe, caught on really quick to what Jim was pointing out is, people say, well, it's just data. Well, it's the currency from which we all now operate. Right? Data is currency now, and folks like Adobe and other providers like that figured that out early on. And I think this is where we're all trying to move more quickly to is, so what is my data strategy? Right? Some are at, we call it, you know, here, we talked about crawl, walk run, during the crawl stage of using existing data platforms, highly structured data, and in doing the first step of leveraging that, well, I think that will be the first step. And then others are in more sophisticated stages of how do we complement and supplement that data, go back to my point about unstructured data to be have it be more informative, either currently or retrospectively? Because there's still a lot there, right? You know, machine learning has been around for a long time. And then can we move it from there to a more forward looking perspective, so that's to me, the progression that we go to is first is let's use, you know, the blocking and tackling of structured data. Well, now what other data sets? Can we add to that? And then can we potentially apply forward looking views and perspectives to it? That's the way we see it, and we approach it.

Aaron Conant  27:11

And then please, Matt, oh,

Matt Merritt  27:14

yeah, I think I mean, fully agree with Doug, I think there's sort of that natural progression. And I think a lot of times customers will ask us where to start? Because, yeah, we'll bring in examples of large retailers who have been doing it for decades, they had a head start less regulation, they've been able to progress faster. So it's hard to sort of compare ourselves. In terms of where we're starting, I think Doug, hitting on the head with really focusing on, can we get data in a spot where it's tangible, and we can use it? So we can we get to a space where we have sort of a robust profile of what our customers look like, how they're engaging with us, even just to get that in our marketers hands, where we know we can bring in their expertise, and they can start to do some segmentation and strategy there. And then it's about how do we activate upon that. So delivering those messages that our brand teams have created, in the right channels, that we've identified a preferred channel for each customer, we are sort of bringing it to that channel, and bringing them the right content, where they need it when they need it. And then sort of that back process is how do we start to optimize in a really efficient way, learning from those customers signals and getting to a point where we really have beyond just a trigger base journey for certain customer types, or Carson, certain segments, again, to that one to one experience for each sort of micro segment, or each specific customer.

Aaron Conant  28:56

I think about it like so the personalization standpoint, which is incredibly difficult, right to get to the actual one to one, but maybe it's a cohort, especially when we talk about, you know, the restrictions that are there. But like, you know, I'll kick this over to Jim, like, how do you think about personalization? Can you think about, you know, that the overall customer centric strategy and like, you know, any tips or thoughts you can share there, because it is very unique? It's just in the form of highly regulated industry? Well,

Jim Gawley  29:27

I think one of the biggest, untapped opportunities is more of a synchronization environment, between our digital activities and our field activities. You know, when when we brought the team in house just a little over three years ago, you know, we were working to build up that team, our in house media capabilities. Of course, there were bumps in the road, but after a couple of years, two and a half years, we were humming, you know, really well. In our digital activities, and so now how do we take that to the next level, and the opportunities, what we're calling it is synchronization between between the field and digital. So we have the machine learning data that's providing some digital signal or field suggestions that Hey, Dr. Ghali may be going to prescribe one of our drugs, or perhaps is just prescribed something that's first line or second line. And those type of alerts are going to the field, we know that it's still a learning process. And perhaps they're not all following up on that. So we're interjecting some digital touch points, and following up on some of those perhaps missed opportunities that the field dropped the ball. And then on the flip side, you know, we think about how does the field how have you always been trained to interact, our segment A's, our segment B's, you know, everybody's birthdays and anniversaries, and you see them all the time, but then you have maybe a lower priority the C's, and you have a mandate to see them three times four times a quarter, whatever it may be, we'll why not take the randomness out of that, you know, we can take the data from our digital engagements, true engagements, you know, if we start giving them email opens, they're going to be quickly frustrated and overwhelmed. But an email click on a really valuable link within the email are some engagements with some of our partners, and say, Hey, Dr. Ghali segments, see engaged with this content, now is the time to follow up. And it's early, but we're definitely seeing some positive results from this type of approach.

Doug Bell  31:52

Just to build on that, Aaron, you know, some of the work that Jim and his team are doing, the other factor that's proving to be really, really helpful is frontline decision makers being able to act on that live information, but previously might be a spreadsheet or might not exist at all, serving up to that frontline to be able to pivot and make those real time decisions that can impact outcomes, right, rather than their conflict to be laddered up and moved up to a higher level of management and people at the front lines are live making those decisions, which we think is is the future for certainly,

Jim Gawley  32:34

healthcare. Yeah. And then we have, you know, sending excels or other ways of getting the information to the field, then we start building the case, for how do we put more resources towards this for perhaps licensing a platform or changing the platform and things of that nature, it makes sense. It's the really core of a pilot, right? Because we're not spending a ton of money. And it goes back to what I said earlier, we've got to be doing more with less, because unfortunately, that's the economic situation we're faced with.

Matt Merritt  33:11

Yeah, and I think I'll take the humble approach of, it's always great, I think, to adopt a really robust, advanced platform. But what we also see is sort of, we can get this technology in house that it has spearheaded, and marketers really want. But then it's key sort of dug as you were saying, getting to a point of adoption, where the data coming in is as good as the data going out. So getting sort of a culture of adoption on this new tool, so that we can actually get data from all of our teams into this new platform or new product and technology. So that it's actually useful. And we're getting the right ROI out of a tool like that.

Aaron Conant  33:59

Well, I mean, that's where my brain was jump, and I agree was going to the ROI right here, even from Jim, what you were saying was, hey, if we can push in Doug, or you can push this forward, you're like, what is the ROI? Look, that's what we have to have. Right? When we're talking about data. We're talking about new tools. And we're talking about a everybody's profitability is the number one crime a conversation I'm having right now. What is the ROI? I

Doug Bell  34:25

want to finish the sort of Jim but literally, Jim and I were talking about this very thing yesterday, right? Yeah. Let him take in the lion's share of the question, but we are definitively where we are monomaniacal about answering that question, yes. In some cases, it's in this early stage. I will tell you we're seeing some early stage things like we do a fair amount of issues management inside of Pharma. And what we can see there particularly and, yes, I'll use it Matt, the AI space, right, the ability And the predictive ability to forecast issues before they happen, and then prepare a company to respond to that. So, Aaron, there were in early stage, if you look at four quadrants of a crises, when it's highly probable, highly prominent, right, you really want to focus on that, you know, upper right quadrant. And we're seeing massive success there our ability to predict and prepare those types of crises on a large scale, by the way, some of those other quadrants, less probable, less prominent, the data is tends to be there's less data for it, right? The more data we have, the more likelihood we're going to be accurate and predictive will last data point to Congress. So I will tell you in that one area of we'll call it crises or issues management, there's so much data that we found really compelling approaches that allow us to do that really well. I'll let Jim tackle some of the more traditional marketing and digital marketing space.

Jim Gawley  36:08

Yeah, I mean, we're for this synchronized approach, we're not there yet, from an ROI standpoint, we don't have enough time in market, but it's coming. You're right. That's how we look at things. And, you know, if you look at some of the earlier approaches, like it's not synchronized, that, you know, we're the data is in a journey from digital to, to the field. But when you look at it, just approaching just touching and HCP, with both digital and field, you see the improvement, right, Viva was out. And they said that there's like a 23% increase in marketing effectiveness when you reach the HCPs in both digital and personal from the field. And we're seeing similar numbers, or even better numbers here in house with certain brands, were we seeing a 50% increase in adoption, when there's a field visit, and three plus digital engagements. And another brand is seeing a similar number like 16% with the same type of approach, that combination of the digital engagements, not exposures. And the fields

Matt Merritt  37:27

touchpoints. Yeah. And Aaron, I think, specifically to your point around, sort of quantifying that ROI of if we're going for sort of, I can talk from the technology side, we're talking about bringing in new technology, and thinking through the ROI of really buying into or investing in a new tool, I think it's important to focus in on what is the business issue we're trying to solve? So beyond getting a fancy new tool for marketers, and sales teams? What are we trying to solve across our business? Is it really just growing adoption? Is it meeting new markets, aligning on that and defining really clear KPIs that we want to impact? So whether that's patient growth in a specific area, really driving efficiencies in our contact center? How are we optimizing those interactions with patients being able to hone in on what specifically we're trying to impact with this new tool? And then using partners in the field who have experience with what sort of impact you might be able to expect in that area? can get us sort of that first half step of the way. And then as we're adopting this new tool, we're really testing and experimenting to make sure we're getting that return early. And if not working with those partners, once again, to sort of how do we pivot, or better use this tool in a more effective way.

Jim Gawley  38:58

And those type of challenges and tips that Matt's bringing up is the value of working with an external partner that has other clients that they can leverage their experiences. You know, I've been in many conversations about, yeah, it, we can build this, you know, no problem. And it's much more economical. But frankly, it's not ended up running into a number of issues. The adoption is poor, because we're not really thinking everything through and the value of a partner to share their experiences with other clients is super, super helpful. So it's a it's a, it's a balancing act. And it's something you know, you really have to have some hard conversations before you consider a movie either way.

Aaron Conant  39:47

So it begs the question of build versus buy. Right? And I can see this major trend I've seen over the past few years is everything's changing so far. acids harder to build. It used to be, we had to build because there were no options there. Right? We had to build it. But now we're at a point where, if you're trying to build it by the time you get it built, it's, it's almost a year behind. Yep. So I'll kick this to Doug, like, what do you see from a build versus buy? And then obviously, Matt my guess is, I mean, you'll be open minded, but we might lean a little towards build maybe a little bias here. Yeah. But like, what do you see? I mean, you deal with so many people, have you seen that I've seen that pendulum just come in fast, because they can't keep up anymore. And it's changing too fast. And it's more of a bye for now at least option. I mean, that might the pendulum will probably swing back at some point in time, but I don't know how people keep up internally with IT resources, you have to, you have to, you basically have to be an Adobe to keep up on top of all the changes, which most people are and if you're a pharma company, you shouldn't be, you should be focused on other things.

Doug Bell  41:06

Well, it's a little bit of a sore spot for me. So I say that learned through failure, I think most of us, that's where we learned right and hopefully fail fast. Hopefully, you don't fail big, right, but you fail fast. And we've been part of that literal journey, Aaron, we started experimenting and digital boldly, 15 years ago, particularly in the data space, right. And in data analytics, and what you described is exactly what we saw there. In fact, one of our partners, not here on this call, but let's say a big multi dimensional management company, actually use some of the very ideas, we were billing in a nascent stage and went to market like bluest buy, right? And there was no chance we were going to scale at that level. So I think that was a quick learning of what you just eloquently explained. Here's what I and that's why, you know, there are things that we shouldn't be relying on the Adobe's of the world to do for us. And then there are other elements where we should be, and we're, I think we're in a lot of innovation happens is the customization. Adobe couldn't possibly build, you know, the solution for all of the variations of our experiences, whether it be in an individual sector, or an individual company, right. But there are customized approaches that where you can build part of it, right, and attach it to something as powerful as an Adobe platform, and really provide something that's novel. And critically important moment, eventually, I believe, to your point, Aaron, over time, Adobe will find a way to get there and be able to take that customized approach and apply it to many, many others. But I think that's the reality of the market. I think it shouldn't stop us from being creative and innovative, and, you know, very customized things. But what that requires is, you know, you it's a, I think you call it, Matt Right, the modular approach, right, it is a module of what we might ultimately need for our particular company. That's the way I see it. Yep,

Matt Merritt  43:22

I love the sales pitch. I'll bring Doug with me everywhere. So that was a great compliment. I'll take it. Yeah, I'll try to be brief on this one. They think, sort of just in terms of the considerations, I think a new technology comes out, typically of a new need, where a brand is requesting it to build something really bespoke. And I think it plugs a hole in that ship in some ways. And I think what sometimes we fail to consider is the scaling over time, that issue is likely to arise in other brand teams over time, I think where we see that sort of cost vector change direction in a build versus buy scenario, is really scaling over time. So as we think about a really customized brand new solution that was created for one need for one brand team, or one bu over time is that need arises across the organization, scaling that becomes really, really difficult. So working with a partner that can provide a platform for scaling, where you can add new brand teams new be used to it over time, enrich that data across all of those brand teams, and have a scalable solution that is innovating over time bringing new capabilities every day, I think is really important. And yeah, I think you touched on it enough sort of how over time, there's a clear change in the wind, I guess Have, you're really going to get significant cost savings? When you're thinking about how is this going to scale over time?

Aaron Conant  45:10

So, Jim, I want to throw a question at you around the the organizational side. So me and my former days Centers of Excellence were a big push. What are your thoughts around Centers of Excellence when it comes to, you know, digital marketing the rate at which it's changing the new tech tools? I mean, we talked about AI, we can't not talk about it. Like, I would love your thoughts around, you know, like centers of excellence as a whole, relevant, not relevant, are they blending? Because I love the org side is also what people are trying to figure out right now. Right? Yeah.

Jim Gawley  45:45

And, you know, we are a great example, on the digital side, you know, we were the first environment to in house, our digital media. And we're seeing great success with that. We are, in terms of our media spend up to over overall media spend, we're spending less than 8% on a nonworking media, which previously, our benchmark was over 20%. And we have our HTML and our, all of our website builds are now handled through a managed partner, as well as some of our creative assets builds. And so we're seeing amazing savings on those. And then that's getting plowed back in and reinvested to more working media, and building additional assets. So while we're seeing like some 50% savings on the cost to build these assets, and between 35 and up to 80%, on the creative work, we're then taking that and we're seeing the level and the amount and the quality of the asset builds and the projects increase. And on the digital strategy side, there's other digital strategists, we're also seeing our engagement with our HCPs more than doubling. So you know, we're doing a much better job and raising the bar on our interactions, and when it comes to the digital marketing side of things, but we're also doing it more efficient, efficiently. That's allowing us to, you know, reinvest that continues to improve. And I think that probably points back to the old AI side, right. It's the human intelligence, it's a lot of it is our people, you know, the infrastructure for our media stack. We go, I'm not gonna name the partners, but they're the household names in the media industry. And, you know, there is I'm on board we are on board with with partnering on the technology side. But it's having smart people, and a dedicated team, and a team that's looking out for bear that really is pushing us forward. You know, I did some interviews. So for some folks on our analytics teams, and and one of the questions was, you know, Hey, you came from the agency side, are you going to be comfortable delivering bad news to your stakeholders, because on the agency side, you always found a way to polish up the story real nice, no matter what it was, but the real value in in an in house team and the in house analytics team is being able to say, that didn't work. And we put a stop to it. And then this is what we pushed forward. And so people have to be very comfortable doing that. And it took some of the brand folks here a little while to get comfortable with that and accepting that. And then their tune changed. And it was like, Yeah, I get it. Now. This is this is super important. And this is definitely helping the bottom line. Awesome. I'd love

Aaron Conant  48:57

to hear your thoughts there. And then we're going to be getting right here close to the end. We might go quick round the horn here for like key takeaways. We'd love to hear your thoughts there as well.

Doug Bell  49:08

Yeah, no, no, it's it's funny to hear Jim talk about it. Because so like, you know, Jim has an agency background when corporate I have a corporate background when what agency consultant side? And you know, it's so funny when you hear this the same story and two people hear it differently. I remember distinctly as bear was moving towards that model, like you get that that sucking sound like right, what does that mean for us? Right? And in all of what Jim said was dead on right consistency came from it. Quality, quality control, right, all those things came from the Centers of Excellence. Here's the thing where the opportunity that also comes from it is innovation. And experimentation also is bread crumbs. Areas of Excellence. Right? So, Jim and Jim's team become, you know, thirsty for those other things. And that's where our partners should be coming in stepping in. And I think, you know, instead of being focused on polishing the turd, right, the bad news, now, have you thought of? Are you thinking about right? That's what a great partnership should be bringing, not just literally delivering on the basics of what you've asked us. So that's what hopefully we tried to do, and trying to impress upon our people, are we bringing that new thinking that makes you know, the gyms of the world, you know, the bears or the world wants to keep coming back?

Aaron Conant  50:46

Awesome. So we have a question,

Jim Gawley  50:48

kicking the AOR to the curb. You guys just can participate in the more fun stuff. Versus developing HTML, you can help in a strategic way and a content way? And what are we going to say? And how can we say it better? There's tons of value the AR still bring to the table. And we value that across the organization.

Aaron Conant  51:12

Too quick question. And it can probably be says, Can Jim, please speak more about the model they're using at Bayer for website builds creative asset development? Sound like you mentioned, they're using a third party for development versus creative agencies? How long did it take them to transition to that model stakeholders and functions, you know, who was required to jump in on it? So maybe that's a 32nd answer. And then we can go around the horn here for takeaways. And I mean, we're gonna do another one of these, and maybe this is the first one we answer. But so so i Oh, easy, was it? How long did it take and who was involved? So

Jim Gawley  51:46

trying not to give away anything proprietary, right? It's been, it's been three years. And I feel like now, we are really humming on all cylinders. We have internal folks that manage the external vendor. And we had to make a change at one point in the external vendor. It just wasn't right. But I feel like now we've got the right fit. And it doesn't happen overnight. And just to add, the creative, is more iterative, creative, right, we still have the EO RS that are developing our campaigns, the new content that lives on the website, but in terms of, you know, institutionalized in this and creating banners, from some creative campaigns that were initially initiated by the AOR. That's the kind of work that our in house teams work on. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  52:43

So Doug, I'm going to kick it over to you for key takeaways here. And then we're gonna have to wrap it up. Here, key thoughts, takeaways. So

Doug Bell  52:54

I'm a big fan of pilots in the at the end of the day, and as a way of avoiding the big scary, kind of audacious, like, you know, do it all at once. Right. So to me, what I hear from Matt, what I learned from, Jim, every day in our engagement is these pilots provide meaningful learning opportunities for us to quickly pivot to do we want to do more of this, do we want to do it again? Or do you want to fail fast, and try something else? And that whether it's about, you know, the topic du jour AI, or all these other elements of things, to me, that's what I hear. And then we you rely heavily on partners that do it well, and do it best, like, you know, the Adobe's of the world and what they bring to the table to complement those experimentations. So that's, that's my big takeaway. Awesome.

Aaron Conant  53:51

And I mean, we're right here at the end. Promised everybody, we'd wrap up with three to four minutes ago. And we're right here at three minutes. Jim, Matt, Doug, you guys are fantastic. Thanks so much for being so open to sharing, answering the questions that popped up. And with that, you know, more than happy to share the contact information with anybody on the line today. Just reach out but we're gonna wrap this one up, everybody, take care, stay safe, and look forward to having you at a future event. Thanks again, Jim. Thanks, Matt. Thanks, Doug. It's been so much fun.

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