Today’s guest post is from Kabir Shahani.Kabir is the CEO of Appature, Inc. a Seattle-based technology company that provides surprisingly simple cloud-based marketing solutions designed exclusively for healthcare companies. Appature Nexus allows healthcare marketers to quickly gain new customer insights and create programs to deepen brand relationships and drive greater sales growth.
by Kabir Shahani (@kabir)
First, a disclaimer: This is not another post about how pharma needs to find more ways to reach customers if you are reading this blog, you likely already know that. Physicians are increasingly busy, reps are facing more limited access, consumers are taking charge of their own health and going to the Web yadda, yadda, yadda. Rather, this post is about what all of that actually means, as well as what to do about it.
All the chatter during the past couple of years simply points to examples of what is really a tectonic shift: the fundamental business model of Pharma is changing. The way in which pharmaceutical and even device and diagnostic companies sell and market product is different than it was 10 years ago, or even one year ago, whether we admit it or not. Ive been on a quest to understand and address this for almost five years now, and its clear today more than ever that this change is happening faster than anyone expected. Its also having a bigger impact on both the top and bottom line than anyone imagined. I often equate the shift to be as significant the impact eCommerce first had on retail companies It completely changed the sales and marketing model, and when you think about it, the shift currently taking place in Pharma is really not that different.
In my role at Appature, Im lucky to spend time talking to everyone from leaders at digital agencies to presidents at major pharmaceutical organizations, and there are certainly some who are seeing this as a top priority and are willing to make whatever adjustments needed to grow their businesses given this fundamental change. The good news is this change is not all about monetary investment, but rather an investment in effort and an even bigger one in will-power.
Challenging the status quo has become a critical success factor to succeeding in this new economy. And by challenging the old standard, marketers are armed with a physician and consumer database, the right tools and ultimately empowered to run programs in an agile manner bringing brands tremendous success in this new environment where a “data-driven approach to marketing is becoming the new standard.
The difference between the winners and losers is going to come down to who is willing to admit this change is occurring, and who is forward-thinking enough to lead their organizations to quickly drive a data-driven marketing standard that serves as the backbone for the brand in this new environment.