Pharma digital engagement analysis in the post pandemic world – A study by drcom

For any clarifications, please kindly email us at /

*Disclaimer: This analysis was developed using a voluntary drcom survey (n=32) in conjunction with drcom’s expertise & analysis. The recommendations should be taken as directional purposes only.

Introduction – Analysis providing directional insights & recommendations

Today, we are in a post-pandemic reset of how life science companies approach customer engagement. Historically, pre-pandemic Face-to-Face (F2F) was the standard, with some digital or online efforts, but during the pandemic digital was the main or only option.

Now, post-pandemic HCPs comfort with digital tools are at a high. New engagement models, both hybrid and digital-only pose unique challenges, varying by specialist, therapy area, market and stage of digital transformation. However, HCPs, like anyone, are customers and consumers – they know a good experience from a poor one.

Deployment of key messages in sequence, using the right channel to deliver the message, becomes more significant because, unlike F2F engagements, digital leaves a footprint.

We are all bought into the idea of omnichannel marketing and measuring the digital channel preferences for customer engagements but bringing it to life can have its own challenges. Many life science companies are stuck with how to improve the marketing experience for their customers.

This analysis was developed using a survey, drcom expertise and secondary research. We will examine the current pharma digital customer engagement trends during the post-pandemic period.

1) Break down the journey to omnichannel with measurable ‘wins’ along the way – Digital channel deployment

A combination of our respondents’ current digital channel deployment and their satisfaction with their digital engagement activities

Key Findings:

  • Everyone is at different stages of the omnichannel journey, with over 50% ‘stuck’ at the cross-channel or multi-channel stage.
  • However, regardless of the omnichannel journey stage, no respondent felt their customer engagement mix was excellent. Hence, pharmaceuticals are always looking
    to improve their customer engagements.

drcom Recommendations:

  • Review your ‘upstream’ marketing strategy, customer journey and actionable segmentation with the view to understanding potential opportunities and gaps.
  • Reaching an effective omnichannel deployment is a journey, to build it successfully consider your short-term goals that will deliver current success and your longer-term goals that will establish foundations and focus.

2) Activate your channels in a buildable sequence – Post pandemic performances

Our respondents’ top 3 best-performing methods for digital customer engagement

Key Findings:

  • Unsurprisingly, approved emails, remote detailing and webinars were the highest deployed channels, reminiscent of the pandemic period where this combination was the main or only option.
  • To their detriment, channels such as apps or websites, or even social media are often not maintained nor used to their full potential, therefore, they are not frequently considered a high-performance channel.
  • As the rise for on-demand snackable content increases, KOL videos and e-learning are likely
    to appear higher.

drcom Recommendations:

  • Review your current marketing mix, ensure they are meeting your goals and you are using them effectively.
  • Creating omnichannel is a crawl, walk, then run journey and activation of channels does not need to occur in one go, but rather activating channels in a buildable sequence.
  • Try and test, you can build up your omnichannel knowledge and through channels initially in a dedicated campaign, then scaling up after.

3) Action tracked data to improve your customer’s experience – Data obtainable

Types of data that our respondents’ were able to obtain for their digital customer engagement activities

Key Findings:

  • Approximately 90% of respondents track depth of engagement.
  • Net new contacts (NCCs) is surprisingly low, given that digital campaigns hinder on a strong CRM. For example, social media campaigns or consent campaigns have the opportunity to bring new contacts, that can then benefit from future campaigns.

drcom Recommendations:

  • Avoid gathering data for the sake of it but use tracked data to improve a customer’s experience. For example, was there a difference depth of engagement at certain points of the webinar or if you are doing a customer satisfaction survey, is it a ‘points’ exercise or are you acquiring actionable information?
  • For NCCs, create clear call-to-actions and provide value as to why your potential new customers should opt-in.
  • For any NCCs, consider building a dedicated triage of communication that ensure they can navigate resources easily.

4) Explore channel mixes to improve your customer’s experience – Types of improvements sought after

Types of improvements that our respondents’ were looking for their future digital customer campaigns

Key Findings:

  • Over 80% of pharmaceuticals are looking for better customer experiences and better engagements, which is unsurprising considering no respondent felt their customer engagement mix was excellent.
  • Continuous improvements are needed to keep your customers engaged.

drcom Recommendations:

  • Explore various channel mixes and deep dive into your data to see how to improve your customer journeys as well as segmentations. This will help your customers to get a better customer experience and better engagements for you.
  • Introducing new channels into your marketing mix will help you to be better innovative as well as to reach a wider audience.
  • While lower investments nor quicker execution on campaigns seem to be priorities, re-working existing content and extracting the most value across different channels can support these goals.

Our closing thoughts for you

  • Regardless of the omnichannel journey stage, no respondent felt their customer engagement mix was excellent. Hence, pharmaceuticals are always looking to improve their customer engagements.
  • Poorly performing channels should not be ignored as they may be still important in your marketing mix to fill gaps in your ecosystem.
  • Obtaining and leveraging data is essential to extract the most value out of your campaigns and to further improve future campaigns.

This study was made possible with 32 participants from 18 different life science companies globally. If you’d like to discuss further on how to enhance your HCP & Patient engagements, do drop us an email at /

for further contact.