Defining the Journey to Digital Excellence

By Dennis van Rooij

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The pharmaceutical industry of 2020 resembles very little to what it did just twelve months ago. Employees now work from home, sales teams are unable to visit HCPs in person, and marketing and digital teams are now pushed to develop more multichannel campaigns faster and better than ever. The impact of COVID and subsequent events of this year have accelerated the growing shift towards digital technologies and interactions. So, with all this in mind, will 2021 finally be the year of “Digital by Default” in the pharma industry?

The increased use of remote working has no doubt hindered the way in which organizations pursue their ongoing digital initiatives. Primarily by exposing certain process oversights, such as a lack of effective remote working technologies. Previously any oversight in this regard would have easily been overlooked and a discussion had over a cup of coffee in the company’s cafeteria. However, today these types of oversights represent serious roadblocks in the pursuit of a successful digital transformation. If untreated, these oversights could negatively affect your business by driving inefficiencies in digital throughput and decreasing the overall customer experience.

Digital transformation needs to be a continual process that requires agility, measurement and continuous improvement in order to stay up to date and, crucially, to stay ahead of competitors. It is now, therefore, more crucial than ever to understand and diagnose the digital strengths and weaknesses of your pharmaceutical organization. A comprehensive digital maturity assessment will help to highlight and rectify any gaps in both technical capability and employee competence.

Here are five steps pharma companies need to follow now in order to pinpoint how to improve their digital capabilities.

  1. To paint a complete picture of digital competence and fully diagnose your strengths and weaknesses, you must examine all customer-facing tactics (website, remote interactions etc.) as well as back-end capabilities (CRM, customer engagement analytics, content management, etc.).
  2. For each capability, assess what drives and holds back employees to achieve digital excellence.
  3. As digital transformation is a path of continual improvement, the assessment should be annual or bi-annual in nature to reflect any internal and external changes.
  4. To find best practices across the organization, you must be prepared to target as wide an employee audience as possible.
  5. You must look outside your world to your competitors in order to benchmark your digital performance relative to peers.

By following these five points, you will be able to make better decisions on where to direct investments in capabilities, where to adjust the overall customer engagement model/framework of the company, and where to double down on learning development initiatives.

DT Consulting specializes in advising on digital excellence, digital transformation and customer experience exclusively for pharmaceutical companies. Our upcoming flagship report on the state of digital excellence (DEMA) across the top global pharmaceutical companies will provide valuable insights on digital maturity, budgets, and changing industry dynamics as a result of Covid-19, and how ready big pharma really is to undergo digital transformation.

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