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Our research studies on digital transformation, digital excellence, and customer experience in the pharmaceutical industry can give you unique insights, benchmarking data, and hands-on advice today. Uncover how your firm’s digital excellence maturity is affecting the customer experience of patients, physicians, and payers around the world.

February 2021

By Francesca Properzi with Sudip Sinha and Tim van Tongeren

Digital technologies help clinical development organizations address challenges with recruitment costs, patient enrollment, study design, protocol compliance, safety reporting, and participant trial completion. To successfully deliver superior experiences to clinical trial participants, firms must capitalize on opportunities to build and upgrade their digital capabilities. Clinical trial teams should turn their attention to the two broad categories of on-stage and back-end digital capabilities. On-stage capabilities such as virtual communication channels, eConsent, and adherence tools help clinical trial teams create in-trial touchpoints to help patients successfully complete their trial journey. Behind-the-scenes capabilities such as CRM systems, real-world databases, analytical models, and compliance tools are invisible to participants but essential to digital trial platform success.

February 2021

By Francesca Properzi with Carlos Capella and Tim van Tongeren

Randomized clinical trials that evaluate the efficacy and safety of new medicines are a crucial step in pharmaceutical R&D. The traditional clinical trial process, where patients are recruited by and treated and monitored in consolidated research centers, is time-consuming, costly, and poses considerable challenges to participants. Digital technology can transform and accelerate drug development by improving patient experiences and lowering costs. The DT Clinical Trial Digital Tracker Survey is a new methodology to assess the current state of digital adoption by clinical trial sites globally. Results from our inaugural survey indicate that many clinical trial sites are still reluctant to integrate digital technologies into their process and that cost, complexity, and finding the right technologies are the main barriers to digital adoption.

November 2020

By Michael Cook, Tim van Tongeren, and Hannah Price

Patients seeking and receiving care depend on a complex system of health providers—an environment in which pharmaceutical companies play an important role. When seeking care, patients gravitate to experiences that other patients rated well; when receiving care, they prefer experiences that consistently meet or exceed their expectations. To understand how well pharma firms deliver experiences when directly interacting with patients, DT Consulting teamed up with Carenity, a leading digital patient platform, to field an online survey to 763 patients in the US and Europe. While our respondents paint a bleak picture of their direct interactions with pharma firms, their responses clearly show where companies can improve their patient experience efforts.

Most pharmaceutical firms are not making an impact with their customer experience

Most pharmaceutical firms are not making an impact with their customer experience

April 2019

By Tim van Tongeren with Carlos Capella

The concept of providing a positive customer experience (CX) by meeting or exceeding customer expectations is neither new nor exclusive to the pharmaceutical industry. Yet new research indicates that many life sciences companies aren’t fully leveraging CX to differentiate themselves in the market and gain the trust of key audiences—especially physicians. Firms that work to align their offerings with their audience’s channel and content preferences will be better positioned to deliver the kind of relevant, valuable content that increases brand affinity and loyalty over the long term.

October 2018

By Tim van Tongeren, Dennis van Rooij and Carlos Capella

Digital teams inside large pharmaceutical firms are reporting progress in setting themselves up to make an impact and prepare the organization to execute its digital transformation. Budgets are up, ambition is strong, and the focus for digital is shifting from building digital capabilities to partnering with business teams to achieve their commercial objectives through digital. Teams must align all of the success factors to increase digital maturity—but our research, involving twenty-four VPs and heads of digital, indicates that no company is there yet.

Fast-forward to 2019, and global content execution is the real focus

Physicians have different preferences regarding contact frequency

July, 2018

By Tim van Tongeren and Carlos Capella

Senior digital leaders at pharma firms rank customer experience (CX) as their organizations’ most important capability. However, CX maturity in the industry remains low—jeopardizing the investments firms have made in CX. Recognizing this disconnect, one pharma firm’s global head of digital wanted to undertake a practical assessment of how brand teams’ management of key customer initiatives relates to how customers feel about the assets those teams produce.

March, 2018

By Tim van Tongeren with Dennis van Rooij and Carlos Capella

Each year, the pharmaceutical industry spends more than a billion dollars building multichannel capabilities and creating digital campaigns for healthcare providers (HCPs). But what’s the real outcome of all of these efforts from the customer’s perspective? We asked more than two thousand HCPs across Europe to review their most recent interactions with pharmaceutical companies. The picture our survey paints of customer experiences across content and channel execution is not a pretty one.

September, 2017

By Tim van Tongeren and Carlos Capella

Fueled by digital innovation, industry forces are reshaping pharma’s customer base. As payers and providers move to value-based care and patients demand more control and choice, pharmaceutical firms need a new approach to meeting their needs. While rethinking the business using a customer experience (CX) mindset will give pharma companies the direction they need, only three companies received a Customer Experience Quotient (CXQ®) that shows they’ve mastered this approach. The others need to step up their CX transformation effort by expanding the role of design in their organization.

May, 2017

By Peter Reeves with Tim van Tongeren and Dennis van Rooij

Marketers at large pharmaceutical companies can’t determine if their brand plans fulfill their digital potential with customers, as most disregard the basic planning exercises needed to produce a comprehensive digital brand plan. This negligence has several causes, including confusion about compliance requirements, available resources, and strategic intent. While digital and marketing leaders have an arsenal of tactics they can deploy to change marketers’ behavior, they must ultimately take responsibility for simplifying digital marketing. Making digital marketing execution less complex will motivate marketers to improve their brand plans, eventually contributing to the creation of better customer experiences.

April, 2017

By Tim van Tongeren with Dennis van Rooij and Peter Reeves

Digital is changing key elements of pharmaceutical firms’ business models: customers, channels, partners, and competitors. Building digital capabilities to protect the business can therefore no longer be a tactical response that plays out in pilot programs; rather, it must be a fundamental driver of a company’s overall strategy. However, our research into the progress toward digital transformation in the past year indicates that the former is happening. Pharma firms still lack a mature capability stack, have made little recent progress, and have poor control over the drivers of transformation success. To move away from the status quo, firms must take a disciplined approach to monitoring digital capabilities—users, maturity, challenges, and opportunities. Successful firms will compare digital capability performance across the organization, identify areas for improvement, and create a culture of continuously increasing maturity.

February, 2017

By Dennis van Rooij with Tim van Tongeren and Peter Reeves

Digital factories—central, shared organizations that coordinate and deliver digital platforms and related services for the wider company—are here to stay. But are large pharmaceutical firms getting the most out of them? And how do you set the team up for success? Digital executives at global pharmaceutical firms need to calibrate six success factors to achieve the promised benefits of digital factories: a competitive time to market, reduced cost, and world-class digital capability.

September, 2016

By Peter Reeves with Tim van Tongeren and Dennis van Rooij

Marketing managers at large pharmaceutical companies are currently unable to determine how well-received their digital initiatives are by their intended target audience—their customers. To improve their online brand experience, marketing managers face two main challenges: they lack a systematic approach to measurement and fail to make full use of the measurement tools available to them. Marketers eager to outperform the competition must use the right measurement tools, for the right purposes, to fully understand and improve their customer experience.

July, 2016

By Tim van Tongeren and Dennis van Rooij

Digital factories—central, shared organizations that coordinate and deliver digital platforms and related services for the wider company—are here to stay. But are large pharmaceutical firms getting the most out of them? And how do you set the team up for success? Digital executives at global pharmaceutical firms need to calibrate six success factors to achieve the promised benefits of digital factories: a competitive time to market, reduced cost, and world-class digital capability.

May, 2016

By Tim van Tongeren and Dennis van Rooij

Senior digital leaders at large pharmaceutical companies believe that digital innovation and new technologies will present their R&D departments with large value-creation opportunities. Done right, digital-infused R&D can add millions to a pharma firm’s annual revenues. Digital experts see the biggest opportunity for digital technology in the context of gathering clinical evidence, thereby increasing drug values and protecting the firm’s competitive position. However, not all organizations are ready to reap the benefits of digital-infused R&D; many report that they need to make structural changes to their operating model before they will be able to unlock any value.

July 10, 2015

By Dennis van Rooij and Tim van Tongeren

A new wave of technology innovation is pushing the boundaries of digital excellence in the pharmaceutical industry. But as the technology advances, firms become ever more ambitious —and the net effect is that the goal of mastering digital excellence across the organization only seems to get further and further away. To accelerate their progress toward digital excellence, firms need to recognize that they must manage the journey with great discipline, focusing on increasing the entire company’s knowledge of and sense of urgency about digital.

April 2, 2015

By Tim van Tongeren and Dennis van Rooij

Pharmaceutical firms must adopt and consistently execute practices that lead to digital excellence and give them a competitive edge. Which of these firms are accelerating away from the rest of the marketplace? We found that only two—Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb—are doing reasonably well and achieving excellence and maturity in their digital capability. Firms taking a disciplined approach to digital transformation achieved higher maturity in digital capability than their less-disciplined peers. To reach the next level of maturity, firms should invest in foundational digital capabilities, develop locally relevant plans, and bridge the gaps between marketing, digital, and IT.

December 17, 2014

By Dennis van Rooij, with Tim van Tongeren

More than half of pharma marketers don’t or can’t leverage in-house capabilities to produce digital campaign materials and instead turn to external agencies. The digital agency landscape is crowded with specialist firms, large full-service organizations, and traditional consultancies moving into the creative space, making it difficult for marketing managers to identify which of the many players are the true pros. To find a good agency, pharma marketers rely on their colleagues, mainly in procurement. Once they have assembled a short list, marketers make their final selection by looking for the agency that best understands their business needs and exhibits creativity and strategic thinking. These characteristics matter more than an agency’s reputation, previous collaboration, or client references.

July 24, 2014

By Tim van Tongeren, with Dennis van Rooij

Commercial leaders of large pharmaceutical companies have steep expectations of their firm’s digital transformation programs. Not only do they want to fully embedded digital marketing capabilities, they also want digital to effectively support sales and launch centres of excellence – a high bar indeed. So do commercial leaders think that digital teams are meeting expectations? And what do they think digital’s main challenges are? We surveyed six commercial leaders and found that their overall satisfaction with digital is tenuous at best. These leaders believe that they are obstacles to achieving their desired outcomes; they recognize that their firms need to increase their knowledge of digital and change the mindset of marketing and medical teams.

May 22, 2014

By Dennis van Rooij, with Tim van Tongeren

In order for pharmaceutical firms to achieve digital excellence, the entire organisation needs to understand and support the company’s digital strategy. DT Associates surveyed thirty-two digital leaders at the top global pharmaceutical companies to find out how well aligned they think each department is with their company’s overall digital ambitions. We found that digital leaders get the most support from their brand teams, whereas field sales teams are the least likely to be on board. Digital leaders in the life sciences must understand that digital transformation is a company-wide organisational challenge.

May 22, 2014

By Tim van Tongeren, with Dennis van Rooij

We asked thirty-two digital leaders at large pharmaceutical firms about the challenges they face in achieving digital excellence in their companies. Surprisingly, the biggest challenges are not related to creating digital capabilities, but rather to the complexities of shifting company culture and plotting a clear course toward the digital vision. Faced with this daunting task, digital leaders should map any tensions related to their firm’s structure, culture, or processes as part of the change management process and then select individual activities that directly tackle the most pressing issues. Their best bet is to tell the digital vision as a story and convince the organisation that digital success requires chang

February 28, 2014

By Dennis van Rooij, with Tim van Tongeren

To determine digital excellence maturity inside the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, DT Associates surveyed digital leaders and used our Digital Excellence Maturity Model to rank these companies on thirty-two different criteria. The leaders, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and Merck, demonstrate the strong change management skills required to drive digital excellence. In contrast, the laggards, AZ and Roche, suffer from a lack of a sharp vision to guide and govern the various digital programs and capabilities. To accelerate their digital transformation, firms should adopt an approach that advances all of the different facets of digital excellence toward maturity at an equal pace.

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