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PART I: Stepping into Digital Relationships

Session: Footprints in the digital space. From following to leading our health customers


Key Session Takeaways
• Understand and address human expectations in order to offer the best possible customer experience
• Examine the application of digital tools, technology, and data that reveal the human customer journey
• See how meaningful innovation is changing the experience today and the trends for the near future

Supporting a major eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2018 theme – how pharma companies can deliver on the digital and customer experience – this session focused on building meaningful customer relationships in an experience economy, which essentially means engaging individual customers in a way that turns the sale of a product or service into a memorable event. Drilling deeper, the discussion’s second half turned to specific applications of digital tools, technology, and data that can enhance the customer journey toward a memorable event.

Marcy Q. Samet, Global Chief Marketing Officer, MRM//McCann

Marcy Q. Samet, Global Chief Marketing Officer, MRM//McCann, opened the presentation by explaining how customer expectations, based on achieving a memorable event, play into a digital experience. Step one, she stressed, begns with a clear understanding of what digital means. “When we say ‘digital’, too often people say ‘ipad, email, or portals.’ That’s not digital,” Samet stressed. That, she added, is a rigid set of channels used for digital marketing. The digital experience, however, is about meeting customer expectations, making promises, fulfilling them, and ultimately building longterm relationships.

“The world has shifted from product obsessed to relationship obsessed. Think about a delivery you get in the mail. There are these little moments of intimacy that happen. Is the package on the front step? Did it arrive on time? Was everything packaged correctly?”

“The product is almost irrelevant. It’s everything around the product that’s important. Yet in pharma, we think about product delivery as the most important part of a patient or physician’s journey with a brand. Of course the product is vital, but there’s a lot happening around that product that influences how and what customers think about the brand.”

Samet explained how important it is for the pharma industry to translate customer expectations into promises met.

As pharma companies embrace the experience economy, it will become increasingly easier to identify customer expectations – and thus the promises that need to be made. Keep those promises, and a pharma company can make a significant footprint in the digital space, Samet said.

Driving home the importance of building relationships, Samet pointed to a Harvard study that’s been in progress for nearly 80 years. The longitudinal study, which began tracking the health of 268 Harvard sophomores in 1938 during the Great Depression, sought to find clues as to what leads human beings to a healthy and happy life. Now complete, study researchers announced that “close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives.”

“Relationships matter,” Samet concluded. “So let’s think about the humanity, with the patient and physician at the center, when we do our marketing.”

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