January 4, 2022

Overwhelmed by Omnichannel? We’ve Got Your Back

Colorful illustration of omnichannel marketing including tablet, phone, laptop and megaphone

It’s always been a challenge for marketers to cut through the noise to get their messages across. In the face of skepticism and time constraints on ever-busier and more digitally savvy audiences, what pharma marketers say needs to matter to the recipient; it must be succinct, seamless, and timely. And of course, we have to find the right paths to engagement. In a March 2021 article for Think With Google, Eli Lilly chief consumer officer Jennifer Oleksiw noted that by using a personalized approach, the company’s ROI increased between 12% and 35%, depending on the marketing channel. Omnichannel marketing offers the options marketers need to understand their audiences – for our purposes, let’s imagine patients – and create the personalized messaging they expect.

By using a personalized, omnichannel approach, Eli Lilly’s ROI increased between 12% and 35%.

OK, What’s Omnichannel Again?
Omnichannel strategies put your audience at the center of your brand’s ecosystem and support them at every touchpoint and interaction. Unlike multichannel marketing, which follows a linear path, with omnichannel, no two individuals will have the same experience with your brand, because each person’s needs and behavior affect what comes next. Think “choose your own adventure” novels, where the reader makes choices throughout the story that affect the story’s outcome. An omnichannel strategy ensures that no matter which channel the consumer chooses, or which stage of the journey they may be on, the message will be seamless and the interactions effortless. 

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel graphic

Put Experience First
Understanding audience needs and pain points is critical when it comes to providing the best experience – and experience is what omnichannel is about. So, start with the type of experience you want for your customer, then look for ways to create the most compelling content to meet their needs. By gathering information from multiple platforms, e.g., from mobile health apps to call centers, to information requested from HCPs in patient portals, to lexical analysis of social media interactions, pharma marketers can create a unified view of the patients they serve and then provide experiences tailored to each patient.

Create Meaningful Micro-Moments
Micro-moments are the critical touchpoints that drive behavior. In pharma, these micro-moments might sound like, “What do these symptoms mean?” “Should I contact my doctor?” “What should I ask my doctor?” and/or “How do I save money on my meds?” Consider streamlining the micro-moment development process with modular content, i.e., pre-approved content blocks (also known as ‘modules’) that can be easily recombined into a variety of polished assets to create compliant, omnichannel content at scale. Components of these modules include things like graphics, images, claims, and copy that can stand at the ready to be mixed and matched, thereby simplifying and shortening the content creation and approval process.

Didn’t Work? Do It Differently  
One of the best things about “digital” is that it’s ephemeral … you have the chance to learn what works and fine-tune what doesn’t – by factoring this information into ongoing content plans, brand teams can optimize strategies and implement new tactics that build off of the best-performing campaigns. For those who’ve seen the Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day, yes, it’s like that. At first, it might seem daunting to continuously tailor a brand’s content and “behavior,” but learning and adapting means getting it right more often than not.

The saying, “be where your customers are” is more important now than ever. To succeed, healthcare brands must meet this new reality head-on and create memorable, positive omnichannel experiences that enable audiences to connect with brands, wherever, whenever. When it comes to helping patients access the treatment they need, the work feels worthwhile.