James: What are some of the challenges of multichannel marketing? What difficulties are you seeing?
Monique: It's figuring out the technology (“the pipes”) as well as the touch points. Both of those axes are challenges at the moment. You're getting more and more of each. We're seeing this year a lot more awareness about the universe of the patient journey, and what are the different touch points. So, very simply said, am I going to Target to get my script refilled? Then, am I speaking to a diabetes educator who's in the aisle or am I tuned to TV or do I have an iPhone—and am I using apps or search? Then am I still a heavy TV user or not, and what do I watch? We've had clients say to us, “We want to be on someone's shoulder and see what happens to them.” You've got so many more options at every point now that it's exploded. It's so hard to figure out did they turn left or right? What's the tendency? And to segment people in a meaningful way. Are they über-seekers where they're always on the ball and they want to know? Or are they more passive and listen to what the doctor says? And then maybe your health insurance is going to say to you: “Too bad, this is what we're going to pay for. It's great that you did three hours of research, but we can't help you.” So we're trying to figure it all out.
Debra: That's exactly the point. The patient walks in and asks for something, the physician prescribes it, the pharmacist goes to fill it but then the payer basically says, “We're not covering that.”
Monique: Exactly. What's determining the outcome? But then coming back to channels, I don't think it's about how many channels you can be on, it's which channels your audience likes. So for physicians, for instance, we're finding quirky things like certain segments want to text the rep or push click-to-call to be called. They may want live video but they really don't want the webinars and the e-mail marketing. You need to build your story and not every channel needs to have the same content. But just figuring out what's their style of wanting to communicate, even that is a challenge.
Karl: I think it's also about how deep you want to go, because that's when you get to micromarketing. So you start out with segmentation-based. You think you understand a group of customers and how they act and think. I think you have to have all the channels on and then you see how they engage and which they prefer. If you're not employing a channel in which your audience is seeking information, you're missing opportunities. Each of your customers is not going to have the same mix. There are physicians that like to go to speaker programs. They don't go to conferences. They go to your website often. They have limited access to reps. When you start out with segmentation about how a customer looks, multichannel marketing is also an ongoing process of validation. Is the segmentation right? Are they behaving in a way that we expect of them? And sometimes they will move segments. You had them classified one way, then you move them to a different segment.
James: So you're recalibrating and refining as you collect more and more data?
Janie: Yes, but sometimes that's very hard. When putting your plan together you may have all these grand ideas but you get all caught up in how to measure that. I mean, I can barely get through the data that I already get. Who's going to analyze this for me? How am I going to make decisions? If you don't have those resources at your disposal to measure what you should be measuring, sometimes that could keep you from venturing out. Tweaking is critical because you go out there with your best assumptions and if something doesn't work, you need to be able to tweak it right away.
Next page: Knowing when to pull the trigger