Feb 14 Partner Forum

With physicians and patients engaging in more cross-platform behavior, marketers must be multi-screen to reach them. Yet only one-third of pharma sites are mobile-optimized. Can we catch up with our customers?

Larry Mickelberg
Chief digital officer, partner, Havas Health

Companies and brands are beginning to focus on the customer experience to ensure the delivery of marketing strategy.  The industry, however, needs to also start thinking in terms of “service design.”

Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and other components of an offering to improve quality of the interaction between company and customer. This process aims to understand the needs, motivations, and behavior of customers, drawing from cutting-edge approaches in fields such as ethnography and even journalism to radically change the game.

Brands who service customers across their needs deliver value beyond the product. We design these experiences to transcend channels, and ensure customers are serviced at each touch point along the way.

AJ Triano
Vice president, connected health, Palio+Ignite

I don’t think we have a choice. The very products and services we buy to conduct marketing will change as vendors adapt to stay relevant with consumers. Even the FDA is forced to evolve faster as technology convergence brings the jurisdiction of other governing bodies, such as the FCC and FTC, into overlapping space with the FDA.

But, I am optimistic. Healthcare marketing has evolved faster in the last few years than any other time. To truly move forward, we need to tackle two big things:

• Design content that transforms from screen to screen to stay relevant.
• Embrace customer curation. Customers liberate content every day. How do we keep metacontent, such as ISI, viewable regardless of how it is curated?

Joe Meadows
President, Think Patients

When one-third of our sites aren’t accessible on devices commonly used by our ­customers, that makes them irrelevant. And that’s just bad marketing. Our level of regulation is too great for us to use some technologies, but failing to optimize for mobile? That’s just not acceptable.

Life-science marketing isn’t the place to learn the ropes because, contrary to popular belief, it takes more creativity to do it well.  Great marketers know that and focus first on the basics­—like making their message available so that it can engage customers.

Mobile is an example of that, and there are other healthcare-specific platforms coming into use that will be a similar test, such as EMRs.  Great marketers will take the lead there, as well.

Stephanie Murrin
Chief creative officer, HealthEd

I think we will see a dramatic increase in the percentage of pharma sites that are mobile-optimized. Over the past two years, we’ve seen an explosion in tablet usage by pharma’s core audiences—HCPs and older consumers.  Pharma website utilization reports are showing us that more than a third of visits are coming from mobile devices—and the numbers continue to climb.  We’ve also been able to track which content mobile users are most interested in—which helps inform our mobile site designs.  Armed with this data, it’s been easier to assign resources in the brand plan for “mobifying” sites, and secure additional time from regulatory teams.

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