The expanding data landscape will help shape the future of omnichannel marketing and has impacted how pharmaceutical marketers reach and target healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. Now more than ever, companies are leaning into omnichannel to attract and reach changing demographics. Being able to leverage expanded data sets like geotagging, email, websites, and new areas like wearables will be key to understanding more behaviors, attitudes, and values, and in turn will provide better insights and personalization to omnichannel strategies.
The definition of omnichannel has evolved over time. Just a few years ago, what used to be referred to as omnichannel was in fact multichannel—where marketers use a variety of channels to send messaging in a siloed way. Instead, omnichannel is about coordinating and synchronizing interactions across channels and devices in a seamless manner to advance the customer journey in a way that makes sense and with more meaning to the recipient.
More capabilities focused on data collection will help grow an omnichannel arsenal. It used to be a foreign concept to have the ability to gather data on when an HCP received, opened, and interacted with an email or online. Now, with transformative technologies—think: the application of artificial intelligence (AI)—there is a plethora of personalized information out there. However, data needs to be integrated together the right way so that they supply the right narrative on what people are doing. An outcome of this can be messaging that is tailored to fit HCP preferences.
Evaluating and deconstructing data are a critical part of any omnichannel strategy. For example, expanded data—beyond demographics, purchase patterns, or browsing history—will help predict and drive the next best set of actions. However, the quickest way to “turn off” an audience is to bombard them with constant messaging that doesn’t consider their preferences or is perceived to be uncoordinated blanket messaging.
Focus on validating the data to ensure there is quality to all touchpoints. As data spread out into multiple ecosystems, the entire chain from service providers and manufacturers all the way down to HCPs and patients has turned into a battlefield of receiving and tracking the right information. Companies are highly focused on collecting data, but they also need to confirm they’re correct and trustworthy. One way to do that is by setting up relationships with trusted partners—ones that have put in a lot of rigor and controls to safeguard that they are collecting and distributing clean data. From there, mine, assess, and confirm them to see if they make sense.
As our thirst increases for more information on how people interact with omnichannel, the global rules and regulations around data use and privacy will need to be accounted for. For example, data restrictions in the UK are vastly different than in the United States—and US states are rolling out their own laws on consumer data privacy. Being in the realm of capturing, tracking, and applying user activity and preference will require the need to protect people’s information and privacy.
It will be a constant challenge to stay on top of the data landscape with an ever-expanding universe of user information being gathered by data sources and trusted partners while also staying true to data privacy rules. With a fully integrated data ecosystem, running the right analytics and ensuring a coordinated end user–focused experience will allow for the right messaging to go to the right audience.
Rommel Fernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org