Designing An Impactful Touchpoint Optimization Strategy

by Eric Matthews | Nov 19, 2017

Translating touchpoint optimization into tangible sales results is your objective, but how do you get there?

Developments in technology over the past years have changed the way healthcare professionals interact with companies. Experiences outside of healthcare are now driving expectations for pharma communication. This is leading to an explosion of touchpoints with healthcare professional, as companies try to live up to this new expectation. Today, every experience has the potential to change a customer’s attitude and behavior towards your brand. However, not all touchpoints are equal – some contribute lasting memories and are more impactful than others.

Looking internally, due to this unclear market situation, “multichannel” has been a buzzword in pharma for the last 10-plus years. Nonetheless, companies are still facing the same questions from their senior management, such as: "what channels to invest in?", "which touchpoint is the most effective?", and "what is the ROI?",  to name a few. Leading companies should periodically analyze their multichannel communication activities and manage their strategy and investments in order to maximize value and impact.

So where do we start? First, recognize that customers have a perception of your brand. This is built as a sum of all their experiences with your touchpoints. Some experiences may have been good, some bad, but all of them lead to how they see your brand today. It's up to you as a marketer to ensure that these touchpoints are optimized for your individual customers. Recognize that some of these touchpoints are better equipped for short-term price and product messages, while others are better for long-term brand building messages. Once you work out your touchpoint strategy, i.e. which messages will be delivered via which channel for what desired effect, it's time to measure if it's working!

We at Kantar Health are big believers in data. Therefore, we recommend that you collect both internal and external data to ensure that your touchpoint optimization strategy is impactful. Internal data can be gathered through your CRM system, sales force feedback, web analytics and proprietary dashboards  and should be consolidated into meaningful KPIs that can be periodically reviewed. However, direct customer feedback on their perception of your multichannel activities can often only be gathered by an external vendor. This will enable you to measure the impact of your activities, not only on owned and paid touchpoints, but also on earned touchpoints - for example, those recommended by colleagues, KOL endorsement and social media. It will also allow you to take into account your competitor activities, as you cannot evaluate the effectiveness of your activities in a vacuum.

It's critical to gather this customer feedback to understand the healthcare provider perception of your touchpoints, the quality and reach of your touchpoints, and the different level of impact of your touchpoints, whether they are short-term sales or long-term brand equity. This will allow you to understand which touchpoints have the greatest impact on how the customer perceives your brand, as well as optimize your investment by investing in the channels and messages that are best for your brand.

Ultimately, a touchpoint optimization strategy helps to build long-term brand loyalty, gives a greater chance of achieving earned touchpoints with healthcare providers, and results in more sustained brand profitability.

Please check out our latest Edge of Insight report on Touchpoint Optimization.

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