Pharma Industry is now moving past the phase of AI infatuation to AI implementation. AI is already disrupting the way many healthcare industry sales and marketing teams are approaching their go-to-market strategies, enhancing their experience-based decisions with data-driven insights.
The key stakeholders for pharma sales and marketing are Pharmacies, HCP, Patients. Smart application of AI by the sales and marketing teams would augment and impact interaction with each of these stakeholders.
AI & Pharmacies:
Every pharmacy caters to unique customer demographics. Pharmaceutical firms must account for these differences to deliver the best sales results, considering the sales drivers, sales potential, and opportunities for upselling across demographics.
AI can churn the details of pharmacy sales activities, sociodemographic information, location etc. From this, sales potential of the pharmacies can be determined and based on sales potential of the pharmacies, efforts can be customized based on categories of interest (e.g. price sensitivity or responsiveness to promotional activities, etc.).
The AI & machine learning solution can also go further & gather additional information beyond sales potential. With these insights, the sales & marketing teams can target individual pharmacies with custom market strategies and allocate resources to maximize returns. This could provide competitive advantage to the sales & marketing teams that would ensure better sales results.
AI & HCPs
Hyper-personalization: AI can help in deep understanding of profiles, behaviours, attitudes, potential of the HCPs which would guide marketeers in segmentation, targeting, precise & customized marketing. AI would help marketeers to evolve from marketing with personalization to hyper personalization/hyper customization. With AI, marketeers would also more succinctly be able to target specific physicians based on geography, patients, and prescribing behaviour, personal behaviour /interest /attitude.
Optimize multichannel marketing (MCM):Personal promotional activities that most pharma firms engage in are rep visits, conferences, meetings, and webinars, & the non-personal promotional channels are mostly email and other digital media. However, increase in the number of promotional channels coupled with increased competition has made it difficult to measure the impact of marketing efforts on sales results, and to predict which channels will have the best outcome.
By AI analysis, the impact of multi-channel promotional investments, the response rates from past campaigns can be studied. So, Sales & Marketing teams can focus on the right healthcare professional (HCP), segmenting them into the right channel at the right time. AI can also help run brand diagnostics to help marketing teams understand brand history, & carve the brand journey ahead. Many drugs have multiple indications and are distributed through multiple channels.
Going beyond traditional methods, AI & machine learning-powered analytics can paint a clearer picture of how multi-indication products are used. Teams can track product performance by indication, specialty, region and source of business to inform their future marketing efforts. For Sales teams AI could help in CRM systems, pre-call planning, guided selling, e-detailing, that translates into competitive advantage and better sales results. Over time these automated solutions deliver extended value by continuously monitoring trends and optimizing results as new data is generated.
This could overall help firms to deliver better business results with fewer resources and in less time
AI & Patients
AI manifests across the health ecosystem to benefit patients & can be a true companion in the patient journey
Awareness & Recognition:
Search Marketing: Highly personalized ad targeting via programmatic media bidding
Search Optimization: Automatically tailored messaging based on patient’s historical / predicted behavior Search Experience: Voice search + chat interface
Google Duplex enabled appointment scheduling to seamlessly align critical health visits with a busy schedu
Presentation & Diagnosis
—Better testing protocols and analysis (MRI, CT scan, melanoma)
—AI-powered chat interfaces
Switching & Adherence
1. Forum bots connect patients with relevant treatment threads
2. AI based reminders for medicine purchase & intake
The way forward
Pharma firms are yet to take up AI for sales and marketing on a full-fledged scale. The market is robust with AI-based disruptions and it is only a matter of time when this technology changes the algorithm and momentum of pharma marketing. By actively engaging AI, the life sciences industry can not only derive more insightful information from data but also draw previously unavailable perspectives from it.
Aspects like drug candidate identification, older product repurposing, clinical trials recruitment and customer education can be performed in a more efficient and structured manner using AI. While it can improve commercialization strategies, it can also provide smarter ways to ensure patient adherence and influence better decision making.
Technology such as conversational AI is going to be the next big thing in the pharma industry that will bring in many disruptions including natural language processing and robot-based process automation. Even though many fear that AI will completely replace humans driving us to jobless extremes, it is to be clearly understood that it is only here to make our lives easier. We need to look at AI but as a tool that allows us to perform our tasks more effectively.
Sumita Mohapatro Pani
Senior General Manager, Lupin Ltd
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