Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Aging Population Presents New Pharma CRM Opportunities
Posted on November 15th 2011
Good news: We’ve living longer lives, and with a better quality of life.
Researchers expect the number of people who are 65 years of age or older to increase — as a proportion of the population — in the United States from 12.9% in 2009 to 19% by 2030, and in the United Kingdom from 15.9% in 2002 to 23.5% in 2030.
Of course, this is a potential gold mine for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device manufacturers, as the aging population creates greater demand for their products. They can also benefit from economies of scale: manufacturing more product makes it less expensive to produce, thus lowering product prices, which increases demand, thus leading to greater profits.
But selling in the pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device industries isn’t easy. Notably, companies have seen their marketing efforts get sharply curtailed, and face challenges to their data-collection practices. As a result, both established players and insurgent startups have been sharpening their CRM practices to better capitalize on every market opportunity.
Pharma, Biotech and Medical Device Manufacturers’ Market Challenges
Time-wise, getting a biologic or drug to market requires about eight years, according to research from Tufts University, although medical devices generally require much less time (perhaps just 18 months). But once a product reaches market, a life sciences company has to sell as much as it can, and grab as much market share as it can, in the allotted exclusivity window.
For new drugs and biologics, notably, manufacturers generally have only seven years’ exclusivity before their product will come under blistering competition from the generic market, which operates with razor-thin margins.
7 Years Or Bust? Hit The Ground Running
Accordingly, we see a lot of sales and marketing teams at pharma, biotech and medical device companies building processes from scratch, to be ready to hit the ground running when their product finally goes to market.
In general, Innoveer’s specialty isn’t working with big pharma, meaning the likes of Pfizer or Novartis, but rather smaller pharma, biotech, and medical device players. And principally, our customers in these industries are now focusing most on:
- Territory management: Ensure that you have the right sales reps covering the right areas, and not leaving any areas underserved. Because you have to do everything at once–kind of like running a presidential campaign–and any wasted opportunities mean lost revenue that won’t be recovered.
- Relationship management: Get in front of the doctors who may subscribe your products, in order to promote your product well, and as quickly as possible. Even the best drug in the world (or iPad-based sales presentation) won’t succeed without savvy relationship-building practices.
- Social CRM: The industry has long targeted key opinion leaders, meaning they pursue well-respected doctors with the hope that these physicians will not just like the product, but widely promote it to their colleagues. But with every company attempting to market their products in this manner, we’ve seen some leading-edge manufacturers now turning to B2B social selling to find new inroads.
Patient Service Operations Target Smaller Groups
Another industry trend we see is the growth in the number of drugs and devices being designed to address smaller groups of people with a specific disease or condition. For example, Cerezyme from Genzyme Biosurgery, an Innoveer customer, is literally a lifesaving drug for people with Gaucher’s disease.
Accordingly, many manufacturers of these more specialized medicines are creating not just customer contact centers, but patient service operations, and staffing them around the clock with a dedicated team that can handle emergencies, such as losing your supply of medicine while abroad. These centers also serve to stay in touch with patients, to help users navigate side effects, as well as to gather feedback that may be useful for refining the product.
Established Medical Device Players Refresh CRM
Another life sciences trend we see is in the medical device industry, where competition from startups is driving many established players to retool their existing marketing and sales practices. Established companies already have established products — oftentimes, very capital-intensive machinery that’s installed in hospitals — and reputations. They know how to sell, and have a good “install base” of customers. But they need to adapt their business practices to deal with new competitors entering their market.
Accordingly, we’ve been helping many established medical device manufacturers review their account management practices and sales processes, and review their overall CRM program — using our CRM Excellence Framework — to identify other opportunities for enhancing their sales capabilities. In addition, we’re seeing a lot of “technology refreshes” as companies discard the industry’s previous CRM software of choice, Siebel, and embrace cloud CRM and social selling. Because while the world’s aging population offers new market opportunities across the life sciences, winning those customers will require not standing still.
Want to create a CRM program that excels? Review our “top 10” marketing, sales and service steps to see how your current program compares to best practices and our benchmarks. Also understand how social CRM can help you to quickly reach more customers and key opinion leaders.