by Tina Wilson, VP, Client Partner – Global Health and Life Sciences, Astound Commerce
2020 was an unprecedented year. We continue to grapple with a global pandemic and its effect on the economy, alongside political unrest in multiple countries and governmental decisions that will have monumental implications for countries across the globe. The overall health and financial wellbeing of smaller communities and entire nations are at the forefront of every newscast, radio programme, and advertisement. These issues permeate all aspects of life and are being discussed in virtual boardrooms, at digital conferences, in blogs, and around the table at family meals.
The health and life sciences (HLS) community have not only recognized the forced and rapid evolution of patient-centric programs and technology, but also the imperative to rapidly evolve their corporate strategies and patient/provider programs. Digital roadmaps to enable healthcare providers, ensure governmental compliance and empower patients with more consumable, personalized information have accelerated at least three to five years in the last 11 months.
The pharmaceutical industry as a whole is working closely with colleagues and industry technology partners around the world to collaborate on these changes and learn from leaders regarding initiatives deployed in other organizations and governments. Conferences and roundtable discussions across the United States and the United Kingdom, including the recent virtual MedTech Integrates event and Meet the Boss series, have featured structured conversations and virtual discussions with industry leaders designed to remove previous competitive barriers and create an environment of camaraderie and stewardship where views, opinions, and ideas are presented openly.
Countless other conferences, like Future Pharma and DigiPharma, have adapted their entire meeting platforms to accommodate and encourage this level of partnership and communication among organizations. Key takeaways and learnings have accelerated sales team growth, marketing and sales team collaboration, patient-centric programs, and compliant digital solutions for healthcare providers and patients in need.
At the heart of it all is the understanding that organizations have traditionally relied on an ivory tower mentality wherein leaders, board members, and private equity firms set strategic imperatives they believe will drive revenue while complying with governmental regulations. These imperatives are pushed to marketing teams with direction to develop impactful campaigns for consumers and marketing materials utilized by sales teams in healthcare provider interactions.
A significant challenge for organizations over the last year has been the inability for sales teams to enter healthcare provider offices. Traditional sales models have failed due to COVID-19 closures and continued social restrictions. Sales teams composed of individuals who have traditionally relied on face-to-face interactions and in-office visits with staff have struggled with adequate technological training and the ability to utilize compliant digital platforms to initiate, build, or continue to grow relationships. Healthcare providers need support and education regarding communication and engagement options, and traditional marketing journeys are inadequate at best.
The health and life sciences industry has awakened to the absolute imperative to adopt new avenues of compliant evolution in order to maintain supportive relationships with healthcare providers, comply with governmental regulations that are also evolving, and reach patients at critical milestones. The underlying infrastructure for this evolution in the industry is undeniably digital commerce.
While the HLS industry as a whole has historically shunned even the concept of commerce, given their initial association with retail, the industry is quickly realizing that patients are consumers too—and they expect their healthcare experiences to mirror their digital interactions in other areas. Compliant commerce ecosystems are enabling HLS organizations to garner brand awareness, ensure brand valuation, and solve complex technical infrastructure challenges.
Digital commerce companies with trusted, compliant results in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are highly sought after for their ability to develop impactful and timely roadmaps, create compelling stories that engage healthcare providers and patients, and develop insightful, proven journeys that reach target audiences with compliant messages that resonate in the current state of world affairs.
Leaders must completely reimagine their digital strategies and begin to look at their individual and collective organizations from the outside in. Long gone are the days where strategies can be developed from the top down and trickled through traditional channels to sales teams, healthcare providers, and patients. Inclusive campaigns that resonate personally with each group are critical.
Finally, collaboration with governmental bodies is essential. Our industry must adopt the mentality of tackling obstacles together and overcoming challenges through compliant and kind collaboration. Together, we can enable, encourage and empower each other, our healthcare community, and ultimately the patients we serve.
Astound Commerce has partnered with some of the world’s largest health and pharmaceutical companies to create compliant, groundbreaking solutions. We have deep industry expertise and consistently proven results in the health and life sciences industry. We can help you develop the strategy to navigate the complex consumerism journey and build a commerce ecosystem that protects your company and your information while providing lasting, positive results.
About Tina Wilson
Tina Wilson leads Astound’s global Health and Life Sciences division, with responsibility for the company’s ongoing global expansion efforts.
Before joining Astound in May 2018, Tina spent more than 18 years in healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceuticals. She has worked closely with patients and companies to design and implement innovative and compliant technologies, create cultures of continuous improvement, and positively impact patients’ lives.
About Astound Commerce
As the world’s most trusted independent digital commerce specialist, we empower success through expertly created experience-driven ecosystems that fuse ever-evolving technology, data, design, and storytelling to build meaningful and lasting relationships.