Digital transformation of pharma industry amid Covid-19 crisis

Companies spend 5 to 10% of marketing budget on webinars and trainings

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Photo - Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The pharmaceutical organizations thriving on age-old business models, need to embrace the world of digital marketing and leverage technology to their optimum advantage. Nearly 35% of the pharma companies’ operations need to be shifted digital, according to the survey conducted by C Com Digital marketing agency.

The study was carried out in collaboration with some of the leading decisionmakers and business consultants from across India to gauge the impact of Covid-19 on their organizations as well as the pharma industry. Most of the respondents that participated in the survey experienced complacency in the industry concerning heavy dependency on the out-of-date B2B model and hesitance to adopt changes due to Return on Investment (ROI) centricity prevailing for decades.

The survey mentioned that majority of the top management officials believed that Covid-19 has already brought about a strategic shift in the way pharma companies function and engage with physicians and other clients on a day to day basis. Teleconsultation and online consultation have seen a steady spike. Around 42% of patients are taking prescriptions by teleconsultation, and doctor visits had dropped by almost 5% from March to April 2020.

The biggest concern for most of these organizations remains to undertake measures for continued remote working facilities and minimizing direct engagement by establishing digital routes. C Com’s research highlights a heavy focus on digital engagement, with a majority of respondents seeking to invest in social media, video marketing, and online meeting set-ups to stay relevant and connected to the medical experts, customers, and other stakeholders. The study also observed that pharmaceutical companies are considering dedicating about 5 to 10% of their marketing budget towards creating webinars and online communications.

Moreover, the report identifies that many large-scale pharma companies are now looking to place their bet on online patient education and online training of field staff through the means of comprehensive soft skill modules and dedicated eLearning programs from a perspective of sustainable development goals. Many companies are already leveraging AI-driven models to gain a competitive advantage over others and to build engagement with their clients from newsletters.

“It’s time for pharma companies to respond positively to digitization; since it’s here to stay for a long while now. In general, when we are talking about the ‘new normal,’ we must understand that employees can work remotely with the utmost productivity. The key remains to prepare ourselves, as an organization, to adjust and adopt new changes quickly as per the changing environment. To tackle the pharma industry’s existing challenges, we must let the best options and capabilities walk up to the table,” said Chandan Bagwe, founder and managing director, C Com Digital.

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