Self-service capabilities to drive commercial and scientific engagement and support prescribing behavior


MM&M Live Webcast:
 

Self-service capabilities to drive commercial and scientific engagement and support prescribing behavior


There’s no lack of need for digital transformation, obviously accelerated by COVID-19 and continuing well into the next normal. Most challenging has been the reinvention of the life science go-to-market model. Adding a new channel here or there won’t fundamentally change access and engagement. In fact, we risk overwhelming channels like email and remote detailing. There is a bigger theme and opportunity around building always-on self-service capabilities that extend commercial engagement as well as bridge into medical support. This requires significant pivots in the “push” and “pull” mix, commercial and scientific support working together, and greater considerations for next best action. This is what our panel will tackle.

Panelists include:
- Lexi Kaplin, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer for conversationHEALTH
- Richard Marcil, Chief Customer Officer for conversationHEALTH

- Michelle Bridenbaker, Global Medical Information & Operations Expert
- Shwen Gwee, VP and Head of Global Digital Strategy for Bristol Myers Squibb


Speaker  

Hello everyone and welcome to the second installment in our series of MM+M post transform webcasts. This one on adding self service capabilities to drive commercial engagement and support prescriber behavior. It's sponsored by conversationHEALTH, which is a Toronto based startup that designs and develops conversational AI solutions for healthcare organizations, including pharma and biotech providers, payers, and pharmacy retailers. I'm your host, Marc Iskowitz, editor at large and I'll be with you for the next 60 minutes or so, as we seek to explore the topic of integrating always on kinds of technology, your AI powered virtual assistants, and other digital solutions into the pharma business model. To that end, we'll build on a discussion conversationHEALTH began last month MM+M transform conference. During their previous talk, it was observed that most pharma companies have not been able to effectively and frequently engage their HCPs during the pandemic. And at the same time, there's been an explosion in the volume of patients seeking online care and according to conversationHEALTH, more self service and self education types of resources. In fact, patients have come to expect more of these kinds of resources. integrating them into pharma’s promotional ecosystem is the tricky part, especially visa V, who has governance medical affairs, commercial Ops, or both, and the requisite changes to the old push and pull models and marketing. That's what we'll get into today. And we have a great panel. I'll introduce them now. First up, we have Lexie Kaplin. She's co founder and chief product officer at conversationHEALTH as an engineering grad who started her first company while in university, Lexi's well versed and has become an active thought leader in conversational AI. In fact, she has quickly established yourself as one of the go to sources in this industry on the topic. Welcome, Lexi.


Speaker

Thanks very much for having me.


Speaker  

Sure, of course. And next up we have Richard Marcil. He's chief customer officer and the managing partner at conversationHEALTH. Richard brings about two decades of experience building brands across sectors including health, consumer financials and technology and operational consulting roles in publicly and privately held companies, including j&j, where we serve in a number of executive and leadership roles. Welcome, Richard.


Speaker 

Well, thank you, it looks more interesting.


Speaker

Thank you do as well. And next up we have Michelle Bridenbaker. Michelle is a global medical information and operations specialist. She's a veteran director of medical information, medical apps and pharmacovigilance teams within the pharma devices and biotech industries. She is an alum of Biogen, Amgen, Pfizer and Lilly, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more seasoned medical information expert within the pharma industry than Michelle. Welcome Michelle. Hello,


Speaker 

thank you so much for having me.


Speaker  

Of course, thanks for being here. And our last guest needs no introduction. Shwen Gwee is VP and head of digital strategy for Bristol Myers Squibb. Shwen is a recognized pioneer in digital health and health innovation as well as a real well respected industry thought leader, who was named a top 40 healthcare transformer by mmm back in 2016. He also has been very involved in the health tech startup ecosystem in the last 10 years. He runs healthcare hackathons around the world as part of the MIT hacking medicine team. And he's been a go to Mmm, source and advisor for all things digital. Welcome, Shwen.


Speaker   

Thanks, Marc. It's great to be here.


Speaker  

Awesome. Thank you for joining us. And again, a warm welcome. For this stellar panel. We'll begin in a moment for some housekeeping items to keep in mind. We'll spend the next roughly 4041 minutes or so on the presentation, then leave plenty of time for questions. So please use the q&a function on the left side of your webcast dashboard to submit a question at any time during the broadcast, and we'll queue it up for our esteemed panel. So let's jump in here. So we can't properly set the stage without saying that a larger shift in pharma go to model is afoot to quote Richard, holy cow, our world has changed. And I think all would agree that COVID has forced Pharma’s digital revolution, but given all the changes, Richard, how about you give us a 20,000 foot assessment? What's the state of customer engagement from a macro level?


Speaker

That sounds good. I'm glad to be quoted, especially around the Holy cow. This is a good thing. I mean, the pandemic has placed the life science industry under extreme pressure, right, like testing it like never before. Lock downs have truly shocked the system and really exposed some of our go to markets and customer experience shortcomings and across commercial medical affairs or even r&d. So we've had to really evaluate and adapt our roles and responsibilities almost overnight, to a certain extent. Next normal started last March, as we go through 1234. Here, I think most importantly, is that COVID or the pandemic or its effect, it's certainly not going away. I think as of this week, we heard that Dr. Fauci things will begin normalizing and late q2, q3, which means in next six to nine months are still gonna be arduous, but also will Drive considerable change. Certainly, customer behavior has changed forever. Right? You, you read about it and mmm many times. You've seen that from IQVIA, Gemini, McKinsey and many more. And you've seen how physicians and providers have really changed their practices radically over the last six months. So one thing's for sure, is that next normal will be a step function different from the last five years, right? We were what used to be long term, multi year digital transformation plans for companies is now being executed in months, even weeks at a time. So there's a lot of good work to be done. making the transition to really digital commercial operations remains a work in progress for many, many pharma companies. But that's what we're going to talk about today. Before we head into it now, I thought we'd start maybe with a bit of a poll for the audience. We'd love to know your background a little bit. So that as we respond, and we provide commentary on some of the slides, some of the issues, we have a better sense of who you are. So if you can jump in and put in some click through Where are you from? What do you do? And we'll obviously adapt our content and our responses to just that.


Speaker  

And let's bring time there. Yeah,


Speaker 

yeah, let's do it. So it looks like we've got a fairly commercial audience. So that biases, that'll bias it a little bit. That's helpful. That's good. Okay, good. Good insight. Thank you. And let's jump directly into that.


Speaker  

Yeah, great. So now that we, you know that we have a good sense of the audience. And we know that most of them, it looks like come from the commercial area, that makes the rest of the presentation that much more relevant. So as most of you are sitting in your organization's commercial ops or other areas, you've seen firsthand how the commercial experience model is changing. So, right before the poll, Richard talked about how that model has changed. Let's take a step further and view that through the prism of a few different dimensions on the following slides. I like to draw on the expert expertise of Shwen and Michelle for this first big dimension here. As we all know, commercial versus medical affairs is one of those key vectors, if you will, in any BioPharm organization. I put it to you both who owns the customer relationship isn't the rep, the MSL or the organization? And can you help us understand that in the context of adding self service capabilities to drive commercial goals and prescriber behavior.


Speaker

Alright, thanks, Marc. It's Shwen. And I was going to suggest if Michelle would like to go first, please go ahead.


Speaker  

Sure, well, I think from my perspective, from coming from medical, I really, I really believe that we all have our parts of the customer's journey. And I think that if we thought quite organically, between our groups of really where we lie in their journey, and again, what type of customers There are so segmenting your customers as well, I think this is really ideal for us to be able to think like the customer. And I think as you're developing your capabilities and your strategy, that this is really critical. Because at the end of the day, even within medical, there's a lot of functions, you know, that are creating a lot of solutions, particularly now in this time, to be able to keep our businesses operating, keep engaged with our customers, but so to our counterparts in commercial. So my overarching feeling, really is that there needs to be a holistic strategy. And I know there's some companies that do that this much better than others. But I think going forward, especially, we really need to think like the customer, we have to understand that when they come in to us, they don't care what assets or whatever information you have, if it comes from commercial or medical, we want to be able to anticipate their needs. And I would argue, you know, there's some really great technologies like that, for example, from conversationHEALTH, that may allow these capabilities to think like the customer and let them sort of organically move through the myriad of offerings you might have. But with that said, that's my side Shwen, how do you feel? 


Speaker 

Yeah, thanks for So, you know, I totally agree with what you're saying, I think they're both two sides of the same coin. And whether it's medical affairs or commercial, the end customers is the same person. And it's really just the the industry and of where we are in, which are sort of artificially created those barriers by which they get information for legal and regulatory reasons most of the time, but essentially, you know, it's either the sales rep or the MSL or the medical information person that's sort of providing that kind of information that's needed to our customers who are the healthcare professionals in this case. And so there needs to be, especially in this world where we're going much more online and virtual where reps don't have a face to face. opportunity to actually engage with our customers. There needs to be some level of orchestration and alignment in the organization that allows us to understand and what information they're getting, where they're getting it from, and more importantly, give it to them at the time that they need it when they want it as well. And so I think exactly what Michelle said is this level of coordination and alignment that needs to happen across the organization so that we're not inundating our customers with too many things from too many places that are totally uncoordinated. There needs to be some level of coordination, and some level of on demand type services that are needed to provide that information as and when needed.


Speaker

Absolutely. Sounds like the need for governance, governance, to provide that coordination alignment across the organization. Thank you, Michelle, and Shwen, our next dimension, which Richard alluded to before is the push versus pull dimension. When we talked about when we talk about adding self service capabilities, we're adding a poll to the marketing mix, I believe. So I like to challenge the panel, specifically Lexi and Shwen to hold forth with your thoughts on what is pull? Why, where and how.


Speaker 

Great, thanks so much. So I don't I get started. First and foremost, it's not surprising that hcps have questions for us and for pharma throughout their digital day. But the likelihood that it's the exact moment that a sales rep is sitting in their office, or that they happen to get, say an email, about different capabilities at that moment. This is where we've seen certainly reinforced within the data that a pull interaction when an HCP is coming to us because they have a specific need or a question is multiple times more valuable than any engagement that stems from a potion or action. This is something where we're seeing when hcps are ending up on a self service channel like a conversational AI bot, if they're coming from SEO, or any kind of pull channel, the level of depth of engagement, the likelihood of them hitting to an intent that has a significant ROI for the pharmaceutical company is much higher than if say it were to be attached to a normal push tactic. So this is where we're really seeing that in this new era of digital. We're not only it's harder to be physically in the office, it's a wrap would have been in the past. It's becoming incrementally more valuable to have these poll channels available 24 seven, at the exact moment where your hcps need you. And in terms of where and how it's important to look at what are the channels in which you're getting engagement today, how can you most easily meet that HCP? At the moment, they have a question. shrine, your legs.


Speaker

Totally agree. And you know, it's funny, because I was looking at some slides that I presented back in I think 2006 on social media and pharma. And one of my first slide said, we need to go from push to pull. And we're still having that conversation today. So it's really interesting to see that but I think more than ever, in the environment that we're in now, where everybody is trying to push through the digital channel, because we have no other sort of means to get face to face with our customers, there's there becomes a lot of competition and noise that you have to get through in order to get the attention of the customer. So pull is even more important than ever now. And the benefits of pull are also that there's an intention attached to it until you can create more value because you're providing the solution for that intention. Whereas push, I think you really have to look at it in a different way. Now, not just getting in front of the customer is really understanding a lot more about the customer is really leveraging lots of data and insights and understanding the behavior of the customer, to be able to then push the right type of thing to them at the right time, versus when they needed most. That's when the pull opportunity is. So there's a place to play for each one of these. But I think the pull is where you're going to create the most value because they are looking for something there is an intention, there's a need to be solved, and therefore your solution is going to actually help create that value for them.


Speaker 

Yeah, absolutely. Say thank you, Lexi, and Shwen for that. And, you know, on to our next slide here, Richard, I have to hand it to that's a great shot of a self service checkout machine. And the question I wanted to ask you. And Michelle here is how does industry meet that customer need for faster, if not in real time? 24 seven, you know, respond to what the customer needs when they need a type of demand.


Speaker  

That's right. And it bridges nicely to certainly Shwen and unlike these conversation, discussion, the previous slide, right. I mean, it's almost 2021 and somehow still the major Your medium for life science product information exchange still comes in the form of a detail detail at the hands of a sales rep. Or a medical sales liaison for that matter in specialty market. I think as we as we go through the pandemic, I think companies must prepare for a much more fundamental change in customer engagement, specifically, enabling just what you see here self service, right in a way that many industries and many other industries have. there's little doubt that our customers whether they're physicians or patients wanting to engage the industry, but customers as Shwen said want to engage on their terms right at the time of their choice in the channel, their choice at their pace, right now. And frankly, 24, seven, just like, just like all of us as consumers of services. But cell service is also something that we've become accustomed to in every other facet of our lives, whether it's banking, telco shopping, groceries over the last three to six months, who would have thought, and that's also changed the digital behaviors of our physicians and patients. So I think our physicians have kind of flipped their model a little bit to thinking like all of us digital first and digital file. And frankly, that's not going to be different than how we need to engage them moving forward. The challenge for us, I think, as an industry is that the bar is high, right? We, we work and we operate in a highly constrained world where medical regulatory legal hurdles are very real. They're complex, and they vary by market. Certainly in our world, accuracy is non negotiable. This is healthcare, unless an agent or a resource is highly, highly accurate. physicians and patients just won't want to engage full stop. I think response rate has to be kind of how YouTube, whether it's on the web, or whether it's a virtual assistant, or even a call center IVR we expect it to be able to answer are fairly basic, anything that's basic for all that matters. And yes, it has to be smart and watchful of adverse events and product compliance. I think as exciting as we are almost in 2021, though, is that we do have access to technology that allows us to do that right license companies have started to certainly offer conversational self service portal, we've seen a few now really built for the needs of digital natives. And these portals allow HCP access to on label information off label content, patient services, and even trigger in person visits or remote ones. All in one location. Right? So it's kind of neat, you're seeing a model grow. It's almost an ask Pharma anything model, and pharma answers in real time very human like and very, very compelling. Michelle, from your perspective?


Speaker

Well, I think the reality of it is, you know, research after, you know, study after study that we do in our either professional organization with your market research, I know, medical, we see that, you know, the first place that people do go for information is Google, whether it's to find out how to contact a company, how to maybe report an adverse event, maybe how to even find their sales? Rep. You know, there's many different reasons that they go there first. So on some level, you know, I think we need to make sure that we're there in a clever way. And that we're able to ensure that first of all, people don't get bad information, because we know there's plenty of that. And you know, that either if it's a patient that walks away, you know, really not getting to information that they need to safely use a medication, or a clinician not being able to find something as quickly as he or she may need. You know, that's problematic. And I think, you know, when you look at developing this sort of self serve model, and this 24 seven mentality, I think, the COVID, you know, crisis, really, some recent examples came up, you know, in companies like Gilly and Pfizer where they actually had to really reassess the incoming channel and look at their customer types, they had to look at, you know, do we do we put some more into the, you know, different digital spaces as an all or nothing kind of approach? Or do we just focus on certain products to meet, for example, just the basic needs of customers coming in through traditional channels, or was it again, to help them engage and be able to, you know, support the clinical studies, they were upscaling quickly. So I think it's really about having a complimentary strategy. If you want to go into space, and really thinking about the need that exists for your customers and their willingness as well, you know, to really go into this space, but the reality of it is, some of it may also be to free up capacity in our own businesses as well, to make sure that we continuously give the optimal support through all of our channels, particularly if we have primary and secondary channels for our customers as well.


Speaker 

Certainly a need for a complimentary strategy indeed. So this sounds a good another good time for a poll. Richard, you want to get that one up? Again? The second poll asks, Where are you in your journey of building self service capabilities. So let's, so just you can use the, your screen, just let us know where you are on sort of the evolutionary journey there. And we'll give you a few moments to register your answers.


Speaker  

And this should be interesting. This will set up I think, a lot of our q&a.


Speaker   

Absolutely. And, you know, I was wondering this a couple of minutes ago, in terms of, you know, when you were saying that, you know, we've seen, or one of the speakers was saying, we've seen, you know, certain, you know, self service centers, cropping up around the industry, so it'd be good to see, you know, we're audiences, they're


Speaker  

very interesting. So the bulk looks like we started, we started, we're running pilots, and we're starting to scale some stuff, although there's also a lot of not started much yet. So okay, that'll that'll definitely buy some questions.


Speaker

Yeah, okay. So in the piloting stage, and and just beyond, so really kind of journeymen on that journey. You know, now that we know that, you know, speaking of push and pull tension points, this is perhaps one of the oldest, most or most traditional ones. I like to challenge the team on, you know, whether sales and marketing can work close, closer together for even better customer engagement. And I'll direct this to shine. And Richard, what do you both think about this question?

Speaker 

Sure, thank you want to go first? Sure, sure, I'll take a stab at this. You know, I think, you know, for a long time, the sales and marketing model, they've been, you know, in pharma, they've been reasonably close, right? I mean, marketing, helps to drive and influence what the sales model will look like and, and what the materials will look like, as well. But at the end of the day, the biggest difference was always one was doing face to face direct with the customer. And the other was more of a touch point away. But I think nowadays, in the virtual world that we're in where, you know, we were already going in the direction of having more and more access issues for getting face time with our customers, as well as time we could spend with some more and more we're being driven to a virtual world. However, I think what's going to be really important now is that the capability and the experience of the sales rep is going to have to change because they're going to have to think a lot more like the way marketers think in terms of really being able to understand data and orchestrate their engagement, leveraging the tools that are now being used for these kinds of engagements in the virtual world. So I think there can be in more and more, I think, to the point we read earlier, they're actually going to be more and more orchestrated, because all these engagements are coming through similar types of digital channels, there needs to be some level of coordination. So I think all of this is starting to come together. But they're the roles of changing slightly and evolving in terms of the skill set, and what they need to be able to understand and do and start to orchestrate. So I do think that these two are slowly starting to merge a little. And marketing, I think is going more in the service, service, customer service and service design kind of standpoint, and really starting to serve customer needs in that way. Very interesting. I mean, I'm going to build I'm going to build on where you're going. And I may twist it a little bit. I mean, certainly it used to be that the sales rep or the MSL really own the relationship. And we've seen over the last year particularly accelerated by the pandemic, the relationship has shifted, I think, to a certain extent to the company. Because this the company that engages with DHCP broadly, whether it's on the web with whether it's in person, whether it's through conversational agents, email and call centers, conferences, whatever. And of course, the HCP continues to have a strong relationship with her rap and her MSL. But I wonder if the opportunity is really thinking in terms of a company building a lifelong customer relationship, and frankly, increasingly a lifelong digital customer relationship at at its core. The other thing I'll build, I'll build on your point a little bit. One, two, I think the other piece that we've got to be careful is that certainly hcps don't care about our organizational structures, right? Whether they're sales marketing, or medinfo, made access and others nor should they I think the opportunity ahead is to engage as one company in one voice and when they need help hcps should be able to find what they want in the channel their choice in real time, right. I'm thinking, I think out loud a little bit. It feels like it's Henry thing. As a physician, I should be able to say, hey, Pfizer, hey, Merck. Hey, Bayer And hey, Biogen wherever. And both sales and marketing play a really important role in responding to that customer need. But like we discussed a little earlier, right? We both need to get better at responding to Paul, especially when it's out of cadence with our call cycles and our marketing plans. This is where I think technology like conversational AI is becoming so powerful. It almost fronts that initial engagement, before handing it back to sales and marketing. My thing I say is I, this is where I build on your point, when I think we as life science companies have not really pushed our CRM capabilities or really took advantage of them historically, I think because face to face was the most dominant mode of engagement, it was perceived as most impactful. But that's really changed dramatically, as we've seen in the last six to nine months. Competition now is more about being the smartest and the most helpful in engaging hcps. Again, in the channel their choice in real time, that means really exploiting the capabilities of data CRM, orchestration, but also developing new skills about that next best action, that next best response is we get a really, really smart poll. What's the contextual push on the back of that, and again, sales and marketing need to be able to do just that. So really, really, really good point.


Speaker  

Very thought provoking. Definitely. Lexi, before we get on to the next slide, and I think this will be a good segue to the next dimension here. We heard Richard used the term conversational agent, can you just define that term for the folks at home? And then, as I said, I think there'll be a nice segue to the next slide.


Speaker   

Absolutely. So conversational agents are really the evolution of chatbots that I think a lot of people have personal experience using, whether that's in your personal lives, or even through pilots, or various implementations that we've seen across pharma. What's interesting with conversational AI, is that ability to operate in both voice and text and truly understand what questions our healthcare professionals, our patients are asking of us by using the power of natural language processing and natural language understanding, through the millions of ways that say, a healthcare professional can ask for, what kind of patient materials are available, what kind of patient support is available, you're able to distill that into key intense, and be able to provide responses 24, seven, at that moment of need.


Speaker 

Great, thank you. And I think, you know, there really, is that sort of front face of the initial contact before handing it off to sales and marketing, and that can be very powerful. Let's just go on to the next dimension here, you know, our customers ready for digital? And, you know, virtual humans and real humans, are they getting along? Can they get along? You know, we talked about human centered design of bots, and that kind of thing here. I like to direct this again to to Lexi, and as well as Michelle, what has to be done for humans and digital to to coexist in this framework?


Speaker  

And they Michelle, would you like to get started? Yeah, and I'm happy to, um, I really believe that the biggest thing is, we have to first of all, again, it's got to be customer focus. And I do believe that they can all coexist. And I even believe, as I mentioned earlier, a complimentary nature in which you create this customer strategy. And, you know, depending on your capabilities, you may have a strong human presence, whether it's your msos, or it's your Salesforce, or it's even your medical organization, or patient support teams, and nurses, there's a lot of different functions that are at play here that are on the human side. But the reality of it is, is that, you know, they all can work together as part of your strategy. But I really think that, again, it's gonna depend partially, on doing a lot of research and understanding your customer, I think it's not going to be a one size fits all approach. And I also think it depends on the geographies that you're having to represent as well, this can create, you know, literally capability issues, whether they have Wi Fi, or, you know, these kind of capabilities, or whether it's even just a preference of possible within the hospital or in the pharmacy. So there's a lot of different things that I think you can consider. But I think the reality of it is that you can create something that is, you know, really within the preferences of your customers, but also can act in a complimentary nature to allow, for example, a person to get into the right people within your organization, which people take that for granted is very simple, but in fact, it's not. So they can come through, you know, these kind of conversational AI sort of bots or tools and get to the right person more quickly. And I think these are things that we often Don't think about it. And even when they're in the, say, the chat in the conversation, you know, just to be able to start capturing ahead of time, some of the, you know, conversation that's occurred already Prime's up for the person that might be a human, for example, in a context center, would be able to pick that up seamlessly, and already have a bit of an understanding of kind of what the customer is going through. So I think that they're not mutually exclusive. I think the world is ready for this. I've seen great examples. A lot of companies are implementing this well. But I do think it really has careful consideration for strategy. and a willingness to take that chance and not worry about the fact that the humans will somehow get cut out, they're part of the picture. But it's just got to be well executed. I completely agree with you that Michelle, and I completely agree with what you just said. And what I would add to it is, this is where I get really excited by the possibilities of the technology. Because you're completely right, it's technology is not a replacement for humans, it's completely complimentary. But right now, our humans are wasting a lot of time on requests that can and should be automated. And to that point, sometimes an HCP will actually prefer that self service channel, because it's always on, it's always available. Going back to the importance of pull, and being able to have a meet hcps. At that moment of need. We've certainly seen 40% of the engagements we're getting through our bots from HCP. They're happening when a human is not available outside of operating hours or when the queue is too long. And so what I think is really powerful is positioning the technology in a way that can help automate a lot of those highly frequent questions that are more often than not of low value and then escalate those priority intents to the right person more quickly, as you said, this is where I'll say some of the most frequent questions we get across our bots are simple ones that can be answered in the product monograph, around say, counter indications and HCP, verifying the latest information before that moment of prescribing. The Magic occurs when you can actually use that technology to understand every question that an HCP has around your product. And then if it comes to a question that it recognizes, but your company's decided that it should be better managed by a human, whether it's a scientific question around, say, an off label, query that you'd like to escalate to a medical science liaison, so you can have a scientific conversation, whether it's, say a more commercial conversation, you want to be able to escalate that to the sales rep. The technology can enable it, but it's important to understand what's that best user experience from the HCP standpoint as well. So, you know, really, to to summarize it, this is where you're able to create that policy that the the bot, the conversational agent acts as an extension of your human field force, and really be able to use it to compliment and be able to have your humans focus on those highly critical, intense


Speaker

person. It's really that how you program the algorithm






Speaker 

and the policies. Marc, could I add on one piece to that, winning versus digital? I just wanted to mention that I think some recent research actually came out, which kind of asked people, you know, how they would like, answers to their questions. And for simple, direct questions, they actually said, it doesn't matter how they get the questions answered, as long as they get the answer. But for complex questions, that's where they would prefer to actually engage with a human. So it also depends on the type of questions that you're addressing upfront.


Speaker  

Mm hmm. Great points when Thank you. Okay, and I just want to encourage people listening at home and their home office, rather, to please feel free to submit some questions for our esteemed panel here. Again, you can use the q&a function on the left side of your webcast dashboard for that, and we're now off to the next dimension here. But we're going to be breaking soon for a q&a. But this really gets to another one of the classic questions, you know, you hear the phrase or the saying often in management circles, culture beats strategy any day of the week. And we also have heard for so long pharma, slow, you know, fast followers, is the time to stop applying all those means to pharma. And, you know, no one asked, you know, Shwen and Michelle, to weigh on and weigh in on this. Why is this so important? You know, this part of this area of digital that we're talking about today, and, and why is it at the same time, so hard to implement?


Speaker  

Sure, Michelle, please go ahead.


Speaker  

Yeah, I think from my perspective, what I often see is that there's many players trying to create digital assets within every organization, and everyone has a great idea. And sometimes it's based on what they've found is the need of the customer. And sometimes it's, you know, they really want to create something because it's just really cool to do and I understand that too. gasm but I think the problem ends up being that you fragment the customer's experience in their journey. And they're overwhelmed, in fact, by, you know, so many offerings and apps and websites, and, you know, I've had the luxury in my experience of consolidating, even within a medical organization, you know, 10 websites that we had for every product and, you know, different different apps and things that we realized when we started following their usage actually dropped off quite precipitously as well. So I think, you know, what it came down to, when I looked at it holistically was that everybody was creating something. And, you know, they really wanted to do something that was great. And I think it comes back to the earlier kind of point on the human side sometimes is that we want to protect what we're doing in our entity, our teams, our resources. And that's just that's human nature, the way this kind of happens. But I think you really have to, you know, break down these silos, you have to within your own organization, meaning medical, but also amongst, again, as I mentioned earlier, with the commercial colleagues, because it just doesn't make sense any longer, to just help customers with all these different apps and channels, and, you know, different ways to try and get information. At the end of the day, they look at us as one company, in my opinion, we need to look at ourselves as one company in a lot of areas as well and get over this kind of protectionist behavior, when I'm not sure you have a much deeper experience on the other side that curious to hear your thoughts.


Speaker 

Now, you absolutely hit the nail on the head there, I think part of the challenge is that, you know, we tend to, it's so easy to actually, in, quote, do innovation these days, that I think people sometimes lose sight of why we're doing it. And part of that problem is that, you know, people just like to be drawn to interesting new novel, shiny objects, so to speak. And it's not because their intent was wrong, but because they're trying to solve the problem that they didn't know they had. They look more for the solution first. Whereas I think when you look at what innovation is really about, it's really starting with the problem. And I define it as really successfully implementing a creative solution to a traditional problem, right. And it's not just about the creative solution by itself, because that would be novelty, not actual innovation. And so I think that's part of the challenge is to be able to start with the problem first. And then also acknowledge the fact that the organization as a whole has a part to play in understanding where that solution actually fits in the customer journey, and who should engage with it, and how the data actually plays along the journey. So that there's a much more coordinated approach, the point we've been bringing up around orchestration, you know, all the different points in the journey where the data comes in, should all come together, because it gives you a much better insight as to how to address your customer needs. And therefore, you know, driving these silos and having independent activities actually prevents us from giving the optimal type of service that our customers need. It reminds me of the time when pharma went through the sort of proliferation of mobile apps everywhere, we had hundreds of apps in the app store that nobody used, because we were all trying to do our own thing in our own places. And we didn't always think about what does that look like? Why do we have seven apps for one company? across seven brands? You know, so we have to also think about what is it from the customer standpoint, to engage with us as a company? Yeah,


Speaker  

I remember those days when when it seemed like, you know, the days of the agnostic, the branding gnostic app, you know, we're, you know, hadn't been really heard of yet. And so every brand had had its app, and that wasn't necessarily serving the customer. Best. Moving on, and, to say the least. Moving on to the next slide here. We're getting closer again to our q&a. So and some great questions are coming in, please keep them coming. We heard that multi channel, which entails merely using, I believe, multiple marketing channels, and a campaign is giving way to omni channel which as I understand it refers to a higher order of marketing where you truly optimize channels in real time with data driven feedback loops, etc. Richard and Shwen, can you tell us what is the difference between those two?


Speaker  

Absolutely. And then that builds on the good old days or there was a time when, and there's still today some confusion around these two terms. Right. So Mark, you're absolutely right. The main difference is that multi channel really refers to a bit of a broadcasting concept, right, or pushing across multiple channels all at once. It's a bit of an agent approach, I think, and certainly one that's related more to media strategy versus pure customer experience. I think as we look at it 2021 I think he is omni channel engagement may use many of the same channel but these channels are connected, or even sequence, right? If I go back to the concept of one company or one voice, it's knowing that a customer is engaged in one channel, and the company responding and same or another channel, depending on the needs of that customer. I think this is all the more important though, as we enable self service, and customers expect real time engagement response, as we talked earlier, when we enable poll, we can also contextually Push Push pushes, but that push needs to be thoughtful and helpful, right? I think to me, an example would be physician asks about some some new off label content. While we actually may want and MSL to follow up live with that position, because this new leading or thought leadership, content or use of a product, or when a physician asks for just specific on label content, perhaps we follow up with her with an email or even in real time and through SMS for success for subsequent label updates. There's lots of stuff we can do. I think for lifetime companies or outside companies, I think as, as we think omni channel, we should be thinking about having multiple channels for customer engagement in push and pull, right, having conversational assets that are both human like rep for themselves, but also digital, right? We want to make it very simple, very human, like, we want the ability to understand the response to the user and the channel, their choice. And in real time. Good golly, we've been trying to do that for what a good two decades. And when used the word a couple of times that I think is really key as we start thinking of 21, which is really orchestrating our activities, right as again, on the back of an insightful poll, how do we orchestrate push in a really meaningful, helpful way? And ultimately, I think Michelle said it a couple of times to be laser laser focus on customer experience. I think if we do that, well, that's what leads to lifelong customer relationship. And ultimately, that's how we develop omni channel strategies. Shwen What do you think? 


Speaker

Yeah, thanks, Richard. Yeah, you pretty much explained it at all, I think. But I would say, you know, I've heard multiple definitions for both of these. And I've also heard these used interchangeably in the past. So for me, I think if you break it down to its simplest form, I think multi channel tends to be a strategy that encompasses multiple channels. But if individual channels each may be the same message across multiple channels, that each channel is managed individually, whereas I think the omni channel approach is much more as treating a set of channels together and orchestrating them to bring that term up again, in a way that there's a coordinated alignment of what, what gets pushed out at what time and how are they reacting to data that's coming back, and and who's engaging with it, and then using possibly another channel that's within that set, to be able to engage the customer again. So it's, is that coordination across multiple channels versus multiple channels? Doing a single job each? Yeah,