Pharmaceuticals & Biotech

How global pharma organizations are overcoming barriers to scaling omnichannel

By Gayatri Buddha, Zainul Jafferji, and Kara Ang

April 23, 2024 | White Paper |


Many pharma organizations are maturing in how they talk about omnichannel: Most have seen the value of omnichannel and instead are now focused on how to roll it out and scale it. The pressure is on to show and realize impact, especially given the multimillion-dollar investments and huge global and regional digital transformation programs in play. A lot of the focus (and noise) has been centered on what to pilot, such as orchestration capabilities or content transformation. There is very little data comparing the experiences of how well different companies have been able to scale—and what barriers seem to emerge.

What we learned about omnichannel scaling in pharma

To answer these questions and learn from the experiences of industry leaders, ZS analyzed 13 global pharma clients (both inside and outside the U.S.) to understand and contrast the various aspects of omnichannel scaling. Specifically we wanted to know:

  • What omnichannel capabilities have pharma organizations successfully scaled and in what markets
  • What’s stopping pharma organizations from scaling to more markets, therapeutic areas and brands
  • What it will take for pharma to achieve wider omnichannel scaling

In the figure we see that, currently, scaling has focused on major markets and foundational capabilities. More advanced capabilities (such as content personalization and orchestration) and scaling beyond commercial capabilities are still in early phases. Key challenges include cross-functional funding, effective local capability transitions and operational challenges.

Our report provides insights on the state of omnichannel scaling, including top five takeaways from industry leaders. We also share insights on successful best practices from top global biopharma companies and offer eight factors to consider for scaling omnichannel. 

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