Today, successful pharma outreach requires a customer-first mindset. This includes personalizing both content and channels, sending content at the right time and in the right channel to match customers’ levels of interest, adapting to physician reactions and humanizing AI sales and marketing suggestions for the rep so they understand why a suggested next best action is made. According to ZS research, personalization has resulted in a 20% increase in open rates for both marketing and rep-triggered emails and up to a 30% uplift in impactable sales.


Today’s precision-based model means that drug companies are creating more drugs that smaller populations of patients can use. The challenge for pharma in this landscape is to remain customer-first in sales and marketing while also updating physicians on new drug launches. Panelists joined ZS principal Saby Mitra’s panel presentation at the 2019 North America Veeva Commercial & Medical Summit to address this challenge through two major themes:

  1. Using artificial intelligence to enhance your existing tools: Often, enhancing the customer experience means complementing data with tools you already have. For example, integrating rep details and multichannel engagements for the physician can amplify the impact of your existing marketing tools to ultimately drive the ideal physician experience.

    In pharma, the lines between strategic marketing, tactical planning and execution are blurring, so brand marketers and brand managers must use data to make customer journeys more dynamic. Commercial orchestration is the key to personalizing content and channels, sending content at the right time to match customers’ level of interest, adapting to customer reactions and giving the sales rep context for recommendations made by AI. Using sales and marketing together to create an omnichannel experience will help you enhance existing tools. Change management—educating leadership to get executive buy-in and helping leadership as well as customer-facing teams to understand your goals so you’re truly improving the customer experience—also is crucial.

    Successfully implementing AI is about more than just data. It requires a vision and a journey with a clear end point, which includes humanizing and synthesizing data to uncover the changes in physician interactions that a rep might not be able to see, and explaining why the data is important and useful.
  2. Intelligent customer engagement: Educating physicians about new products and approved indications is important, because when pharma misses the mark on this, they ultimately miss the mark with patients. The best way for pharma to correct this is by making physician engagements frictionless: reaching them through the channels and with the type of content that they prefer.

    Additionally, a multichannel engagement plan that takes sales reps’ previous engagements into consideration and connects data in the right way, with the right partnerships in place, will put you in a good position to remove redundancies, deliver more impactful marketing content and shift from manual customer journey design documents to a more machine learning-driven approach.

As the medical industry’s priorities evolve, AI can help pharma remain customer-first in sales and marketing while also updating physicians on drug launches, and provide better customer engagement overall.