Case Study: How a Pharma Company Increased Engagement, Sales and ROI Through Customer-Centric Marketing


Pete Mehr, Ph.D., Principal


So the client we were working with had made significant investments in marketing channels. Think of a whole host of marketing channels: email pushes, websites, banner ads, mobile messages, even offline promotion tactics from a marketing perspective.

They then empowered their sales force by rolling out iPads to the sales force team. What was happening was, none of this was connected. So from a physician perspective, they would have gotten an email or a mobile message, maybe two days before the sales rep shows up, and the sales rep's showing up with the same information. Customers were reacting negatively to that, and viewed it almost as a waste of time.

So the first concept and the first item that we did was [to] connect all of these things together. So we wanted to make sure that we took customer data that the sales reps had with customer data from the marketing side, integrate that, [and] get a holistic view of how this customer was engaging with the client, over time across all channels, marketing and sales.

That gave us insight into what this customer's interested in, how consistently they're [interested] in [messages], their preferences for specific channels. So now what we were doing is, sharing information across marketing and sales, so when a marketing promotion hit that physician's office with a specific message, instead of the sales rep delivering the same message a week later, they delivered a complementary message and built upon the conversation with the physician.

What were the business outcomes of ZS’s work with this client?

For our clients, we measure results along three dimensions. The first dimension is on customer engagement. It's not just engagement with the campaign, it's consistency of engagement over time. That's the key metric we're focused on.

The second metric is message recall. And this is important because even when customers are engaging with us, we want to make sure that they absorb the key points of the content that we're delivering.

So its consistency of engagement, coupled with message recall, message understanding—and when those two are in sync, then we start to see the third metric, which is increase in sales. And we saw increases in consistency of engagement, we saw increases in message recall, and we saw a significant increase in sales and promotion ROI.