Multichannel Engagement USA

Nov 18, 2014 - Nov 19, 2014, Philadelphia

Integrate marketing, sales and IT to create a customer centric multi-channel marketing strategy

Deliver Relevant Content, or Fail to Engage

Healthcare professionals want content which is meaningful to them. If you're pushing out a singular brand message across all channels, then you risk failing to engage, and if you fail to engage, then why push your message at all?



We interviewed William J. Tunno Director, Global Patient Advocacy & Professional Relations, Boehringer Ingelheim, who shared his insights on why understanding your customer and building a personal experience is critical to building a multichannel strategy which works.

Tunno makes clear that there is no one size fits approach to building a successful multichannel strategy, and stresses the importance of adapting your content around your audience, not expecting them to adapt for you. He says, “It is very important to realise that physicians have different motivations during the day depending on what they are doing with the patient and where they are with the patient. They use different websites for multiple reasons. They go to very specific places based on their needs.”

While it is great to have an overall messaging for a brand strategy, you need to be able to personalise it.

In order to engage the physician, pharma need to understand where they are going and why. Having these two goals clear in your mind is crucial in order to be able customise the experience and make sure that you are delivering something which is actually relevant to the physician. 

Historically, pharma have been very bad at doing this. Tunno states that “what pharma have been trying to do is to push and push one specific message... while it is great to have an overall messaging for a brand strategy, you need to be able to personalise it.” It is crucial for pharma to understand that when physicians are going to specific sources, whether that is a manual, a newsletter or online forum, they are there for a specific reason. Tunno adds, “If you are able to understand that reason and match it with something they are looking for it is a better experience for the brand, for them and also for the specific site that they are on.”

Perhaps part of the reason that Tunno is so aware of how important it is to match up relevant content to desires of the online user comes from the time he spent at Medscape, something he himself alludes to. Tunno's role at Medscape was focused on understanding how physicians where using the site, and how they were engaging with content at different points. His team, which were responsible for creation the marketing messaging for pharma brands, developed the knowledge to be able to offer extremely sophisticated advice. They were able to profile the type of physician the brand wanted to target, understand what they in turn wanted from the brand and assist the brand teams in mapping out what they needed to do. Tunno observed that “personalising this approach made activity extremely high, it really changed how Medscape was engaging and physicians were very happy... they were getting meaningful content instead of just one message that pharma was wanting to deliver.

Overcome internal ignorance

Change can be difficult to accept, and a key obstacle Tunno came up against was the belief that this approach does not sell a consistent message, and therefore doesn’t maximise the brand. Tunno counters this train of thought with the following example “When a rep is in an office, depending on how the physician reacts, they can go down around 12 different paths before they end up at one message, one consistent message. This is exactly how they need to customise their message as brand marketers. They need to realise that the web isn't one way either, and that if you keep treating people the same way, they are not going to engage with your content. You need to treat physicians online in the same manner that they are being treated offline.”

How to pick valuable information

As a digital marketer Tunno has always sat down with the editorial team and actively involves them in the process. Tunno explains, “the editorial team understand their customer and they understand where they are going. You really need a partnership with wherever you're going to spend money and wherever you're going to engage.” Taking the time to put these relationships in place will pay off as it will give you insight into why your customer is there in the first place. If you understand this, and manage to provide the content that they are looking for, then you also get the opportunity to talk about something else. Tunno summarises “you're effectively paying off yourself. You get the chance to talk about your main objective”

You can try and sell a car at a candy store but you are not going to be successful, so you really need to take the time to understand where your customer is coming from.

Avoid mistakes

Tunno cites a critical mistake that companies are making as the failure to develop a proper strategy for multichannel marketing. Tunno comments that to his surprise “people are typically still developing one brand message for everything, simply because it’s easier.” Tunno iterates how important it is to take the time to speak to the editorial team and understand the audience you're dealing with wherever you are spending money, “you can try and sell a car at a candy store but you are not going to be successful, so you really need to take the time to understand where your customer is coming from”.

You need this knowledge so that you can tailor your message and personalise your content. If you don't have a developed enough strategy to do be able to do this, you miss an opportunity and you won't maximise your marketing investments. Surprisingly most people don't seem to take this basic step. Tunno observes “they talk to an account person and treat it like a media buy. But when you're engaging at digital marketing level, it is not a media buy you need to treat it like a strategic partnership.”

A second common error that Tunno draws attention to falls within measurement of performance. Tunno notes that “people tend to look at things very specifically... this is how our search performed and this is how our website is performing.” In contrast, Tunno shares that something he has been doing throughout his career is to “capture every touchpoint and look at it holistically from the standpoint of a brand.”

Tunno advises multichannel marketers to look at all interactions and try and figure out when a physician has been engaged and why that outcome was. This builds up a sophisticated picture of what the physician was doing online and why. Having this holistic understanding of what the physician was doing allowed them to go back and target them and offer information which is actually relevant to them, whether that is disease, product or brand information.


You can learn more about how to deliver a sophisticated multichannel marketing strategy at eyeforpharma multichannel engagement USA (18-19 November, Philadelphia), Join 30+ senior level speakers and network with an audience of over 150 attendees from Marketing, Operations, IT, Data Analytics and Sales to better understand the essences of multichannel marketing and make a positive impact on the industry paradigm shift.For more information visit the official website.


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Multichannel Engagement USA

Nov 18, 2014 - Nov 19, 2014, Philadelphia

Integrate marketing, sales and IT to create a customer centric multi-channel marketing strategy