By Nick Bartolomeo, Digital Strategy, Media & Analytics, Fingerpaint


Nick Bartolomeo

There’s no doubt data personalization is a top-of-mind deliverable for pharmaceutical company leaders. However, the level of comfort that surrounds this subject varies greatly — not only between companies, but also within company teams. 

Most pharmaceutical companies are collecting a tremendous amount of data to analyze cross channel performance, but they are not harnessing it for one-to-one marketing. Here are 7 ways to jumpstart data personalization in your company.

Tip 1 Start with the end in mind

Ask yourself, How can I personalize my marketing to create a more holistic experience for my customers?For example, maybe you want to leverage your salesforce CRM data to personalize follow-up communications with event attendees. Or, you may want to personalize content based on whether users are nonprescribers versus prescribers. Think about how you can create a dream experience for your customer while still achieving your brand goals.

Tip 2 – Perform a data audit

Sit down with your commercial analytics team and objectively analyze the data you already have inhouse to decide if they can serve as the foundation to achieve your goals. If they can, great. If they can’t, then work with your team to decide what additional data you still need and how you are going to obtain them.

Tip 3 – Determine where to store your data

Now that you know what data you have and what you need, it’s time to determine where and how to store them. Based on the volume of datasets and sources, you can consider building a data warehouse of your own, use a 3rdparty to build it, or decide to skip this step and execute data personalization through your salesforce’s CRM and your marketing automation hub. While the latter is not ideal, it can still be effective in getting data personalization off the ground for your brand.

Tip 4 – Map your data

Depending upon the number of data sources, the process of mapping your data can get tricky. Start by designing a schema to gain alignment on how the data will flow from providertoprovider and system-tosystem. Then, develop a data dictionary that shows a comprehensive breakdown of every data field, format, and relationship used to access the database. Sometimes, file interface agreements need to be established if you are working with 3rd parties. These agreements help define the rules and guidelines of how the data will be transferred, at what frequency, etc.

Tip 5 – Consider your channel strategy

Data personalization is all about enhancing a brand experience so that your customers feel as though you are in tune with who they are and what they need. For pharma, it is about creating experiences for HCPs, consumers, and patients that feel connected. It is an omnichannel approach that delivers the most relevant content or offer, in the right channel, at the best time possible. This could be done by a rep or MSL, through a speaker program, or multiple non-personal tactics. Think about which data can support personalizing the channel and how they can work in concert with other channels.

Tip 6Map your content

This is probably the biggest challenge for organizations,because you need a collaborative group of creative and strategic thinkers that know your brand, understand the ecosystem, and can think of practical but effective use cases. The group should start by mapping the content by audience segment to find potential gaps in information needed to shift their mindset. You can also explore additional personalization methods, such as triggered communications, sequential messaging, and variable data. This map should always be evolving, because it’s better to have something in market to react to and optimize than it is to wait to get a robust plan deployed.

Tip 7 – Develop business rules

Whichever systems you have or choose to deploy will have an impact on your personalization capabilities. Do you have a salesforce CRM, a marketing automation hub, and/or an ad serving platform? These systems can all be integrated with your data warehouse or used together without it. This is the point where you want to go back to those use cases that you came up with and think about your “dream experience”. These should be built out in business rule documentation to translate the intended use cases into language for implementation. This documentation captures every aspect of the program, such as the target segment, tactical flow, cadence, data feeds, and more.

It may seem cumbersome, but depending upon resources, it is possible to get this achieved within 3 to 6 months. It is the reality of present-day marketing, so the earlier you lay the foundation and develop the blueprint, the better. If you don’t, it will be very difficult to take advantage of any new advancements in the future, such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.