The total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally in 2010, at the dawn of the smartphone and social media era, was two zettabytes. So say the analysts at Statista. The total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally in 2020? 64.2 zettabytes. Projected for 2025? 181 zettabytes.

With data proliferating rapidly in the biopharma industry, commercial teams need to harness this data to accurately track prescription pull-through from sales and marketing activities and understand the return on their promotional investments.

The interplay of communication channels – websites, e-mail, video, podcast, social media, mass media, and, of course, interpersonal – is all the rage in consumer marketing today. Hundreds of millions of marketing dollars are being committed to these channels each year – and marketing spend is expected to grow by nearly 15 percent this year, according to Deloitte.

It’s already a cliché to say that COVID has transformed brand communications of any and every kind, and the communications between brands and HCPs at medical congresses are no exception. Healthcare Consultancy Group has been engaging with HCPs at virtual congresses for quite a while now – HCG recently celebrated 100 virtual congresses – and every one of them has been a learning experience, an exercise in building an understanding of what HCPs want, need, and expect in virtual environments. The most fundamental lesson HCG has learned along the way is that the shift from traditional brick and mortar congresses to virtual or hybrid congresses requires a great deal more than tweaking tactics or repurposing materials; anyone who wishes to engage with HCPs at a congress in the post-COVID era is going to have to completely rethink their entire strategy.

To understand how patients and HCPs make decisions, marketers must first understand cognitive bias.

What is modern marketing in pharma? Hold up. Before even asking that question, we need to answer another. What is a modern customer?

It is scientifically proven that teenagers are clumsy. The main reason teens are so awkward is that they are growing fast – for example, a 13-year-old’s legs can grow one centimeter a month! The brain must continuously recalibrate precise calculations about movements, and when it misfires, teens stumble. Similarly, COVID-19 caused a sudden growth spurt for Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in commercial life sciences. And like the newfound height and strength of a growing teenager, AI may feel all “arms and legs” for organizations anxious to leverage its great promises in a post-pandemic, digital-first world.

If organizations want to maintain a trustworthy image and connect with their customers, transparency in the pharmaceutical industry needs to become a higher priority. One way to address this situation is to highlight the commitment to ingredient traceability.

Patient communications are no longer fit for purpose, and  although Covid has brought this to the fore, the problems will continue for a long time after the vaccine roll-out if they are not resolved.

One small pharma company is meeting the challenge of COVID-19 by finding new ways to support the practices of its specialist physician customers.