Across Health Multichannel Barometer 2014...first glimpse

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Dear colleague,

Digital will have a major impact on healthcare, driven by empowered patients/caregivers, real-time clinical trials, the rise of the EHR & PHR 2.0, mhealth and big data, tight patient-physician connectivity and sophisticated payor programmes to name but a few key trends…but healthcare and pharma have traditionally been moving slowly to reach that potential…hence our metaphor of “the long fuse”.

The Across Health Multichannel Barometer aims to track progress of pharma towards this new digital ecosystem. The full results of the 2014 survey will be out in early June, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into some key trends already. Let me warn you upfront: it is not a rosy picture throughout...

In 2013, we saw satisfaction, knowledge and spend levels in multichannel plateauing at a low level, and suggested that pharma was entering the trough of disillusionment following the hype phase (Gartner terminology). This hypothesis is corroborated by this year’s results...overall, satisfaction levels are down vs 2013, and the importance of ROI evidence and internal skills is rising. In addition, there is a clear mismatch between the adoption of tactics and their perceived impact, with most high-impact channels enjoying only low to medium adoption (the only notable exception being tablet detailing, which scores high on both dimensions).

Most strikingly, perhaps, is that digital spend levels are plateauing too vs last year, from 16 to 15.6% of marketing spend...while other industries are already over 20% and intend to up that by 10% or more in 2014...the gap is widening.

But fortunately, the way forward from this catch-22 is well known. Setting up the right organization (companywide multichannel strategy, processes & technology, governance...), focusing on the right set of multichannel tactics, integrating them and rolling them out at scale and measuring for performance are key steps to move beyond the current state. And fortunately, again, we are seeing an increasing focus on such strategic efforts – maybe 2015 will be the first year for pharma’s early majority to reach the “plateau of productivity” ... and 2014 the last year in the trough of disillusionment?

Best regards,

Fonny Schenck
CEO Across Health


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