“Second coming of digital” comes with big risks

Newsletter: Come Across


Dear colleague,

I was delighted to see the digital spend level of pharma grow by 20% this year (as seen in our Maturometer data), and senior-level commitment is firmly up as well. This is the first budget change for 5 years. Nevertheless, satisfaction remains very low: just over 10% are (very) satisfied with their ongoing digital initiatives(as low as in 2010)...

“Second coming of digital” comes with big risks

So while I welcome the increased spend, I am also a bit worried that these renewed efforts may not yield any more impact than in the past... leading to even more frustration (and possibly even abandonment). For change to be meaningful, more needs to happen than just upping spend levels. Key weaknesses documented by our Maturometer include (limited) staff skills, (uncertain) channel mix optimization, and (an absence of) channel affinity and impact measurement. We also see and hear that the “burning platform” and a strategy beyond “we need to do more digital” is usually missing: this means that the major/exclusive focus on the multichannel rep will only lead to relatively small incremental gains, but with a large opportunity cost.

Excellerator skill development platform

One of the areas that should be addressed is training. If people do not know what good looks like, 20% more budget may well be spent on more of the same isolated tactics and “shiny object” agencies - whom have never delivered before. Our blended Excellerator skill development offering, though, does address this key condition for success. We’ve sold more than 1500 copies of our book in less than 12 months, trained more than 1500 people in our workshops in the last 18, and are building highly customised interactive elearning programme (3+ clients YTD) and “playbooks” (10+ modules) at a rate of knots. And in Q3, we will launch a multichannel simulation game. For more info, please contact us.  

Join the Healthcare Disruption Tour 3 (29 Jan – 2 Feb 2018)

At the same time, the fast-evolving space of health tech seems to escape most people’s attention. “Healthcare disruption” came in dead last in the list of top-10 priorities for the 2017-2019 period. This industry is growing fast and companies like Google, Apple and Facebook are investing in startups; in pharma, the segments of diabetes and respiratory are also rapidly being digitized, with several visionary pharmacos committing significant budgets and even developing in-house capabilities.

In this context, we are pleased to announce our third Healthcare Disruption Tour to the heart of disruption, Silicon Valley, and Boston. During this immersive 1-week experience, you will visit leading startups, “big tech” (Google), venture capitalists, thought leaders, innovative incumbents,...and learn from your peers. The 2 previous Tours had an NPS of over 60. If you want to find out what’s happening in this space and how your company can benefit, please sign up. Seats are limited to 20 delegates!

Navigator 3.0 is taking omnichannel customer engagement beyond channel mix

Our Navigator offering has been very successful; in the past 5 years we have surveyed over 15K HCPs in key countries and TAs. This has helped, and continues to help, customers to move beyond their gut feeling when defining their channel mix. To reach the next level of engagement, though, more is of course needed: content, format, future expectations, ... And so this is what we added to the 3.0 – next to a robust competitor benchmark of the ten most important 10 pharma channels.

By the way, we have also recently released our first Payer Navigator. If you want to learn more, please contact us

Eating our own dog food

We always recommend customers to use NPS as a qualitative predictor of customer impact; so, we decided to do the same and ran our first Across NPS survey, which yielded a reassuringly high score (46). We also added the NPS question to the Navigator 3.0, btw, where in the first release (GP Belgium), the “top” company scored...0 (all others ranged from somewhat to very negative). Of particular interest was that prescribing intent correlated very nicely with these scores (QED)...

I hope this was some good summer food for thought, and wish you a great continuation of the season - hope to see you in what should be a very busy Q4 for all of us!

Bye for now,


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