Will 2018 be the year execution finally catches up to digital intent in life sciences?

Newsletter: Come Across


Dear colleague,

This year we have witnessed the rapidly arriving second wave of digital for pharma. Digital marketing budgets are up strongly (20% up from 2016), senior management support is at an all-time high and HCPs are becoming readier than ever to engage with pharma digitally (our brand new Navigator 3.0 continually points in this direction, across all key markets).

This isn’t really new, though. The business case has always been (very) strong for adding digital firmly into the resource allocation mix for HCPs and to leverage its transformational potential for reaching out to other stakeholders (payers, patients/carers, nurses, …). At the ecosystem level, the boundless creativity of agile startups and the genuine interest of the big technology companies (Apple, Amazon, Google, …) to carve out a piece of the enormous healthcare pie brings tactical and strategic partnership opportunities – and threats – for pharma.

With these points moving from hypothetical to genuine, the next roadblock to the full adoption of omnichannel is becoming clearer: it’s about execution. And that means it is about people.

Finding, retaining and training the right people to be able to bring to bear the full impact of digital is, or will be, the key bottleneck for most organisations. Our 2017 Maturometer validated this – lack of internal knowledge is the second biggest block for companies, with a lack of headcount also being more important than a lack of budget. And from conversations with clients, I often hear that it is becoming a real war over talent. 

This is not unique to pharma…a 2017 MIT SLOAN survey stated that on average a whopping 35% intend to leave in less than 1 year in companies that do not offer digital development opportunities – vs only 4% in companies with these... And interestingly, too, this leave intent is highest for… the salesforce (6x more likely to leave vs reps who do get trained). Looks that the gap between the haves and the have nots will only increase…and that also fieldforce is a key priority, too.

Across Health has several offerings in this space, ranging from our Omnichannel book (close to 2K copies sold!), engaging workshops (over 1000 staff trained in 2017), customized channel guides, bite-sized elearning modules…and a state-of-the art simulation game (Q1 2018). And for those interested in the real “Day After Tomorrow”, there is our 3rd Healthcare Disruption Tour (Jan 29-Feb 2, 2018); just a few seats left!

On the flip side, Across Health is preparing itself for “the second coming” of digital in pharma too, and has ambitious expansion plans for 2018 and beyond. We are actively looking for about 15 new staff in different markets and functions…if you know somebody who may be interested in joining a leading consultancy in the MCM space, please refer them to our website here.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas, and a fortuitous 2018!

All the best,


Across Health is hiring!

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