I think it’s time to update the catchphrase “Keeping up with the Joneses.” In this age of digital technology and transformation, it truly is all about keeping up — not with the Joneses, but with the Jetsons. While industries outside of pharmaceuticals can race to the next layer of digital customer-centricity, our industry has to be a bit more cautious. So within our industry, who IS keeping up with the Jetsons and who is more comfortable hanging back with the Flintstones?
A recent study revealed a significant range in digital competency among several large pharmaceutical companies. While most companies scored highly for digital compliance and provision of digital products, they scored far lower in their capacity to best use the data their devices or products have collected. Why is it that some digital competencies are more easily mastered than others?
I have some thoughts on this…
The 3 C's: Comfort, Core & Compliance
For the past few years of the digital age, departments such as marketing and IT have worked to establish a core competency foundation within technology. As with everything else in the world of pharma, compliance is king and companies took to the mandate with the gravitas of paying one’s taxes. Compliance was a given. Companies who achieved goals within compliance likely grew comfortable with their mastery level.
"Data These Days"
At the risk of making myself sound old, data is much richer than it used to be. Consumers are no longer simply segmented by zip code, but also by attitudes and motivators. There is a discipline to deciphering this new type of data that requires a skill set in both human behavior and technology user experience. Traditional marketers may be overwhelmed by not only the sheer volume of data available, but also how to best interpret its meaning.
It Takes a Cybervillage
Digital marketers, traditional marketers and IT staff alike have to align to move beyond the aforementioned comfort zone. There are messages to be personalized, automated and supported through multiple channels. This takes a village.
When it comes down to keeping up with the Jetsons, where does your company sit on the spectrum? Are you still eating brontosaurus burgers with Barney or have you made a date with Elroy to empower both your sales force and your consumers? I will be exploring the variety of ways brand teams are embracing (or not) digital trends in blog posts to come.
Shari Short is the Director of Research and Strategic Content at ARK Media and a huge fan of Hanna-Barbera cartoons