di , 23/08/2023

The pharmaceutical industry is experiencing rapid transformations driven by technological advancements, changing customer expectations, and emerging market dynamics. In this dynamic landscape, commercial functions are facing new challenges and opportunities. To remain competitive and drive growth, companies’ representatives must adapt their skills and processes to effectively engage with customers, navigate regulatory complexities, leverage data-driven insights and start collaborating, taking advantage of AI powered tools.

What we have in front of us is another significant leap: ensuring that our people develop the right skillset to navigate this demanding new reality.

Embracing Technological Innovations

In this era of digitalization, the pharma industry is starting to embrace technological innovations: digital platforms powered by AI tools provide opportunities for targeted communication, personalized engagement and data-driven decision-making.

Sales representatives need to be equipped with strong digital literacy and social media skills to effectively reach and communicate with healthcare professionals.

Similarly, the marketing function must leverage advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to gain valuable insights into customer behavior, enabling companies to tailor their marketing strategies and optimize resource allocation.

The medical function can benefit from digital tools and platforms to streamline scientific communication, stay updated with medical literature, and collaborate with healthcare professionals in a more efficient manner.

Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement

As the landscape is shifting towards a more and more patient-driven approach, sales, marketing and medical roles must evolve to effectively engage with new stakeholders such as patients, caregivers, and patient advocacy groups.

Collaborative partnerships with these stakeholders foster trust, improve patient outcomes, and generate valuable feedback for continuous improvement.

The incorporation of patient’s voice and perspective, let pharma companies engage in a more affective way with HCPs and institutions, tailoring strategies and meeting the evolving needs of the healthcare ecosystem.

Navigating Regulatory Challenges

The pharmaceutical industry operates within a highly regulated environment: it is required to comply with evolving guidelines and regulations related to GDPR, evolving media and new product categories whose specific regulatory framework is not clear yet (cfr. DTx).

This is especially true when we consider the new market of Digital Health and Digital Therapeutics: in such a complex arena where EU markets are evolving in a fragmented way, the only current certainty is that we’ll be navigating in turbulent waters still for a long time.

Traditional commercial functions will no longer be successful in such environment and the main skills that are required are related to entrepreneurship and problem solving: representatives from the various functions have to quickly adapt to changes and find creative solutions to complex situations.

Partnerships orchestration

Pharma companies are moving towards a new reality where partnerships are becoming the new-normal.

Partnership with startups for innovative services to be provided to patients along traditional treatments and partnerships with hospitals and institutions to optimize patient’s journeys and experience.

Being able to effectively collaborate across different cultures, being empathetic and accepting of our differences are crucial aspects for being successful in the long run.

Working side by side with corporations and startups, we have observed multiple times how difficult is to find an agreement between companies with a different culture even when they share a common objective. Thus, it’s best to avoid further challenge by coming together under one clear objective.

Adapting to Changing Customer Expectations

Patients are becoming more informed and proactive in their healthcare decisions; HCPs have to cope with new trends and NHC systems profound transformations that are changing their role in the ecosystem. Sales, marketing, and medical representatives must adapt their strategies to meet changing expectations and habits.

This involves fostering patient-centric approaches, providing educational resources to HCPs and patients, and engaging in meaningful conversations that address patients’ needs and concerns.

By building trust and delivering value, pharma companies can foster customer experience enhancing loyalty and driving brand equity and differentiation among patients and HCPs communities.

So, what does this mean for pharma?

Sales, marketing, and medical functions are expected to evolve in response to the dynamic landscape evolution.

The evolution of the “traditional” roles and the investment in the development of new competences and processes aligned with these trends is key for every company: evolving employees skillset and developing new roles is just an element of the needed change management that pharma companies are facing.

A company’s capabilities are just one piece of the equation that pharma companies will continue to face and need to resolve.