New Veeva Pulse Data Shows Digital Engagement Continues to Soar in APAC’s Pharma Industry

Industry wide Veeva Pulse data has shown COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to digital, with significant growth in remote engagement and approved emails since January 2020. We’ve seen evolving requirements and preferences of HCPs in the ways that they engage with pharma reps. Reps are learning new skills and looking at different ways of communicating, such as virtual meetings and emails. Even with the vaccine, and the onset of in-person meetings again in some markets, digital channels will remain important in creating strong relationships moving forward.

Great customer experience is about giving customers more choice in how they interact with you. Personalised customer journeys need to be convenient, simple, timely, and seamless, which digital channels can provide.

Debunking the myth of “digital fatigue” across the industry
There has been some discussion about “digital fatigue” – anecdotal conversation across the industry that channels such as virtual meetings and emails are not receiving as much engagement or as many open rates in 2021 as they were at the onset of COVID-19.

However, Veeva Pulse data shows digital engagement figures across the APAC life sciences industry continue to soar. This is despite large volumes of digital communication, relative to figures prior to COVID-19.

veeva pulse data shows digital engagement is growing in apac*
* Excluding India

Email open rates remain high, even with higher volumes being delivered
Veeva Pulse data, which measures digital engagement across the APAC pharmaceutical industry by monitoring figures such as volume of activity and open rates, showed:

  • Email that was delivered to recipients had the most significant increase in volume at the onset of COVID-19, with a 312% increase from Q1 to Q2 2020
  • The volume of delivered email had remained at similar amounts quarter-on-quarter since Q2 2020
  • Email open rate had been consistently high quarter-on-quarter, with a 47% open rate in Q1 2021 versus 45% in Q1 2020
  • Between Q1 2020 to Q1 2021, opened email accounted for 7% of total channel interactions, which was up from 2.3% in Q1 2020

Speaking with our customers across the pharma industry, we’ve found one of the factors contributing to continued strong email open rates is the quality of the content. Key, useful messages prompt HCPs to read emails, and we anticipate this level of digital engagement will remain high with relevant content.

apac* by geography

Remote meetings remain consistent after skyrocketing in Q1 2020
Despite the vaccine rollout and some markets resuming face-to-face, Veeva Pulse data demonstrates remote meetings and digital engagement remain consistent. The figures show:

  • In Q1 2020, there were 7,730 remote meetings across APAC
  • In Q2 2020, this shot up to 132,750 and by Q3 2020, the figures were at 265,680
  • In Q1 2021, the number of remote meetings across the region stands at 237,470 – a huge increase from the pre-COVID figure of 7,730

apac* by therapy area

Establishing a strong digital presence as well as keeping on top of evolving channel innovation will support companies to find new ways of differentiating themselves. These new ways should include pull tactics as well as customer experiences such as remote meetings. It might be as simple as a quick-to-chat function on a website, or an app like MyVeeva for Doctors; which quickly and securely connects HCPs through one portal with content such as product information, patient support materials, peers or industry executives. Continuous investment in channel effectiveness is critical. Channels can’t be turned on and made fully effective overnight; they take time to mature and be embedded into your channel mix, as we’re seeing with remote engagement channels today.

Digital channels are here to stay
Veeva Pulse digital engagement figures highlight that new channels are here to stay. Regardless of what happens in the world, digital communication is highly efficient and effective. Digital innovation is changing the way life sciences approach one of their top priorities: customer experience. Research consistently shows that, across all industries, companies that lead customer experience outperform their competitors in areas such as customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and revenue growth. Furthermore in the life sciences industry, delivering great customer experience can play a key role in ensuring patients benefit from the best treatments.

The best experiences are created when life sciences companies help, support, and add value to HCPs’ daily tasks, goals, and objectives. On any given day, there will be items that are more critical than others which we call ‘signature moments’. If companies can deliver at these critical points, satisfaction and brand loyalty should increase. However, customer experience is a fragile thing; it’s built over time but can be eroded quickly. Every interaction counts. Therefore, commercial and medical teams need to ensure they deliver trusted information and solutions in easy-to-consume and personalised ways at every touchpoint. And they need to do it consistently during every single interaction.

Today, this can only be done through a foundation of digital excellence to ensure pharma companies are there, ready to support HCPs, wherever and whenever they need it.

Learn more
To learn more about Veeva Pulse data and how your organisation benchmarks against the industry, reach out to David Ledger or Ansh Juneja from the Veeva Systems’ Business Consulting team.

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