Connected Data, Coordinated Engagement: 8 Commercial Life Sciences Predictions for 2024

Data, technology, and medicine will intersect in new and vital ways across the life sciences industry in 2024. From the allure of AI to advanced analytics to the continued rise of specialty medicines – and the precision required to deliver them – biopharmas will focus on foundational needs to compete with speed and agility. Here are eight predictions from Veeva’s industry experts to guide your commercial teams in the year ahead.

Paul Shawah

–Paul Shawah, EVP, Commercial Strategy

The allure of generative AI will lead to renewed focus on an old problem: clean customer data

Across all industries, 60% of organizations are exploring the use of generative AI, and 20% are already making significant investments in the technology. As biopharmas consider their own use cases and investments in AI, it will drive clarity on a foundational need: clean customer data.

For years, biopharmas have acquired lots of customer data sets to solve different business needs and have ended up with a complex web of siloed, overlapping, and inaccurate data. A sales target list may have a different set of core healthcare professional (HCP) attributes than a marketing list, making it difficult to create a great cross-channel experience. The problem is much bigger than accurate data and includes the need for a common definition of the HCP as well as the processes to maintain accurate data. The compounding effect creates barriers to the accurate use of AI technology.

To work effectively, AI models need accurate and harmonized customer data. Investments in clean data and the foundational processes to keep data clean and consistent will pave the way to deliver both short-term and long-term value – and drive more meaningful use of AI in your customer engagement strategies.

Dan Rizzo

–Dan Rizzo, VP, Global Business Consulting

Specialized medicines will push biopharmas to respond to HCPs in the moment of need

In-person interactions with HCPs are returning to pre-pandemic levels, but access is more selective. Now, a new question is emerging: is the traditional push model supporting HCPs in their time of need? The complexity and precision of specialized medicines are putting increased pressure on biopharmas to shift to a service-focused model. In the years ahead, rep-HCP interactions will be less focused on efficacy and more on removing barriers to treatment, from reimbursement support to site certification.

Deeper collaboration between commercial and medical teams will be critical to provide HCPs the on-demand education and resources at the time of need – even at the point of care. As the focus changes from promotional to service-centric, field teams will augment in-person touchpoints with inbound capabilities that connect HCPs and reps in real time, and prioritize responsiveness and customer value over quantitative sales and frequency measures.

Early adopters of this model are creating more than double the amount of digital interactions with HCPs without reducing in-person visits. Success requires executive sponsorship, investments in field training, compliant technology, and realignment of incentives to focus on strength of relationship measures.

Asaf Evenhaim

–Asaf Evenhaim, CEO, Crossix

Changes in privacy laws will drive renewed focus on marketing analytics

While privacy considerations have always existed for the biopharma industry, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maneuver the uptick of new regulations when executing digital advertising. In addition, stakes will be high as brands continue to focus on dramatic shifts in third-party cookies and addressable media and their effects for 2024 and beyond.

Healthcare marketers will be under pressure as marketing and media measurement becomes more difficult to navigate. Teams will spend much of 2024 evaluating targeting and measurement options to overcome these headwinds before the year’s end.

To remain competitive, brands should prepare for continuous changes to ad technology by working with marketing analytics partners who are investing in future-proof measurement, including direct media feeds and addressability solutions. Significant investments in product, people, and long lead times are required to develop and mature new capabilities to be ready for prime time. Companies that can’t address these challenges will have difficulty accurately connecting their media investments to health outcomes.

Pete Stark

–Peter Stark, EVP, Commercial Strategy

Modern therapies will require compliant, privacy-safe approaches to data mixing

Novel and complex therapies are reshaping the landscape of modern medicine – and creating a higher demand for precise and timely patient data. Genomics and lab data, for example, can produce significant incremental insight into disease progression in lines of therapy. But, these types of data, when mixed with patient data, create significant patient-privacy and compliance risks, including patient re-identification, a violation of HIPAA.

Overcoming these challenges requires companies to increase data quality while minimizing risks when collecting and connecting health data. To do this, companies should avoid disparate data sources in their environments and look to solution providers that know how to integrate data in a privacy-safe way. These improvements will remove obstacles to data mixing and create significant value for patients.

Pooja Ojala

–Pooja Ojala, VP, Commercial Content

The rise of tech-savvy marketing and medical leaders will disrupt the biopharma model

Technology and data are giving biopharma marketers more insights into content creation and campaign performance than ever before. But to capitalize on those insights, biopharmas will shift from the traditional agency-first mindset to an agile operating model that simplifies and speeds up execution. This transformation will be driven by emerging leaders – from chief digital officers to chief marketing officers – who will bring together people, processes, and technology.

Marketers will be compelled to shift their thinking and use technology to do more themselves versus relying on agencies. Instead, marketers will use agencies for broader strategic initiatives but will have increased responsibility for creating derivative assets and scaling personalized content across multiple channels.

This operating model will also solve another challenge – connecting medical and marketing leadership. This collaboration will drive further alignment in content strategy and create a more relevant experience for HCPs.

Alexis Cohen

–Alexis Cohen, VP, Commercial Content Business Consulting

Real-time rep feedback and content utilization insights will finally close the loop in marketing

Biopharmas have made significant progress in improving MLR, adopting modular content, and driving content creation at speed and scale using agency and internal models. In fact, they created 20% more content over the previous year, but there remains a disconnect: 77% of that content is rarely or never used by field teams. While quantitative data will continue to play an essential role in bridging this gap, qualitative data will finally close the loop in marketing.

Real-time rep feedback on an asset’s effectiveness can provide marketing with a more nuanced level of content analysis. When marketers combine rep intuition with content utilization data, they will gain valuable insights into what content gets used, how often, and how effective it is with customers. Companies that can capture these insights seamlessly in CRM platforms can streamline content development on assets with high field value and a measurable impact on HCP engagement.

Brian Mahoney

–Brian Mahoney, VP, Global Commercial Analytics

Advanced analytics on connected data in clinical and medical will become a key differentiator of speed to market

Commercial teams have been using advanced analytics for years to measure commercial impact, but analytics is still in the early days for clinical and medical teams. In 2024, that will change as competition and external pressures like the Inflation Reduction Act drive an increased need for speed and agility in R&D.

Clinical and medical teams will leverage advanced analytics to help drive site selection, support patient enrollment, and identify gaps in standards of care. In doing so, they will have a greater impact on how companies go to market than commercial.

Companies that can define the marketplace for their products, identify impacted patients, associate healthcare providers, and move faster than the competition will win. Clean, connected data with a common architecture across customers, patients, KOLs, and business operations will be a fundamental necessity.

Christoph Bug

–Christoph Bug, VP, Global Medical

Data – from activity to outcome – will be medical’s silver bullet

The inability of medical affairs to consistently make data-driven decisions limits its strategic role and influence in the organization. With the exponential growth and complexity of data, medical affairs teams that don’t have a strong data foundation will struggle to take advantage of key technologies like advanced automation and AI. In 2024, medical affairs teams will focus on data to advance their organization and better measure impact.

To get there, medical affairs must take a structured approach to clean, organize, synthesize, and report data, which is essential to a solid analytics foundation. This data-driven way of working may require the addition of business acumen across the medical organization, including headcount in data, analytics, process governance, and change management, as well as training for current roles. The result will be improved data quality, AI-fueled insights, and greater impact.

Learn more about commercial field trends in the latest Veeva Pulse Field Trends Report.

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