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Rethinking Customer Engagement

We live in times of unprecedented change, fuelled by new innovations. With this change comes new ways of thinking. Whereas in the past the consumer and professional world were separated, they now blur. The multichannel experiences that we have as consumers are influencing – if not defining – the expectations in the business world.

This blurring of expectations requires a change in how the pharmaceutical industry interacts with healthcare professionals (HCPs), who want to consume information when and how it suits them. For the industry, it means rethinking customer engagement to provide relevant, tailored content to HCPs through the channels they prefer. With a shrinking percentage preferring face-to-face interaction, there is an important role for technology to create a consistent experience and message regardless of the channel.

Yet compared with other industries, the pharmaceutical industry faces tight controls and regulations that make responding to “consumer expectations” more challenging. While fiercely competitive, pharmaceutical companies also need to come together to solve industry-wide commercial problems towards the greater good of the industry.

The platform we provide with Veeva European Commercial Summit is just that – a place for the industry to come together to discuss and brainstorm solutions to increase their effectiveness and value in the eyes of HCPs and to accelerate time to market with new life saving drugs.

In their own words: the opportunities and the challenges facing the industry were best captured by an illustrator during 2016 Veeva European Commercial Summit.

This year’s conference theme was enabling smarter customer engagement. This is a simple yet complex theme. For our customers, it is how to gain insights and deliver the most relevant experience to HCPs. For Veeva, it is how to put our technology into terms that matter to the industry. Never mind features and functions of our products – how do they help our customers to have deeper and more relevant relationships with their customers?

It is this shift from products to outcomes that we are all trying to make, both in the technology and pharmaceutical industries. Veeva is in the midst of this mindset change towards business benefits conversation instead of favoring product features. This could be seen, for example, during the tracks at European Commercial Summit, which were focused on the business outcome instead of Veeva products. This shift, however, requires a deep understanding of the customer. And therein lies the opportunity for both our customers and Veeva – enabling smarter customer engagement starts with the customer.

With more than 750 people in attendance last week at our 4th annual European Commercial Summit, it is clear that there is a strong demand for the industry to have a platform to come together for networking and discussions on how the industry can evolve to serve HCPs. At the same time, Veeva continues to evolve. Many participants last week remarked at how they were surprised and also pleased to see that Veeva is so much more than a salesforce automation company. And likewise, they also commented on how we put our solutions into context for the industry. It’s one thing to see technology, and it’s something entirely different to see technology enabling new approaches for the industry.