In today’s digital, on-demand world, success means creating new rules of patient engagement that shifts from a single source of truth to personalized, real-time multi-channel interactions.
While pharma companies have realized the importance of developing multichannel strategies, many are just awakening to the shift of meeting their patients in channels where they already exist instead of trying to transfer them to new forums and competing communication mediums.
Patients want their experiences to be meaningful, customized, and relevant. From targeted ads in social media channels to optimized suggestions on search engines, there is an expectation that companies will meet their individualized needs, understanding their deepest fundamental needs, and provide support for their personal preferences. The output of the digital health revolution is that patients are now consumers with power and an expectation that targeted information is available at their fingertips.
By embracing a multi-channel approach to engage with patients, pharma companies can walk alongside the patient on their journey, providing tailored support and guidance. With a patient-centric viewpoint and intrinsic understanding of the patient journey, pharma can actually begin to influence behaviors to limit disruptions, overcome treatment obstacles and improve adherence. Understanding the patient journey creates opportunities to share tailored support messages and leverage additional tools along the patient’s journey to create and “organic” and unobtrusive experience that exists in compliment to drug therapy.
In our own work with more than a dozen pharma companies, utilizing a digital drug companion as part of a multi-channel approach has helped to improve patient adherence by up to 70%. Positive patient engagement through multiple channels helps to reduce delays in first doses and helps to keep patients engaged in their treatment for an additional 4.5 months. This achievement doesn’t come simply as a result of access in multiple channels, but through a unique understanding of the patient journey and how each user interaction within a medium. Patient engagement isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and interactions need to look different in branded apps, digital drug companions, social media channels, patient portals, websites, and more.
It’s not enough to simply make a declaration to “go digital.” Multichannel is about planning, implementing, and integrating multiple touch points with customized content and features that support existing patient interactions. It requires an in-depth understanding of real patient needs, behaviors and preferences, and meeting those needs across a variety of outlets.
As part of becoming that trusted partner, pharma companies need to embrace multichannel engagement as a strategy. From a consumer perspective there are numerous social channels in which people live their lives. Coupled with the growth of digital health, there are just as many engagement platforms where patients seek guidance and support throughout their journey. If pharma wants to be successful in its mission, it must reach these patients in those spaces to demonstrate that drug therapy begins at the first dose with personalized support and timely assistance for the long run.