Omnichannel vs. multichannel pharma marketing
What are omnichannel and multichannel marketing approaches, and which one to choose for your business?
Omnichannel vs. multichannel pharma marketing: which is best for your business?
Pharma companies have had tough times over the last few years, prompting them to strongly question their routine practices and, ultimately, transform their approach to interacting with customers. Meanwhile, the transition from physical to virtual business has not proven to be the most challenging. The hardest part is adapting to the ever-changing realities of digital business, bolstered by fierce competition and discerning consumers. On the agenda today: the shift from multichannel to omnichannel, or why successful medical businesses prioritize the latter.
What is the difference between multichannel, and omnichannel and what are the key elements and benefits that have driven companies to shift toward the omnichannel way?
The multichannel approach is falling into oblivion
Multichannel is a marketing tactic of using multiple media channels to build communication with customers. Channels typically include television, social media, email, billboards, and more.
For example, many pharmaceutical companies began their digital marketing journey with a multichannel approach, using websites, social media, CRM programs, and more as the main ways to connect their product with potential customers.
The lack of a connecting node between the channels is the hallmark of the multichannel approach. It was thought that the more channels used for communication, the higher the chance of finding a buyer (which is very logical). The message could be repeated across channels. In this method, the focus remains on the product/service itself but not on the user (aka the potential customer). Often each channel had the same message.
While multichannel has proven to be more effective than single-channel , such marketing strategies often fail to keep pace with tech advances, new communication channels, and the ever-accelerating pace of the physician or patient's path to purchase . This has provoked the switch to omnichannel marketing.
The omnichannel approach: a new reality of present-day digital marketing
The main reason marketers are switching to omnichannel is to prioritize the user over the product.
Given the flexibility of today's consumers, omnichannel marketing allows for unified communication with customers no matter what device they're on. And in doing so, provide him or her with a more brand-oriented experience.
After all, as a customer, you wouldn't want to be constantly bombarded the same information coming from different channels. At least, a tech-savvy user is unlikely to "fall for" such a trick. Even if, in the best-case scenario, your user does get irritated, it will certainly have a negative impact on your brand image.
What is omnichannel marketing?
The omnichannel approach also engages multiple channels of engagement with potential customers. However, in this case, they are all integrated, putting customers at the center of the marketing funnel and providing a unified experience for them across all touchpoints.
For example, channels in the omnichannel tactic usually include:
- Email (desktop and mobile)
- Push notifications
- Facebook and Google with retargeting ads
- Live chats.
The omnichannel approach is based on the belief that the customer should be the center of attention . This, in turn, leads to the following benefits:
- Customers notice your attention to detail, which creates a positive brand image.
- They become more “imbued” with trust in the brand.
- They become loyal to the business they trust.
Omnichannel vs. multichannel
The focus of omnichannel marketing is on the customer, his/her needs and preferences, whereas with multichannel - the product itself.
The goal of omnichannel: To provide the customer with a personalized message while ensuring a seamless purchase journey and increasing their trust in your brand.
The instrument: The interconnection of channels to provide the customer with unimpeded access to the information they're interested in.
According to McKinsey , if implemented correctly, omnichannel approaches as part of commercial models can help pharma companies achieve 5-10% revenue growth and 10-20% marketing efficiencies and cost savings.
Omnichannel marketing in digital pharma: key elements
#1 Cross-channel optimization
Since customers have different touchpoints with digital products/services, it's important to optimize messaging between each spot. This way, you'll have a single picture of both the customer and the results of your business.
#2 Personalized approach
With multichannel marketing, personalization was almost impossible. Since channels are not synchronized in this approach, maintaining a unified flow of messages across channels is quite complicated (in any case, it takes a significant amount of time). Omnichannel med-focused marketing, on the other hand, leverages advanced technology, analytics, and data. This helps create a personal portfolio more easily and quickly, allowing for easy targeting based on identified needs and pain points.
#3 Performance metrics
Implementing artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and other cutting-edge instruments into a marketing campaign can assist in measuring cross-channel engagement more effectively, as well as analyzing campaign performance.
#4 Data-driven decisions
Efficiently gathered data and its easy availability allow for informed decision-making. This makes it easier for you, as a product manager, to map out further product development, make more detailed customer insights, discover optimal investment paths, and prevent dead-end scenarios.
Benefits of omnichannel marketing for pharma companies
According to the key elements described above, omnichannel marketing has the following advantages:
- Your customers get a more user-friendly experience
The omnichannel approach focuses on developing a customer journey according to specific profiles, thereby enhancing the quality of service.
- Your decisions are more informed
This kind of marketing gives you a complete picture of your customer's interests, activities, and preferences, as well as the performance of your business. That way, your subsequent decisions tend to be more data-driven.
- Your marketing is more effective
You're not just posting "in this or that channel" and hoping for the best. Instead, you operate strategically: provide the right content to the right person in the right order.
Omnichannel marketing can be a key enabler in optimizing the pharma-centric customer experience by focusing more on the quality of the customer journey and their brand loyalty.
It can also significantly improve the way you run your pharma business, optimize costs and support data-driven decision making.
Brandmed can help you with your marketing strategy. Our med-savvy team of marketers, designers, and developers has been successfully jump-starting digital healthcare businesses for over 7 years. Contact us, and we'll discuss your future tailor-made marketing strategy together.
- Omnisend, Marketing automation statistics 2019, https://www.omnisend.com/resources/reports/omnichannel-marketing-automation-statistics-2019/, [last accessed: 22.01.2023].
- Forbes, Omnichannel Is The Next Step In Pharmaceutical Marketing, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/12/26/omnichannel-is-the-next-step-in-pharmaceutical-marketing/?sh=f84c8b439aca, [last accessed: 22.01.2023].
- Omnisend, Omnichannel vs. multichannel: how to know the difference, https://www.omnisend.com/blog/omnichannel-vs-multichannel/, [last accessed: 22.01.2023].
- McKinsey, Demystifying the omnichannel commercial model for pharma companies in Asia, https://www.mckinsey.com/jp/en/our-insights/demystifying-the-omnichannel-commercial-model-for-pharma-companies-in-asia, [last accessed: 22.01.2023].