The healthcare industry, despite recent advancements, is still an analog industry that relies heavily on human intervention, domain expertise, and experience. Many companies have “digital transformation” initiatives underway, but given the industry’s pace of change, these initiatives must be accelerated. To better connect the analog world of sales with the digital world of marketing, commercial teams need data and technology for a holistic view of the market and the customer.

Three ways data and technology can break down silos in sales, marketing, and beyond, include:

1. Accelerate and expand your data strategy

Data is an asset, but it can also be an operational headache. An integrated, cross-enterprise data management platform should be top of mind for C-level executives. Innovative companies have already invested in a big data strategy and have created roles such as Chief Digital or Data Officer to focus these efforts. A clear, comprehensive data strategy is the beginning of breaking down silos.

2. Consumerize your commercial approach

Customers today want a personalized, authentic relationship with brands and companies. Similarly, companies want to emerge beyond the “noisy” marketplace and engage customers in a more individual, timely, and relevant fashion. Patients are no different; with easy access to data and information regarding their treatment pathways and alternatives, they can “shop” options for healthcare institutions, organizations, centers of care, and providers. The experience is still far from what they enjoy with other services today, such as travel or financing. For pharma companies, there is an opportunity to integrate these digital channels with analog channels (feedback from field representatives, MSLs, speaker bureaus, etc.) to create a more complete view of the market and the customer.

3. Build bridges with new technologies

Innovative technology solutions such as AI/machine learning are bridging the gaps between sales, marketing, and development silos. Ten years ago, the industry was human driven: One person had to look at and interpret the data. The industry can no longer rely on human-guided efforts to connect, disambiguate, and update the multiple, disparate, and complex data sets that are necessary for decision-making. Today we must take advantage of innovative solutions and AI technologies that, combined with the expertise of life sciences-focused experts, will democratize customer use cases across an organization. These solutions, rich in predictive insights and alerts for business users, with actionable next steps, are breaking down silos and opening up data-driven decision-making across the enterprise.

  • Leilani Latimer

    Leilani Latimer is VP Global Marketing, Partnerships & Commercial Operations at Zephyr Health. Leilani leads a big data and analytics company serving the life sciences. 

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