Omnichannel HCP Engagement Webinar Recap: Driving Growth in Pharma

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May 11th, 2023. In this article, we share the key highlights and discussions from UBIQ Events' recent full-day virtual conference on the timely topic of omnichannel HCP engagement where industry leaders from companies such as Novartis, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Medtronic, MSD and many more, shared their thoughts, trends and best practices for adopting an omnichannel approach in the pharmaceutical industry.

Continue reading to learn more and uncover the key discussions around positioning yourself at the forefront of the omnichannel transformation.

"Omnichannel engagement is a strategic data-driven orchestration of all brand touchpoints to create seamless, personalized, and meaningful individual customer experience, that leads to mutual value creation"

Walid Hamza Abdelhafez, Novartis

The webinar brought together leading companies in the pharmaceutical and Medtech sectors to discuss the shift from multichannel to omnichannel marketing strategies. The event featured insightful presentations from industry experts who shared their experiences and best practices in implementing omnichannel approaches. Key topics included customer segmentation, data utilization, enhancing HCP engagement, content optimization, and the challenges associated with this transformation.

Source: Screenshot of Walid Hamza Abdelhafez (Novartis) presentation

During the event, speakers from renowned companies provided valuable insights into the omnichannel journey and its impact on customer engagement and satisfaction.

Customer-centric Approach

The event emphasized the significance of adopting a customer-centric approach in developing successful omnichannel strategies.

Many speakers highlighted particularly the need to understand customer needs, preferences, and behaviors for effective segmentation and personalization of interactions and content. Companies were advised to create positive experiences for their users by delivering tailored information through appropriate channels.

“Omnichannel’s objective is to create positive experiences for our users”

Francisco Javier Fillat

During the event, a notable discussion revolved around the gap that exists between what pharmaceutical companies promise regarding content and what doctors truly desire to receive as their preferred content. Multiple speakers highlighted this disparity and the importance of aligning content strategies with the specific needs and preferences of healthcare professionals.

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Source: Screenshot of Samuele Doratori's (Servier) presentation

Samuele Doratori from Servier particularly emphasized the need for pharmaceutical companies to bridge this gap by gaining a deeper understanding of doctors' preferences, actively listening to their feedback, and delivering content that provides genuine value. He continued to highlight the key elements of the environment in which engagement happens – trust, relevance and simplicity.

The message was clear. By narrowing this gap and delivering content that aligns with doctors' preferences, pharmaceutical companies can establish stronger connections, foster trust, and enhance engagement with healthcare professionals.

Data and Technology

The event highlighted the importance of data and technology in enabling successful omnichannel marketing.

Together with data role in value creation, the speakers underscored the need for a robust data strategy, ensuring the correct flow and utilization of data to gain insights, personalize interactions, and taking small steps everyday, towards building a comprehensive 360 view of customers.

“The important thing is making those small steps. 1% everyday, making that change to get to omnichannel, is what's critical.”

Stacy Trent, Bristol Meyers Squibb

Agile teams and reliable technological infrastructure were identified as key enablers for implementing and managing omnichannel strategies.

Impact of Digital Channels

It has been no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital channels also for customer engagement and had a permanent impact on the pharma industry.

Julio A. Rodriguez, Helge Tennø and Frédéric Baffou during the panel discussion

Speakers acknowledged the changes caused by the pandemic and shared how companies have leveraged digital platforms, such as webinars, websites and emails, to reach and impact their customers effectively. Francisco Javier Fillat Espuña discussed this in reference to the positive impact of digital segmentation on engagement and email open rates.

Challenges and Considerations

Although the omnichannel approach provides pharma companies with many opportunities for enhancing their value creation and customer engagement, the transition also presents several challenges.

Some of these challenges were adjusting the company culture, managing technical and functional architecture changes, budget allocation, and establishing the right processes for each key strategic country. But to overcome these, the experts gave unanimous advice to adopt a gradual approach by making consistent small efforts towards the transition.

Content and Channel Optimization

“If we generate quality data, if we have an algorithm, but our marketing team is not using that data to create content – there is no value in what we are doing”

Francisco Javier Fillat

Optimizing content and channel selection according to visitor needs emerged as crucial factors for successful omnichannel strategies. The event emphasized the importance of delivering relevant and valuable content to customers through the most appropriate channels.

Speakers stressed the need for internal teams to consider all points of contact with customers and even highlighted new emerging trends to integrate personal channels and influencer collaborations for enhanced engagement.

Value Creation

Creating value for customers and the business was a key focus of discussions. Experts highlighted the significance of going beyond customer satisfaction and aiming for meaningful individual experiences.

“If an HCP comes to your website, and you know they have looked at advocacy before, the ability to send them a page or offer a pop-up... you can make small changes like that”

Stacy Trent, Senior Director, Engagement Data and Campaign Management BMS

giosg_ Building Blocks of Digital Engagement (1)

Trent also continued this by highlighting the need to recognize what the problem is and what is it that you're trying to solve and achieve:

“Sometimes the way we look at our HCPs and patients, and what is happening on some of the medications we work on it gets very complex, so we're trying to break down that complexity and make things easier.”

Stacy Trent, BMS

This was closely followed up by giosg's session that dove deeper into the practical solutions and steps pharma companies today can take in order to deliver on the intersection of data, personalization and value to achieve efficient digital engagement. Ari Nurmi, UK country director from giosg showcased some proven digital HCP engagement strategies and the possibilities today's best software provides to streamline the visitor's journey and create great customer experiences.

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In relation to new digital approaches, these were advised to require innovation and change from previous known practices. Helge Tennø, Director of Customer Experience and Delivery, Global at MSD, commented:

“Have we grown to be a little bit stuck when it comes to what we think our customers want from us? And should we be more explorative and experiment a little bit more, and try to make more things that are outside the box, when it comes to how we can produce value for them [HCPs].”

In his insightful presentation, Walid Hamza Abdelhafez from Novartis shared his view on the needs of the customers and how to truly begin producing value to the relevant audiences.

This included how HCPs are nowadays valuing content and relevant resources in a whole new light and that they're no longer solely pending on the information received from the sales representatives. He directed the audience to think about:

“What is the value that you are providing now to our customer whose expectations has drastically changed, they do not have the same expectations as pre-covid. Now they want to make the best use of their time, they want to give more attention to their patients and families.”


Key takeaways

The event concluded with the shared understanding that successful implementation of omnichannel strategies requires a holistic approach encompassing customer-centricity, effective data utilization, content optimization, and gradual implementation.

The webinar emphasized industry leaders’ and experts’ agreement that embracing omnichannel marketing is vital for meeting evolving customer expectations and driving growth in the pharmaceutical and medtech industries.

We would like to thank UBIQ Events for a well-organized event that provided numerous invaluable insights, fostered engaging discussions, and encouraged fresh perspectives.



Please note that this summary represents our interpretation of the event content, highlighting key points of interest. It is important to acknowledge that the summary may not capture the full context of discussions, the views of presenters, or the perspectives of the companies they represent.