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S.M.A.R.T. Marketing: Transforming the Biopharma Promotional Model by Going Beyond CLM

A life sciences perspective


S.M.A.R.T. MarketingAfter 20 years of stagnation, the commercial model in biopharma is at an inflection point. Currently, declining physician access and increasing regulatory scrutiny have caused pharmaceutical and biotech companies to struggle with maintaining their effectiveness in managing relationships with an increasingly demanding customers. Companies are forced to initiate cost-cutting activities while simultaneously looking for ways to improve sales and marketing productivity.

Deloitte believes the solution to this emerging crisis lies in deepening relationships with many types of customers and focusing on the customers’ needs across the entire commercial enterprise. Over the past decade, the industry tried to improve customer interactions through the implementation of Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but with marginal success. In recent years, Closed Loop Marketing (CLM) has emerged as yet another potential solution.

Deloitte conducted a study with 12 executives from many of the large biopharma companies to assess their views on the current level of adoption of CLM across the industry and its effectiveness to date. The study found that most of these companies have not fully embraced the CLM concept and have only begun experimenting with its capabilities. What’s more, CLM may be another technical solution that does not live up to its initial billing. Three of the common barriers to CLM included: Perpetual Beta Projects; Equating CLM to implementing Tablet PCs; and IT leadership for a commercial solution.

Consequently, given the shortcomings of the piecemeal solutions that have gone before, biopharma needs adopt a new promotional model—one that can provide the efficiency and productivity gains not delivered by earlier technologies or CLM as it exists today. To address this need, Deloitte has developed an approach known as S.M.A.R.T. Marketing that involves a comprehensive change to the marketing and sales model. It incorporates critical concepts of customer-focused marketing and addresses the gaps in the current promotional model to finally realize the long-intended benefits of highly efficient and productive customer interactions.

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