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Why the Field Force Should Still Quarterback Team Personalized Strategy

Adapted from an executive roundtable with Chris Tuleya

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, the pharmaceutical industry is at a crossroads between leveraging technology and maintaining the human touch in healthcare marketing. Chris Tuleya, our EVP and head of Data & Technology, offers his perspective on finding the sweet spot between engaging field reps and optimizing media channels to drive script writing and ultimately, sales.

The Dynamic Interplay Between Field Reps and Media

On a recent roundtable with the Digital Health Coalition, Chris highlights the pivotal role of field representatives in making impactful connections. “Field samples impact script writing … should you [wait to trigger media] until you get a rep in front of them, knowing the samples they use are key to script writing?” he asserts. Strategically holding media until a rep equipped with samples sees an HCP is born from a rich data set that underscores a trigger-based strategic approach emphasizing a dynamic interplay between in-person and digital channels while having a direct impact on increased sales.  Once the HCP has samples, media helps drive script volume through an increased touch points and frequency that isn’t possible with the field reps.

Finding the “Happy Point”

The balance between art and science in media strategy is another area Chris believes we should examine in detail. He describes the challenge of finding the “happy point” between real-time data and long-term planning. The “art” lies in the holistic view of data to inform messaging and creative strategy, while the “science” involves immediate signals and actions, such as prioritizing field force efforts based on digital actions – like a target HCP engaging with a video on the brand website.

The Human Factor Drives Limitations

The challenges of integrating technology with human elements are also a key consideration. Chris points out that “in 90% of what we do, people are the challenge. The technology to streamline and enhance media strategies exists, but the human factor—understanding, interpreting, and acting on the data—remains a significant hurdle.” He advocates for educating on the nuances of media channels and their impact, emphasizing collaboration over competition.

Data Drives Profitable Outcomes

Lastly, Chris delves into the complexity of creating dashboards and decision engines for next-best-action strategies. “The challenge lies not in the technology itself but in defining what success looks like in a landscape where sales data, media interactions, and field team insights converge. The goal is to align these diverse data points towards profitable outcomes and effective script writing.”

To wrap up, it’s important to take a nuanced view of the pharmaceutical marketing ecosystem, where the interplay between human engagement, creative strategy, and technological innovation is key to driving success. Chris summarizes it poignantly by explaining, “In the quest to leverage digital advancements, the human element—both in understanding and in interaction—remains irreplaceable.”

To watch the full recording of Chris’s virtual roundtable, click here.

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