Every pharma digital team wants their company to be the industry’s digital leader, and they’re all searching for the multi-channel management (MCM) or customer engagement model that will help them win the race by 2020. But of the fourteen firms that we evaluated, only two are actually contending for this title, having outflanked their industry peers by managing digital transformation differently. These industry leaders work with commercial teams that truly buy into digital excellence, show commitment by taking the lead in shaping digital requirements, optimize basic technology before tackling advanced capabilities, and measure their initiatives against customer experience benchmarks from outside of the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical firms turn to digital media and technologies to monetize a whole array of business opportunities that can increase annual revenues by millions of dollars (see Figure 1). But a firm’s readiness to transform itself, as embodied in its knowledge, willingness to change, appetite for risk, and sense of importance, strongly influences its ability to seize opportunities. These factors are all manageable—and firms that break through find themselves accelerating towards digital excellence, which is the foundation of a company-wide MCM or customer engagement model. To understand how the industry is coping with digital transformation and whether it has improved over the past two years, we repeated the Organizational Readiness for Digital Excellence study we first ran in 2014. Specifically, we:
Pharma’s digital maturity has risen only slightly in the past two years (see Figure 3). Even so, only two pharma firms—one large and one midsize company—received an overall score of 76% or higher, which we consider to be excellent (see Figure 4). Perceptions of digital maturity vary depending on whom you ask: while digital execs are no more positive about the state of digital excellence than their direct reports, there’s considerable variation at the country level or within the wider digital organization (see Figure 5). In Italy, for example, Firm D reported 79% maturity, while its direct competitor Firm H reported just 48% maturity. All in all, the massive gap between the highest- and lowest-ranked firm and the wide variation in individual capability scores indicate that there’s a lot of improvisation involved in these firms’ digital transformation. The most notable trends:
To support firms in their race to take digital leadership by 2020, we took a closer look at the practices that differentiate today’s digital leaders from the industry’s digital laggards (see Figure 8). To be a digital leader, we found that companies need to:
DT Associates fielded its Q1 2016 The State of Digital Excellence in the Pharmaceutical Industry survey to eighty-one managers who work in digital, multichannel, or digital customer engagement teams inside a pharmaceutical organization. The final sample used for analysis consisted of sixty-three of these managers who we determined to have sufficient levels of responsibility for digital and oversight of their organization’s capabilities. We fielded the survey from January 2016 to February 2016. Respondents received a copy of this report containing the collected survey data prior to publication. Our sample is not guaranteed to be representative of the population. Responses do not
convert directly into precise maturity scores for respondents’ respective companies. Unless otherwise noted, data is intended for descriptive purposes.