There is a lot of buzz in the life sciences about Closed Loop Marketing (CLM). Content distribution companies increasingly market their products around this concept, which promise to some degree the ability to collect data from client interactions and respond to it.
The most important element of closed loop marketing, the key to success, is customization. The more you are able to customize your value story to your audience - the easier it is to edit your communications - the greater the benefits will be from employing this strategy.
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
Closed loop marketing can be thought of as a response to this well-known epigram from US industrialist John Wanamaker, the founder of modern marketing.
Businesses have always been interested in knowing what their customers are thinking. Market research, surveys and customer feedback cards have long been a part of the commercial landscape, across industries. CLM is about establishing processes which maximize the potential of this approach.
The principle is simple, but the results can be profound. Detailed feedback information is collected during client interactions and used to improve customer messages over time, based around what sells best.
The ingredient that makes CLM possible is software. With dedicated CLM programs, now often based on a cloud-computing model, customer interactions can be measured and recorded in detail, and the information passed back to headquarters for analysis. This lets you discover where your marketing investments are wasted, and where they have value.
A common context for CLM is that of the mobile sales or account management team. Content distribution platforms used on mobile devices like the iPad can incorporate software which measures the amount of interest clients pay to each element of a sales story. Every interaction and expression of interest is automatically recorded and contributes to the statistics.
Over time, as account managers continue to visit clients, patterns begin to emerge. Some elements of the pitch are more popular than others, and the CLM system allows headquarters to easily detect which parts of the value story are working, and which are not.
Armed with this information, HQ can now ‘close the loop’ by modifying the message: emphasizing parts of the story, removing others and adding new ideas. The impact of the revisions is observed as the field teams continue to interact with clients; in this way, a feedback loop is created and continual refinement and improvement takes place.
Closed Loop Marketing in the Life Sciences
Content distribution platforms used by the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics industries are increasingly being marketed as closed loop marketing systems.
Companies like Veeva or Agnitio offer products that are heavily marketed on this basis. Agnitio, for example, promises to “Take the guesswork out of marketing with actionable data”, allowing you to “…continually refine your communication”.
What might be overlooked is that these platforms do not offer the degree of flexibility and customization that is necessary to make a closed loop marketing strategy effective.
Actionable data is only valuable to the extent that you are able to act upon it.
BaseCase was created in reaction to this observation. The benefits of flexibility are substantial, and enhanced customization in a CLM context is a big part of that spectrum of benefits.
The unique selling point of BaseCase is that the web-based platform allows HEOR and market access teams to simply log in and modify their value communication apps, with an easy drag-and-drop interface. BaseCase lets you build your own sophisticated value communication apps and customize them at will, in response to CLM analytics or other sources of feedback.
BaseCase offers a Closed Loop Marketing product, BaseCase CLM, that is specifically aimed at payer and provider engagement in the area of market access. Department heads and market access managers in this area are familiar with the often hyperbolic claims made about Closed Loop Marketing, and are skeptical about the efficacy of this approach for their particular audience.
This is because payer engagement involves intensive targeting of a limited number of clients. It is thought, amongst other things, that the audience is too small for the data to be useful. As BaseCase offers a platform specifically for market access teams, its Closed Loop Marketing solution has been built with key account and market access managers in mind.
BaseCase CLM User Story
A pharma company is in market access discussions with payers and providers about a new product. As key account managers use BaseCase CLM enabled apps in the field, a rich stream of data is sent to managers working at headquarters.
Using the BaseCase heat map, a manager notices that a minor element of the value story is unexpectedly being clicked on quite frequently.
At the next meeting between key account and market access managers, this part of the value story in particular is on the agenda for discussion.
On the basis of the discussion, managers agree to modify the app for this particular audience. It’s decided to rearrange the app, and give this element more prominence in the presentation.
4. Closing the Loop
With the updated app now being used, managers check BaseCase CLM to observe the impact of their revised communications.