Three ways to reverse the Pharma Omnichannel marketing ‘fail’

Pulse Issue 4 2022

"Three ways to reverse the Pharma Omnichannel marketing ‘fail’"

Covid lockdowns have significantly impacted the way we connect and engage, and Pharmaceutical marketers are still coming to terms with how to adapt to a new marketing reality.

That’s a polite way to say that Pharma’s attempts to deploy Omnichannel marketing activities and campaigns to connect with stakeholders in a disrupted world have been only moderately successful at best.

Bastion Brands’ research has revealed Pharma just wasn’t ready to provide Omnichannel communication to effectively interact with HCPs in the ways HCPs wanted.

So, after two years of trying, why are Pharma Omnichannel communications still struggling to deliver results?

The key reality is that the shift to Omnichannel requires customer first thinking which is complex and challenging. The Pharma industry’s people, structures, technology, data, resources, and processes all get in the way of switching on an Omnichannel solution that truly helps HCPs.

Omnichannel is failing

In the just-released Bastion Brands 2022 Pharma Marketer Survey, the results reinforce the challenges that exist for Omnichannel marketing in Australia. Pharma marketers rate their company’s Omnichannel effectiveness as 3/10. That’s a solid FAIL in anyone’s scorebook.

Additionally, global research findings substantiate that 70-80% of Pharma companies are ‘unhappy’ with their Omnichannel strategies, plans and levels of support.

To unpick this disappointing result for Pharma Omnichannel marketing, further investigation by Bastion Brands with Australian Omnichannel marketing leaders highlighted:

-Low levels of education and understanding of Omnichannel by Pharma marketers as opposed to data, digital and customer experience teams

-Insufficient Omnichannel measurement and reporting to provide access to results and insights to substantiate effectiveness

-Limited access to integrated systems and technology that connect to a single central customer database

-Lack of support for people and funding to improve the level of Omnichannel capability

So, is Omnichannel worth it?

It depends.

Yes, absolutely, it is worth it for those that can access the data and measure the results. Omnichannel activity is arguably as effective or more so than the traditional marketing, sales, and communications. As digital and Omnichannel continues to evolve business models across industries, Pharma will continue to develop and advance their Omnichannel capability too.

Omnichannel has a first mover advantage, and those Pharma companies that lead will be commercially rewarded by HCPs who truly value the way Pharma Omnichannel can improve and personalise engagement.

What needs to be done:

Enduring partnerships

-Investment in enduring partnerships with vendors who offer Omnichannel expertise specific to customer-first content can improve overall marketing outcomes

-An Omnichannel, consumer focused direction can be supported by channel strategy, technology and systems integration, data measurement and reporting, and finally insight development based on data that powers decision-making and improves outcomes

Long-term plans and short-term goals

-Long term plans with organised goals and milestones all directed by clear business needs and objectives

-Omnichannel is not a quick win, it’s an investment that will improve over years of building up data and insights to drive effective business strategies

Make the complex simple

-Develop a clear strategy that helps take small, measured steps in the right direction

-Develop programs that test, learn, build data, and gain insights

-Pharma companies need to learn what to say and do to truly add value to Omnichannel marketing based on the results demonstrated by clicks, views, and overall data

As we have now emerged from lockdown, we have a clear opportunity to design the solution as to how Omnichannel can improve Pharma’s way of engaging with HCPs.

  Simon Davies
M: 0402 425 545

  Dan King
M: 0439 190 700


We are always interested in hearing from great people dedicated to making a career in pharmaceutical communications. If you’re ready to make a positive impact with Bastion Brands, get in touch today.