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The Economics of Anonymity: The New Non-Negotiable CRM

When I transitioned my focus from cross-industry CRM and analytics to the Life Sciences space in 1999, I did it with the belief that targeted communications in health sciences could make a difference: if we could apply the fundamentals of advanced analytics, HCP segmentation, modeling, customer profiling and targeting with relevant messages and CTAs, we could make an impact. Not just an economic impact to a brand or a corporation but a life-changing impact to the patient, their caregiver or their health care professional. Said another way, if one person — who hadn’t heard about a specific treatment or therapy — was made aware of it through CRM and it changed or even saved their life, then that in itself would be the true reward.

Well, here we are 15 years later, and the pharmaceutical industry continues to wrestle with executing against the true value proposition that CRM offers their markets. Despite its documented impact, tidal wave of acceptance and undeniable necessity and impact across all brands and industries today, pharma’s engagement with CRM and targeted communications could best be described as  “casually interested.”  While there are a number of shining examples of branded campaigns that went the distance and drove Rx lift by targeting the right audience with a relevant message, traditional media and sales rep spend continues to eclipse targeted communications. 

The fundamental difference between 1999 and now is that CRM is no longer a choice. Today its adoption is effectively a non-negotiable. Let’s carry the concept of addressability at scale (AAS), discussed in an early blog, to the next level. Across industries we are embracing technology that enables automated, real-time delivery of targeted, personalized experiences to individuals (known and anonymous) at scale. Let me reiterate: delivery of personalized experiences to anonymous individuals at scale. This is not a single tactic or channel but a whole new way of communicating with a target market without necessarily identifying them. Consider helping patients, their caregivers and their primary care physicians and specialists stay current, enabling laser focus on health outcomes, engaging the patient “community” and rising above the regulations by maintaining anonymity where needed, yet continuing to deliver value and influencing patient health at scale. The first movers will seize the day … will you be among them?

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