Senior sales and marketing executives of large U.S. pharmaceutical companies – with corporate revenues in excess of $1 billion in revenue – plan to sharpen their focus on multi-channel marketing and step up their use of digital technologies and analytics in 2013, according to a new survey by Accenture (NYSE:ACN). At the same time, more than four-fifths of the 200 executives surveyed – 83 percent – see cost reduction as their number-one strategic priority for the year.
Following cost reduction, the executives surveyed ranked their top strategic priorities accordingly: mastering multi-channel marketing (70 percent); improving use and effectiveness of digital interactions (60 percent); and exploiting analytics (56 percent).
As the executives work to meet their bottom-line goals, the survey results indicate they plan to combine their cost-cutting efforts with increased marketing efficiency through three primary strategies:
- Greater use of analytics to target spending and drive improved ROI (87 percent).
- Boosting their use of digital and multi-channel interactions (83 percent).
- Utilizing third-party service providers (72 percent).
“It’s clear that mastering multi-channel marketing – and realizing the full potential of digital technologies and analytics – is a top agenda item for sales and marketing executives who intend to achieve greater marketing efficiencies and meet the needs of their customers,” said Craig Robertson, North American managing director of Accenture’s Life Sciences’ Sales and Marketing practice. “From this survey, we believe a correlation can be drawn that cost reduction is enabled by mastering multi-channel marketing using digital interactions and analytics.”Robertson further notes: “The Accenture Life Sciences’ survey also shows that nearly one in four direct sales force interactions at these companies has been replaced with digital interactions for targeting doctors, providers, payers and patients.” Over the next two years, the executives surveyed plan to increase their use of such digital interactions by 26 percent, on average. Nearly half of the respondents said their sales and marketing organizations had opportunity for greater efficiency, with more than 10 percent citing a need for a complete overhaul.