How Digital Analytics Can Optimize Pharma Business Outcomes


Pharmaceutical companies that can’t uncover the needs, preferences, and habits of their target consumers are at a huge disadvantage in any market.

After all, the company that understands target consumers better than the competition — is the company with the greatest potential to grow its market share.

And in today’s increasingly digital, mobile, and social world — one of the best ways for pharmas to optimize their business outcomes is through digital analytics.

What Is Digital Analytics and Why Is It Important?

Digital analytics is the measurement and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data collected through online sources such as websites and mobile applications.

Through digital analytics, pharmas can discover areas for business improvement such as:

  • Improving the user experience (UX) of digital assets (e.g. websites, mobile apps, landing pages)
  • Enhancing the user engagement of content (e.g. creating content centered around topics of value to a target audience)
  • Increasing conversion rates of online/offline business objectives (e.g. P2P/eP2P meeting attendance, mobile app downloads, brand sentiment)
  • Identifying the content, channel, and device preferences of a target audience (e.g. HCPs prefer key opinion leader (KOL) videos via email)
  • Discovering emerging opportunities for market growth (e.g. HCPs in a target market are rapidly joining a startup HCP portal that’s open to marketing opportunities)

In short, digital analytics enables pharmas to get the insights they need to optimize their business strategies and key marketing assets such as websites, mobile applications, and interactive visual aids (IVAs).

How Digital Analytics Improve Pharma Business Outcomes?

When it comes to digital analytics, it doesn’t matter how much data is collected — if it can’t be used to optimize specific business goals and objectives — it’s meaningless.

Here is a real-world example of how pharmas are using digital analytics to make more informed business decisions:

A global pharmaceutical company wanted optimize its global marketing resource allocation to maximize market growth for a new product launch.

Traditionally, the pharma took the inefficient approach of blanketing target markets with marketing dollars and waiting on the consumer response before further allocating resources.

Needing a more effective way to reach targeted customers, the pharma used digital analytics to discover and predict which markets would show the greatest interest in its new product — leading to increased market growth and improved marketing return on investment (ROI).

Used effectively, digital analytics can help pharmas achieve their goals and objectives in the following areas:

  • Market Research: understanding and predicting the needs, preferences, and expectations of target customers
  • Brand Improvement: increasing brand awareness, engagement, and customer retention
  • Sales Growth: driving sales for products and services
  • Lead Generation: collecting valuable prospect data that sales teams can use to convert leads into customers
  • Content Engagement: improving the number of views, shares, return users, and time spent viewing digital content
  • Customer Support: providing customers with informative content that supports them at every stage of the "buying” cycle

It’s important for pharmas to create measurement plans that outline what actions and metrics will be used to help them achieve their business objectives.

Here’s a simple example of a measurement plan for monitoring the retention rate of a newly launched diabetes tracking app for patients:

Business Goal/Objective User Action Metrics
Achieve an App Retention Rate of >25% Over a
12-month Period
  • Users install the diabetes
    tracking app and use it regularly every month for a year
  • First, define what constitutes a “retained” user (e.g. person who uses the app at least once every month, week, etc.)
  • Second, divide the number of retained users over the 12-month period by the number of app installs
  • What Digital Analytics Tools Are Available?

    Finding a digital analytics tool that can collect the right data, segment it according to customized requirements, and present analytical insights in a clear and concise way can be a challenge.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of choices available to meet just about every data volume and budgetary requirement — and most digital analytics providers offer demos or “trial” periods for evaluation.

    Here’s a list of some of the digital analytics tools available:

    Digital Analytics Tool Features Cost
    Google Analytics
  • Create Custom Reports
  • Campaign & Event Tracking
  • Data Segmentation
  • Mobile & Social Analytics
  • Free and Premium (USD $150K annually)
    Kissmetrics
  • Funnel &
    Cohort Analysis
  • A/B Testing
  • Data Segmentation
  • Revenue Reports
  • USD $200 – USD $2K+ monthly
    Adobe Analytics
  • Data Segmentation
  • Mobile App Analytics
  • Create Custom Reports
  • Cross-channel Analysis
  • USD $100K+ annually
    GoSquared
  • Real-time Social Analytics
  • Automatically Detects User Trends
  • Data Segmentation
  • CRM-like Customer Management
  • Free – USD $5K+ monthly
    Mixpanel
  • Data Segmentation
  • Create Custom Reports
  • Funnel & Cohort Analysis
  • Event Tracking
  • Free – USD $2K+ monthly

    To do business in the digital age, pharmas must be able to reach and engage their target customers with the right tools, technologies, and content. But to do business effectively, pharmas need to be able to collect and the right data, and more importantly, know what to do with it.

    Thankfully, digital analytics skills can be acquired through resources such as Google Analytics Academy Google Analytics Academy and Coursera.

    Alternatively, partnering with a digital innovation agency that understands pharma business goals and knows what data to track and how to exploit it is another option worth exploring.

    How has digital analytics impacted your business goals? Share your experience with us by commenting below!

    Image Credit: Pixabay