5 minutes
19 December, 2018

When your sales force only reaches 40% of the target professional market, how can your company make strides to reach that remaining 60%? Here are 5 tips from Bill Fleming’s podcast on ‘Capabilities Needed to Succeed in MCM’ (https://goo.gl/2HMe7h) that can help:

1. Multi-Channel Marketing – Why It’s Important

Declining access to prescribers via sales reps and a change in prescriber behavior towards greater consumption of digital content means MCM can be your friend. It enables easier access to target audiences through personalized messages and digital campaigns, among other ways. This is particularly helpful when targeting no-see audiences as well as locations with limited sales force presence.

2. Joint Effort – Sales Force Meet MCM

Although MCM can help you reach your target audience in new ways, it’s most important role is to supplement, not replace, the sales force. If the sales force is not involved in developing your MCM capability, it is guaranteed to fail as a standalone approach.

3. Develop, Improve, Grow

Getting Started:

• Starting off with MCM requires working with trusted communication
vendors that have good engagement rates with prescribers that you want
to reach.
• The next step is to develop and segment an internal database of target
prescribers. This will allow you to track engagement across channels and vendors and to create precision campaigns by matching targets against vendor lists to reach specific HCPs.
How MCM Evolves:
• Pharmaceutical companies that have invested in MCM for over 5 years
have taken their implemention a step further and developed brand
marketing and sales teams that believe in the approach.
• These companies have put in place technology and infrastructures with
robust marketing databases about prescribers. The information gained from the Sales Force and other channels are used to populate and refine these databases with specific information about each physician. Targeted campaigns generated with the information in these databases are also measured for success to identify what is and is not working.

4. MCM Ingredients for Success

Three aspects of MCM that need to be developed to achieve success are:

• Clearly defined operating model that outlines what the Brand, Marketing Operations, and Sales Force team roles would be; the preparation and review process for starting campaigns; network of trusted vendors; lastly, how the information will be measured and analyzed.
• Specific capabilities, which include analyses and segmentation of prescribers, the design of intelligent campaigns, the ability to execute campaigns across channels, evaluating campaign data, and robust content management and media planning systems.
• A dynamic database and campaign management platform that houses information such as prescriber’s past behavior, tools to design and trigger campaigns, and a system to review and improve the campaign targeting.
Using the right strategy to align the operating model, specified capabilities, and infrastructure will ensure maximum effectiveness.

5. Challenges Do Exist

MCM has the potential to improve the reach of content sent to prescribers from biopharmaceutical companies, if you can overcome these challenges:

• Making and managing intelligent investments and selecting the right partners, such as trusted vendors.
• Highlighting the effectiveness of MCM to increase its portion of the promotional budget. This is more apparent when considering the need to convince senior management who have heavily relied on and believed in the sales teams interactions with prescribers.
• Building the right capabilities will take time, thus, don’t expect short-term miracles. At the same time take an agile approach to implementing MCM by planning what can be done in 3,6, 12 and 24 months.


Biopharmaceutical companies face the challenge of finding ways to connect their brands to less accessible prescribers in a changing environment. MCM could be the answer to this call. As Bill Fleming said, “Either you’re going to just give up on an increasing percentage of your target market or you’re going to learn how to reach them in other ways.”


Bill Fleming is a biopharma marketing expert with over over twenty-five years experience, committed to finding new and practical ways to reach and motivate patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. He is based in Boston and can be reached at bill.fleming@oxygyconsulting.com.

Arne Buthmann is a partner at Valeocon Management Consulting. Arne has twenty years of experience helping biopharma companies transform their operating model and build new capabilities. He is based in New Jersey and can be reached at arne.buthmann@oxygyconsulting.com.
The authors would like to thank Hans Alcindor for his support in putting this listicle together.


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