DigiSights 2019, the fourth edition of the Digital Marketing Conference for Pharma and Healthcare, was held in Mumbai on November 22nd. Organised by MediaMedic Communications, the 2019 conference theme was ‘Integrated Marketing Communications in the Digital World’. It garnered attendance from some of Big Pharma & Healthcare titans, and was largely applauded for its content relevance given the digital storm that is fast catching up to India’s Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry.
The conference kick started with the keynote address by Sanjiv Navangul, CEO-Global Specialty, Alembic Pharmaceuticals. As a seasoned executive with decades of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry, he gave an overarching view of how digitalisation has started to revolutionise Pharma marketing. His most important message for the young guns of Pharma was – “Take risks, solve the larger problem, do not be overwhelmed by the Digital Transformation.”
The second keynote speaker was Joy Chakraborty, COO, Hinduja Hospital, a healthcare marketeer with over 21 years of experience. He said, “The onset of digitalisation has had a significant impact on patient monitoring. Today, the healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry are more intricately entwined than ever before. It’s important to monitor patients at every stage of the disease and the pharma sector can play a very significant role in this.”
The world today is fast becoming aware of the power of artificial intelligence. The healthcare sector in India is only beginning to become aware of how AI fits into their industry. Vikram Kumar, the founder of Multiplier Solutions gave a live demo of how healthcare can benefit from AI. He stated that “Growing restriction on medical representatives to visit the doctors is one of the major challenges in Pharma industry. AI can help create tools and bridge this gap.”
What added to the real-world relevance of this conference were the two power-packed panel sessions. The first panel session that provided insights on integrating digital and PR into brand plans, had panelists from a wide array of backgrounds. Vivek Khanvilkar, Vice President-MR, SFE, Digital and Direct Marketing at Sun Pharma, believes that over the course of the year, for most brand managers, digital becomes just a tick and not an initiative that is well-thought of. It is high time that the brand team seriously introspects and identifies those pain points which can today be resolved only by digital initiatives”, he adds.
Priti Mohile, MD, MediaMedic Communications, further stated that from the point of view of an agency working with Big Pharma and Healthcare giants, “Some companies are conducting only tactical activities that aren’t completely built into their brand plans to deliver real business value.” But this trend is changing, she adds, “We do see a lot of interest from more companies now, in understanding how to integrate communications.”
The other panelists include Anumita Tripathi, Manager-External Communications, for Medtronic; Adarsh Rodrigues, GSK; and Dr Yashpal Chugh, GSK. They gave examples of some digital initiatives that produced good results for the company.
While India is still getting accustomed to the Digital Transformation, the next panel session took an international deep-dive and offered global perspectives on integrated communications. The panelists included some of the GLOBALHealthPR APAC & USA partners of MediaMedic Communications.
Tim Goddard, the President of GLOBALHealthPR, USA kicked off the international panel discussion talking about the transformation of the communications industry in the last few years – “As agencies, we are structuring our businesses to reflect the convergence of channels. No longer is PR or communications about media objectives, it’s about looking at a client’s business objectives, coming up with smart, multi-channel strategies and having the capabilities to deploy across all those channels.”
His thoughts were further added on to by the rest of the panelists that included – Jonathan Wilson, CEO, Spectrum Science, USA; Kirsten Bruce, VIVA! Communications, Australia; John Wong, Madison Communications, HongKong; and Dr Peter Velev, Founder, CredoWeb.
The digital transformation marks challenging times for what up until now was an essentially traditional pharmaceutical industry. However, Manoj Saxena, MD, Bayer Zydus, wants pharma marketeers to look the challenge dead in the eye. He challenged CEOs to adopt technology and new-age media for pharma marketing.
In the age of technology, whatever isn’t possible? Dr Peter Velev spoke of his product CredoWeb, a digital platform whose sole intention is to connect all healthcare stakeholders and facilitate communication between them. The platform claims to provide accurate targeting, a broader reach, precise statistics, and deep insights.
Dr Manjeeta Gupta, Medical Lead, Serdia Pharma presented an interesting case study on how Serdia garnered huge visibility through an integrated campaign on Angina awareness.
Transformation is here to stay. Every second, of every day, technology is enabling us to become faster, better, more accurate, more relevant. Relevance plays a massive role in creating top level industry intelligence reports. Spectrum Science, USA gave a demo of Galileo6, a marketing intelligence platform, capable of scanning through hordes of information and providing with the most relevant analytics & information. Mr. Jonathan Wilson stressed on the importance of the changing transformative insights and analytics when developing strategic marketing campaigns, while speaking about the capabilities of the Galileo6. Chris Bath, Digital Insights Lead, Aurora Healthcare Communications, UK presented Data driven insights & its measurements in Pharma.
The conference ended with an engaging talk by Salil Kallianpur, Founder, Arks Knowledge Consulting who said that disruption is here to stay and “the interruptive marketing strategy of Pharma is complete no-no.” He urged pharma marketeers to “think disruption and package your offerings into the daily life of a doctor.”
Dinesh Chindarkar, Co-founder and Director, MediaMedic gave the closing remarks mentioning about the right adoption in this changing world solving real-world problems.
The event of DigiSights was a day long immersion which concluded on the note that the changing marketing environment requires integrated, multi-channel marketing with a need to adapt to the digital transformation, rather than stay put in the traditional ways of pharma and healthcare.
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