Is the future of digital marketing primarily services or software? That is of course an overly simplistic question, but it’s one I think about frequently. My conclusion? It will be both. In the future, pharma marketing has to have the heart of software and the face of services.
Not just software
It can’t be just software — we’ve seen that movie before. Companies create a software application for pharma marketing and sell it to them, but pharma marketers become frustrated because they’re not trained to manage software. Marketing doesn’t think that way.
Not just service
But pharma marketing in the future can’t just be services either, even though that’s traditionally the way it has been sold. There’s too much great data available to rely solely on creative.
What we’re finding as we build analytical tools on top of Backstage®, our multi-channel marketing platform, is that data analysis can support great looking and insightful reports showing marketing tactics over time and across a product portfolio. But pharma marketers still want help with the interpretation. They still need an informed marketing strategist to suggest recommendations on what their next move should be.
Software + Smarts
So, pharma marketing in the future will be driven by software and automation at its core, enabling analysis across terabytes of data in a cost-efficient manner. Processes will be automated to get reports into the hands of brand managers in a timely way. But the derivation of meaning from that data will come from a person, someone equipped to draw conclusions, interpret trends and ultimately make strategy recommendations for the brand team.
One of the questions we get at closerlook is, “Are you an agency, or are you a software firm?”
A lot of people have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that we’re both, and that we have to be both.
The agency of the future will provide a balance of software and services. The heart of software and the face of services.