A new challenge: Moving pharma marketing from multichannel to omnichannel.

Omnichannel marketing has emerged as the solution to the growing pains that arise for pharmaceutical marketers as they strive to reach and engage customers. 

Faced with a challenging healthcare environment, as well as overwhelming, uncoordinated channel use and promotional waste, marketers are replacing multichannel marketing with omnichannel marketing to enable simultaneous orchestration, optimization and personalization across channels and multiple stakeholders.

Multichannel marketing was not the solution

Over the past 20 years, multichannel marketing had been evolving as a solution to the marketing challenges plaguing the pharmaceutical industry, but the success was limited. At first, multichannel marketing appeared to be a somewhat effective strategy as it enabled pharma marketers to activate multiple channels simultaneously.

However, despite the evolution and availability of new communication channels (email, digital, social, etc.), many companies were slow to adapt the approach to their existing but lacklustre customer engagement strategy. Instead, they mainly prioritized their field force. In many cases, this disconnect resulted in the development of commercial strategies in which personal and non-personal engagement, or multichannel marketing, were viewed as distinctly separate focus areas. Adding to the complexity was the implementation of strategies focused on other customer stakeholders, such as patients and payers, without incorporating or providing input that connected holistically with traditional healthcare provider strategies.

Ultimately, during the past two decades, multichannel marketing was based on siloed activations in separate channels with limited, if any, coordination or intersection across stakeholders.

Omnichannel marketing is evolving as a new promise

Today, omnichannel marketing is increasingly replacing multichannel marketing. Instead of the fragmented and siloed multichannel approach, omnichannel marketing employs the simultaneous orchestration and optimization of channels across personal, non-personal, and media, and addresses the integrated needs of multiple stakeholders – consumers/patients, healthcare professionals, and payers.

Bringing the channels and stakeholders together in a truly integrated manner is the pivotal shift required to break through today’s noisy and crowded pharmaceutical marketplace.

Several key areas of marketing are transformed in the evolution from multichannel to omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel marketing pharma

Key elements of omnichannel marketing

There are several elements required to develop and execute omnichannel marketing that enable the agility and speed of execution, and elevate the ability to connect and optimize communication across channels and audiences:

  • Turning promotion on or off: The omnichannel marketing approach will enable marketers to determine which promotional activities to dial-up and dial down, or turn off entirely based on evidence and data.
  • Advancing intersection of communication across audiences: New models of engagement between patients and physicians have been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic environment, with emphasis on the rise of virtual care and telemedicine.
  • Optimizing across channels and stakeholders: Traditionally, marketers might direct spending across a single or just a few channels, but not across all channels and/or customer stakeholders, which ultimately erodes fiscal optimization. Omnichannel marketing provides the opportunity to work with brands on a continuous optimization cycle throughout the life of a campaign.
  • Personalizing and targeting: Based on the increasing availability of data along with technology and analytics, marketers have the ability to get closer than ever to their customers in order to meet their expectations and satisfy their information needs.
  • Getting smarter with machine learning: The models and metrics traditionally applied by the pharma industry to measure marketing performance will need to be reassessed and modified to ensure measurement of simultaneous impact across channels and customers.  A lot of the old measurements were stagnant, and the focus was solely on ROI.  With advanced technologies (AI, ML, and NLP), omnichannel marketing can perform dynamic analytics and modelling, which will enable smarter campaigns.

Omnichannel marketing has the potential to improve the pharmaceutical customer experience by increasingly influencing the number and adherence of patients on therapy through integrated promotional efforts that engage them in their own healthcare journey. This promotional approach also will enhance the pharma organization’s experience by enabling it to optimize spend as it efficiently navigates all relevant channels and stakeholders.



HCP Digital Engagement: Trends and Effective Strategies for Medical Affairs Pharma Teams.  
Data-driven insights and an optimized orchestration of content delivery and channels are essential for Pharma to expand their relationships with modern HCPs.
AI’s Transformational Impact on the Patient-Physician Relationship.

The Transformational Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Relationship Between Physicians and Patients.In today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape, the integration of…

What is Medical Communications? The definitive guide.

Medical Communications. The demand for clear and integrated dissemination of scientific knowledge is critical for the Pharmaceutical industry. Medical communications—or…

Enhancing engagement with healthcare professionals (HCPs): How AI is transforming Pharma relationships.

Pharmaceutical companies are progressively turning to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a tool to transform several aspects of…

Six communication trends Pharma needs to watch in 2024.

Six Communication trends Pharma needs to watch in 2024.As we approach 2024, the Pharma industry’s focus on developing and maintaining…

0 +



0 +




0 +



Whether you’re looking for effective solutions to transition F2F meetings to a virtual or online environment, support with clinical trials, medical advisory boards, symposia, key opinion leader (KOL) management, internal medical training, medical writing or speaker training programs and more, count on our 16-year experience and expertise over 40 therapeutic areas.

SDM also offers strategic consulting services and can help with communication and engagement of your target audiences as part of market development opportunities.

Discover why over 95% of clients are “Extremely Satisfied” with SDM and over 90% say the agency deliver “Much more than expected”.