Business Leader with over 20 years diverse experience in business consulting, strategy & marketing, and Commercial Operations in senior leadership roles across consumer health, medical nutrition, personal care and foods ( with Abbott Nutrition / Dumex – Wockhardt /Zydus Wellness/ Dabur India / CII – Confederation of Indian Industry) among others

  1. What have been your marketing challenges during the lockdown?
    Priorities will clearly change in the healthcare industry. Old traditional business models will be revisited. Pharma companies are dependent on a B2B Model with physician access. They will be forced to innovate and find new ways to engage with Physicians.Sales and profitability targets would have to be reset and most critically marketing/promotional budgets will be the first to take a hit.
  2. How do you see digital marketing helping you overcome these challenges?
    • As they say every crisis brings an opportunity. For Pharma (who have been traditionally slow in adopting digital technology unlike other sectors) it’s a “Now or Never” opportunity to “Go Digital” and make it the new Mantra. Traditionally HCPs have always preferred direct engagement with medical representatives to digital. Covid could bring about a strategic shift in how pharma companies and physicians engage and do business. Company representatives and managers who are connected with HCPs on social media can leverage the medium to their advantage.
    • Companies who had brand launches and relaunches lined up may be forced to go digital. Using, linkedin and Youtube & even FB are great ways to engage and communicate with product videos.
    • Content sharing ( blogs/articles and videos) through Personalised emails with doctors and whatsapp messaging is a great way to remain engaged.
    • Another fall out could be that companies will be forced to reassess their required frontline team strength ( do we need 250 or can we do with 100 maybe if digital engagement delivers positive outcomes.
    • Another opportunity in this crisis is, Medical reps can be upskilled and trained online on on digital marketing basics and engagement
  3. Do you think patients will now prefer telemedicine or video consultation over a visit to the doctor?
    Yes possible but only in cases where symptomatic treatment is possible. Whereeve physical examination is required, it may not help
  4. Do you think this ‘digital consultation’ could be the next biggest step in healthcare change?
    In some cases Yes – for example cough and cold, follow up visits etc. But it would also mean payment via digital means which many doctors avoid.
  5. Do you think more an increase in funding opportunities for online platforms that facilitate doctor-patient interaction?
    Yes these are opportunities which can be explored. But it would be important to make it a win-win for both doctor and patient – both commercially and treatment wise
  6. Patients are avoiding visiting large hospitals due to the fear of contracting Covid-19 infection. Does this mean an increase in business for the GPs?
    Yes possibly in some cases. But even here physical contact is unavoidable. Unless doctors put a limit on no of visitors and sanitization procedures in clinics.
  7. Do you think pharmaceutical companies will use social media and other digital channels to engage the doctors?
    They may be forced to. They will adapt and adopt digital tech if they find the outcomes positive. A lot will depend on the companies and their mindset and leadership. Many can view this as an opportunity to reinvent their business model and streamline ops by going digital. But the nature of pharma biz which is based on one on one contact will mean that the traditional model can only be supplemented not discarded. Companies will be needed to do surveys on how many of their core doctors are tech savvy and active on social media. Another opportunity for companies is to do digital training and engagement workshops for doctors to upgrade their digital skills
  8. Since the entire country is now more aware about health and hygiene, do you think pharma companies will focus on category campaigns such as Diabetes, Hypertension etc. to increase the size of the market?
    Yes, the selfcare industry or preventive care industry can get a huge leg-up. But then it depends on how traditional pharma companies seize this opportunity. Their record here has not been very good. Always slow to adopt with the frog in the well approach.
  9. Considering the spike in digital video consumption on Hotstar, Netflix, other OTT platforms and YouTube, do you forecast the pharma industry increasing the use of video content & video campaigns?
    Most certainly yes. Pharma companies need to move out of it’s comfort zone and leverage the digital opportunity in a big way.
  10. How do you plan to use ‘Digital marketing’ in capitalising these new opportunities?
    • Work on new remote e-detailing offerings.
    • Zoom meetings with Core doctors. Personalization of face-to-face meetings to video-based calls will be critical to maintain Personalised touch and rapport.
    • However important to indulge in carpet bombing the inbox.
    • Important to maintain a schedule so that the Doctor looks forward to some interesting information.
    • Opportunity to create personalised content – more videos and blogs, more thrust on patient education initiatives on ‘living with Covid’
  11. What percentage of their marketing budget do you see pharma companies shifting to digital?
    At least 35% should be shifted to digital but it would be critical to monitor outcomes as pharma companies are very ROI obsessed. How do correlate digital vs in clinic detailing with prescriptions and changing Rx behaviour.

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Chandan Bagwe

Chandan Bagwe, is the Founder and Managing Director of C Com Digital, founded the company two decades ago in 1998. This can be attributed to consistent and immaculate services in online development and marketing along with recruitment of an experienced and specialized team under his stewardship. Chandan has established the company as the leading techno digital marketing agency in India essentially focusing on the digital publicity of brands by integrating Content Curation & Creation, influencer marketing, digital public relations and distribution of varied content. The company has worked with leading brands such as  Times Now, Edelweiss, Tata Interactive Systems, Tata ClassEdge, Asian Heart Institute, Anunta Technology Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Blue Cross Laboratories Pvt. Ltd, We School, Outlook Publishing, Southern Health Foods Pvt. Ltd (Manna), Ram Ratna Group, and Globus to name a few.