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Veeva Commercial & Medical Summit 2019 – key takeaways

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With over 600+ customers from across pharma and biotech that Veeva Systems provide with cutting-edge tech solutions, it’s small wonder that an event like the Veeva Commercial & Medical Summit draws attention. It’s what one could call a whole universe of tech-savvy organizations – the Veeva universe, and in early December, over >1200 of life sciences professionals were exchanging insights in Barcelona. Viseven Group, as a Full Service Veeva Partner, could not stay aside – so here are just some of the key points we feel were the essence of the event. Stakeholder and customer engagement, data and CRM excellence, as well as sophisticated approached to content management – here are the highlights that still resonate with us several weeks after.

Across Veeva, in brief

One of the major strengths of Veeva is that it constantly expands the range of products and services it provides, so as to cover the entire spectrum of organizational needs. The opening keynote by Arno Sosna, General Manager, CRM, demonstrated this fact quite neatly, even though CRM is just one direction of work:

The various parts of Veeva Systems provide practical answers to the questions of marketing, sales, medical and service, engaging various stakeholders with a set of tools. The summit included a number of “deep dives” and “mini theaters” dedicated to the various solutions and services, such as Open Data, Vault PromoMats and Vault MedComms, as well as Veeva CRM Engage Meeting.

The outcomes of these solutions have been quite spectacular, as well, notably 88% increase in sales productivity with Veeva CRM, 75% reduction in content approval time with Vault and 95% saving in admin time with Veeva Align.

It’s about data, really…

In an intriguing case study, Philippe Houben, Global Head of Data Excellence, Boehringer Ingelheim and Rebecca Silver, General Manager of Veeva Open Data, discussed the model of what Veeva calls “intelligent engagement” based on a data-driven culture. The Veeva solutions at play here are Open Data, Nitro, CRM MyInsights, and Veeva Network.

In the “intelligent engagement” approach, three stages of the process were identified, going from data through insights to actions. For each, specific concerns exist: at the data level, it’s digital and F2F interactions and consent management, as well as reference data. When the data become meaningful insights, such as channel preferences and product usage, it’s time to present value. Actions are then taken at an individual level to improve customer experience.

This is where data quality becomes crucial:

If the data isn’t right, nothing else matters.

– read one of the slides in huge letters.

Another successful example of the “intelligent engagement” approach was presented by Parker Richardson, Director, Content Strategy & Standards at GSK. The essence of the “customer experience activation” is making real time decisions with the help of insight-powered intelligence, which in the end allows to provide more personalized customer experience.

…and customer engagement is what you need that data for…

It’s hard to disentangle data and customer / medical stakeholder engagement from one another – but the event organizers did it just to provide more structure to the summit, with Digital Engagement Track and Medical Stakeholder Track in the schedule. The topics in these largely formed a sort of dialog, providing answers to questions raised in each other.

This connection was demonstrated by Gerard Arnhofer, Vice President, Head of Integrated Multichannel Marketing at Bayer, in his presentation on delivering value to customers:

Although in the Data track, the insights had to do much with customer engagement, involving both questions of customer centricity and the use of Veeva Open Data.

The topic was also developed in a case study from Novartis, dedicated to transforming the customer approach:

In the modern, “Uber-connected” world, life sciences can learn something from other industries in terms of engaging customers, with interesting points being 2-way communication, consistency and quicker content creation. Which bring us to the next point…

…which you will attain with content…

Content is the fuel of any strategy, and making sure it is produced relevant and consistent with the insights received is vital. The amount of content (eDetailing presentations, emails, websites and landing pages, etc.) is growing in an almost perfect geometric progression. This can be seen, among other things, in Veeva Vault PromoMats statistics:

With that multiplication, the need arises to take up smarter, more integrated approaches to content. Attempts to unify content-related processes and establish working global-to-local management workflows are being made very actively. For example, Christian Scheuer, VP Commercial Excellence & Affairs, LEO Pharma, presented a characteristically integrated approach. At the data/insights end, the system is powered by a BI platform (One Way) absorbing data from sales and Veeva CRM activities. CRM has one global configuration to facilitate this. At the same time, content is created based on the insights received as Global Master versions pushed to Veeva Vault Brand Portal.

Visual aids are the “basic setup”, while email and other channels (e.g. Veeva CoBrowse) are add-ons.The cherry on top is the integration with Salesforce Marketing Cloud that allows, among other things, SFMC activity from mailing campaigns to appear on the Veeva CRM activity timeline, while managers also use SFMC Journey Builder for personalization.

These integration efforts are being made for a reason, and it’s a good thing Veeva supports them. In the long run, there is already a vision of a new model of content management – one that several companies have adopted as blueprints, and we at Viseven have recently endorsed, as well.

…managed in a completely innovative way.

There has been talk of modular content. This strategy has been developed as an answer to long-standing content management hurdles, including approval, reuse, personalization and time-to-market. In short, the essence of the approach is thinking about (and creating) content in the form of flexible multichannel modules that can then be combined to create content assemblies (presentations, emails, web content) adjusted for local markets – with a hefty amount of automation thrown in. (Here is a more extensive perspective.)

Steps are being taken to ensure this already. Morten Kruse Sorensen, Global Director, Multichannel Excellence & Operations, Novo Nordisk, has presented a practical case study illustrating the process of establishing modular content processes. Instead of struggling to “feed the beast”, the organization establishes an ecosystem (“content hub”) based on three nodes:

  • PromoMats used for content formal approval;
  • Brand Portal acting as a single source of truth for global and local content;
  • Production stage, where modular content is crafted based on templates.

This enables affiliates to pull global content for adoption and efficient reuse, with faster time to market and reduced development cost. Together with new Veeva features like Auto Claims Linking, the amount of manual work is reduced to the bare minimum.of searching for assets to link with the claim (references, etc.)

Another organization working with modular content is Shionogi. Tiago Caria, Senior Manager, Digital Innovation Europe, presented the universal, not-channel-bound nature of modules as “naked content”, reflecting the idea of ultimate connectivity.

Viseven team is proud to be among the pioneers of connected modular content, which we are currently implementing for several leading enterprises based on Veeva capacities and our own eWizard content authoring solution integrated with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Adobe Experience Manager. Our approach is based on the concept of Channel-Agnostic Modules (CAM) that can fit any content type and is used to assemble content in approved Master Templates.

Seeing the evolution of the way content is managed makes us quite enthusiastic, since today, at last, we have the technology that helps solve the familiar content-related issues and attain true customer centricity.

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