February 7, 2018
‘We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job to make the customer experience a little bit better’ – Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.com
It is of no surprise that in this new digital landscape, technology companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google are now consuming the OTC territory. They have realised that whoever owns the relationship with the healthcare customer will be the driver of the future growth. In this accelerating industry, OTC Brands as a whole need to move with the pace to stay connected to their consumers. To keep up, we in the OTC industry need to do more to engage with consumers, while also delivering real improvements to their health outcomes. The shopper journey is forever evolving, with purchasing trends changing with the continuous digital development – the traditional difference between shopper and consumer has effectively disappeared.
For an effective social and digital strategy, our plans need to be well thought out and defined. We need to stress that physical and emotional needs are at the core of our strategies and properly target our key audience. We can then begin to change existing behaviours in order to direct them to the best advice and buy our products. As a whole experience, this service can then connect us in pharmacy by offering collaborations with other products i.e. when a diabetic patient picks up their prescriptions then offer a blood test, supporting products, information or strategies.
A development in the OTC digital landscape could then lead Healthcare Professionals (HCP’s) to maximise their relationships with individuals and add real value. Digital platforms can allow this by motivating HCP’s to create real change and action to view pharmacy customers as unique people, and not as diseases; creating an individual experience.
Digital has been a hot topic for many years, yet there is often little tangible evidence of exactly how we can incorporate this successfully into our industry to provide meaningful growth and improved consumer experience. To survive and grow, the OTC Industry needs to join and learn from the giants of technology and create a deeper connection with our pharmacy customers online.