Sanofi is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. The French multinational has more than 100,000 employees in 100 countries, including Brazil, where Gabriela Monteiro is Sanofi’s director of digital acceleration.
According to Monteiro, keeping track of the new consumer journey represents one of the company’s major challenges–one that it’s meeting head on. During this interview with CMO.com’s LATAM staff, Monteiro discussed the overlap between marketing and technology, proper handling of data, and innovation processes.
CMO.com: How does the pharmaceutical industry keep track of consumer journeys?
Monteiro: We approach the issue with data intelligence. Analytics tools provide insights that we then use to develop more assertive campaign and content management strategies for our clients. At Sanofi, we reach out to patients and physicians in different ways. The insights derived from data analysis allow us to define an adequate journey for each of these targets.
CMO.com: How do you get the right message to the public throughout the journey?
Monteiro: First of all, we develop relevant messages. We seek relevance in everything we do. Any company should have that as a starting point. Our objective is to reach the largest number of physicians. To reach this goal, the promoters we have in Brazil will count on digital support tools, including video and other media. Campaign management platforms have allowed us to start building a broad database of patients and physicians. Such data will improve our understanding of our target audiences and their behavior, so we will track their journeys and reach out to them through the right channels.
CMO.com: The government heavily regulates the pharmaceutical industry. Does that pose an obstacle to marketing?
Monteiro: Yes, it does, but we can still innovate. We must operate within regulatory constraints all over the world; that is a characteristic of our sector. We deal with lives, so regulation is important. At the same time, we build relationships with responsibility, based on the ethical and correct treatment of patient data, and on the development of innovative products. Technology is our ally in this process.
CMO.com: You lead an area of digital acceleration. How does that actually work?
Monteiro: The overlap between technology and marketing gives us a better understanding of our audiences. We have a very clear orientation in everything we do, which is our customer. In our screen strategy, for example, we do not talk about mobile-first. We talk about user-first and build the best possible experience for the client regardless of whether the access occurs on a desktop or mobile device. One thing completes the other. Digital acceleration permeates it all and integrates tools, areas, and people with different professional profiles.
CMO.com: In your opinion, and having in mind the overlap between marketing and technology, what does the future hold for this area?
Monteiro: I believe marketing will become increasingly more collaborative. In other words, people will promote your brand. However, a company will only achieve that level of collaboration if it can sustainably engage the entire chain. I believe in marketing as a force for good, but not only as an expression. I believe companies will become more engaged in causes with a social impact and will distance themselves from the kind of marketing where the brand speaks and people listen. It is an engaging marketing based on client-centric beliefs.