Planning Your Successful Digital Transformation Journey.

In June, I was a featured speaker at the BioPharma eMarketing Summit held in San Diego. I spoke on how to approach the challenges of digital transformation in the biotech industry and provided a general framework for how to organize a company on this journey. What came up again at the conference is a question I get asked quite often about digital transformation, specifically, “Exactly what is digital transformation?”   Not surprisingly, the phenomenon of DT has taken a steep increase in interest and spending over the last 5 years, especially since the pandemic moved many companies to create a new focus on the need for digital channels as a platform for success.

My response to asking for a definition of “What is digital transformation” would be very simple: digital transformation shouldn’t require a definition, in my opinion, it is considered a framework and a practice not a term or phrase to be defined.  In other words, every company’s strategic goals will require the need to create framework and practices that will be guided by their own digital marketing strategies.  This framework for guiding your digital transformation should include the following key 4 areas.  Operations, Engagement, Innovation and Tactics.  Different technologies and solutions serving each stakeholder and companies most likely have siloed tech stacks that are an obstacle to creating positive user experiences. The successful transformation of these important areas into the digital age will launch any company’s product or service into market share and revenue growth.  Specifically focused on your customers, employees and systems.

So, the question is not what is Digital Transformation but what does DT mean for your company and/or your brand?

It may be controversial to say but I believe having the intention to begin your digital transformation and ask the simple question “What is my journey?” is in itself a big step in your process in order to finally understand 2 important questions – 1. “What will I accomplish in my digital transformation?” and 2. “How do I define DT?”. The question should not be “What results will my digital transformation provide for my company/product?”  Try to avoid being overly connected to predictable outcomes in your transformation such as a project plan or revenue objectives.  In fact, you should expect the unexpected. Only being certain that you will learn from the results and and that these learnings will create an improved digital universe for the future success of your product or service.

Begin your journey by asking your team what does it mean for your brand or your customers. This should not align with the the textbook definition of Digital Transformation but should align with what your resources view as DT. I’ve said before that the majority of DT will fail but will create something new for customer engagement even if you don’t meet all your project goals or ROIs. Remember, the task of building your journey can be challenging but it will be less cluttered with past assumptions by looking forward and planning your success in a new and different way – rather than focusing on definitions or looking in the rear-view mirror.

2 Strategies to Market Your Biotechnology Brand

Biotechnology is a rapidly growing industry, with an increasing number of people becoming involved. Although this is an emerging industry, the community that surrounds it is made up of highly educated people who are looking for content that is more focused on facts and education rather than on “entertainment.”

As a result, it’s a very close-knit target audience. Your ability to position yourself as a trustworthy and credible figure in the biotechnology space will determine the success of your company’s brand.

To assist you in accomplishing this, I’ve outlined 2 basic strategies for effectively marketing your biotechnology brand:

  1. Social Media

Starting to build your online reputation on social media is a great place to start. When marketing biotechnology on social media, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember that your target audience isn’t going to use social media for entertainment. The majority of social media platforms are built on the idea of providing consumers with entertainment. The platform who is the most entertaining is the winner.

So, how do we get the word out about biotechnology to people who don’t use social media in the traditional sense? It’s as easy as looking at the appropriate platforms. Although there is a direct benefit in credibility to being on most social media platforms, the real benefit comes from the ability to properly inform, educate, and bring people together in the biotech space. For this, there are two fantastic social media platforms. Twitter and LinkedIn should be used for this.

Twitter – Twitter is going to be great for keeping people “in the now”. People used to read newspapers and watch the news on TV. They still do to some extent. Twitter, on the other hand, is quickly becoming a popular way for people to get their news concerning topics they are interested in. As a result, you can now build a following by sharing the latest news and information with millions of users who are actively looking to learn more about what you have to say.

LinkedIn – Unlike most other social media platforms, LinkedIn is primarily used by professionals. As a result, it’s ideal for establishing a professional community around your biotechnology company. The majority of these individuals are actively seeking additional information and have created profiles in order to connect with more like-minded individuals.

2. Content Marketing

The pharmaceutical and healthcare industries have been one of the last to embrace content marketing. If you’re in the industry, you know what I mean. Due to the fact that we are operating in a heavily regulated environment, it’s easy to feel paralyzed with uncertainty about terms like digital transformation and content marketing.  If you want your brand and your company to be seen as a thought leader, you’ll need to keep educating people about the industry with new and informative content.

Having a highly informative and possible contributing to 3rd party content sources are great ways to do this. Being part of your customers’ information/content stream resonates directly with your audience when they’re looking for a solution. In return, you gain their attention, and most importantly, their trust.  It’ll be crucial to have content planned out in advance while still being timely, as you should be posting at least 1-2 times per week. This will allow you and your brand to show off your knowledge on a variety of topics while also establishing you as a trustworthy source with your followers.

Overall, this will be a great way to continue connecting with your target audience.


Within the biotech industry, there are a variety of ways to market your brand. These are just a few of the methods available. There will always be new and exciting ways to share your brand with a pre-determined target audience and subscribers, especially now, as new technology is always emerging.

Digital Transformation: 3 Steps for Clarity & Speed

I recently spoke at the Digital Marketing in Life Science virtual conference  The topic of my talk was how to create a framework for your digital transformation.   I received a great deal of question regarding specifics on how to successfully navigate the steps for the creation of a digital framework in pharma and biotech.  Thank you again for those who attended and participated.  One key category of discussion was, how do I speed up the process of creating change – especially now in the age of COVID-19 where so many companies are going through difficult changes?

Now with these accelerated trends already in play for digital transformation in every industry, clarity is one of the most important pieces of the planning proces puzzle.  I’ve put together 3 important clarity steps that fall into the MOLE framework that I have constructed in recent virtual workshops.  I have the beginning sections of MOLE described here in a recent blog:

Clarity Step 1:    Define your goals and involve senior Leadership

More often than not, it’s a senior leadership ‘top-down’ approach that enables success in your digital transformation.  In fact in the last 10 years – I have seen zero transformations get beyond the emergent phase without senior leadership direction and involvement.  This means more than just budget allocation but actual team participation and time.  The team lead you need to create a culture of success as well by evangelizing the organization’s new direction and vision.

Again, It’s a significant undertaking to make some of these investments and changes, and they have a pretty low velocity if everyone isn’t involved in breaking down barriers due to the fact that our industry is lagging behind in creating transformations.  I’ve seen companies create job families with multiple areas such as medical, training, sales and marketing together, reporting up and involving leadership.

Clarity Step 2:    Define specific phases in your transformation journey

I defined some clear guidelines for how you can define your phases of digital transformation journey in my post from It’s critical that you communicate and tell the story that your company is embarking on a journey not a series of projects.  Part of your key milestone meetings should include, “Here’s our current state of the organization and this is our future of fully functioning digital transformation!” A clear destination and vision need to be visually represented, so that everyone can see the steps for change.  This journey needs to focus at all phases on improving customer engagement, which leads me to the final clarity step.

Clarity Step 3:  Your 1st Discussion with everyone is Improved Customer Engagement

Pharma biotech leaders have been speaking on Customer Engagement (CE) since we 1st started transferring form paper to iPads for detailing.  There are thousands of books written on this topic but not many companies are fully putting CE on the top of all performance indicators for all pieces of the transformation puzzle.  I realize that digital transformation is not linear and you should expect implentation to be messy, however, beginning with the customer in all channels of customer engagement is one of the most integral pieces of program success.  Also, CE language is translatable to all areas and stakeholders which will help you gain the increased momentum necessary for bringing forward critically important plans for all brands you are marketing to key customers, including both HCPs and Patients.

Defined Phases in Your Digital Transformation Journey.

Have You Reached The Emergent Phase?

A clear map of where you are and where you are going is certainly a critical step to leading your team into a successful Digital Transformation. I spoke about this during my talk at the 2019 Digital Pharma East conference in the video below.

Continue reading “Defined Phases in Your Digital Transformation Journey.”

The M.O.L.E. System Perspective: Step towards Digital Transformation


I recently spoke on digital transformation in pharma at the Digital Health Coalition (DHC) Summit hosted by AstraZeneca.  Here is a link to the featured content of the Summit: DHC October 2019

Virtually everyone that spoke to me after my talk pressed me to provide more details surrounding the MOLE concept that I presented and asked for more information on the 2020 workshop.  I’m proud to announce the workshop is complete, I’ve setup some events and I’ve summarized some key elements of the MOLE workshop for you in this series of 2 blogs. Enjoy…and please reach out with any questions or comments below.

Continue reading “The M.O.L.E. System Perspective: Step towards Digital Transformation”