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.

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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.

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The Clock is Ticking: Pharma & Biotech’s Road to Slow Digital Transformation.

The pharmaceutical industry’s implementation of digital marketing and use of a true multiple channel strategy has been under pressure for the past 10 years as virtually every other industry and sector has surpassed them in both customer-centricity and progress in digital marketing.  Many pharma companies both big and small have been testing the integration of a customer engagement digital commercial model during this time.  Some may ask, Neil, “What exactly is digital transformation?”  Brian Solis, a digital analyst and best-selling author, has done significant amount of work in the digital space defines digital transformation as follows:

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MCM Optimization: An Inept Plan for Your Marketing Platform Causing Incompetent MCM Strategy!


Now that we are well into Q1 of 2018 with Sales Marketing plans into the implementation phase, each of us our scrutinizing our brands and evaluating how to improve efficiency.  It’s time to be able to quantify your strategies and tactics while adjusting to the unique market changes and fluctuations we are all faced with today.  As we all know, technology has taken pharmaceutical marketing and revolutionized it in the last 5 years. Channels proliferated, and then converged; information turned into a monster in the cloud and MCM expertise and experience has become a premium for all sectors of the marketing economy.

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