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.

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