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The New Healthcare Ecosystem Realities Impacting Customer Engagement
A rapidly shifting healthcare landscape and a wave of cost-containment initiatives destined to put further pressure on the pricing of pharmaceuticals across all major geographies (e.g., Inflation Reduction Act in the US and the recent pricing and reimbursement reform in Germany) is placing greater emphasis on optimized customer engagement models.
In parallel, healthcare systems have turned their focus onto increasing the resilience and effectiveness of their care delivery models by evaluating different integrated organizational configurations (e.g., integrated care systems in the UK and integrated delivery networks in the US), providing greater interconnectivity across settings of care, and adopting digital technologies along the patient journey. Pan-European initiatives such as EU4 Health and Horizon Europe have further fueled the overhauling of the healthcare infrastructure. Within this context, pharma customers continue to grapple with the increasing inflow of complex medical technologies and the exponential proliferation of new clinical data while having to operate within severely resource-constrained care practices.
As healthcare becomes progressively more organized and integrated, the pharmaceutical customer engagement model needs to re-position itself to best serve these new customer ecosystems and capture the value of R&D innovation. In our recent analysis of over nearly 200 launches between 2018 and 2021, we identified “high ecosystem IQ” as one of the key performance drivers for successful product launches. High ecosystem IQ combines two components: 1) the ability of an organization to deeply understand how value is distributed across an ecosystem of stakeholders, their influence networks, and what the right trigger points are to drive the adoption of novel pharmaceutical innovation; 2) the ability to engage ecosystem stakeholders in designing and seamlessly executing key initiatives that deliver value on key customer jobs.
Measuring High Ecosystem IQ Among Top Pharma Companies
In order to better understand where the industry stands on this topic, we benchmarked 13 of the top 20 pharma companies along the two key dimensions that measure high ecosystem IQ, readiness, and action (see Figure 1).
The data displays how most companies generally exhibit a solid degree of awareness and understanding of ecosystem dynamics, however only a sub-set of companies have started to pivot their customer engagement model to deliver value to these newly formed stakeholder ecosystems. There are four key areas of intervention that must be prioritized to effectively engage organized customers:
Evolving the Customer Engagement Model to a Micro-Enterprise Model
In a future where customers will be increasingly more organized, connected, and ultimately powerful, the customer engagement model will need to evolve into a micro-enterprise, borrowing some of the principles and language originally codified by Haier, the world’s largest appliance maker, which have become a leading example on how to build a highly customer-centric enterprise. In 2012, Haier reinvented itself by going through a radical organizational transformation in which employees self-organized into >4000 micro-enterprises that respond directly to user needs. This change was guided by two key principles of the Rendanheyi* model:
From an organizational standpoint, the micro-enterprise model should build on two core platform layers:
Frontline personas are only subsequently codified into roles based on financial, competitive, and operational considerations as well as talent availability (internally and externally). Different frontline configurations should be pursued at a local level if needed to fully match customer jobs and where commercial opportunities are located along the patient funnel.
Ensuring Long-Term Success and Accelerated Performance
The road towards “zero distance to the customer” starts by developing a high ecosystem IQ organization and building a thorough understanding of the jobs customers are demanding. Those are non-optional elements in designing high-performance customer engagement models to wow organized customers.
The Putnam team has defined different archetypes for the micro-enterprise model that can be adapted to different investment and competitive contexts as well as company culture. Get in touch to discuss how the micro-enterprise principles can be applied to accelerate the performance of your portfolio and organization.
* “Ren” refers to each employee, “Dan” refers to the needs of each individual user and “HeYi” refers to the connection that exists between each employee and the needs of the user
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