Marketing research

JPM: Sanofi’s new Chief Digital Officer steps up his ambitions in marketing, research and e-commerce

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson took office touting his digital hopes for the company, and he now aims to bring the French drug maker to the digital 2.0 level with renewed ambitions and a new digital leader who has joined the company. outside the industry.

Chief Digital Officer Arnaud Robert told the JP Morgan Healthcare conference on Tuesday that digital challenges in the pharmaceutical industry are “very real”. I worked there.

Robert, who joined the group after serving as Chief Digital Officer at Viking Cruises, envisions a shift in Sanofi’s overall culture through digital tools and new ways of working. Earlier in his career, Robert worked at Disney and Nike.

His plans for the next two years? Increase patient engagement and digital marketing in specialty care, expand e-commerce for vaccines, and incorporate data to improve ROI in consumer healthcare. He also foresees an effort of “internalization” in certain fields of activity after what he calls “years of excessive dependence” on external partners.

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Sanofi restarted its “digital journey” last year, said Robert, putting in place a new management team and prioritizing its work. So far, the team has built an app in 6 weeks that can display sales across products and geographies; it integrates AI to formulate sales forecasts.

On the research side of the business, AI could play an “important role,” said Robert. This is still a “nascent” application, but there is potential to accelerate research with AI, he said.

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Sanofi isn’t the only major drugmaker to embark on a digital push. Companies such as Pfizer, Merck & Co. and Novartis have appointed digital managers in recent years, and drugmakers are exploring various ways to use new technologies to boost their operations. Novartis, for example, used an AI app to help sales reps in their conversations with the doctor.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated pharmacy digital marketing. At the start of the crisis, drugmakers and agencies rushed to launch digital initiatives that were either waiting to be rolled out or that were entirely new. The digital marketing trend will continue into 2021 and beyond, predicts Fierce Pharma Marketing.