Key Performance Indicators to support Multi-Channel Marketing

Getting value from MCM and e-Detailing.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and even the use of eDetailing have been around for years in Pharma companies. Coupled with the newest generation of technology and the integration of more Marketing Channels, organizations in the Life Sciences Industry now have the necessary tools to support a 360 degree view of their customers.

As most CRM platforms have limited reporting and analytics capabilities, they are integrated with advanced Business Intelligence solutions providing the option for combining multiple data sources calculating almost unlimited amount of Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

However to stay in the lead it’s not enough simply to record and measure what has been done. The data must be used more intelligently. The platform must be used to develop insights, create maps, plan new routes, capture impact and predict outcomes. Measuring and focusing on the right things is not straight forward. Structure is critical….and it’s a challenge for multiple companies.

Develop and structure the right KPIs

In any organization, business goals should be driving actions and investments across different units. Multi-Channel Marketing and CRM are no different and can be used to develop insights in several areas e.g.

  • Segmentation & Profiling Enhancement
  • Channel Mix Optimization
  • Materials/content Improvement
  • Timing of material usage in self-detailing


When developing KPIs they must be linked to the business goals and hence business questions. Measuring, tracking and reporting doesn’t make sense just for the sake of it. KPIs must be developed and grouped to support Business goals – knowing the business goals might change during the product life. Hence the KPIs should be cultivated (retired or added) e.g. when moving from Product Launch cycle to a more mature product. Be aware that all KPIs are not equally relevant for all parts of the organization. Similarly, specific sets of KPIs might need to be developed for the different brands/products/product life cycle or regions which follow different marketing strategies.

For example, for a mature product, Sales Volume and Market Share might be appropriate KPIs to monitor:

  1. Switches from old Standard of Care and
  2. Performance relative to competitors (respectively);

If you’re implementing a strategy based on patient awareness and engagement, other Objective KPIs are likely to be more effective. A good structure of KPIs is important. The structure should not only support the respective stakeholders need but also stretch from the very basic calculations to the defined business questions. Finally, it should be flexible enough to support the entire organization in the long run.

An example that could be easily transposed to multiple organizations:


Implementing KPIs

Implementation of KPIs is a discipline of its own. Mastering the basic skills before starting to use more complex KPIs is crucial. Start defining the basic metrics incl. time definitions (e.g. Week? Calendar year? Fiscal Year?) and mapping tables etc. Make sure the organization understands not only why the KPIs are in place but also what is calculated, and how the data is used. When confident in the solid foundation, move on to combine more data objects and sources.

It is quite common in multinational companies that shared functions and individual local operating companies (LOCs) are at different maturity levels (processes, IT-systems, Business readiness etc.). Bridging between local capabilities and the global shared functions is essential. Hence the implementation of the KPI framework must take this into account. Evaluate the capability maturity of the LOC and plan accordingly:

  • Maturity level 1: Simple use of KPIs. Out-of-the-box reporting and limited supporting business processes
  • Maturity level 2: Advanced use of KPIs and reporting combining multiple data sources. Business processes well integrated supporting mostly upstream reporting.
  • Maturity level 3: Complete Closed Loop Marketing (CLM) processes in place. Business processes enabling agile content management and continuous improvement.
  • Maturity level 4: Business strategy and tactics converted to algorithms providing automatic decision support for e.g. the salesforce.


KPIs must be designed to answer business questions. Both Business questions and KPIs evolve during the product life cycle. Match the KPI framework and complexity with the capability maturity of the organization and business processes.

Finally, as in everything else, make sure the associated business processes not only supports but also reinforce continual improvement. Business goals and questions change, new material is added and communication channels evolve – the KPIs and structure must adapt accordingly.


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