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May 11, 2009

Frost & Sullivan Studies Pharmaceutical CRM with Surprising Findings

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor


As the pharmaceutical industry is feeling the effects of the economy, companies within this space are demanding cheaper and more innovative customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that can deliver great flexibility.

According to Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert), pharmaceutical companies in the future will invest more in CRM segments such as marketing automation, customer analytics and closed loop marketing. These companies will also focus on the management of key opinion leaders as a priority.

In Frost & Sullivan’s Global Pharmaceutical CRM Markets, the company found that only a flexible and cost-effective CRM will be able to achieve strong penetration. The markets are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9 percent from 2007 to 2014.

This research report covered such areas as sales force automation, marketing automation, customer analytics, customer service, closed loop marketing and key opinion leaders’ management.

"There is an increasing demand for marketing automation and customer analytic tools," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Santhosh Kumar Ramaraj, in a Monday statement. "Intensifying and escalating data are evoking interest in companies for the purpose of optimally analyzing it to support improved decision making."

With the evolving e-physician community, there is now effortless communication and interaction with pharmaceutical companies. These companies are expected to take advantage of online physicians and patients and as a result, information gathering, storing and retrieving, analyzing and reporting will become relatively easier.

As the demand continues to grow for these processes, so will the demand for tools to perform these tasks. Additional innovations are also expected to emerge as the next spending priority.

At the same time, the global economic slowdown will restrain pharmaceutical companies as they continue to cope with existing infrastructure. As such, spending on new technologies will be delayed and pharmaceutical CRM vendors will have a tough time providing the right product mix for pharmaceutical companies.

"The pharmaceutical industry is adopting a cautious approach, delaying and re-evaluating technology purchases until profits are more stable," added Ramaraj. "At present, they are planning to manage with their existing infrastructure."

Pharmaceutical companies will be more likely to favor those solutions vendors that provide an extensive range of options as one standard solution does not suit all requirements. Most CRM vendors are finding that it is a challenge to fulfill the wide range of requirements.

"CRM vendors need to devise niche solutions rather than generic ones," advised Ramaraj. "A cost-effective and flexible product that ensures ROI and meets the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry will definitely capture market share."

Understanding the challenges within the market and how pharmaceutical companies are handling their CRM choices is essential for those hoping to get a piece of the pie. As the recession continues, it will be a challenge for vendors to understand and address specific needs within set cost structures. Trial and error may be the best strategy at this point.
 

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi




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