Digital CPR – a way to bring your marketing tactics to life

We spoke with Sari Carter, Strategic Marketing Lead at Anthill, to hear how she helps pharma clients think in a more people-centric and less product-centric way. Keep reading to learn what CPR means in life science marketing – and how it can breathe new life into your customer engagement.

How do you see customer engagement today and how do you work with it?

Sari Carter: What’s clear is that life science companies who truly engage with their customers – patients and HCPs – achieve dramatically better outcomes. The evidence is overwhelming. What needed to be better understood was the nature of these engagements — what works best – so that success can be replicated.

To understand that, we took a deep dive into cases in pharma and also in other industries. What became clear was that there were certain characteristics present in the best performing tactics compared with those that fell flat.

We’ve defined them as: ‘connectedness’, ‘personalisation’ and ‘readiness’.

That spells CPR. Did you cheat to make it work?

Sari Carter: Did we rearrange the letters? Maybe. Did we have to come up with new words? Cross my heart, no.

Let’s take them one by one. What do you mean by connectedness?

Sari Carter: Connectedness is ensuring that every tactic you execute on, every story you tell is linked to another –  in order to create a seamless experience across all channels and touchpoints. No tactic is an island by itself.

Marketing is all about delivering valuable information at the right place and the right time, but truly connected tactics are still something that many companies struggle with.


Sari Carter: Personalisation is something we keep hearing about but similarly is proving to be a real challenge. One reason is that pharma already invests an enormous amount in content and ‘personalised content’ often sounds like ‘more content’ to marketers. I’d argue it’s not.

Really it is about better structuring how content is delivered – essentially building a content strategy that allows us to learn from our customers and adjust their experience.

The more customer data you collect, the easier it is to make informed decisions that allow you to deliver the content they want, how they want it. This data exists, so now it’s just a question of putting it to work.

And, lastly, readiness?

Sari Carter: Readiness means assessing your organisation’s capabilities and tools to optimally execute your marketing plans. In essence, how ready and willing are you to really do multichannel or omnichannel marketing? Readiness means being prepared to deliver to your customers, to learn from your customers, and to optimise for your customers.

We know that readiness is a particular challenge. Why do you think that is?

Sari Carter: Readiness is difficult in pharma because it’s an industry that has historically had extremely long development cycles. The core business model of an organisation has vast ramifications on the entire business. If you plan around 12-year launch cycles, then it isn’t really surprising that people aren’t used to working in an agile way – even in forward-thinking departments like marketing.

While it’s not easy, we have to stop using our differences from other industries as an excuse. We can start now. It requires work to change, but what needs to happen – and what we are helping our pharma partners achieve – are new, more flexible ways of working.

So, how do we start applying CPR?

Sari Carter: That’s a big question but to give you a short answer, I would say that first, it’s important to understand what’s possible. That often means looking outside the industry because pharma isn’t really flying yet with its omnichannel communications. And we have to be more ambitious.

Then start with the basics. Focus on a few channels that you know you need and start applying the principles of CPR. When you narrow your focus, it’s a lot simpler to build a stronger content strategy and begin to apply that thinking.

Each of the CPR principles – connectedness, personalisation, readiness – can be applied to the work that people are doing now. And, thanks to our research, we now know enough about what works to say with conviction that even small changes can have a big impact.

Ready to find out more?

Gain skills needed to operate in a fast-moving digital environment and learn how to build confidence and capabilities in your team. Book a meeting with Sari today to learn more about our Omnichannel workshops. 

Related Post