Devesh Verma, Ph.D., leads the Marketing Solutions practice at Axtria. His mission is to bring “customer centricity” to the heart of all marketing decisions. His solutions help marketing organizations transform their business models and generate higher returns from their promotional investments. Prior to joining Axtria, Devesh led Daiichi Sankyo’s hypertension and metabolic franchises to achieve record sales of over $3.3 billion. He also served on the Pharmaceutical Management Science Association (PMSA) Board from 2013 through 2017, during which time he launched the association’s virtual university program. Devesh’s experience also includes working for marketRx (acquired by Cognizant in 2007) and Delta Air Lines.
For this month’s installment of our Pharma Innovators blog series, Susan Becker spoke with Devesh Verma, Ph.D., Principal at Axtria, about the importance of bringing real-time data and analytics to bear on marketing decision making. While most pharma companies have embraced digital marketing and the concept of “customer centricity,” accessing data and analytics quickly, at the point of decision making, still presents a challenge.
Delivering Pharma Insights
Susan Becker: How does Axtria serve the pharma industry?
Devesh Verma: Axtria is a commercial insights and operations solution provider with global scale. We combine industry knowledge, business process, and innovative cloud technology to help our clients make better data-driven decisions. Our data analytics and software platforms support decision science, commercial operations, and cloud information management for the life sciences industry, and also financial services.
Moving to the Cloud
Becker: What trends do you see among your clients in managing and leveraging information?
Verma: Our clients are already working on initiatives to move their information to the cloud – either using AWS or Azure or another cloud platform. Moving information to the cloud provides unparalleled scalability to store information and allow access from any device, any place, any time.
Connecting Online and Offline Marketing
Becker: Where are the gaps in your clients’ digital marketing efforts?
The biggest data challenge in pharma is bringing real-time data and analytics to the point of decision making.
Verma: Most of our clients have already realized the importance of using digital marketing to position their products to their customers. These clients have already invested significant effort to build infrastructure to store digital interaction information with their customers. But the gap exists in bringing real-time insights to the point of decision making. The issue is more pronounced among pharmaceutical manufacturers who rely on an army of sales representatives to sell their brands. So, the big challenge is to integrate digital marketing efforts with sales representative oriented selling to meet the needs of every customer.
Becker: How does Axtria position itself in a growing and crowded data analytics market?
Verma: Axtria integrates cloud information management with commercial excellence and decision sciences to build industry-leading solutions for its clients. We believe in innovating continuously to meet industry needs.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Becker: What are some challenges of big data analytics for the pharma industry?
Verma: The biggest challenge I see in the pharma industry is to bring real-time data and analytics to the point of decision making. There is significant lag in bringing 360⁰ customer data together, crunching it through an analytics engine and generating customer insights, and then executing on the insights to drive offline and online marketing campaigns. Many times, a pharmaceutical marketer has little or no time to act on marketplace opportunities and risks. I strongly believe that any solution provider who can shorten the time between data, analytics, and execution would really help the industry launch a true customer-centric marketing program.
Filling the Data Gap
Becker: What do you find attractive about the DMD product portfolio?
Verma: The DMD product portfolio is built on bringing more real-time data to the point of decision making. The product portfolio fills a large gap in the industry that arises from insufficient or irregular online information about health care professionals’ online behavior.
To read our full interview with Dr. Verma, follow this link.