5 Key Ways Digital Transformation Enables Pharmaceutical Companies to Better Manage Their Reputation and Brand

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4 minute read

Every day, pharmaceutical companies deliver life-saving care and fund breakthrough research that improves patients’ lives. Unfortunately, the critical role pharmaceutical companies play in the healthcare system doesn’t translate into an overwhelmingly positive public perception of the industry. Just 47% of the public views the pharmaceutical industry in a positive light, according to a 2022 Harris Poll. Public perceptions of the pharmaceutical industry improved after the first COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for use—hitting a 62% approval rating in late 2020—but have since settled below the 50% mark, according to Harris. It is against this backdrop that pharmaceutical companies are tasked with protecting their reputation and maintaining brand image.

Reputation and Brand Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Pharmaceutical companies don’t have an easy road to managing their brand and reputation. Every drug recall, every adverse side effect, every instance where the efficacy of vaccines and other drugs is called into question—these are all very real and very persistent threats to public reputation. Fortunately, pharmaceutical companies can take advantage of digital transformation to more effectively manage their reputation and brand. Through digital transformation, pharmaceutical companies gain access to the workflows, systems, and organizational change management tools necessary to make a tangible difference in how the company is perceived. Teams across the organization come to see the key role they’re able to play in expanding awareness and positively influencing perceptions of their company. Let’s explore five key ways that digital transformation enables pharmaceutical companies to optimally manage their reputation and brand:

  1. Reputation Management Can Become a Widely Shared Responsibility

    Most pharmaceutical employees don’t think about how—in the course of going about their daily jobs—they can positively influence reputation and brand. They don’t think about the fact that every interaction with a provider or a patient is an opportunity to reinforce key marketing messages. They don’t consider that their own eyes and ears on the ground can yield invaluable insights about what patients like and don’t like about the company. Through digital transformation, pharmaceutical companies gain the ability to educate, engage, and inspire all of these employees to become a proactive part of managing reputation and brand. Digital transformation enables pharmaceutical companies to develop training sessions on reputation management topics. Digital transformation enables the company to send personalized messages to employees inviting their participation in various corporate branding initiatives. Digital transformation enables data portals to be set up for teams to collect and monitor various market trends, as well as preferences and attitudes among patients, providers, and others.

  2. Marketing and R&D Can Be Brought Together

    In an ideal world, marketing should be working closely with a pharmaceutical company’s R&D division to build trust in products and the brand. R&D can share how patients and providers are reacting to and engaging with different products, and marketing can turn these insights into resonant messaging and strategies for increasing brand affinity. Similarly, marketing can let R&D know what messages and strategies are resonating with patients and providers, so R&D can design more successful product launches and other marketing campaigns. In the absence of platforms and tools that enable this two-way sharing of information, however, pharmaceutical companies don’t have a way for their marketing and R&D divisions to effectively and continuously collaborate. Digital transformation creates a common platform for marketing and R&D to readily share information about how patients and providers are connecting with various products and the overall brand. Instead of teams having to make manual, one-off requests for this data, all of it is readily available. Marketing teams in particular can benefit enormously from having early insights. Because product development in the pharmaceutical industry typically takes many years, marketing teams want to be able to start testing minimum viable products for product-market fit as soon as possible. Thus, marketing teams need to keep tabs on R&D progress across multiple product pipelines—including internal timelines for bringing products to market, and how patients and providers are responding to various products during clinical trials.

  3. User Adoption Gets Prioritized

    For teams to see the important role they can play in managing reputation, they first need to adopt and use the technology and workflows that enable them to meaningfully connect with this important work. Fortunately, digital transformation in the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t just introduce an organization to new technology and workflows; it ensures that the technology gets adopted and used. Specifically, digital transformation encompasses strategies for how to roll out new technology effectively—how and when to communicate about change, how to design effective training, how to leverage early adopters of new technologies to jump-start organization-wide change. It is only by getting technology into widespread use across an organization that a pharmaceutical company can effectively leverage a high adoption rate to connect its workforce to reputation- and brand-building initiatives.

  4. A Culture of Continuous Process Improvement is Created

    Every pharmaceutical company is more effective at managing its reputation when employees are disciplined, precise, and committed. Because digital transformation creates a culture of continuous process improvement, digital transformation plays a key role in supporting reputation and brand management. Pharmaceutical companies can generate real-time reports and visualizations of KPIs (key performance indicators), then use these metrics to provide direct insights into how a company is being viewed, the major threats and risks to the company’s stability, and how different operational and marketing tactics are influencing these trends. By closely monitoring these areas, pharmaceutical companies can continuously—and intelligently—refine their strategies for protecting and growing reputation and brand.

  5. Reputation Management ROI Can Be Tracked

    When pharmaceutical companies make strategic investments in technology and workflows to better manage their reputation, they expect to know if their investments yield a strong ROI. Fortunately, it’s very easy to calculate ROI because digital transformation is all about enabling organizations to collect the data necessary to calculate ROI. If employees aren’t adopting technologies and workflows that are intended to support reputation management, the company needs to know right away. If interactions between the marketing and R&D teams aren’t yielding measurable results, the company needs to decide how to modify the scope of these interactions to get better outcomes. At the opposite end of the spectrum, digital transformation also helps pharmaceutical companies decide what sorts of reputation and brand initiatives to invest in next—again, insights that are entirely driven by data.


pexels-linkedin-sales-navigator-2182981Managing reputation and brand effectively is a critical part of every pharmaceutical company’s stability and growth trajectory. Digital transformation gives pharmaceutical companies the tools they need to engage their entire workforce in reputation and brand management. Through digital transformation, an expectation is created that reputation and brand management is everyone’s responsibility, that marketing and R&D teams will collaborate effectively, that end-user adoption of new technology will be prioritized, that the focus will be on continuous process improvement, and that ROI from these important activities will be tracked.


Manage Your Brand and Reputation with Crossfuze

Crossfuze is optimally positioned to help pharmaceutical companies understand how to use digital transformation to more effectively manage reputation and brand. To learn more about Crossfuze’s approach to digital transformation in the pharmaceutical industry, please reach out to Crossfuze today. We look forward to showing you how to engage your entire workforce in reputation and brand management

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