Pharma bullish on digital innovation, but failing on execution –

When it comes to enthusiasm about digital innovation, pharma seems to be more adept at talking the talk than walking the walk, as it was. That’s according to recent survey data from digital agency Graphite. Working with Reuters Events, the agency surveyed 450 healthcare executives, 85% of who worked in pharma.

The full 92% of respondents agree with the statement “57.3% strongly agreeing and 33.8% somewhat agreeing.

But when asked whether their digital product launches regularly succeed, only four percent of respondents answered yes.

“To some extent, this boils down to a lack of understanding of digital practices and how to successfully execute digital approaches,” report authors write.

For example, respondents appear to undervalue user experience, with only 22% saying ’embracing UX best practice’ and only 17% and 14% respectively listing “’embracing user- centred design approaches ”and their increased two-year priorities.

Respondents also appear to undervalue ‘measuring and tracking success’ with just 19% listing it as the most important factor in product success and 10% asserting that they don’t measure anything with regards to digital product launch success.

But according to reports, with only 37.5% attesting to having “a process in place for understanding their user needs when it comes to digital products” and 27% indicates that their organizations ‘always conducts user research’.

“The pharma sector is not blind to the problems that exist around digital innovation,” Rob Verheul, managing director of Graphite, said in a statement. “A natural risk-averse culture results in projects taking a long time to get to market, and when they do arrive, their purpose and impact are often lower than originally intended. The ways of working need to change, especially when it comes to user research and customer centricity. By moving from a product-first to a customer-first mind and approach, pharma companies can improve the impact and success of their digital products in the future. ”

Interestingly, when asked about an agreement with the general proposition that “speaking to customers regularly is essential”, 85% agreed.

But when asked about barriers to doing more research, the number one response is that it is difficult to convince the stakeholders, response was that cost was prohibitive.

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