“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” stated John Wanamaker, demonstrating the difficulty of judging advertising effectiveness. Closed Loop Marketing (CLM) attempts to solve this problem, using data and information gathered during marketing to demonstrate what is – and isn’t – resonating with your audience.
“CLM is about closing the loop in the sense of capturing the feedback and the impact of the marketing efforts that you’ve made,” says Morten Hjelmsoe, founder and CEO of Agnitio. “Whenever we send something out we can get a signal back to see if it’s been read, whether it’s been understood, and if it’s had an impact. We can actually know whether what we’re doing is having an impact.” 

Why use Closed Loop Marketing in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing?

By understanding what works for individual customers, you can tailor your marketing strategy to ensure they receive relevant communications, increasing the value to them.
“The idea is that as we move through a sales presentation, we’re doing it together. I’m responding to you, you’re responding to me. It’s not just one way – we’re co-creating the outcome: a successful sales call where healthcare professionals feel much happier because they’ve learned a lot and can help their patients more. And I feel much happier because I’m pretty sure I’ve moved the customer along the ladder in terms of prescribing,” says Martyn Glanville, Key Account Manager at Agnitio.

It’s not just about the technology – it’s about strategy

Don’t become over reliant on technology. “Devices are just amplifiers,” states Martyn. “If you don’t ask the right questions it doesn’t matter if you’re using an iPad or paper. The technology is just a means to an end – you won’t get an increase in sales just because you have an iPad. You’ll get an increase in sales because you’re communicating effectively to people. You need to understand what the technology can give you so you can shape your strategy around it.”
“If your technology delivers metrics your strategy might be driven by KPIs. If you want to understand the perception of your product or your content you should ask the right question – like how efficacious is our drug? The doctor answers, and when 100 doctors have answered you’ve got a useful figure.” And it’s not just about customer insights, “Your technology should deliver a better experience for sales reps, be easy to use, make them more mobile, and increase your call rate.”

It’s not just about the technology – it’s about people

Morten argues that when you want to activate your Closed Loop Marketing and go from mass communication to individual communication, you can no longer just automate everything. Instead you have to empower people, such as sales reps, to make decisions about customers on an individual level.
“This is not about saying ‘we’re going to make all reps marketers and they can decide what the strategy decisions should be for the company.’ Of course not.  Things have to be compliant and you need to have a broader strategy. But decisions need to be made closer to the customer. Technology can give us the tools to empower the reps and the doctors to make better decisions, within a set of rules about what you can and can’t do.”
The quality of the interaction drives the quality of what you learn. “If you’re having a poor conversation, you’re not going to capture rich data.”

Part 2: How to get started with CLM


Morten Hjelmsoe, Founder and CEO, Agnitio.

Morten established Agnitio believing that technology would allow increasingly individualised communication and delivery of much more relevant information. Morten’s background is in engineering, having originally started an engineering company specialising in communication and computer aided design in 1986.

Martyn Glanville, Key Account Manager, Agnitio.

Martyn has a strong communications background, spending six years as a senior producer on the BBC Films website before moving to the communications department of engineering and medical firms in Denmark. He then developed a consultancy providing social media services to pharmaceutical companies before moving to Agnitio, firstly as a project manager before becoming Key Account Manager.