Build a Multichannel marketing strategy for an Omnichannel experience.
The Segment/Potential Matrix

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Multichannel, omnichannel, multichannel, omnichannel…

There are many articles debating about the difference of these two in the marketing field. But as our post’s title says we want to build a multichannel marketing strategy for an omnichannel experience.

We are not taking sides and to get a simplified understanding, omnichannel is actually a form of multichannel marketing. i.e. a channel mix integrating several channels of communication as part of one unified customer journey. Multichannel is the approach. Omnichannel is our objective as an experience.

To get to the omnichannel experience we must align our marketing objectives, messaging, and design across various channels to achieve a seamless approach. We will show you our “easy for you” process in starting a multichannel marketing strategy.

At the end of the day, our goal is capturing HCPs’ feedback, interests, and perceptions to better understand them and help you better segment and optimize your content in order to maximize HCPs’ engagement.

We pretty much know the building blocks of a multichannel marketing strategy:

  • Channels’ audit (channels availability and options, channels selection, channels potential engagement)
  • Segmentation (data & insights, customers’ preferences, targeting)
  • Content strategy (messaging)
  • Planning (customer journey)
  • Project Management (implementation, capabilities, skills, stakeholders, tools, processes)
  • Measurement (KPIs & success criteria, analysis)

Multichannel marketing is about channels.
Find your channel fit to create your channel mix.

Multichannel marketing is about all the communication and information channels happening simultaneously, in order to benefit from the interactions and synergies that exist between them.

In today’s world we could interact with prospects i.e. HCPs across multiple digital and traditional channels such as websites, face to face detailing, remote detailing, digital ads, social media, direct mail, mass emailing, mobile apps, continuing medical education (CME) programs, conferences, webinars, etc.

Selecting the appropriate channels is as important as the content you are willing to deliver.

It may depend on several factors and parameters, and one of them is the channel potential engagement.

What is channel potential engagement? It is the score that can be defined using this simple formula:

Score (channel potential engagement) = effectiveness x reach/100.


Face to face e-detailing is the only channel currently known as the most effective, enabling to engage effectively HCPs – Highest effectiveness = 100.
We assume that a face to face e-detailing call has in average 90 % chance to happen – HCP reach = 90 (in comparison, a sales rep triggered email has 25% to 50% chance to be opened – reach= 25 – 50)

Example of channel potential engagement score for selected channels:

The data must be adapted based on your market.

Getting an idea of the potential engagement for each channel will help to select which channel are worthy of investment.

Nonetheless in practice, the choice of channels must also take into account their availability and their “usage” i.e. what are the channels HCPs use the most. for instance, usage may be different from a country to another.

Note: every multichannel strategy should be supported by a web portal as a repository first line resource hosting and providing access to high quality information, services and materials that are promoted through the selected channels to HCPs. For instance, such a platform may also be utilized as a branded website to help building HCPs – Pharma companies’ relations in a more comprehensive way.

Moving forward, do you know what is the first barrier in failing a multichannel marketing strategy?

Lack of resources (money, time, human resources, capabilities & skills, and insights).

We know that if we could play everywhere, we would certainly. Yet, the reality is that using a multichannel marketing approach costs money and involves a lot more types of resources.

Each channel comes with an investment to make, as you draft your marketing strategy, develop content, connect with several stakeholders, etc.

So, before starting your multichannel marketing strategy, you have to know which segments will be worth investing your resources into.

You have limited resources but think of a lot of opportunities to reach HCPs.

How much are you willing to spend before spending a cent?

We use a model that helps first visualize where you should invest and how. Then depending on HCPs’ personas, your strategy will start to make sense objectively and financially speaking.

The Segment/Potential Matrix

The segment is a consistent and homogeneous group of customers sharing common characteristics based on several criteria. It is important to differentiate these segments since their responses will be different to your marketing initiatives.

The potential is the value given to a customer representative of their weight on a given market. The potential value of a physician would be different than for a pharmacist.

In our following example, our customers are physicians and the potential value is based on an aggregate number of prescriptions for a given therapeutic area.

That being said, what is the Segment/Potential Matrix?

This matrix allows to distribute each segment by potential and position them according to their respective brand engagement.

  • Along the X axis, the matrix measures how strong your brand is for that segment or how engaged the segment is to your brand compared to competitors’ brands.
  • Along the Y axis, the matrix measures the potential value given to the physicians within a segment.
  • Each segment is represented by a colored bubble whose size depends on the number of physicians.

Analyze the positioning of your segments. Prioritize your investments.

With a simple excel formula we get the following matrix.

Note: at the crossroad of the 2 axes, there is a central point which corresponds to segments with medium potential but neutral position regarding any brand in the market.

Since the potential is not a value on which we have control, the only variable that we can work on is the positioning of the segment on the X axis – horizontal score engagement value. Our intent is to move/push a segment towards the right side of the matrix or keep it where it lies according to the strategy.

What do we do?

Looking at the matrix, we can easily split it into 4 areas where segments fell into.

  1. High potential and high engagement to our brand
  2. High potential and low engagement to our brand
  3. Low potential and high engagement to our brand
  4. Low potential and low engagement to our brand

Let’s mark each area with different colors.

Utilizing this straightforward split will ease the process of developing the right channel mix strategies, as we will only focus in 4 groups of segments.

Potential drives investment. Segmentation drives content strategy.

Even though the segments are not the same, they fell into the same category in terms of how much we will invest in our communication strategy for each category.

What will be changing from a segment to another – regardless of their category – is the content strategy, the messaging, etc. We need to apprehend the omnichannel experience as a whole that will be delivered to each category.

Basically, what the matrix suggests is to start your multichannel marketing strategy even if you don’t have an operational segmentation in place. See where it makes sense to invest first, then go further gathering and taking into account each segments’ preferences, criteria, insights, etc.

Back to our matrix, we have 4 categories, thus up to 4 channel mix strategies to develop.

It’s better to give a name to each channel mix strategy to reflect the investment efforts we are respectively putting on each of them:

  1. First class Omnichannel experience strategy ($$$$)
  2. Business class Omnichannel experience strategy ($$$)
  3. Premium economy Omnichannel experience strategy ($$)
  4. Economy Omnichannel experience strategy ($)

As previously explained the decision about which omnichannel experience to deliver to which category of segments may depend on various factors. The point is to visualize then analyze the segments worthy of investment.

Nonetheless, the lowest omnichannel experience will most often be delivered only to the low potential/low engagement category since it is the lowest investment we could make. We could even decide not to invest at all in this category.

Note: the segments that fell into the highest potential area (high potential and high engagement to our brand) would always drive the investment strategy. It is a necessary condition but not sufficient. For instance, depending on your commercial marketing strategy or your product cycle stage, your investment decisions will be different than the obvious, a.k.a. highest potential = highest investment.

As an example, promoting a product that is in the first stage of its product life cycle, looking at the matrix, we may feel that it will be more beneficial to put a higher investment into a category that is positioned on the left side (more competitors friendly) in order to gain market share.

We may also decide to put a higher or lower investment at individual level regardless of the category. As an example, a segment with a low potential but a large group of HCPs that fall into a category to which we associated the premium economy omnichannel experience, may be given a business class omnichannel experience instead.

Example of a matrix reflecting a defensive strategy.

For each of the 4 omnichannel experiences we have to define 4 channel mix strategies from the highest investment we could make to the lowest. Each channel mix strategy will be part of a defined omnichannel experience that we will deliver to a category of segments.

Here an example of channel mix strategy by omnichannel experience from high to low investment, based on an annual number of contacts. We only integrated common communication channels. 

Note: it is obvious that the channels mix selection must also take into account HCPs’ preferences. A high potential HCP who doesn’t want face to face e-detailing should not be visited. However, it does not work the other way. A low potential HCP who prefers face to face e-detailing won’t be seen by a sales rep since face to face detailing is a too costly channel to provide to a low potential.

Finally, the time to revalued with new collected data will come and you’ll be able to narrow down your strategy on what is performing and what is not.

A final essential point is finding the right capabilities and technologies to help you streamline the entire process of implementing such strategy including several channels of communication – which implies several developments to undergo.

Last but not least, the customer journey map will eventually be the visualization of the whole omnichannel experience strategy delivered to an HCP.

Stay tuned!

If you’d like to learn more about  multichannel marketing management in Pharma, feel free to reach out to us at contact[at]


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1 thought on “Build a Multichannel marketing strategy for an Omnichannel experience. <br> The Segment/Potential Matrix</BR>”

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