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Future proofing brands' business models with data-driven insights and the end-to-end digital journey

Lee Abbas

February 28, 2023

Industries such as pharmaceuticals and finance have very complicated approval processes, so it's important that creative agencies think beyond tactical execution for these sectors and focus on a customer-centric, individualized end-to-end journey. Without a solid foundational strategy, it can be difficult to navigate the numerous adjustments inherent in maintaining compliance for highly regulated industries. Companies that haven’t prepared themselves to be flexible might find their creative work on the cutting room floor of the legal review.

In order to future-proof highly regulated categories, it's important to intentionally carve out the budget to test and learn more innovative and effective ways of customer engagement. When executives conscientiously allocate a portion of marketing resources to innovation, they challenge themselves to reach beyond the status quo, benchmarking themselves not only against the present-day competition but against the competitive landscape of the future.

As part of RAPP’s approach, we encourage companies to build small-scale, adjacent marketing ecosystems as the test bed for innovation. They sit outside of the core business to drive new thinking, approaches, and capability building. This approach ensures business-as-usual activity is not disrupted and innovation can continue to happen.

This forward-looking prioritization gives our partners the time to lay out learning objectives and gather proof points. It also allows companies to experiment with the right combination of audience, content, and experience as they look to scale innovation into their broader general marketing strategies. By doing this, we have seen ROI improvements of up to 30%.

This has helped to improve our go-to-market speeds by more than 30% as well. Faster speed to market is a pivotal component of any company where agile optimizing is a digital transformation goalpost. The faster we can gather data, the faster we can generate data-driven insights, which we can use to:

  1. Identify gaps in the customer experience

We partner with our clients to look at the total customer journey — locating gaps in their experience to help them achieve not only success with the brand but also success in changing their behavior, establishing new habits, and providing information customized to their mindset.

To help with gaps in consumer knowledge and support, we've developed a personalized journey to deliver lifestyle tips that help customers make everyday, achievable behavior changes toward better habits. By doing this, we can collect first-party and zero-party data to understand the behavioral profiles of our customers and further provide them with content that's valuable to them.

  1. Investigate new ways to relate to an emotional truth

RAPP has leveraged Big Data insights, AI-powered social signaling tools (sparks & honey's Q™ and our own MIQ), and qualitative research to understand our customers beyond their circumstances. In doing so, we have arrived at a specialized approach to defining audience segments with unique digital journey characteristics. We intercept and disrupt their journey with a powerful personalized message that speaks to consumers, and not at them.

We continue to follow the data story from ads to site behaviors in order to understand the true impact of an emotionally connected message. Through data-driven insights, we have been able to refine our message and make improvements to the site experience — and have ultimately seen business improvements of more than 200%.

This is the advantage that RAPP can bring to digital transformation in highly regulated industries. In just two years of working with our innovation partners, we were able to test, learn, and transfer a new capability into our clients' marketing organizations, packaged with data-driven results, a step-by-step playbook, and best practices from our lessons learned.

Along the way, we were able to incorporate complicated processes and look for opportunities to streamline the creative development process, accelerating speed to market. Instead of cutting corners, we found ways to build a process around them, ensuring quality control and regulatory compliance.

At every juncture, our team was ready to take a twist or turn in stride to keep on strategy. Everyone, from our creative team to our project management team and our account team to our technology partners, worked dexterously to ensure we were in step through each challenge.

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