In this episode, we hear from Thomas Molenaar, Head of Marketing at Dechra Pharmaceuticals.
Noz and Thomas discuss Dechra’s initial steps to implement and build the necessary infrastructure, processes, and platforms to support their omnichannel aspirations.
Join us as we delve into topics such as data integration, process integration, channel strategy, and the human side of this complex operation.
This episode provides some reassurance and guidance for those at the beginning stages of their own omnichannel journey, providing a firsthand account of the hurdles and steps involved.
What you will learn:
- Insights into recent omnichannel projects at Dechra Pharmaceuticals
- The typical challenges encountered when transitioning to an omnichannel approach and strategies to overcome them
- The role of personalization in an omnichannel approach
- Revising your metrics strategy for measuring the success of an omnichannel marketing strategy
- The vital role of technology in implementing omnichannel strategies
- Future trends in omnichannel marketing and how businesses can adapt
- Resources and tips for implementing a successful omnichannel strategy.
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Thomas Molenaar is an experienced digital marketing professional currently serving as the Head of Digital Marketing at Dechra Pharmaceuticals. With a passion for digital strategy and customer-centricity, Thomas leverages technology as an enabler while prioritising the needs of individuals. He excels in crafting innovative solutions, utilising data-driven insights and fostering a customer-centric approach. Thomas’s leadership skills, collaborative nature, and commitment to people-first marketing have driven digital transformation within organisations.
In his spare time Thomas enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, trying his hand at music production and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Full session transcript
THIS IS AN AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPT
Noz Urbina 09:43
Okay, everybody, thank you for joining. I’m here with Thomas Molnar of Decker pharmaceuticals. I’m happy to have you, Thomas. You want introduce yourself a little bit to to the audience.
Thomas Molenaar 10:26
Of course. Thanks for having me here today, as I am done was more than I am the head of digital marketing at Decker pharmaceuticals. So a little bit about my background. I originally graduated with a degree in art history, having the dreams and aspirations to be coming arch curator. That didn’t work out but I did I discover marketing and I kind of like gradually flows into marketing starting out in paid search. And, you know, over the years getting more acquainted with core marketing principles, but also with different channels, which over the years led me to, to kind of evolve my role as a marketeer and leading to currently working as the head of digital marketing at DEKRA.
Noz Urbina 11:11
Excellent. I love that path from art. I studied literature and classical civilizations.
Thomas Molenaar 11:18
Yeah, yeah. I think it’s interesting that in a way, I think it really helps because one thing that you get in the humanities is coming at problems from a variety of different angles, which I think is something that is really interesting when it comes to marketing as well, making sure that there’s not one or truth. There’s different ways to you know, solve a problem in that way and analyze your data
Noz Urbina 11:41
Absolutely. There’s pros and cons to every approach. There’s the philosophy of how we work and kind of thinking, what are the visit lots of things like the long term impacts of how we do things? I think people are very conscious now that we used to battle the whole world and a variety of seniors would kind of jump in and now we’re with with the zeitgeist the kind of awareness in society as well. What is this gonna mean in 510 years or is this the right long term plan of action? Yes. Long term thinking has come to the west. Yeah, so can so we’re here on the omnichannel podcast, brought to you by omnichannel x. So Thomas, I’m interested to hear your definition of omni channel marketing. We are we’re often talking about omnichannel from different roles, different perspectives. And this is you know, this is interesting to speak from a from a marketing point. Of View. So what is what is your definition doesn’t mean to you?
Thomas Molenaar 12:39
Yeah, I think for me, it always comes back to what it isn’t. And usually when the term omni channel marketing starts, a lot of people start panicking about oh, now having to use every available channel to us, truly omni channel. Where’s the thing for me it’s purely about the integration of channels, making sure that there’s consistency and messaging across channels, making sure that there’s a visibility of the data that is you know, can be used to kind of like enhance and complement touchpoints as well. Complement channels. So you can be omni channel with with just a few channels as long as they are consistent and as long as they’re fully integrated.
Noz Urbina 13:22
Preaching to the choir, I couldn’t agree more. I think that the the there was a sort of channel or channel panic a while ago that we had to be on all the channels and the intention was to be on all the channels be everywhere. And I think that I feel that that’s dying down when I talk to when I talk to most people and excel they realize that’s an impossibility. No brand, no matter how deep your pockets is going to be on all the channels. It doesn’t even make sense because channels can also come and go. So it’s all it’s about how you are ready for new channels and what you do when a new channel pops up. And having a really intentional strategy about the channels that you do have as as a whole. So I really Yeah, definitely, definitely aligned with your definition there. Yeah.
Thomas Molenaar 14:15
Sorry. I just wanted to actually be like the term channel planning. So I might still like going forward. I think that that’s very much kind of you know, it comes up a lot where people start thinking about how do we familiarize ourselves with our channels. And it comes back to the idea about like, are the channels actually serving a purpose so you know, for your customers needs, What channels do they actually require to solve those needs? And those are the ones to focus on we I liked that word channel panic actually.
Noz Urbina 14:44
Absolutely and one I’ve definitely seen as a channel panic because the channel is just literally big. For example, I had I remember the example I think was a baking company or something it was something they were very particular industry. It wasn’t like shoes or something. It was something that had a particular target audience. And there was this one channel that was just bursting out on the scene. Everyone was going on, et cetera, et cetera. So suddenly all this pressure to get on Snapchat or whatever it was, and I remember the contact I was talking to going our audience isn’t there. The channel is channel is big. The channel is popping not with our audience. Yeah, this this kind of thing going a fear of missing out, but at a corporate level. Yeah, everybody’s talking about blah. We should be on blah. But that doesn’t mean that your people are there or that they go there in a mood or with an interest to talk about what your what your value proposition is.
Thomas Molenaar 15:44
Yeah. Yeah, no, definitely.
Noz Urbina 15:47
Okay, so you’ve actually been doing some multichannel projects. We’re very much about the practical here about you know, real lessons learned. We do talk a theory game because you have to, you have to think about what’s coming and understand the theory. But I really like to be able to talk about the real stories. So can you tell us a bit about your project projects, very interested in what kind of audiences and you know, the kind of the ecosystem of stakeholders who will be addressing what channel what types of content your other your own channels, third party channels, some mix? Yeah.
Thomas Molenaar 16:21
I mean, so, I think for us, where we currently are is we’re very much and I think that’s the same for everyone. We’re on omnichannel journey and we’re very, very early stages of the of the omni channel journey and that you know, there’s a lot of education happening around the company about the the concept of omni channel. There’s a lot of interesting initiatives in terms of trying to match channels up and making sure that the consistency and messaging is there. If I look at my projects, I think what I’m really working on is making sure that the conditions structures in place for our company to become omnichannel. So that’s focusing on Channel integration that’s focusing on making sure that the data that the tools are there for our content teams and our product managers to be able to when they you know, when they feel that they’re ready to put that omnichannel message out the tools already there. So I’d say you know, can you if I have to talk a bit about audiences, we’re doing a lot of research currently to just get an understanding of what are the touch points and the channels that are, you know, customers use? And that’s for me, it always goes back to customer needs. So it’s it’s the research stage trying to figure out well, what touchpoints do we actually need to develop for our customers, where they will require information or where they will you know, require our services to then start thinking about how can we connect them better? How do we make sure that the data quality is there so it’s almost kind of like at step minus one, where we still have the conditions into place around omnichannel. And from a from a communications point of view, I think it’s it’s purely focused on consistency and content making sure that you know, we orchestrates we orchestrate kind of the whole omnichannel process better by not looking at as separate channels in that way.
Noz Urbina 18:15
Well, you’re so let’s let’s try to make it a bit more concrete for the for the listener. So Decker is not a I wouldn’t say Decker is a household name. Like there’s probably a lot of people who when we talk about your audience, can you tell us a bit like literally what kind of people are you trying to target and and what I’m interested especially as more talking omnichannel is interaction between those people. If you’re talking to multiple stakeholders, how do they relate to each other what what are their roles and how do they how do you have to target the audience as a whole?
Thomas Molenaar 18:50
Yeah, of course. So if if you look at our industry, so we’re a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products for the animal healthcare industry, so our primary audience will be veterinarians and veterinary professionals. And there’s a lot of overlap between us and human pharma, but there’s also you know, some some key differences and definitely when it comes to maturity, there’s some differences. I think, as an industry, we’re still a couple of years behind behind in pharma. So our key I think, one of the key challenges that we face is understanding and getting to know our audience better. So we know that we’re talking to veterinarians, but we are still in very early stages to be very clear to how we segment between veterinarians. So that goes in terms of what are the sub species that they treat, what are the the therapy areas that they specialize in? So they do specialize in dermatology they specialize in in anesthesia and analgesia. Then there’s also the question about well, what kind of messaging do they actually prefer? Do they look at commercial offering that we have, are they more there from a scientific angle from an emotional angle as well? So when we look at our different audiences, it’s very much about trying to understand our customers in how they interact with our channels. So how do they interact with digital means but also offline as well? And how do we find that perfect mix in serving up their content in the right way? So the way that we’re embarking on that journey is very much around you. We know that our customers have value the offline touchpoints that we have, that’s the relationships that our sales reps have with our customers, the relationships that our customers have with our technical teams, if they buy one of our products, and they’re not 100% Sure, you know how to apply it or they’ve got questions around it. We’ve got a whole team of veterinarians at Decorah as well, to be able to provide those services and we really pride ourselves on having that knowledge in house and that’s also part of a brand proposition to come at things from the veterinarians perspective with with having kind of our customers as part of the organization as well. So what we’re trying to do now as part of this omni channel journey is how do we take those relationships those those people relationships, and how do we extend them online, so that across, you know, every touchpoint, our veterinarians have the idea that it’s the same high quality service we provide as the ones that they have with, you know, with the offline counterparts with the people in your organization. So from the you know, we know that we just can’t depend on our offline relationships anymore. It’s the 21st century, even in healthcare to 21st century. Customers will be online, there will be
Noz Urbina 21:50
fun times I think it’s just become the 21st century. It’s
Thomas Molenaar 21:54
definitely an animal healthcare, sometimes we are. You were laggards in that way. But I think there’s there’s a change happening and as you said, you know, with with audiences changing with with things like Snapchat and Tiktok they might not be relevant now with our core customers, but maybe when when this whole generation grows up and become the new generation of vets, it will become very relevant as well. So does that Does that answer your questions?
Noz Urbina 22:19
Yeah, it does. I’m interested. Yeah. So it raises a couple of other interesting questions. The the role of different types of for example, influencer. So you’re talking about, you’re talking about different specialties. I know that when we’re talking for our pharma clients, the role of the influencer or opinion leader, as is often called, is really interesting, and I think that’s something that I think the audience might want to hear about, because I think that concept is is relevant to any industry. So I’m interested to see how you’ve been thinking about influencers and and I don’t want to forget, you mentioned something which is very near and dear to my heart, which is the people channel and I wanted to know when you’re looking at marketing, whether you are seeing part of your role as providing assets and knowledge to those people or deriving assets and knowledge from those people as part of your strategy. So those two different those are my two follow up questions. Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Thomas Molenaar 23:22
So I think the first one, especially in pharmacy in pharma, key opinion leaders are essential. And again, I mean, we’ve got our veterinary professionals in the organization that liaise with key opinion leaders because they speak the same language. But they are you know, the I think it’s also from other customers. There’s always a skepticism around pharmaceutical manufacturers always, you know, we are biased, we want to sell our products. And so key opinion leaders are essential in having that sort of neutral voice in the discussion and making sure like, hey, this product from Decorah, or this treatment is actually you know, is is effective, and it’s something that from an from a specialism something that we will we want indoors. So it’s a fine line and a fine balance between making sure that you can use those key opinion leaders in you know, create those partnerships and making sure that they are there to also promotes kind of like the Decorah Decorah solution that’s out there. But also make sure that you don’t make them into influences where they lose that, you know, neutrality and yeah, half of that thing that I keep that credibility and authenticity as well. And we only recently finished a piece of customer research where when it comes to veterinarians, you know, and I can imagine for for healthcare professionals in general, accessing information online, that’s those are the two key parts credibility, authenticity, making sure that when they find information, it’s on information they can trust. So I think that that’s kind of where for us keeping leaders are essential and also something where we can still do a lot more compared to where we currently are and what we currently do.
Noz Urbina 25:16
Yeah, that’s a bit I was kind of hoping you would drill down into this. What is for again, very practically speaking, what can you do what kind of marker would like what kind of our listeners because that’s not done, I am seeing time and time and again, this siloing between the knowledge centers of the business and marketing and so often marketing goes out and pays agencies to go get knowledge that they can publish that their own people in the next offices down the hole have and then they publish it to the public but that they don’t share it with the internal people. So I’m interested in terms of practical terms, what what can we do? What do you what is your vision of how that relationship could work better?
Thomas Molenaar 25:56
I mean, that sounds like the content creators, aren’t they? And I think we sometimes separate that out too much. Just in a very in very practical terms. We were now doing a large SEO audit as well and going through our content and when it comes to key opinion leaders. In our case, when it comes to the veterinarians, they are the ones that put the content out, but within the guidelines to making sure that the content out that’s that it should be the tandem between the the SEO expert in this case and the key opinion leaders to create a partnership and making sure that we harness that knowledge in a most efficient way. And I think that’s the same across just
Noz Urbina 26:33
checking here. Just when you say key opinion leader do you mean key key opinion leaders you have on staff or both?
Thomas Molenaar 26:40
Yeah, I think I think there’s a case for both. I mean, we have brilliant people and stuff that can create a lot of content who are I mean, you can perceive them as being buyers but equally their veterinary professionals. So think there’s definitely that, you know, expertise and that knowledge there and obviously also making sure that you can start with applying content from external key opinion leaders and seeing how you can leverage that in creating articles of interest or special kind of features on websites as well. And that for me is something that can be extended across all channels. It’s not something that just comes with, with websites, it’s social media, it’s but it’s also the offline conferences, etc, symposium so it’s, you know, I think it’s, it’s a source where we don’t have the answer yet, but definitely acknowledge that it’s something that we can do a lot more with.
Noz Urbina 27:37
Absolutely, yeah. I actually one of my most popular examples at a at a content marketing conference was showing that you can repackage messaging if you have the right tools and methodologies, and reuse nuggets, Lego pieces of content for web, social, you know, print symposium, content, posters, and even intranet content so that your that your people are messaging, and that’s, that’s it’s I think it’s it’s very relevant, and I think so the site is about the keeping years as a channel. And yeah, I think I think you’re covered both my questions. So what do you see your your biggest challenges like what’s, well, that’s all the good stuff, the happy path, the vision, what are you seeing that holds you back and you don’t have to get too detailed about if you don’t want it, what do you think if you want to be general in in healthcare marketing and an omni channel marketing in general, what do you feel the biggest barriers are?
Thomas Molenaar 28:40
I think, so one of your previous questions was about kind of like the role of people and I think that that is so for me, fundamentally, you know, the, this is everything is about people. And I think the biggest challenge that we have in the organization which is very common, is alignment between teams, making sure that every one is moving in the same direction, which especially for omnichannel when every channel complements each other. There’s, you know, the it’s it’s hard to move forward some parts if there’s no alignment between functions or between teams between sales and marketing organizations, but also between channel owners. So I think internally that’s one of the biggest barriers that we have, I think externally, which can’t be helped is is in our case, a regulatory environment which which just makes some put that just makes makes things more complicated in terms of how we want to go and walk straight and put content out in some cases. But I think overall, our biggest challenge is probably internally and making sure that we are truly committed to all go in the same direction and creating barriers.
Noz Urbina 30:02
Yeah, there’s something inherently and we refer to this many times on the podcast inherently broken about the way that organizations are built and what their goal is, so their organizations are trying to build relationships with their audience, that will be long lasting, enduring, mutually beneficial, mutually profitable. And that that’s good for the audience and is good for the for the brand. But that requires that you can make a build relationship with a brand which is actually not not quite so easy. We know we talk about it. We do build relationships with brands, but they’re not the best or most healthy relationships because the brand is built in departments. You know, we have different teams different specialisms different budgets different timelines, different system owners, different channels and channel owners and product lines and business units and there’s all this there’s all this fragmentation within the brands. So building a relationship with this heterogeneous, often very difficult. To relate with entity gets really complicated. So I think that I agree that that’s the heart of it is is if you’re going to build a relationship with something as complicated as a multinational corporation, then it requires the people in there to be dedicated to working across those lines. Yeah. We were kind of given up on silo busting. That, that that term, I used to say it a lot. I don’t anymore. Now we’re talking about kind of silo, Silo piping, you know, can you run pipelines and communication flows between these silos so that the whole thing operates as a single network, as opposed to now where it can, it can be so fragmented, left hand really doesn’t know what the right hand is doing?
Thomas Molenaar 31:54
Yeah. Yeah. And in the end, for me, it just comes back to strategy. It’s about making sure that that strategy is understood across the business. And I think the way that you raise it in terms of silo pipelining is probably the most realistic one because you can’t you know, there are different functions to different people, the different skill sets, you want to skill salaries, yeah, different personalities and you want to connect those but you can’t open up the house completely in that way and when you want to build a road between houses, but you don’t want to build one big house in that way. So yeah, no, I think that’s that’s definitely where we where we currently are. And, you know, one thing is strategy. The other thing is also the leadership challenge in that in making sure that it needs to be steered from the top and coming down from the bottom making sure that cross functional initiatives and cross functional projects as well. It’s not a one way street, but I think it’s it’s a very complicated it’s a very complicated issue and no straightforward solution, especially the bigger and the more kind of once a fragmented, but the larger the matrix kind of becomes in the organization. It’s just a very, you know, it’s a challenging issue to solve.
Noz Urbina 33:16
Yeah, absolutely. I think that that’s a big part of it. I’m interested to ask you about how you measure that. So you mentioned strategy being core. And when when I hear strategy, I think about metrics. So we have things that we want to do. How do we know that we’re doing them how do we actually report back in a quantifiable way that this is actually happening? I think that that’s I’m interested know what you think about that and, and if you can, if you I’m interested when I’m talking to a lot of of our customers about content system and CRM system integration. So we have our customer relationship data, where tons of the business is is building, literally relationships, it’s the customer relationship management system, CRM and then marketing systems are often very divorced from that, both from a data and a content point of view. Have you been looking at that? That and can you talk a little bit about your the measurement side of your strategy?
Thomas Molenaar 34:23
Yeah, I mean, that’s what keeps me awake at night, I’d say. I mean, again, like I think if there’s anything you know, that kind of puts all this together is that this is on maturity as an organization and it’s really being at the start of that journey. And also recognizing that especially with data being so complex. There’s a lot of steps that we need to take before we can get the measures in place that we’d like to take and like to put in place, which obviously relates to to return on investment and to revenue. So I think we we are trying to think about the easiest way to put that together. What we’re looking at now is is finding those key metrics that we can measure currently, and that will give an indication as to are we on the right track as you just suggested, which currently I think one of the key most important ones is customer satisfaction and customer related metrics in terms of are we actually delivering the services that customers expect from us? And are we able to kind of like grow from there in making those metrics more sophisticated to get a better understanding of the key parts. Another part of it is obviously, if we break down the omnichannel part, and how is each of our How is each of our channels performing? are different platforms performing? And can we come up with with a framework with a structure in which we actually get some sort of picture of the overall health so if we put all these platforms together? Are we you know, are we in a position then to get more clarity on what is our performance from an omnichannel perspective? And we’ve just started talks with a third party agency to help us on their journey because realistically where we currently are, we will need that help and we will need a hand holding in order to define those metrics for us. That kind of immediately flows into your next question as well about how are those platforms connected? We that’s that’s a big part of our omni channel kind of strategy that we’re looking at is how do we integrate are not just our channels, not just a messaging, but also our platforms as well, that can be on a more technical level between API integrations, but also how do they complement each other? What is their role? What is their purpose within the larger kind of framework that we’re trying to achieve? And how do we make sure that we connect to bits that can be connected, and then the data that comes out of it is from a performance point of view, but also very much from an insights point of view, make sure that we then you combine those insights and create one consistent story about our customers and about kind of the insights that we have there rather than its you know, we talked about silo busting before. I think there’s also that silo busting between platforms in between channels that needs to happen to make sure to really get that that integration and lead that omni channel approach in place as well. So yeah, but we have, again, very early stages of their journey, but it’s definitely our main focus, because I think that without creating that infrastructure and making sure those connections are there, then there’s no way for them becoming omnichannel.
Noz Urbina 37:49
Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So do you have examples where you have taken concrete steps that you’ve been able to roll out that you feel have made a difference?
Thomas Molenaar 38:02
So we’ve we’ve recently started the implementation of a customer data platform, and that, for us is is a really big step forward, where we have a single source to plug in all our different data sources, from analytics from social media, from our marketing automation platform from a CRM to really stitch that data together. And get a very clear understanding of who our customers are, what they’re, you know, what their online behavior looks like, what their interactions look like, which then gives us a really, really powerful data to start segmenting. into, you know, into very crazy, very granular segments and also be able to kind of personalize our messaging as well. So I think that’s, for us a really big step to start pulling data together in order to become more customer focused and be able to kind of create a messaging on a on a on a personal, personalized basis rather than blanket kind of push messaging and hope that it hits the mark somewhere.
Noz Urbina 39:07
Yeah, sometimes we’re only a little away from spamming. Yeah, yeah, I actually. I have some research I’m gonna be sharing next week. On our Well, I don’t know, depending on when you’re listening to this. I’m doing a joint webinar with with Sanofi, who’s one of our customers and they did internal research. I don’t have them. I think I have the number and but I believe that they’re the number of the data that they have on file. I do have it here was that 55% of healthcare professionals feel overwhelmed by the content they receive and question the accuracy, and trustworthiness and 65% of Alcatel deal at least one comm farm company has spammed them. So and this raises an interesting point for all omnichannel initiatives that you’re trying to build this relationship and you’re trying to build your brand relationship and your brand, but we’re kind of held back a little bit by our industries in the sense that if you are the first one to be the best, that’s great. There’s it’s hard to change the overall perception because the the the audience will still be going Oh, well. That kind of company spams me. And if there’s an exception to the rule, the generalization is still there for quite a while. And that presents an interesting challenge I think you’re gonna face and that we’re all facing in as we go on the channel. is continuing to keep management interested that what are the short term metrics that we can affect, but there are certain perceptions that will be very difficult for us to isolate because there’ll be a lot of noise. So if you ask people, whether they feel they’re getting too much content, it’s hard for them to filter out do I like how do I get too much content from Decorah or Sanofi or, you know, Eli Lilly versus the general feeling they have about getting content from your type of company? Yeah. So you have to break down the short term and the long term metrics in your strategy.
Thomas Molenaar 41:21
It’s something I think as well, you know, especially in our industry, people don’t have time and that’s that’s the biggest you know, without so what we get back from from our customers is, you know, there’s so much pressure at work in so little time, so how do you then stand out and get your message across? In force? I think one of the you know, as I mentioned, the key objectives is how do we extend those personal relationships that we have online? So can we stand out by making sure that the messaging that is being put out is being put out through those personal relationships as well, which is why I think I’m the head of digital marketing but I think the offline component is is at this stage as or not far more important than the digital component. We’re where we currently are like it needs to complement together in that way. So the how we get that offline component on board is just by really high quality data because I think that the people that have built up the relationships over the years, are also reluctant to act upon data that they don’t know for 100% they can trust and I think as well once we start personalizing it and saying, Well, we want emails that have pre approved content, but come via sales reps, don’t our sales reps would love to be absolutely sure that the messaging within those emails is is accurate, and is is appropriate for that customer. So I think again, that row of data is so critical and making sure that you can move this forward.
Noz Urbina 42:50
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So we’re we’re kind of coming not quite to the end of time. So I just had a couple more questions. I’m interested see what what trends do you foresee in the field of functional marketing so not what you’re working on now but sort of on your on your vision on the on the horizon? What do you see is exciting or what you see as as important and upcoming that people should be aware about?
Thomas Molenaar 43:15
I think, I mean, just to stay with basically every other post on LinkedIn, I think artificial intelligence is is just going to be a game changer across how we produce content. Also how we conduct marketing, how we manage data. And for me, that’s that’s really the biggest one out there currently, just because if you look at things like a chat GPT for me, the biggest question is not how are we going to utilize it support with a content generation but how are our customers going to interact with either Chad GPT or other AI products to access information going forward and how as an industry, how as marketers, do we then equip ourselves to be able to deal with that challenge because we’ve just gotten acquainted to the whole SEO thing. People go to Google to find information and we know how that works. I think that’s definitely a trend that’s really worth watching over the next couple of years and it’s, there’s a lot of I embrace it. I can completely understand the risks on many different levels, but I think it’s just going to be very exciting to see what opportunities it brings with it as well.
Noz Urbina 44:29
I think you’re the first person I’ve asked that question, who talked about AI from the consumption side, which is a very, like I’m very, I think that’s great because I think that’s extremely important and we’re forgetting a lot is that we’re very excited about how can we use it as creators and content, you know, orchestrators and so on internally, but kind of forgetting that the audience is also going to be using these same tools to deconstruct and find what we put out there so that it’s it’s actually a saw I actually saw a comic book with a comic strip which perfectly where this I’ve got a you got a marketer, you got to got one guy in and sitting at his desk telling a colleague, this is great. I can just type in a few lines and chat up table. We’ll make it look like I wrote this email. And then you’ve got the next panel is the other guy sitting on the opposite side of the computer going on. It’s fantastic. Now I’ve got chat up to can put the emails in pretend I read them.
Thomas Molenaar 45:31
Yeah, and I think that’s that’s a really good way to putting it as well. And you know, the turning it the other way around. We’re going to have a lot of very, very well informed pet owners going into veterinary practices going forward because the information is not just accessible easily but also explained in a very, very easy to digest way that doesn’t allow pet owners or doesn’t require pet owners to dig through Thrive scientific articles. So how how are you going to support our customers with dealing with that? You know, Dr. Google’s already a problem, the problem what’s Dr. GPT going to look like? Basically? So yeah, I think it’s, it’s a very interesting, interesting future.
Noz Urbina 46:11
Yes. I love it. Thank you so much for raising that. Okay. Do you have any tips or last tips to give our audience or any resources that they should check out if they’re interested learning more about implementing on omnichannel strategy?
Thomas Molenaar 46:24
Um, I think the tip so I was speaking at a event a couple of weeks ago, and we talked about you know, we talked about kind of this, this idea of, I’d say, Sally pipelining, and sort of breaking down silos. But that is the element of curiosity. And I think the only way to become omnichannel has really tried to dig into what is it that other parts of the business are doing, how do we involve them in the discussion? How do we, you know, it’s really that part of trying to get to understand your business outside of marketing as well and making sure that you build those relationships with other parts of the business. In terms of resources, I mean, I get most of my information currently from from LinkedIn, which I think is great because, you know, it’s, it’s, again, as you said, Kol is it’s peer to peer people that will you know, if you connect with people or follow people, I would always kind of like go back to LinkedIn and say, it’s great to get your up to date content across marketing, when it comes to separate resources. Cool, that’s a really good question. I would usually go to things like BCG, marketing, weak, those sorts of industry standard sources as well. Any I don’t know if there’s any nuggets of got turn around and see if I’ve got it here. I started reading data and analytic strategies for business not too long ago, which is a great book as well, in order to get your head around the data conundrum. So I think that’s, that’s as far as I can get
Noz Urbina 48:08
with it. Okay, yes, data analytic strategies. Business by Simon asplundh Taylor,
Thomas Molenaar 48:21
is the one Yeah, so. Yeah. But yeah, it’s great book. It’s very informative, very practical as well. And even for people who aren’t data scientists or data, you know, data experts. I think it just reads very well in terms of how do you make data work for your for your business? So definitely would recommend this as a read for anyone that’s interested in in data.
Noz Urbina 48:45
Right? Okay. Perfect. Yeah, I got social channels and and a book I think that’s what that’s correct. Okay, so, Thomas, thank you much for your much for your time. I really appreciate it our our chats, and maybe we’ll have you back on the podcast someday.
Thomas Molenaar 49:04
Thank you. Thanks. for having me. Pleasure.
Noz Urbina 49:09
Bye, everybody. Record recording stopped. Cool.
Thomas Molenaar 49:15
Right. Do you want to cut that last bit out about the resources because
Noz Urbina 49:20
No, no, it was fine. It was fine. People don’t expect any. Yeah, I think it’s fine. You got that. Maybe we can cut the LinkedIn part and jump to the book. Yeah, I
Thomas Molenaar 49:32
didn’t see I didn’t it wasn’t the button but I just didn’t expect that to come up to be completely honest.
Noz Urbina 49:37
Alright, so let me just
Thomas Molenaar 49:41
was that okay? Was that kind of what you expected as well? I know that in a way from an omnichannel point of view, we’re so early on that there’s maybe not a you know, a lot of
Noz Urbina 49:52
yeah, a lot of that kind of kind of like practical execution stuff. Yeah. I thought you were a little bit further on. It’s, I think the story is still good. Frankly, a lot of our listeners will be at your point or even earlier. So you said your daughter what the phase negative one. I think they’re like, phase negative free. So that’s fine. I think there is a market for that. And we just have to make that clear in the introduction in the show notes. Yeah. And I’ll probably change the title some to something more like first steps or something. Yep. Yeah, and then that I people will. We just have to be clear set expectations properly. That’s the only thing. Okay. So yeah, so no, it was fine. Do you have another 10 minutes? Of course. Yeah. Yeah, cuz we’re booked to the end of the hour. Did you ever take a look at those slides? I sent you.
Thomas Molenaar 50:54
The Yes. Because we had to cut off our conversation. I mean, I have to conjure them up.
Noz Urbina 51:02
Just gonna take a look at what I sent you. Because you said something that triggered me a lot when you’re talking about where you are, and also the like the kind of the strategy and it it was, I was thinking about, and I do want to ask you because I I figured the answer would would kind of be no and I didn’t want to put you on the spot like on the recording to talk to you about the the content itself. Yeah. And because what we’re seeing a lot of is when when your any stuff which you said you’re you’re looking into with a with an agency and so on the data and the data, the metric side. What I’ve been seeing, I’ve been talking to some other practitioners on our field, what what I’m not seeing a lot of in the market is agencies who are putting connecting the dots actually have that drive a content structures. So what you have is you have the data and I’ve seen this multiple times, is that you shouldn’t be dead driven, you should be dead a lead, you should be thinking about how to how to connect and integrate the data. Once you have it. How do you execute? Because if your content is still document oriented, channel oriented in the sense that you’ve got copies of the content in InDesign, or whatever your print, print channel pipeline is for, for events, you’ve got it in PowerPoints, you’ve got it in a document style stuff like PDFs that you’re going through. You’re assuming you’re using Viva
Thomas Molenaar 52:45
we know as a CRM, we use Salesforce for CRM.
Noz Urbina 52:50
Okay, yeah. But Viva as a like the approval and document management.
Thomas Molenaar 52:56
Only in the US we’ve got a another solution. Go and codify in, in Europe,
Noz Urbina 53:03
fantastic. View is such I don’t know if you’re familiar with them. With sorry with you know, the name viva. Yeah, of course. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, because they’re a nightmare for me, because it’s ridiculous. You know, we were talking to Roche global infrastructure project and the call started, and the guy had a copy of my book. And that’s how he I said, Hi, Noz. Nice to meet you. I’m a fan and like, he had my book with a bunch of yellow stickies in it, where he highlighted pages. Like he was super excited to work with me. We give our bid. It wasn’t a lot of money, blah, blah, blah. And we didn’t get it and then afterwards, I was talking to one of our contacts, just having a one on one and she goes, You didn’t mention viva. And I’m like, seriously? They’re like, Yeah, you got to talk about Viva man. No, Viva no deal. It’s that like they’re they have a look. You’re the you’re the first farmer and maybe yeah, because of the European and that
Thomas Molenaar 54:05
ya know, we actually just came out of a large project. I so I led a project across all markets to look at kind of like, you know, asset management’s approval. And because we’ve got Viva in the US, and we’ve got we’ve got other systems in Europe and in our international business, to see whether we would all move to Viva and then the end of the answer was currently no, because I mean, it takes a big investment and now we need people to actually adopt current systems. But yeah, I do have the idea that and it’s the same as what you have at Salesforce and some of these other kind of big tech companies is once you entrench yourself into or once you start working with it, you kind of entrench yourself with just being Viva oriented with everything that you do. So I get where you were, where your pains coming from with this, but yeah, we’re not we use fever for our regulatory components, but for marketing, it’s not it’s not widely learning
Noz Urbina 55:06
right now. So I wanted to show you I don’t have for some reason I can’t find the email I sent
Thomas Molenaar 55:12
you. I’ve got the slides here. Do you
Noz Urbina 55:15
can you tell me which ones because I don’t see anything relevant. I might have just put them on some thread.
Thomas Molenaar 55:25
I think so. Just just going to you know, I did. I did. Have a look at this. When we when we saw last Sanjay Javits. It’s from.
Noz Urbina 55:38
Thomas Molenaar 55:40
April, I think so. Two things for us when it comes to content the first one is, and that’s probably Sorry, I’m trying to get to PowerPoint up again. I lost it. So we started we started talking about modular content within the organization. It’s a bit of a buzzword now. But how do we get the content because it’s definitely something that we need to use and something that you all know better than I do from a regulatory point of view is just far more efficient because you can give content creators, the guidelines within which they can be used come to and stay on track, but also make sure that that content can be edited and remain compliant. So
Noz Urbina 56:25
on the other side of that, you’re suddenly putting a ton more assets out there. Yep. So your if you can, so we have clients who are who are getting out 52 variations of a single, single piece of content pushing it to three formats and translating it into around 50 languages 1500 outputs that have to be approved from what used to be a single document. So that’s an extreme case, but the idea is that on the good side, you know, you can show look, I’ve got all this audit ability, you know, we can keep all this track of the rules, we know who did what, et cetera, et cetera, all this good stuff from a compliance point of view. But then there’s all suddenly this volume problem, you gotta have this discussion of suddenly we’re going to be hitting all these variants are going to be going through so how, what are the rules for how we manage that
Thomas Molenaar 57:18
Yeah, I think that’s, you know, that’s definitely something where, where we haven’t even gotten to to be completely honest with you. So there’s two, I think, two components from us that make it that we probably if we want to discuss this in a bit more detail, we’ll probably just just wait until we solve those first one is we are doing a massive rebrand, which we’re very excited about. It’s that veterinary perspective angle that’s been launched a couple of months ago and will be kind of like really rolled out over the next couple of months and that will impact massively on the rest of our content strategy as well. So, you know, we’ve we’ve got the we’ve got some, some some sort of pillars, some sort of, we’ve got pillars underneath it that will inform content production going forward, however, that what that needs to look like hasn’t been communicated yet. So that’s the one part and we’ve got an external party helping us out with defining that for us. I think the other part of it is then looking at well, how do we create consistency across channels once we’ve defined what it actually is that we want to be consistent with, you know, the product level to an extent but I think that’s going to change over the next couple of couple of months. So I’d almost say well, let’s, I think if we if we’d have this conversation now then we would we would go to content teams and say, well, that’s great, but we haven’t even figured out what where we need to go next. And because from a consultancy, you know, point of view, we already have a party helping us there’s also not really a room to potentially partner up there. Again, but I think a bit further down the line where we really look at like how we can manage all this content and how are we going to come up with a structured approach to make our content available and you know, make that applicable for omnichannel? I think that’s something where we should definitely pick up the conversation with a wider team.
Noz Urbina 59:13
I wanted to show you something specifically about that. Which is that where does these Where do these where and how did these two things connect? And so I spent like the first half of my career, doing it, as you’ve described, where you know, I come in this kind of strategy, this is what we want to do these deliverables, let’s structure and modularize that and then about 10 years ago, I flipped that on its head. And because what I was finding was we tied ourselves in knots over and over and over again. Because what was happening is that there the the modularization process, we kind of thinking about it as like chopping up what we have, and that’s how I thought about it for for a decade. What actually is it’s a design process of redesigning our content for omni channel. It’s it’s not just breaking down what you’ve got because what you’ve got is wasn’t built that way. It wasn’t didn’t it wasn’t written that way. It wasn’t constructed. The way it wasn’t originally intended to do that. So it’s not like you can break apart a boat and make a plane out of it. Yeah, you got to think what are what are the components that we need in order to build this new thing that we’re trying to do? And what are the shared components that will allow us to build this kind of playing that kind of playing on a racecar? Like what are the shareable components, etc. So, I wanted to talk about that intersection point. So, we, when we talk about modularizing content, we start with the customer journey process. So you may have you know, you’re you’re figuring out what the new brand is going to look like you figuring out what you want what your go to market looks like all that’s great. That’s an input. And then we got to we take that and say, Okay, well, now we’ve done the research, we’re doing the rebrand. We’re figuring out the data. We’re understandings but then we got to get down to what is the what is the information requirement? What are people asking? and in what order, like, do if you’re already a key opinion leader, maybe we’re going to target you with different messages than if you’ve just you know, you’re just opening up your practice as a veterinarian. And if you’re just starting taking on a new therapeutic area or whatever, you have different journeys you’re going to go on and your questions will have different amounts of depths that you want and they will different relevancies Depending on where you are. Then taking the emotional component like you know, is this is this a current urgent care thing Do I have Do I have a an owner sitting in the room and I’ve got to look up question now or is this like a research thing where I’m printing off some four pages to read them on the train or listening to a podcast, that kind of thing? And then context. So Europe, different regulatory contexts, different animals and treatments? And all of that maps to taxonomy? I don’t know how much you guys are talking about taxonomy yet. But I say the who, what, when, where why of your content, all of this metadata, and that takes your market data and says Alright, so we’ve identified this segment this person, etc. We know the whose we know the metrics that we want. We know seasons, we’ll take all of that. And now we have to apply that to the content. And so this is where the content modeling bit comes in. We figure out the persona, the goal, the story that they’re going through what their questions are for particular moments, geographies, channels, etc, what the actual probable channel processes are within that journey within that stage of the journey. And that says, Okay, these are then the modules that we want. These are the modules which we should create. Now we go find that information in our source and we define how we should capture it target etc. And then how we map that those things. So we’ve created these modules is our modular strategy doing what it should have we created the more right modules, are we tagging them the right way? Are we surfacing them to the right people? And this second half is, first of all, it’s often kind of forgotten that you’ve got to map back to the metrics and the first half. So the stuff around the actual models themselves is where we’re often seeing issues. So I’m happy to you know, I’m not I’m not rushing you but what I do want to say is the modeling process should begin when you’re still doing journey mapping, experience mapping and strategy. Not that I’m going to come in and take over that work. No, no, that’s that should be a dialogue because what happens is they don’t ask the right questions because they don’t realize the downstream requirements. They don’t realize how this is going to affect modeling. So they just simply don’t get the right data, or they don’t ask the right questions in the in strategy building and stuff.
Thomas Molenaar 1:04:06
Yeah, yeah. No, I think that’s a very valid point. I mean, I need to go because I’ve got another meeting. Oh,
Noz Urbina 1:04:13
that was first 10 minutes.
Thomas Molenaar 1:04:17
Yeah, I think it’d be worth kind of like extending the conversation a bit longer and making sure that we kind of like also get more clarity on the services that are being offered as well. Seeing whether we can, you know, can can then maybe plan something in with with some of the people close into the content creation as well, because that’s something that I think will be interesting to get the we’ve got the wider conversation now about our content strategy. It’d be good to maybe have a conversation with people in that that group as well.
Noz Urbina 1:04:46
Thomas Molenaar 1:04:47
So if you could you sent me some availability maybe for for not next week, but the week after? Perfect. Maybe we can we can have another half hour to talk us through and then I’ll jump to my other call now. But then thanks. Yeah, thanks again for your time. And thanks for the invitation for the for the podcast as well.
Noz Urbina 1:05:04
Yeah, it was fun. Well, thank you for joining
Thomas Molenaar 1:05:08
us, speak to you soon.
Noz Urbina 1:05:09
See you soon. Take care. Bye bye bye.