Translating Digital into an Organization Strategy at Sanofi #doctors20

Emmanuelle Valentin and Xavier Olba, Sanof - Interviewed by Denise Silber


As the pharmaceutical industry reorganizes to seize the digital challenge, many are watching to understand how this heavily regulated industry is navigating this new course. In our perspective, Sanofi is definitely a company to watch, with some exciting digital assets already to their credit. Determining geographic responsibilites in a digital world without borders is yet another fascinating component of the digital question.

Please click below to hear from Emmanuelle Valentin, European Head of Business Excellence and Innovation, who told us about the new organizational tools that Sanofi has put in place at a European level. This is complemented by Xavier Olba’s perspective as a country leader in Spain. Both will be present in Paris and hope to greet you personally.

Denise Silber.

Where does Sanofi Europe stand from a digital services perspective? Emmanuelle Valentin – European Head of Business Excellence & Innovation

The web is reshaping business the world over, and the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is not immune from these changes, far from it, but thankfully, Sanofi has been quick to recognise the shift and what this represents for the way that we engage with our customers, and ultimately do business.

In one of many existing Sanofi initiatives, the ‘Sanofi Academies’ were set up to help educate employees and healthcare professionals about digital. A European ‘Digital Taskforce’ has been set up to foster not only greater understanding of digital, but to increase adoption of digital channels within the full mix of brand planning.

The initiative was developed by European Operational Excellence & IT teams, leading a cross-functional group made of Countries representing Marketing and Communication aspects, who defined the strategy based on the following five pillars:

  1. Create a Digital Business Leader (DgBL) role in each country

  2. Integrate digital as part of the mix in brand planning

  3. Define and track digital KPIs linked to digital objectives

  4. Develop digital skills through the organisations by creating a ‘Digital Academy’

  5. Implement a European digital platform

The first step taken: Create a ‘digital business leader’ role in each country, as being the most important step, as the country’s digital legitimacy would be established through these leaders. They are given the mandate to integrate digital more fully into brand activity, whilst also acting as a reference point for best practice at the Country level.

Appointment of this DgBL has been made to build a real difference to operations teams at a very practical level. Emmanuelle stated: “Clear KPIs must be defined to evaluate the impact of (our) digital projects”  in order to be able to adapt strategies and actions accordingly. Ultimately, these digital business leaders will be accountable for business results and customer loyalty!

What about being a Country Digital Business Leader at Sanofi? Xavier Olba – Digital Business Leader Sanofi Spain

About his role in Spain & Portugal: “This responsibility requires being in touch with all the teams to meet their objectives and (in) jointly defining digital strategies that allow us to achieve our goals”. Xavier goes on to say to those who want to stay at the forefront of digital should not focus on digital first, but rather focus on the business goals and objectives first. Then, he can understand how the digital channel can help facilitate the achievement of those objectives.

For anyone looking to become the next digital leader, Xavier recommended that people should take responsibility for their own learning, and to not be afraid to research beyond pharma. Moreover, either by experiencing digital first hand using Twitter, or little by little within a campaign to measure results, it’s essential that the learning becomes practical to experience the impact it can have.

Healthcare is “already one of the most searched for topics by patients and healthcare professionals”, and Sanofi can help patients Xavier maintains by providing reliable information and the tools to improve patient empowerment. The more people understand how digital can benefit patients, the better equipped Sanofi will be to make the best of these trends. Xavier underscored “Sanofi is well positioned (in the future) thanks to our diversification strategy, since we try to develop our business “beyond the pill”. Digital is of utmost importance as far as our increasing moves towards integrated care, for instance in diabetes, are concerned.

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