1 22 Oct 2012 Vol. 11, No. 9 Published by VirSci Corp. Is Your Marketing Head in the Cloud? The Appature Nexus Marketing Cloud Software Platform Author: John Mack PMN Appature, Inc. is a Seattle-based technology company that provides surprisingly simple cloud-based marketing solutions designed exclusively for healthcare companies. Appature Nexus deepens brand relationships and drives greater sales growth by integrating a marketing database, campaign management platform and analytics into one easy-to-use tool. Leaders in the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer healthcare industries rely on Appature to realize the true potential of their marketing efforts. For more information about Appature Nexus, visit or Published by: VirSci Corporation PO Box 760 Newtown, PA
2 Vol. 11, No. 9: October 22, 2012 p. 2 A s the average pharma sales rep spends less time with physicians, healthcare marketers are becoming more pressured to seek other ways to drive effective marketing programs. Marketers must operate in a new way, one that is more complex, technology-based and data-driven. Yet in many cases marketers do not have the tools they need to see an integrated view of their data, coordinate the customer experience across channels, and optimize campaigns in real-time to drive return on investment (ROI). Appature, a unique software-as-a-service provider, sees this as an immense opportunity to couple the vast amount of data available to healthcare marketers with relationship marketing technology to discover new methods to personalize and optimize campaigns to both consumers and healthcare professionals. Trend Toward Technology Marketing has historically been one of the most underserved areas in the enterprise in terms of technology, said Bob Harrell, VP of Marketing for Appature, Inc. Much of the capability investment has focused on sales force with limited support for the broader marketing function, said Harrell. That trend is now shifting based on the growing prominence of other channels. Marketers have to be equipped with the tools to operate effectively in the new, more data-driven multi-channel environment. And that s where Bob Harrell Appature Nexus comes in. Appature Nexus is a Marketing Cloud software platform that drives sales growth through an integrated marketing database, campaign management tool and reporting/ analytics engine. Nexus is: Designed exclusively for the life sciences industry Surprisingly simple to use Enables you to choose the best service provider Can be rapidly implemented so you experience value quickly Nexus enables marketers to take an informed marketing approach that applies knowledge of their customers to marketing, sales or customer support decisions. Be in Command of Your Marketing Appature is on the cutting-edge of three key trends: the cloud, the transformation of pharma marketing model and increased investment in marketing software versus sales software, said Harrell. The focus on marketing software is so significant that Gartner recently noted that CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs within the next 5 years. One of the key advantages of Appature Nexus is that it enables marketing to ramp up these capabilities quickly due to its cloud-based design. Clients have a subscription to the software and services are delivered through the browser rather than a large server-based IT infrastructure, thereby eliminating a huge investment of time, money and staff in software and servers housed on-site at the client s location. Figure 1: Features of Appature Nexus Nexus 360 includes: Customer Segmentation Customer profile Nexus Touch includes: Channel Integration, Automated Campaigns, and Mobile Messages, Website Integration & Surveys; Nexus Insight includes: Operational Reports Insight Builder
3 Vol. 11, No. 9: October 22, 2012 p. 3 Nexus 360 Customer data that was once siloed web activity, metrics, mobile programs, sales force automation data, Rx data, tactics sent by third party vendors, etc. is fed into Nexus 360. Two key components in Nexus 360 are: 1. Rich customer profiles. Our goal is to provide marketers access to every commercially relevant data point, in one visual, easy to understand profile screen; and 2. An incredibly robust segmentation engine that is super easy to use. You don t need to know how to write any SQL Queries you are literally logging into a web browser and dragging and dropping attributes and entities to create your own customer segments on the fly. Nexus Touch Next is Nexus Touch, which includes a whole host of functionality that lets you reach out to your customers, design and coordinate the customer experience, customize messages, schedule and automate campaigns, and directly deploy both and mobile messages directly from the system. Nexus Insight Lastly, Nexus Insight provides business intelligence reports and data visualization tools that help you understand overall campaign performance and what s happening in your market to know what s working and what s not. What s really exciting about all of this is as you use this platform the system is getting smarter over time, automatically, says Harrell. Your ability to make intelligent decisions gets better with each touch point whether the customer responded to a campaign or not so you can use that to make decisions about what channels, messages, offers etc., to use for particular customers and segments. Simple and Secure Finally, to make ALL this truly surprisingly simple, Appature Nexus has highly configurable views. You might want to have a view to provide to your senior management with all of the reporting around performance and maybe some market segmentation. But you want your team or your agency to have the power of creating and launching the campaigns, and maybe you only want one particular user to be able to hit the big red button and launch a campaign. That is all possible and very easy with Appature Nexus. Appature Nexus is designed with the stringent security and data storage requirements of the healthcare industry in mind. Each installation of Appature Nexus resides in its own isolated data cluster providing physical separation of data, protected storage, reliable data redundancy, and full 128-bit encryption for all data transmitted over the wire. Appature Nexus installations are housed in a SAS 70 Type II certified state-of-the-art co-location facility with biometric security and videocamera surveillance. Located on a major Internet backbone, rapid response times and high availability are of important consideration to both Appature and to our customers. The following is an edited podcast interview of Bob Harrell who explained how Appature Nexus fits in to the new commercial model: John Mack: Talking about the new commercial model that pharma is going through, can you explain what you mean by that? Because I think different people have different ideas of what the new commercial model is. Bob Harrell: One way to look at it is by looking at the change in the marketing approach in other industries. If you look at financial services, for example, they don t make the same kind of margins that we do in pharma. So when they make a credit card offer to you, they have to be really savvy and sophisticated about how they make that offer, how they optimize their marketing. Compare that to the way we ve approached it in pharma for the last 34 years, which is sales reps fully loaded, costs that are very expensive, one-on-one conversations with doctors, etc. It s not just moving to a more multichannel approach or just moving to more optimization. It s a whole different process of marketing that other industries have evolved to over the last 50 years. One that involves technology capabilities, multiple channels, and types of measurement and optimization that the pharma industry is not accustomed to doing. Financial services or consumer package goods like P&G did TV in the 1940s. By the 1980s, they were doing fairly sophisticated direct mail. Then by the 1990s they were doing pretty effective data driven multichannel marketing and of course became very savvy on the web early on and now have an entire engine behind campaign management optimization, changing the offer made to you versus the offer to your next door neighbor. Move Up to Informed Marketing Well, the pharma industry is pretty much in the place where these other industries were between the 80s and the 90s. Now that we re moving more into the place that other industries already addressed i.e., tougher business environment as well as more complex channels we re going to have to move along that maturity curve in the same that they have. We just got a lot more catching up to do and we re going to have to do it faster.
4 Vol. 11, No. 9: October 22, 2012 p. 4 JM: Now you just mentioned this maturity curve. Can you tell me a little more about what you mean by that? BH: Imagine two axes one axis is the pressure on margins and ROI. On the other, is the complexity of the customer, the different types of customers you re trying to reach, the different types of channels (see Figure 2, below). As you move to a greater pressure on ROI and greater customer and channel complexity, your marketing sophistication or maturity has to increase. At the bottom of the curve is traditional mass push marketing, which is the old way we ve done marketing. As you move up the curve, you get data integration and a 360 view of the customer requiring more planning around the customer experience and integrating channels. At the top right of the curve is what we call informed marketing. Informed marketing means not only do you have a view of your customers, but you understand every offer and activity that you re making. At this point you optimize your marketing on a daily or weekly basis, getting the most out of your marketing dollars. You can t get to the informed marketing portion of the curve overnight. To get to that point, you need a set of skills, processes, and capabilities that just weren t required or available in the past. Get Your Head in the Cloud JM: I have an impression that pharmaceutical companies know a lot about what their sales reps are doing. That s just one channel though. So when you re talking about multi channels, it really amplifies the skills and capabilities that you need and the data that you re getting. But can you tell us how the cloud concept fits in with this? What does that bring to the table here? BH: First, I agree with your point about having visibility and understanding of what the sales reps are doing. I think of it almost as if you had one arm that you re working out for 20 years and you ve got these massive biceps on your right arm and your other arm is going to atrophy. It s a little bit like the balance of the marketing and sales arms in our business. You have the sales arm shrinking a little bit and people now need to work out the marketing arm in a way that they haven t had to before. I d say it s still not caught up. We don t have like symmetry yet in our two arms. We re looking at the full customer experience across all these different channels and that s the new way of thinking about it for our industry. Regarding your question about the cloud the cloud is really just a technology that Appature uses to deliver Figure 2: Marketing Maturity Curve
5 Vol. 11, No. 9: October 22, 2012 p. 5 software. Instead of maintaining software from many sources on enterprise servers and hiring a full-time staff to look after it, in the cloud model you just have a subscription. The software is available through the magic of the web and you access it through a browser. You can have very sophisticated capabilities that sit somewhere else that you can access through the cloud. You pay a monthly subscription and you get this really efficient, highly secure access to the technology and the data. Amazon s cloud-based server service is a good example. You rent space from them or you can host your websites or your data with them and you just pay them a monthly fee. Now obviously, there s a location where Amazon has all these servers and their whole infrastructure, but they make it really easy for you. You sign up just like you would for a utility and you pay them a monthly fee and the electricity comes to your house. We build marketing software and marketing technology and provide it to brand managers and marketing operations and commercial operations groups on a subscription basis. Pharma companies have a huge investment in sales force technology and have been building the marketing equivalent of that for the last five years, but it s all enterprise server-based stuff. Not to get too technical about it, but there s customer management software like Siperian customer master and a data warehouse built on top of that. Then, added to that are campaign management software like Unica and business reporting objects on top of that. Companies stitch that whole thing together into some sort of Frankenstein system hosted on multiple servers. The bottom line is it s too expensive for most companies to access, very hard to upgrade, very complex and you also have to have this infrastructure and staff to support it. Appature was specifically built to (a) be focused on life sciences, (b) provide an end-to-end marketing technology platform, and (c) enable people to just subscribe to it like a utility through the cloud. Surprisingly Simple JM: Is that what you mean by being surprisingly simple? Just having access to all this information in one place integrated in a browser-based dashboard look at things making it simple for marketers who might be data challenged? BH: Yes, but there s a couple of layers to what we mean by simple. One is how simple and quick is it to get the service. Instead of spending twelve months to build all these server racks and all the software that has to be stitched together to make it work, you can just order it from Appature and in a matter of weeks or short months, it will be implemented and ready for use. So that s one aspect of simple. The other aspect of simple is once you have the service, you don t need to be a Unica programmer to launch a campaign, or be an analytics programmer and expert to be able to access the reporting tool. Appature created not only a cloud-based subscription approach, but also a simple user interface. We can train people in a half day or a day how to use the entire system as opposed to other marketing automation approaches and marketing technologies that rely on a lot of complex manipulation and skills that are difficult and time-consuming to learn. The last aspect of simple is access to data. If a marketer wants to see how a campaign is performing, he or she can go to a laptop or an ipad and pull up the desired information and directly ask intelligent questions from the data without calling a techie to run a query and then waiting three weeks for the result. Listen to the Podcast Harrell had much more to say about Appature s Nexus product suite or, as he calls it, marketing power grid. To hear it all, please listen to the podcast here: or visit the Appature website here: