Life Sciences, Platforms

How Life Sciences is Unlocking the Power of Marketing Automation

BY: Amanda Giacobassi

PUBLISHED: 12/13/2021

In a recent survey by Econsultancy, 80 percent of respondents under 35 would consider Amazon, Google, and others for healthcare coverage.

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry in the United States is in a state of rapid change. Companies like Adobe and Veeva have been leading the charge by leveraging digital tools and data to meet customer expectations– serving empathetic, personalized, and relevant digital experiences.

Healthcare companies across the board have accelerated their digital transformations, with a new or renewed focus on improving agility, digital maturity, and growth, while streamlining internal processes and reducing costs.

On the flip side, as referenced in the Econsultancy study, health consumers are changing the way they make healthcare decisions.

“One of the most frequent topics of conversation in healthcare today is improving the customer experience,” according to Adobe.

However, healthcare providers (HCP) are faced with many challenges that prevent them from responding quickly to patient and customer needs with relevant messaging.


Marketing and Sales Technology in the Life Sciences


As the healthcare industry moves to embrace targeted communications at scale, it turned to technology providers such as Veeva for its marketing and sales campaigns.

Veeva is used by 18 of the 20 top pharmaceutical companies and facilitates 83 percent of all product launches. Veeva’s industry cloud solutions provide data, software, services, and an extensive ecosystem of partners to support critical functions from R&D to commercial. The goal is to bring products to market faster, more efficiently, and maintain compliance.

Two of the top products to achieve these objectives are Veeva Vault and Veeva CRM.

Veeva Vault is used to develop compliant, global campaigns for go-to-market plans. A benefit of the digital asset management tool is a direct collaboration with legal and regulatory reviewers before pushing content to digital or print publication. Global toolkits are created, updated as needed by regional brand managers, and used by field forces to execute campaigns.

Veeva CRM is the communication platform to help sales professionals develop relationships with key stakeholders across channels. An individual representative can see important notifications, next best actions, and HCP profiles including product-level data using the Veeva CRM mobile app.


They use this centralized database of provider accounts and contacts to prepare for meetings, send one-off external messages, access marketing assets relevant to the deal, review recent communications with the prospect, and build reports to monitor progress and identify opportunities.

This category of technology allows field forces to stay organized and efficient but still relies on one-to-one communications with limited ability to multiply impact.


The Marketing Automation Gap


“We’ve long known the importance of automating critical processes like lead management with our technology sector customers, but we’re seeing an increasing amount of Healthcare companies express interest in leveling up their marketing and sales automation.” Stephen Farnsworth, Head of RevOps Initiatives at Workato.

Marketing automation is the solution to unlock a new level of agility, compassion, and personalization for life sciences teams.

Marketers can communicate with HCPs at scale, and score behaviors to help sales teams prioritize the contacts and accounts based on buyer-readiness signals.

Marketo, a leading marketing automation platform, is used across many industries to:

  • Identify, engage, and accelerate the customer experience
  • Attract customers through engaging and real-time conversations
  • Attract, nurture, and deliver win-ready leads to sales
  • Track and optimize results to prove marketing success and impact


The real power of marketing automation is when Marketing and Sales can move in concert. Coordinated campaigns and the flow of real-time information between teams empower all groups to maximize efficiency and delight customers with timely and relevant communications.

How do you achieve this level of coordination between teams? One critical step is integrations between systems.


Integrating Marketo and Veeva


An integration is the automated evaluation of logic-based rules that dictate the flow of information between systems.

You can have a native integration where two software tools exchange information directly with a series of pre-written rules. You can also have a custom integration where a third-party tool communicates with each software and moves data from one system to another using rules dictated by your business.


The Possibilities with a Native Integration


The Veeva CRM is built on the Salesforce platform which means Veeva customers get access to the Salesforce app exchange, native Salesforce integrations, and the Salesforce endpoint. This opens up a world of possibilities for Veeva CRM customers using Salesforce standard objects.

All native MAP-SFDC integrations are on the table, with Marketo’s referencing the objects listed below.

Salesforce and Marketo sync

The most important thing for Veeva CRM customers to consider is where they are storing their data. Veeva CRM uses a number of custom objects to store product data, medical events, lot catalogs, and more. Within two degrees of separation from a standard object, those can be visible to Marketo for audience segmentation, but Marketers aren’t able to update custom object fields from Marketo.

More flexible integration designs are possible with a custom integration.


When to Use a Custom Integration


Custom integrations make sense for teams who have clear use cases not supported by native integrations. Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) solutions are a great tool for connecting two systems using scalable, low-code frameworks. You eliminate a heavy developer lift while writing business-specific rules for connecting fields, objects, and systems.

Workato is an IPaaS solution with drag-and-drop connectors already available to both Veeva CRM and Marketo.

Marketo and Veeva integration

“When connecting Veeva and Marketo, I always recommend using a HIPAA compliant enterprise automation platform that will allow you to accomplish more complex processes like scoring leads based on customer behavior, prioritized handoffs to sales, and proactively recommending the most relevant products and services for each customer. You can truly transform the customer experience with enterprise automation orchestrating your marketing and sales processes.” Stephen Farnsworth, Head of RevOps Initiatives at Workato.


The Vision of a Unified Tech Stack


Passing data between systems gives teams a low-friction way to stay in sync. All of a sudden, it’s easy for field sales representatives to contact hard-to-reach HCPs via automated Marketo programs where news, clinical support, and other valuable content are automatically delivered.

Not to mention, marketing is consistently reaching the HCP at the right time and place with visibility into the full customer lifecycle.

With a fully empowered field sales team using Veeva CRM and Marketo, the sky’s the limit in what is possible. We’ll leave you with just a few more examples:

  • While Marketo is listening for behavioral signals and responding with personalized messages, the field sales representatives on the go will receive important engagement notifications or the next best actions in Veeva CRM.
  • Marketo is scoring HCP based on their behaviors, helping the field sales representative prioritize their office visits for the week; or enabling decisions related to ongoing nurture communications.
  • While Veeva is armed with the latest product launch information, Marketo is launching a cross-channel campaign to educate HCPs and generate awareness for a new product utilizing Marketo’s robust email and landing page capabilities and mapping the journey and touchpoints along the way.
  • Marketo manages the air cover for field sales representatives. For example, retargeting engaged HCP’s across paid media. A healthcare provider can get nurtured across all channels with educational content. The HCP’s behaviors are scores, and sales is alerted when the HCP is ready to start sampling and prescribing the new product.


Does your organization need help achieving ROI from Marketo? Learn how the Marketo experts at MERGE can help. Contact us today!