Stand Out: Overcoming Digital Fatigue in a Crowded Marketplace

In our recent webinar, a guest asked a great question: How do we deal with the rising fatigue of digital in the same overused channels? If everyone’s playing the same song, how do we actually differentiate ourselves?    

Our panelists had great things to say, so we’re sharing their responses here. And though the webinar was geared towards the HLS industry, their insight applies to sales and marketing in any vertical.  

Find the Human Factor

Sergey Zinin, Global VP of Industries at CT, notes that standing out requires a model-thinking approach. “One particular function – like the marketing team – that’s looking to differentiate your brand in the eyes of your target audience is not going to pull it off by themselves,” he says.  

The organizations that stand out to me all do so because of the human factor. They appeal to me through what they do, not for the sake of their business, but rather on the non-profit side – how they invest in communities.” 

And even though Zinin notes that this can feel like a marketing tactic, he says that if a company is truly helping others, it can serve the dual purpose of making a difference and setting the organization apart.  

“I watch organizations like Johnson & Johnson Vision Care that launched business support webinars to help their eye care professionals stay open during the pandemic. They brought in legal experts, marketing experts, even real estate experts to help meet some real needs.  

“At the same time, I see organizations like Roche and others donating major, major portions of their profits from the pandemic to those in need. That places them in a separate category for me, and though I realize part of it is PR, I admire it, and I advocate for such an approach.”  

Let Your Content Set You Apart

Paul Simms, moderator and industry influencer, adds that he often sees companies trying to use customer experience as their key differentiator, and he’s quick to call out that for many of them, it’s only a short-term play.   

“I see a lot of investment going into branded portals and things like that,” he says. “I know plenty of people doing that, but they recognize that it’s not a long-term play. So where does the differentiation come from in the medium-term?”   

Hadeel ElAmer, Global Digital Health Manager at Abbott, adds that content plays a big role in that differentiation.  

“Because of the pandemic, patients had no access to their doctors, and doctors suddenly had to adapt to virtual consultations,” she says. “I’ve seen examples of how some organizations supported these HCPs by [producing content] that made them aware of what the new regulations are and how they can have a better experience with their patients through virtual consultations.”  

She notes that some companies made the effort to provide content that supported virtual diagnoses and continued remote care and gave HCPs helpful information on maintaining a connection with their patients. Things like this, she says, help organizations stand out.  

It’s really a way to differentiate your content, not based on a certain product or disease, but to really go beyond and understand what your customers are interested in. What’s happening in the current environment, and what’s yet to come?  

“Show that you’ll be there to support them in the [midst] of this change.”  

Track the Customer Journey

“In a sense, this question is actually answered by the question itself,” says Jalilah Gibson, former Global Marketing Director at GSK. “If you’re playing the same song – sharing the same information – as everyone else, then clearly you’re not differentiating yourself based on customer need. 

“The clue here is in the customer journey. It’s in the insights you have about how the customer feels at each step of journey that you’re mapping. Because the customer does not wake up every morning thinking, ‘I really wish I could use more product A. I’m just waiting for a sales rep to turn up and give me the information.’ 

“If they did that, we’d all be out of a job. Reinvest in [finding] that insight. Sometimes the answer is in Google Analytics or in Sermo – they can give you a steer without the need to have in-depth, one-to-one interviews.  

“I can guarantee that if you apply just a little bit of time to really dig into that customer insight, the answer on how to differentiate your content will be obvious.”  

So what’s the strategy? How do you cut through the noise and differentiate your organization without relying on the same digital approach that everyone else is using?  

Our top three takeaways:  

1) Dig into your customer’s journey.  

  • What steps are they taking? 
  • What response are you getting at the end of each step? 
  • What are they telling you about the way they want to receive information? 

If you really take the time to utilize the data insights you’re getting, you’ll see where you need to adjust your strategy. 

2) Find a way to be helpful. 

Look at the content you’re producing. Does it line up with the pain points your customers  experience? Have those pain points changed recently due to a major event like the pandemic? If  you’re listening to your customers, you’ll discover their challenges. Use those learnings to  make sure your content is timely, helpful, and targeted. 

3) Make a difference first, talk about it later. 

Yes, you’ll likely share your philanthropic initiatives with your client base. But use what you  have to make an impact first, and let the marketing considerations take second place.  


If you’d like to catch up on the rest of the Launch Excellence in a Post Pandemic World webinar, watch it on demand now