How has COVID-19 pandemic disrupted B2B relationships between industry and insurers?

  • Amit Patel
  • Dave Evans

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, MME has strived to identify the range of new, large, and complex challenges facing payers, providers, and patients. The trends we’ve uncovered through our research and ongoing discussions have been outlined in our research reports.

Our latest investigation focuses on understanding COVID’s influence on B2B relationships between industry and insurers. These inquiries revealed that the pandemic has impacted B2B relationships with payers in meaningful ways, warranting a reevaluation of value message campaigns and payer marketing mix. The core elements of a strong value proposition remain, but to maintain a competitive edge, manufacturers will need to hone messages and tactics and take advantage of new opportunities to reimagine how value is communicated.

A recent analysis of our survey with US payers illuminated the following challenges and opportunities:

  • Payers reported expectations that industry meetings will shift from in-person to virtual, even after the pandemic subsides.
  • Unpredictable logistics are sapping meeting time and making long presentations less feasible. It is more challenging to capture and hold customer attention, and gauging customer reactions in a virtual setting is more difficult.  It is also more difficult to build and maintain relationships with key customers.
  • Engagement opportunities: Industry can enhance value communication with tighter messages and media use, supplementing with alternative communication channels and social media.  Account facing teams are better equipped to tap additional resources for value discussions and negotiations, and this purposeful engagement will create internal stakeholder awareness within companies.

Overall, the B2B game has shifted and will likely never be the same. However, the major imperatives of selling the value of medicine remain. The players who adjust their thinking and adapt to meet the moment will hold a competitive advantage over those who try to maintain the status quo.  Contact us so we can help you meet the moment and lead with confidence.

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