Case Study

How Sanofi Achieves Global Regulatory Compliance and Operational Efficiency

With 7,000 websites and complex regulatory requirements, Sanofi needed to simplify its website environment, improve compliance, and gain real-time insights.

With Tealium, Sanofi can implement a global tagging system, better comply with varying data regulations, and have real-time access to its data for better decision-making.

Greater operational efficiency, compliance, and actionable real-time insights lower marketing costs and boost customer registrations.

A Complex Web Environment Creates Compliance and Efficiency Challenges

Sanofi is a global pharmaceutical company based in France. The company has over 100,000 employees in 100 countries and does approximately €35 billion in annual sales. To manage its immense business infrastructure, the company is organized into five distinct business units, each with its own personality, culture, and business objectives.

This organizational complexity has led to the company maintaining 7,000 active websites, each with different levels of regulatory oversight on the company’s marketing activities. It has also created a disconnected and disparate data environment, with no global tag management strategy in place. Finally, across the company, there are different levels of expertise and engagement when it comes to working on website projects or in digital marketing in general.

“It’s a pretty challenging — even daunting — picture,” says Vaughan Williams, Global Lead of Digital Analytics and Reporting at Sanofi.

To tackle its digital footprint struggles, Sanofi knew it needed to implement technology that could drive a company-wide digital analytics strategy, provide global operational efficiencies, improve data governance, provide real-time insights to determine “next best actions,” and offer ROI on marketing investments. To help achieve this goal, Sanofi engaged Cognizant Technology Solutions, a well-known global consulting systems integration firm.

Together, Sanofi and Cognizant determined that Tealium was the right technology solution to help address the organization’s current digital and data challenges.

“There were a number of benefits to Tealium,” says Andrew Isaacs, a principal at Cognizant Technology Solutions. “Operational, business, market engagement, and then strategic fit and scalability, which is really important.”

Equally important for both short and long term success, was the need to implement the changes in a Crawl, Walk, and Run approach.

A Robust Data Management Platform and Strategy Makes the Difference
As part of its organizational readiness efforts to implement Tealium, Sanofi and Cognizant realized they needed to educate stakeholders from the get-go about the benefit of creating a global tag management strategy and how their current practices were extremely costly and didn’t give the company control of their data.

“Large organizations [like Sanofi] literally have hundreds of agencies doing this work — and you can imagine the cost associated,” says Isaacs. “These agencies are also doing it on their own platforms, which means it’s the company’s property, but they have no control over it.”

The next step was prioritizing and defining a tagging strategy. Traffic, engagement, home page downloads — what did they really want to do with it and why? Given that there are 7,000 websites, this has been a process. To date, Sanofi has assessed 1,000 of its websites, making sure they’re optimized. They also now have over 200 sites active on Tealium iQ, a tag management solution, which has allowed Sanofi to have analytics consistency leading to confidence in their data.

“Otherwise,” says Isaacs, “They’d be spending like I said before, hundreds of millions of dollars and not knowing why.”

Not only did the Tealium iQ Tag Management solution allow Sanofi to begin tagging its website content to better track online visitors, but it is also helping Sanofi meet varying global regulatory requirements like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California.

“In the pharmaceutical world, data comes for these big data providers regarding prescriptions and so forth, and it’s all over the place,” says Isaacs. “But with AudienceStream you can actually stitch together improved profiles of your target audience.”

One example of how having its data stitched together has helped Sanofi is in boosting registrations. On some
of Sanofi’s sites, for instance, they may have five or ten thousand visitors a month. If they have a unique visitor, they can now, using Tealium, identify these unique visitors. Then, when they come back the next time, Sanofi can target messages to them during that time with a specific call to action that encourages them to register.

“So if we estimate that maybe there’s a 10% improvement in a month, that’s 500 potential new registrants for Sanofi, and in pharma that’s big,” says Isaacs. “On the flip side, the savings in ad spending because now they don’t have to blast all of those ads to say 10,000 people — maybe every month ad spend goes down about 10 percent.”

Tealium Delivers Greater Efficiency, Compliance, and Real-Time Insights
In addition to boosting its online customer registrations, having added a global tagging strategy, data governance, and data analytics, Sanofi has been able to realize a number of business benefits, including:

But perhaps what Williams and Isaacs are most proud of is simply that they were able to roll out a new technology platform across a large, complex organization successfully while delivering clear business value.

  • More efficient operations due to centralized tagging
  • A common digital infrastructure for the entire company
  • The ability for all teams to benefit from its tag strategy regardless of position or geography
  • Real-time access to insights and recommendations to allow “next best action” engagement
  • Savings from lower advertising costs due to being able to identify visitors and directly target them.

“Most of the time, [stakeholders] don’t care how things happen, just that it does and that they have an easy way to get there. We’ve delivered that,” says Williams. “From an enterprise standpoint, we also help them operate more efficiently with centralized tagging, while also building a common infrastructure for the entire company with language around the tagging that enables our teams to benefit regardless of what position or geography they’re in.”

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