Zoetis, a global leader in the animal health industry, recently embarked on a major digital transformation. The company is building a cutting-edge capability that combines sales, marketing, and advanced analytics in order to develop more innovative products and improve customer journeys and experiences.
In this interview, CEO Kristin Peck and Executive Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer Wafaa Mamilli sit down with BCG’s Torben Danger to explain the key reasons for launching the initiative and discuss the most important elements of the journey. They also describe the top challenges the company has faced, especially the need to attract new digital talent and ensure that everyone across the organization has digital skills. Finally, they outline the steps that executives should take to ensure transformation success, and they provide some examples of how digital, AI, and analytics are reshaping the animal health industry.
Edited excerpts of Danger’s conversation with Peck and Mamilli follow.
What prompted you to design and start implementing a digital transformation?
Peck: Well, I think it really had everything to do with the transformation we’re seeing in society overall. As consumers, which all veterinarians and producers are at first, they’re used to engaging digitally. Paying their bill online, learning about new products online, and then looking at the technology they use to better manage their own health.
It’s the same expectation in animal health. So, we saw a great opportunity to create more innovative products for our customers, but also engage with our customers in new ways that were more relevant, to provide them the information they needed when they needed it.
Wafaa, from your point of view, what are the most important elements of this digital journey?
Mamilli: [The most important element] I would say, first and foremost, is setting the tone from the top down. The second part is to make the agenda and the journey not the CIDO, the Chief Information Digital Officer, or Chief Digital Officer, or CIO’s agenda, but an executive team agenda. After that, we have to make sure that we have the right teams, the right priorities, the right debates.
How do you see digital data and analytics changing the industry in, let’s say, ten years?
Peck: Well, I think, let me just paint a few pictures. We can better predict if an animal’s not eating, that it’s going to be getting sick, to pull it, and only treat a few animals, which is what people want. Less treatment, more detection, more prevention.
They’ll be enabled with a barnside diagnostic that communicates very effectively and shares all the information. So what was their genetics? What is the test I’m seeing? How do I make a better decision to care for that animal? And when you have that information, you can feed more efficiently—which is less use of water, less use of grains, which is something else that’s important—and really focus on individual animal care, which, I think, is where everyone’s trying to go.
And that means innovation in each of those areas. So in genetics, in the tag, in algorithms, and in AI. But it also really means bringing that data together to create new insights. I think the vision of what digital and data could do in animal health is really exciting.
To see the full interview, click on the video above.