As marketers, we all want to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time – but how can we successfully fulfil this mandate in today’s ever-changing digital landscape? We’ve yet to see the digital revolution disrupt pharma in the same way that it’s flipped industries like travel and banking, which means there’s an impending window of opportunity for leaders to emerge.
Recently, Mediaplanet had the pleasure of attending the Future of Pharma Marketing Summit, where we took away some key practices for navigating the complex world of modern pharmaceutical marketing. Here are our top takeaways:
1. We’re not special.
As much as it sometimes feels like our market is siloed, this simply isn’t true. We exist alongside other companies that are taking massive strides in marketing innovation – the Starbucks, Apples, and Nikes of the world – so our touch points must fit seamlessly into the consumer journey that today’s market demands.
Think about the other brands that your target may engage with and the technology your target is already using. Try to mirror similar interactions with your brand. Is there a way to partner with a brand they use, like a fitness app or wearable tech? Can you integrate seamlessly into a platform they’re regularly using, like email, search engines, or social media?
2. Know your tools and how they work.
The new shiny penny may seem attractive, but it’s vital to have a well-rounded understanding of a new strategy before overhauling a traditional one. Slowly build up your confidence with the new technology and analytical tools at your disposal. We know that content is king, but it’s important to use data from your content to make informed decisions. Once you’re comfortable with your tools and can observe data-supported success, you can adapt strategies across wider channels.
Suppose you support the development of a patient resource hub, like this one. Analyze what content performs the best and develop new content that mimics the format and style of the most engaging pieces. Take it one step further by adapting top-performing content to new mediums, like the video embedded on this article page.
3. Remember, doctors are people too.
Believe it or not, doctors exist outside the clinic. And they all have separate lives, each with their own tastes in food, music, travel, and fashion. As marketers, we can’t generalize a strategy that will resonate with all doctors, as they all have unique wants. The only common factor is that they all engage with other brands regularly, which means we should be adapting our strategies to provide the same seamless experience that they’ve come to expect with other brands.
For example, if you tried rolling out a teledetailing program but found that physicians weren’t willing to use the software as much as you had anticipated, maybe there’s a way to modify the program into a platform they’re already using, like a mobile app. Perhaps through this more familiar platform, you could communicate with them in more familiar ways as well, like instant messaging or push notifications.
4. Don’t forget about the patients.
We’re living in an age where it’s never been easier to access information. The caveat is that the most easily accessible information isn’t typically the most reliable. What you don’t want is Dr. Google or Aunt Carol’s Facebook post to be providing patients with their medical information. Think about strategies to reach these patients hungry for knowledge. Think about your patients’ daily lives and the resources they use, and find key connection points to integrate your message into their journey.
For example, if traffic to your disease state awareness landing page is lower than you anticipated, try partnering with an advocacy group to develop awareness content hosted on a third-party publisher site. Through surrounding ads and embedded hyperlinks, you can lead users to your disease state awareness page for additional resources, like this article we developed on migraine awareness. Help patients find your content through targeted native ads, paid social, and SEO.
5. Together, we’re stronger.
Whether you’re a patient, doctor, government body, or pharma marketer, we all have one goal in mind: to improve quality of care and decrease the burden of disease. Being transparent and collaborative with all stakeholders will make achieving your mutual goal much more attainable. Be open-minded to new vendors and agencies, get regulatory and legal bodies aligned with your strategy early on, and maintain open dialogue with key opinion leaders and patient advocacy groups. Together, we can help patients find the right option for them, but one can’t do it alone.
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