While digital marketing is the new norm today, in pharmaceutical marketing (like its traditional counterpart), it requires a different approach for doctors & Rx products and a different one for consumers & OTC products.
When marketing to doctors, according to an IBM report on E-Detailing published in 2019, there are certain factors important to doctors that need careful consideration. These include:
- No disruption to routine
- Quality of care
- Simple-to-use technology
- Ability to address patients’ needs and questions
Consumers, on the other hand, are posing a bigger challenge for both Rx and OTC marketing. Consumers are hyper-aware today, constantly looking for information and opinions regarding health issues and medication - both, the drugs being prescribed to them, as well as OTC products. They rely on their doctor but will also consult their friends/family who have had similar experiences and research heavily online regardless of their doctor's visits, to validate the opinions put before them.
This change in consumer behaviour, coupled with a keen insight into what is important to doctors, calls for a change in marketing that goes beyond the websites, social media, and SEO typical of a digital strategy today.
We’ve compiled 5 different pharma digital marketing strategies to adopt for your brand today:
1. Launching a Content Marketing Portal [Rx & OTC]
Helpful, informative content is the most powerful tool in pharmaceutical marketing today, valued by doctors and consumers alike. With increased focus on their use of time, doctors are constantly on the lookout for thorough, vetted information that will allow them to better form opinions and make decisions about drugs and treatments. For Rx drugs, in particular, a content marketing portal proves valuable for dispelling information and maintaining top-of-the-mind brand recall among doctors.
Consumers, too, are spending more and more time online researching symptoms, drugs and off-the-shelf products that can help in prevention and treatment. In this case, a content marketing portal acts as an effective tool to educate, engage and create awareness & thought leadership for your brand.
What to keep in mind when launching your content marketing portal for patients and consumers:
Includes content of all types - blog posts, videos, infographics, interviews, and more.
Vetted information from experts is a must to establish trust and returning audiences
There needs to be a balance between the scientific information you want to publish as a brand, and the engaging content your audience wants as internet users
Constantly analysing your website traffic will help ensure you’re publishing content people are actually interested in
An up-to-date User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) will make all the difference in increasing traffic and engagement
Effective Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a must to ensure you’re visible on search platforms such as Google
Cross-promoting the content on your portal via paid media, social media and email marketing will help drive value from new and returning users
2. Leveraging E-Detailing For More Effective Marketing [Rx]
We won’t go into the specifics of what e-detailing is, but we will say that the value derived from e-detailing can be vastly increased by adding on functionalities to your medium:
Consider taking your doctors from a presentation about your new drug, to a landing page where they can order a trial pack.
Or holding a webinar for your doctors on a certain medical condition affiliated with your drug, telling them how it works to treat the condition and any other literature they would need, directly from your R&D department.
Perhaps you’d want to follow up on the webinar or your presentation with email marketing that nurtures the doctor towards trial packs and orders.
Important points to remember:
- You need to understand where each doctor is in their journey relating to each of your products and create tailored e-detailing experiences. The more personalised the experience is to each doctor, the greater your chances of conversion via the supplemental marketing collaterals.
- Keep your marketing short, informative and direct. Time is still a big factor in terms of value.
- Videos and graphics are the best-working formats for getting maximum digital engagement, and doctors are no exception to that.
3. Building a Community of Consumers (patients) and Doctors Alike
This community could be a part of your website, an existing social sharing platform, or even the aforementioned content marketing portal.
The portal will already have blog posts and videos of interest to your end-consumer. Take it one step further by creating a forum for users, or listing affiliated doctors, creating doctor-written content of immense value to patients, and driving patient traffic to those affiliated doctors. It’s a win-win-win!
- Analysing the traffic on this portal, where patients are actively contributing, gives you immense insight into consumer behaviour and preferences
- Top-of-the-mind recall for your Rx and OTC products among affiliated doctors present on the portal
- A direct platform to market your OTC products
4. Leveraging Online Recall for Offline Conversions
Creating maximum buzz and establishing identity plays a large role in marketing OTC products, which is why most giant OTC-driven pharmaceutical companies would refrain from taking channels such as TV and radio out of the marketing mix just yet. What we recommend is to supplement that with digital media - a bit of buzz on TV, followed by highly-targeted online marketing campaigns, is the answer for conversions today.
After you run your campaign offline, you’ll have two sets of audiences exposed to your brand and product:
- An audience that directly fits the parameters of your TG
- An audience that does not immediately fit into your primary TG
Reach out to Audience 1 online, where they spend time every day, showing them multiple ads that they will connect with your TV/radio spot. Do this smartly, with the right media mix, targeting and contextual strategy, and they will convert and buy your product offline - first as a trial, then to stock up.
Audience 2, on the other hand, can be considered as having some amount of brand exposure to possibly convert at another time.
Why digital marketing should be your go-to for conversions
Advanced targeting parameters -
to reach exactly your audience
Higher returns on ad spend -
since you aren’t targeting anyone and everyone, and you can keep optimising based on the response you’re seeing
Easy measurement & attribution -
from each touchpoint and channel
Maximum Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) -
created by constantly re-engaging even existing customers via email and social media
5. Building Trust with Influencer Marketing
‘Influencer marketing’ aren’t two words commonly associated with the pharmaceutical industry, due to the many complicated rules governing the marketing of drugs & products. Done subtly and smartly, however, it can be one of the most effective strategies in your mix.
How to use influencer marketing for pharmaceutical products:
We hope you found these 5 different digital strategies for pharmaceutical marketing useful. You’ll find that a targeted strategy; consistent analytics; experimentation; and personalised, data-driven creativity are key to implementing these ideas.
If you’re ready to get started, feel free to reach out to us below!