Pharmaceutical companies put so much time, money, and resources into the development of their products. In order to have the best return on investment, marketing is a major priority. The profit that comes back will fund further research and development. It is essential for future progress.
Many big pharma companies spend more on marketing than they do on research and development of their product. This is not because they are spending so little on R&D, but because they recognize that marketing is so vital.
There are new marketing opportunities immerging every year with the development of new technology. It is now expected that businesses have a web presence, an email contact, and social media presence, just to name a few.
In order to stay competitive, companies need to keep up with the latest trends for marketing pharmaceuticals. There is so much competition, you can’t afford to just keep doing what you’ve always done.
If you’re looking for a way to freshen up your pharma marketing strategy, here are 6 marketing trends to follow in 2019:
Create Quality Content
It isn’t about just putting out a good product anymore. You need a strong web presence with quality material that both physicians and consumers find useful. This could be product information, information about your company, or information on the latest research being done.
The content that you create can help establish your company as an authority in your industry. A good reputation goes a long way in marketing. When your audience hears about something new or has a question about their health care, they’ll come to you first to see if you have any information on it.
Once you have the person on your website, you have the opportunity to guide them to new content or introduce them to new products. Creating quality content will open a lot of doors for connection and discussion with your audience.
Direct to Consumer Ads
If you’re trying to communicate directly with consumers, a good way to reach them is through targeted ads. These ads typically show a person on a drug who is better able to enjoy their life, or a person who is tired of dealing with their illness so they ask their doctor about a certain drug.
These ads are very effective in reinforcing healthy behaviors. Consumers are more informed, they’re more likely to take action if they think they have a condition that the drug could treat, and they’re more comfortable talking to a doctor.
One survey showed that 27% of Americans have made a doctor’s appointment because they saw an ad for a drug that they thought may help them. The same survey revealed that 73% of physicians felt that patient questions about pharma ads resulted in good discussions with thoughtful questions.
Offering Continuing Medical Courses
If you want to engage an audience of physicians, you can offer continuing medical courses. These courses are held at pharma-sponsored events where other companies are trying to inform physicians of their new products as well.
By encouraging physicians to come and be informed about your product, you increase the chance that the physician will offer your product to a patient. The more that they know and trust your product, the easier it will be to convince them to make recommendations for you.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization is key for a good marketing strategy, no matter your industry. A proper SEO strategy will boost your ranking when your audience searches a keyword relevant to your business, e.g. “Psoriasis Medication.”
If you have a good SEO strategy, your page will come up at the top of the search results. A large majority of people using search engines never go past the first page of results, so it is essential that your page ranks well.
According to Digital Authority Partners, a good SEO strategy involves both on-page and off-page SEO. Off-page SEO typically means that other websites link to your website as an authority on a subject. On-page SEO means writing content that uses keywords you suspect your audience will search for, using tags and headings with those keywords, and coding the website with semantic microdata (see this technical seo guide for more details).
A good SEO strategy could be the difference between booming sales and near invisibility. If you don’t have someone in-house who has experience with SEO, consider hiring a third-party to help you.
Create a Personal Connection
A personal connection with your audience can change your audience’s perception of you from “salesperson” to “helpful resource.” No one wants to feel like they are getting products pushed on them by people who want to take their money.
A study from the University of California evaluated the effects of one-on-one meetings between physicians and pharmaceutical reps to discuss a product in-depth. Typically, the rep would take the physician out to lunch or leave them pens and notepads with the product name on it along with some free samples. When the reps did not offer this personal experience, around 10% of the physicians reverted to selling generic medications.
Sometimes, all it takes is a personal touch to stand out in the minds of your audience.
According to Healthcare Weekly, standing out as a pharma company is all about data analysis. The data that you collect on your audience is what should influence the way that you market and the kinds of products that you develop.
There is a lot of competition in medicine. There are generic brands and competing name brands that all sell very similar products. In order to stand out, you need to fully understand the needs of your audience.
You can discover critical healthcare insights from data that you collect on your audience. What are they searching the web for? Which ads are getting the most attention? You can use this information to make informed decisions about your next marketing campaign.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to make a good profit for some pharma companies. Return on investment dropped from 10.1% in 2010 to 1.9% in 2018. With those margins shrinking, it’s important to take advantage of all the latest marketing trends.
This article was written by Julian Gnatenco @ JGBilling a medical coding company