5 Resolutions Every Pharma Marketer Should Make In 2020
The new year calls for a fresh approach to Pharma Marketing. Here are 5 resolutions every pharma marketer should make to succeed in 2020 –
1. I Will Discard Spray & Pray Marketing – A generic, one-size-fits-all approach to engage doctors is a strict no-no in the new decade. Marketers should be able to customize their initiatives according to the customers’ needs. For this, they should invest in digital technologies that help them perform social analytics, define customer personas, understand customer goals and then create strategies to meet them. e.g. Early adopters of a particular class of drugs may need a different marketing communications plan than new converts. Or, budding KOLs may be more willing to agree to speaking opportunities than their more-established counterparts. Pharma marketers must resolve to steer clear of irrelevant marketing in the coming year as it will permanently disengage customers from their brand and hamper their competitiveness.
2. I Will Prioritize Customer Experience – Superior CX will be one of the most important drivers of great marketing outcomes in the new decade. According to Houda Kamoun Follot, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Aptus Health, “Having great customer experience will create a more positive view of the product and the company. Customers who are satisfied with their interaction are more likely to save all the materials about the product or the service for future use. They are also three times more likely to share the information that they receive, which is very, very powerful.’’
An important part of delivering a great physician experience is to share relevant and unbiased scientific content in the right format, at the right time and through the right channel. Marketers must strike the right balance between product-oriented content and non-promotional educational content. The content should be shared when the doctor is willing to consume it and it should be made available on the channel they trust.
3. I Will Empower My Medical Reps – Pharma‘s field force is extremely stressed – they don’t get enough face-time with doctors but face unrealistic sales targets. To prevent the ”backbone” of pharma marketing from crippling, companies should resolve to reskill and upskill their field force on priority and arm them with digital tools that’ll help them do their job better.
Digital content marketing can provide much-needed support to the reps. When the doctors are already primed about the scientific aspects of the product, they will be able to ask the MRs specific questions during the meetings, leading to a more fruitful interaction between the two. MRs can easily refer to relevant online content during their detailing sessions. Digital content marketing can also secure the bond between the HCPs and the MRs – every time the doctors consume product-related content online, they will be taken back to their interaction with the MR and the brand they represent. (To know more on Reinventing Pharma Field Force, Click Here: http://bit.ly/2Rylch4)
4. I Will Not Ignore Digital KOLs – With 1 out of every 3 doctors having an online presence, pharma marketers cannot afford to ignore the digital Key Opinion Leaders. In times to come, these digital KOLs will become more influential than their offline counterparts, enjoying a large network of followers that transcend geographical boundaries and specialties.
Digital KOLs typically are active in online forums that are closed and neutral, voicing their views about the latest therapies, and publishing their research. A good strategy for brand teams in 2020 would be to map the digital KOL community for their therapy area, shortlist those enjoying wide reach and high relevance to their brand and engage them via webinars, online interviews, and panel discussions. A series of planned activities of this kind would be hugely beneficial for both, the KOL, and the pharma brand.
5. I Will Banish My Transactional Mindset – Online shopping vouchers, paid foreign trips, gold jewelry, smartphones…the list of incentives that pharma uses to lure doctors is endless. Following the recent study by NGO SATHI that revealed the widespread use of bribes by pharma to boost prescriptions, the DoP, on Dec 23rd, 2019, warned industry groups that if these practices continue, the voluntary UCPMP will be made mandatory.
This would be a good time for Pharma marketers to resolve to let go of their transactional mindset and start building an ethical & trustworthy relationship with the medical community. A great way to do that would be to try and solve their pain points, be it gaining knowledge, improving patient compliance, practice management or something else. Do doctors struggle to educate patients about their medical condition? Help them with Patient Education Kits that they can share during consultations. Do doctors find it tough to attend medical seminars? Organize webinars that can be viewed on-demand. Are they unable to keep up with the latest medical advancements due to time constraints? Share short, summarized updates in an easy-to-understand format. Such value additions will strengthen the bond with prescribers and help marketers earn their long-term loyalty.
What other resolutions should Pharma Marketers make in 2020?