Nowadays, it is paramount that a trade is regularly present online, not only leaving its footprint in the cyber world with an obvious basic option like a website, but constantly interacting with their existing clients via the various social media platforms, while at the same time trying to attract potential new ones on-board.
The above applies across the board, and therefore the pharmaceutical industry isn`t excluded, on the contrary we will see why digital marketing is indispensable also for this particular segment.
A Preface to Pharma Marketing
We all concur that this particular segment is more complex than others, and among the regular challenges we find that the pharmaceutical industry needs to interact with its clients in a simpler way to be understood.
Pharma products are not the only publicity that this type of marketing uploads, but more than that the eventual buyers need to know and comprehend the science behind each item, what it represents, how will it aid, the ingredients used thus avoiding any allergies/intolerances and any side effects.
In this delicate sector where marketing is promoting cure and providing solutions or assistance enabling humans to take care of themselves, it is paramount for the marketing to bear a clear statement, displaying proven items ideally also featuring testimonials while guaranteeing speedy recoveries.
Pharma marketing needs to reach professionals in the area such as doctors who will be more knowledgeable, but it also needs to cater for patients who are surfing the web in search for an efficacious medicine. These types of industries need to appoint experts to generate marketing which will instil trust in the brand so much so that customers will not only return but create free advertising by word of mouth which is powerful and comes for free. However, the latter works both ways so pharma businesses, just like any other company out there, need to avoid that their name is tarnished also via lame or bad marketing apart from any issues with their product line in itself.
An optimal pharma digital marketing is the one that delivers info while boosting the company`s visibility yes, but it also builds trust and supports healthcare providers which finally contributes to better health outcomes.
As one may presume, this pharmaceutical segment is heavily regulated, and may we add rightly so, as we need peace of mind were medicinal consumables are involved.
There are also strict rules regarding what can or can`t be said and how it is divulged. For example, the American Food and Drug Administration or FDA sets guidelines to make sure that all adverts are precise, sensible and not misleading. Any statements must be backed by scientific evidence and as we mentioned above any potential side effects must be listed.
Regulations in place are to be taken seriously, as it goes without saying that any ambiguous marketing can lead to health consequences, and rest assured that the brand in question or that particular company will have to face the music which definitely won`t sound nice.
Building a Digital Marketing Plan
A key factor in attaining successful marketing campaigns also in the pharmaceutical industry is to smartly plan ahead while knowing the ropes, as holding a deep know-how of the sector is a must.
Excellent pharma digital marketing plans hold targeted goals and an exclusive approach which will assist that particular business to stand out from those of the direct competitors in the field. Checking industry trends, SEO jargon being utilised in the pharmaceutical area, identifying opportunities while keeping an eye on regulatory changes, are all hot tips followed by good marketers.
As aforesaid, a medical company needs to niche down its target, like for whom the marketing is intended for, professionals, consumers or both, since the wording and approach will differ as it needs to be tailored to the end-user`s needs, addressing their apprehensions and delivering value.
Finding your style, be it transparency or simple informatic material for patients will set you apart in the industry.
Now strategies vary from one business to another, but the following are common steps utilised across the board to boost visibility:
- Content supported by scientific evidence will yield trust
- A robust SEO which directs traffic via specific keywords used in search engines like Google
- Social media influencers will assist you in promoting especially if they`re professionals, like health advocates or patients sharing their story
- Hosting webinars or virtual events will ensure a direct explanation to your audience, also involving Q&As at the end
- Include Artificial Intelligence (AI) like chatbots on websites supporting customers to analytics
- Email marketing remains valid, like posting monthly newsletters keeping your subscribers updated
Needless to say that all strategies need to abide regulations.
Skills Needed by Pharma Marketers
There are various valid skills which can be honed, but here we list the most popular ones:
- Social Media – Needless to say with a prediction of almost 5 billion users by 2025 this is the place to market in
- AI – As already mentioned, holding experts in this area will surely benefit the medical company, from simply supporting clients via interactive websites to obtaining precious analytics
- SEO – Also listed earlier, it’s a comprehensive strategy that involves optimizing various elements on a website to improve its visibility and ranking on search engines.
- Data analytics – Crucial to gather insights and trends to target a specific niche which will in turn drive revenue
Digital marketing has done and is still doing wonders, and when we think from where marketing started with cold calls, mailing letters, newspapers or magazines adverts, and billboards, we realise that we are living the future. We now take for granted an ad popping on our screens in the palm of our hands, which was unheard of until few years ago.
Surely digital marketing has become the obvious choice for any business if it wants to remain relevant, and as we saw from the various listed rationales the pharmaceutical industry will also benefit greatly in applying it.