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The new digital era of pharma advertising

Creating a connection

Kristen DimmockCreating meaningful connections with customers is hard enough in consumer marketing, but pharma is at a distinct disadvantage. Traditional contact time is falling across Europe and digital engagement has yet to make up the difference. As one GP told me: “I’m under extreme pressure - from the media, government, and society - to have nothing to do with you [pharma].” It’s a sobering statement.

Is this the end of pharma advertising and branded content? Hardly. But it is time for a new approach to digital engagement and customer experience. Here are a few tips from the consumer world to get you started.

Find your humans, not brand segments

We all know that messages are better received if they’re personalised to the recipient. In pharma, we often rely on customer segments based around the HCP’s relationship with the brand but unfortunately, reality is messier and certainly less loyal than these segments allow.

For genuine human insights, research your customers irrespective of your brand, not through its lens. Explore their whole story - pressures, lifestyle, motivations, frustrations, habits. Then map their experience for insights to inform tone, channel and opportunities to add value.

Get data working for you

Want to benefit from those ‘data-driven insights’ everybody’s talking about? It’s not as daunting as it seems; you just need the right data. So bring data analysis into your core marketing team. Map your data ecosystem at the start of the planning process to understand what data you need to collect and when, as directed by your brand strategy. Commit to a schedule for analysis. You might be surprised by how only a handful of ‘data-driven insights’ can really influence your marketing activities.

Try and try again

There are lots of examples of good digital engagement, but no guarantees. The world moves too quickly for hard and fast rules in the digital world, so just try. Then learn. Then try again. Adopt an agile company culture that rewards those who try something new and aren’t afraid to make a few mistakes. And above all else - enjoy it.

Kristen Dimmock is a strategic planner at VCCP Health

In association with

VCCP Health

23rd February 2018

From: Marketing

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