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Is your content good enough to power your multi-channel marketing?

Content shock is the time when increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.
Regardless of whether you're creating content for your HCP audience, in an inbound or outbound capacity, or you've also started creating content for your patients to consume directly, the importance of content to power multi-channel marketing is now generally recognised by all pharma brand and marketing professionals.

Content shock

However, as everyone steps up their content creation efforts to power their paid, owned and earned media across digital channels, there will inevitably be a point where the total volume of content created will surpass the available collective HCP attention.

This inflection point has become known as content shock.

The term ‘content shock’ was coined by Mark Schaefer in his blog post ‘Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy’.

"Content shock is the time when increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it. How and when the “shock” occurs will vary greatly by business or by industry. For some the crunch might be years away, for some it is happening now."

So, how can your pharma brand implement an effective multi-channel marketing plan in the face of content shock?

Easy, you have no other choice than to commit to creating content which is more awesome than your competitors and here’s three ways to help you do that.

1) Relevant Content

Yes, creating relevant content is pretty obvious but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and it’s certainly not being done consistently across every pharma brand.

Evaluating your content's relevancy can be done through the lenses of value, timeliness and personalisation:

What value does the content provide to your audience? Value can come in the form of knowledge, utility, monetary, entertainment or social capital.

Timeliness could be content related to something that’s currently happening (real-time), relevant to the HCPs relationship stage in their customer journey or connected to a broader societal or cultural trend.

Personalised content takes relevancy to a whole new level. Content could be personalised based on an anonymous person’s location, keywords searched for, device used or online browsing behaviour. For identified individuals, via a login for example, content can be personalised based on the users preferences or 1st party data held on that person, in-line with GDPR.

2) ‘Shiny Objective’ content

For brands with deeper pockets, allocating some budget to create innovative content could be just the ticket. As long as the brand’s clear that creating a chatbot, augmented reality demo or a never-been-done-before gizmo, is more about the fact they’ve done it, and what that says about the brand’s progressive brand values, then necessarily the content itself.

3) Data Analytics

And finally you need to learn from what the data is telling you. Yes, research and insight is important in the planning of content for your pharma multi-channel marketing but building a feedback loop that tells you which content is performing and why, will enable you to keep optimising your content.


It may just sound like common sense, but make sure your content has value, purpose and relevancy, is delivered to your audience when they want it and via channels they choose and then… Measure, review and refine.

Read more about our thoughts on multi-channel marketing, brand strategy, CX and digital marketing for pharma on our blog:

And find out why we're not like the others on our website

2nd October 2017



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An agency called Owen

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