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Why pharma content marketing campaigns should be agile

Agile pharma content marketing is simply about responding to customer needs, rather than your own whims.

Content. Be it a 44-page white paper on the symptoms of Meningitis or a two-minute YouTube video which demonstrates how to apply skin rash lotion, companies are discovering how essential content is in the world of marketing. We’ve come a long way from soundbytes and silver-tongued sales patter; the public want expertise. So if you if you fall into this category, glorious days lie ahead and you have an unprecedented chance to rise above the charlatans who offer so much but give so little. You can prove your expertise, right? Then what’s stopping you?

Well, as everyone who has tried pharma content marketing knows, it’s not as simple as that. You could very well write several masterpieces on subjects you know about, but how will people know about them? Simply putting content ‘out there’ is not enough – it needs to be found. And promoting content, annoyingly, is often as difficult as promoting the brand itself.

The ‘being heard’ aspect is the challenge, however, whereas many brands think the challenge is the content creation itself. Too often, content is thrown-out willy-nilly and – despite how brilliant it may be – is either:

A) Too hard to find
B) Irrelevant

Agile pharma content marketing is the systematic approach for getting heard. It’s simply a matter of devising strategies first, creating content second – and not the other way around. More importantly, it is about responding to customer needs, rather than your own whims.

In other words, it makes your content easy to find and relevant.

Agility: rolling with the punches

Besides consistency, however, is the need for adaptability. Although the plans must be strictly adhered to, the content itself must be appropriate to an ever-changing world.

This is where the ‘finger on the pulse’ comes in. What are the big trending subjects? What are the most popular forms of content at the moment, and where are people accessing them? Research into your target market (i.e. patients and HCPs) is the key to understanding what they need to know, and how you can provide it. Remember: your customers’ needs come first, not your whims or big ideas. No matter how brilliant your answers are, they are worthless without the questions first!

For pharma, embracing change means embracing new formats – and ways of sharing them. Yearly reports, for example, may be replaced by weekly (or even daily) reports and new findings, and these findings can be informed increasingly more by feedback from patients. In this way, marketing becomes more of a conversation than a sales pitch.

Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Thomas Edison once said: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”.

This may sound like witty self-effacement to some, but it actually points out that failure can be the greatest teacher – as long as the lessons are learned. If you are too afraid to try new methods, you’ll never advance; it’s that simple.

Agile content marketing marries both experimentation and consistency, but perseverance is the essential human quality for any marketing strategy. At times it may seem that the chips are down, but this is because the success of content marketing is often more abstract or unquantifiable – and concrete/financial returns are a long time in the making.

The ‘unquantifiable’ success, however, is the growing reputation of your brand. The more valuable and relevant content you create – and share in the most well-thought-out way – the better the chances of building reliability in your brand and, as a result, fostering customer loyalty which will last for years to come.

This blog was originally published here: http://www.wearecouch.com/blog/why-pharma-content-marketing-campaigns-should-be-agile

11th December 2017

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