Marketing is necessary for the success of a pharmaceutical company. The intense competition pharma companies face makes the development of innovative pharmaceutical marketing tactics a requirement to thrive in the current market.
What is pharmaceutical marketing?
Pharmaceutical marketing is the promotion of pharmaceutical products to doctors, clinicians, and the general population. Both private and public organizations partake in pharma marketing practices.
Why is marketing important in the pharmaceutical industry?
Marketing is extremely important in the pharmaceutical industry because it is the main method pharma companies can use to identify, anticipate, and provide solutions to issues faced by customers. Marketing is fundamental to increase the shareholder value of pharmaceutical companies.
Does pharma spend more on marketing than R&D?
A solid pharmaceutical marketing strategy is one of the principal assets of successful drug companies. Due to this, it is common for pharma brands to allocate a larger part of their budgets to sales and marketing than to research and development (R&D).
According to research published by the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), more than half of the most successful pharmaceutical companies spend more on promotion than on R&D (source). A 2015 report demonstrated that out of 100 pharma companies, 64 spend at least twice as much on marketing than on R&D, with almost half of those spending 10 times their R&D budget on marketing and sales.
What does a pharmaceutical marketer do?
By using strategic marketing methods, pharmaceutical marketers help drug products and treatments differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. Pharmaceutical marketing tactics also help companies gain a deeper understanding of their audience, helping them to address their needs more efficiently.
7 tips to promoting and marketing a pharmaceutical company
1. Understand the needs of your target audience
In the pharmaceutical market, different types of companies cater to distinct types of customers. Some pharmaceutical products are only meant for the use of a certain subset of patients, like children or the elderly. Having a proper understanding of what kind of consumer a pharma company is catering to is crucial to increase market share.
Important information to gather about patients includes their health care spending habits. Knowing the affordability of treatments and medications in relation to your target demographic’s purchasing power will allow you to set an average price for medicines that keeps them competitive against alternate treatments and generic drugs.
2. Create an efficient image for your company
Just like in every industry, brand recognition in pharma is paramount. Pharma brands have to design a simple, yet professional image for themselves, including the creation of a logo to represent their products and services.
The creation of a unique image is not only an advantage but also an imperative. The branding of a company is bound to appear in all product packaging, promotional material, and on the Internet. Research must be performed to determine what the most successful trends are when marketing a particular medicine in order to create branding that will appeal the most to patients and doctors.
3. Don’t forget the human element
It is easy to get lost in all the intricacies of pharma development and forget that the pharmaceutical industry deals directly and indirectly with the health and well-being of people. Pharmaceutical brands must include a human element, helping patients form connections with the brand.
Brands can improve their connection with patients by sharing real stories and testimonials about the benefits of their products. The genuine emotion of a patient’s testimony can be captured on video, helping patients better relate. By requesting real stories from online followers, pharma companies can create a network of people emotionally attached to their experiences with the brand.
4. Strengthen bonds with the use of social media
Social media is a powerful tool to form connections between people. Your potential, current, and past patients can use social media to share their experiences, be reassured, and learn more about the benefits of the treatment you offer them. Using social media, you can share information such as price regulation or industry trends on blogs, promote newly released products, and answer your customers’ questions.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of social media has had a negative impact on the relationship between many people and modern medicine. As more people start believing speculation and facetious remarks meant to discredit the pharmaceutical industry, it is important to create online spaces where the truth about the benefits of medicines can be shared.
5. Invest in professional marketing materials
Marketing materials can make drastic improvements to the image of a pharmaceutical company. To give a professional outlook, it is important to invest in professional photography, motion graphics, and other audiovisual solutions designed to maximize appeal. A professional with an eye for design can help you devise the correct color scheme and other specifications to improve the visual aspect of your company.
6. Transmit an image of trust
Creating a sense of transparency is one of the toughest challenges a pharmaceutical company faces. As previously discussed, trust can be generated by using online resources such as blogs and social media.
When managing social media pages, a feeling of transparency can be maintained by respecting users’ right to share the information they deem appropriate. Eliminating comments or disabling users can have very negative consequences for a company’s image. Customers will quickly lose interest if they see their requests for information met with a negative response.
7. Create a website for your pharmaceutical products
The creation of a website is a major necessity for any successful pharmaceutical company. Without a proper online presence, a company can’t gain the trust of customers, invest in SEO, and have access to many other benefits. In today’s day and age, having a responsive and mobile-friendly website is considered a given by the vast majority of customers.
Marketing to doctors vs. marketing to patients
While marketers in other industries only have to address one particular subset of the general public, marketing in pharma has two very different audiences to cater to: patients and doctors.
Typically, patients are encouraged to consult with their doctor whenever they have a treatable ailment and they will not purchase a medicine until an appointment has taken place. More often than not, the medicine a patient will acquire will be one directly recommended by their doctor. Therefore, pharma marketers can address both patients and doctors by focusing their efforts on the latter.
Pharmaceutical marketing tactics for doctors
Marketing to doctors can be a very expensive endeavor, considering the market is extremely competitive and investments are high. However, doctors have a significant influence on the sale of pharmaceuticals, giving pharma brands a huge incentive to establish good relationships with them.
Important factors that influence pharma marketing to doctors include the following:
- Research: All content marketing intended for the consumption of medical professionals must not only be well researched but also contain well-articulated content. All medical literature must be accurate and contain the proper citations.
- Placement: It is common for doctors to be desensitized to most traditional marketing strategies due to overexposure. This makes tactical placement a primary consideration when approaching medical professionals.
- Precision: Pharmaceutical marketing must be extremely specific to cater to doctors.
Pharmaceutical marketing tactics for patients
Successful pharmaceutical tactics directed at patients aim to identify their individual needs and create a series of techniques to address them efficiently and accurately. The creation of a brand-patient relationship can be built online, relying on strong search engine optimization (SEO) practices. This approach will allow customers to come into contact with a pharma company and its products while conducting their own research.
Many people use search engines such as Google to find information about treatments, individual drugs, diseases, and many other themes relevant to the pharma industry. By providing clear and concise answers to their target audience’s queries, pharma companies can attract a considerably higher number of web users to their websites, consequently creating a positive impact on sales and revenue.
Example of how a pharma company might market a product
The vast majority of patients who suffer from depression make use of a search engine to search for potential treatments for their condition. A drug or treatment for depression can therefore reach more patients by using SEO and content marketing solutions.
The pharma marketers behind a depression drug need to create strategic marketing content around their product to create an SEO impact. The type of content being created must contain information a person with depression is likely to search for when using the web. To do this, pharma marketers use keywords and other organic traffic-generating strategies to position the drug’s website at the top of search results.
This process follows the following steps:
- Performing an analysis of existing search results, including the identification of the most commonly researched keywords that are not being exploited.
- Creating informative articles relevant to your target audience’s search queries. In the case of depression, articles can be about the nature of the condition and the best treatments for it. Naturally, content related to the drug being marketed is to be included in these articles.
- The content should then be published on the Internet, preferably in connection to websites with high authority and considerable traffic numbers.
- Link building, or the process of creating backlinks to one’s website, should be implemented. This procedure sees the creation of links connecting to a product’s website from other parts of the web and has very positive effects on SEO.
- Content optimization techniques can be used to further improve a website’s search engine ranking.
Pharmaceutical lead generation services
The pharmaceutical industry is extremely competitive, and staying ahead requires the creation of strategies to better attract an audience. Lead generation is crucial for success in the modern pharmaceutical market so lead generation services should be a major priority of every pharmaceutical company.
Leadsier specializes in lead generation in the pharmaceutical sector. By partnering with Leadsier, you will have access to the services of an expert team who will handle all the difficult and time-consuming tasks related to your lead generation strategy. Likewise, your sales and marketing strategies can be improved by working alongside the experts at Leadsier.