Using Digital Marketing for Success
Traditionally, pharmaceutical companies invest huge marketing dollars into television and print advertising while having medical providers promote products on their behalf at pharma events. Although this approach successfully reaches huge professional and consumer audiences, they may be missing the boat when it comes to digital marketing vehicles. According to Money Watch, the industry spent $5.2 billion on advertising in 2016. It increased to nearly $6 billion in 2017 and continues to increase in 2018. However, most advertising is spent on television and magazine ads. Only 56 percent of pharma companies surveyed by Medical Marketing & Media (MMM) even have a website, while 45 percent use social media, and 32 percent use digital ads. In fact, a recent study of MMM says there’s a “long way to go before top pharma companies' digital presence measures up to current tech standards.”
The Anytime, Anywhere Expectation
Digital marketing is gradually changing the dynamics of pharma marketing in reaching global audiences. Digital marketing tools makes it easier for pharma to engage with target audiences, but they have to utilize them efficiently and consistently with a firm progression plan in order to realize the best return on investment. To be successful, pharma brands must be prepared to meet the ever-changing expectation of consumers and healthcare providers across the various channels. The goal of a digital presence is to be available anytime, anywhere. Increasingly, people are searching online for health information. From researching chronic issues to attempts at self-diagnosis, they’re going online to find answers. If pharma wants to improve engagement with consumers and patients, they’ll need to start by improving their online presence. But it’s not only your average consumers who are waiting to engage with pharma online, healthcare providers are there, too. According to Digital Insights data, they spend the majority of their days on digital devices (tablets and phones) conducting research. To reach this group on a global scale, pharma companies will need to be available via mobile-friendly websites.
Efficiently Targeting Audiences
Another upside to digital marketing for pharma companies is that the costs are considerably less than traditional marketing and provide a wider reach. In digital marketing, companies are also able to more narrowly define target markets and audiences. And, performance data is always readily available. Social media outlets, for instance, offer almost immediate access to campaign analytics. As with most industries, the pharma industry has a firmly established way of marketing to reach healthcare professionals. This includes engaging with them at industry conferences, employing sales reps to visit their offices, launching television ads with famous spokespersons. All these things amount to millions of dollars annually. Why not add a few digital marketing campaigns to the repertoire to increase the marketing reach? As the pharma industry continues to spend billions on research and development of new drugs, creating efficient and effective marketing programs is critical to a successful launch. Digital marketing can be the answer everyone is looking for.