The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has affected the pace of digitalization in pharmaceutical companies. Changes in business models have impacted everyone, including marketers. One of the most significant changes that have affected brands is the development of digital marketing in pharma industry.
Digital marketing in pharma industry in one of the ways for the best promotion of pharmaceutical products and services. This type of marketing is becoming an integral part of marketing strategies for most companies in all sectors of the modern economy, including retail pharmaceutical organizations.
There are many affordable and cost-effective ways for most pharmaceutical organizations to implement digital marketing.
Today, the pharma industry is an important sector of the economy for any country. It is a criterion for its economic and social development, the level of well-being of the population.
The developed pharmaceutical industry of the country is considered an indicator of the high innovativeness of its economy. Today, the pharma industry is also one of the most profitable industries, attracting many investors.
This economic sector requires the most correct approaches to work, especially in marketing and advertising. This includes combining the art of stimulating sales with strict rules for providing the consumer with objective and reliability. In the case of tangible restrictions in the pharmaceutical advertising market, achieving serious success also requires innovation.
Digitalization becomes key for every pharmaceutical brand
Nowadays, digitalization is also responsible for direct contact with consumers through mobile applications and convenient multi-platform sites adapted to online sales, booking, delivery of pharmaceutical products, and pharmaceutical consulting.
The sociological surveys have shown the average and high levels of consumer readiness to communicate with pharmacy organizations through digital technologies. However, there are many deterrents to developing digital marketing in pharma industry.
This blog article will elaborate on how a full-fledged digitalization of marketing services for pharma companies can get outstanding results.
The uniqueness of the pharmaceutical industry
When it comes to digital marketing, the pharmaceutical industry is unique and not easy to work in. Products in this area require an exceptionally individual approach. Those cases that repeatedly worked with one of your clients can become a fatal mistake for another.
Some of the leading modern tools for promoting goods traditionally include advertising and personal selling, public relations, and sales promotion.
Therefore, many marketing agencies are trying to bypass such clients because of the need to invest a huge amount in the work.
Ideally, it is generally desirable to have a person in the agency with at least a basic medical education.
Understanding pharmaceutical topics
The whole digital marketing team should immerse themselves in the topic as much as possible, explore the scope of the drugs and the symptoms of the disease for which the active substance is directed.
Analyze the range of services, understand the stages of the course of the disease and the procedures accompanying these stages. Then, there is the understanding of legislative restrictions on social networks.
When it comes to advertising on social networks, legislative restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg. Advertising platforms, services, and tools in the vast majority impose strict requirements on the advertising of pharmaceuticals – or even prohibit it.
Unlike legislation, their rules are pretty vague; the combination of automatic and manual moderation leads to unpredictable results.
At first glance, ads that meet all the criteria can be rejected, and feedback can be received in a couple of days or a week; this is especially true for Facebook. This environment makes it challenging to plan both budgets and the timing of advertising campaigns.
Moreover, targeting opportunities are severely limited by prohibitions on the use of user data: both your own and third parties.
Database of valid information on pharmaceutical resources
Every digital marketing agency needs to have a database of authoritative and valid information resources. The team working on the project must know where to find the necessary official information to get acquainted with clinical studies.
Additionally, you cannot do without a thorough analysis of the country’s legislation with which you are cooperating. For example, it is forbidden to refer to reviews of doctors or patients in advertising in some states.
In some countries, advertising of dietary supplements and the like is prohibited. Therefore, without having dealt with the “Law on Advertising” in the field of pharmaceuticals, it is not even worth starting a storm.
Peculiarities of digital marketing in pharma industry are also associated with the sphere of social production, which results in a significant level of regulation by the state bodies of most countries.
In this regard, the promotion of pharmaceutical products is carried out in conditions of significant restrictions.
The possibilities of using advertising as a means of communication in the pharmaceutical market, as a rule, are limited by the relevant laws.
Advertising of prescription drugs is subjected to the most significant restrictions, and according to the law, information about these pharmaceutical products can only be distributed in specialized publications designed for medical and pharmaceutical workers.
Have a clear advertising message
The advertising message must correspond to the information from the drug instructions. No exaggerations and no omissions.
Suppose it is noted in its indications for use, for example, “for pain with spasms.” In that case, advertisers do not have the right to position it as a general pain reliever.
Any additions for the sake of the wow-effect are quite strictly punished by law.
Of course, before developing an advertising campaign for digital marketing in pharma industry, you need to consider the existing market, competitors in the industry, the innovativeness of the product or service, find out how patients perceive the drug, what it is associated with, and so on.
Then, there are specific projects or creatives where certain footnotes can take up to 70% of the entire message.
There is also an overall focus on online interactions or outreach channels. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also shown that digitalization becoming essential for almost every brand in the industry when it comes to online interactions.
Digital marketing is one of the most powerful tools for reaching out to the customers. With the help of digital marketing, pharma companies can reach out to their customers easily and provide them with all the information they need about their products.
Today, the pharmaceutical market is also one of the most developed. A service culture has grown, and changes occur in the distribution, manufacturing, and retail sectors.
The number of pharmacy chains is increasing, while modern marketing technologies are also being introduced.
Digital marketing in the pharma industry today operates together with social and ethical marketing concepts.
Pharma marketing also emphasizes pharmaceutical care, with its ultimate goal being to satisfy the patient’s needs, not the manufacturer or pharmacist.
However, it isn’t easy to characterize the new market as a space for experimentation. The infrastructure and technologies involved in the pharmaceutical environment are similar: e-commerce and retail giants are already adapting existing capacities to integrate drug sales.
Excessive sluggishness can block a brand’s entry into the digital market. While the transformation has not reached its peak, every brand should aim to include itself in the emerging ecosystem.
Otherwise, there is a severe risk of being left with nothing: old approaches will lose their effectiveness, and new ones will become inaccessible to brands and companies lagging behind.
Therefore, every pharmaceutical brand needs a digital marketing agency that can help deliver these goals.