For pharmaceutical marketing companies, the end of the year is getting closer, which means taking a look at what worked in this year and making plans and improvements for the upcoming year. In our research and experience, we’ve singled out some pharmaceutical marketing trends that are going to be big in the year to come.
Here’s what those pharma marketing strategies are and how pharma can benefit from them.
Digital therapeutics for pharmaceutical marketing
One of the easiest ways to benefit all stakeholders in the treatment process is by implementing digital therapeutics applications and sensors inside medications.
First, pharma companies can immediately track how patients are adhering to their prescribed medications. Often times, even the most groundbreaking products fail to resonate with patients. As a result, they don’t adhere to their treatments and fill out their prescriptions, physicians see that the product doesn’t have the desired effects and the product flops upon launch.
Digital therapeutics apps focus on the patient, but they provide a range of useful data points for the pharma companies. They’re able to see whether the patient adheres to their therapy and when they start dropping off. They can then use this information to better market to those patients, as well as provide key information for physicians so they know when and how to work on improving adherence rates.
Artificial intelligence to predict HCP behavior and place content
By now, we’re pretty familiar with the fact that physicians visit pharma company websites. A lot, as it turns out. About 82% of physicians visit pharma company websites to search for dosing info, while 74% of physicians visit them to find clinical trial information. Furthermore, 74% of them look for patient education materials on pharma websites.
There’s some disheartening news though. Only 27% of all physicians think that pharma websites are credible sources of information.
Clearly, there is a gap that needs to be filled. Physicians yearn for content, while pharma doesn’t know what kind of content to put in front of them.
Traditional marketing methods such as tracking visitor behavior or even watching session replays are not effective on a large scale. Luckily, there’s a method that works. Using the latest artificial intelligence mechanisms, pharmaceutical marketers will be able to figure out patterns of physician behavior and create and promote the kind of content that HCPs want, instead of shooting blindly in the dark.
Chatbots as a new tool for pharmaceutical marketing
One of the biggest trends in the past several years, chatbots have made quite an impact on digital marketing. This year and beyond, it’s time for pharma to embrace them in their marketing as well.
What can chatbots do for pharmaceutical marketing?
For example, chatbots are the ideal tool to engage with physicians on your website looking for more information. Although they can’t quite replace a sales rep or an MSL, they can do the next best thing. A chatbot can provide information about dosage, data from clinical trials, how the product improves patient outcomes and much more.
Ultimately, physicians can use chatbots to schedule a call with a sales rep if they want more detailed information. Perhaps that’s the best-case scenario, where the bot is merely the beginning of a dialogue between the physician and a pharma company, without the intrusion of a sales rep visit.
Much like physicians, patients can benefit from chatbots as well. They can answer questions about dosage info, best practices, how to adhere to their treatment, explain mode of action of a certain product, elaborate why a medication is necessary etc. Chatbots can be the missing link between pharma companies and patients that will improve patient engagement, reinforce patient centricity and improve adherence and health outcomes.
Virtual reality for pharmaceutical marketing – product demos
Do you associate the words virtual reality with science fiction? If anything, VR is coming into all walks of life rapidly, and its applications in pharma can be extensive. For example, realtors show off buildings on another continent using VR technology, why wouldn’t pharma use it to benefit all the relevant stakeholders as well?
Is VR a distant reality for pharma?
Some pharma marketers may say that an idea as novel as virtual reality doesn’t have place in pharma, which seems to be struggling with the basics of digital marketing. However, there are companies which have made some bold steps ahead already.
For example, Novartis came up with a VR application to show mechanism of action to visitors in their Basel headquarters. Using a simple VR headset, viewers can experience a 360-degree, 3-dimensional animated model and see how molecules and body tissues interact in front of their very eyes.
One major upside to VR is that it’s underused – it’s a very new concept for pharma. Just on the account of novelty, it’s highly likely for physicians to be interested in viewing a VR presentation.
That brings us to use. Perhaps the best use is in sales rep visits, where reps can show in 3D what their product does on a molecular level and how it benefits the patients. Moreover, it’s a great promotional tool for conferences as well.
When it comes to patients, they can view VR presentations with mode of action to get more interested in their diagnosis, disease and treatment, ultimately improving adherence.
There’s only one drawback with VR – it’s not as widely adopted yet and pharma companies are reluctant to invest time, effort and resources. That’s why they can try the next best thing…
Video marketing will be bigger than ever
No matter the country, language or therapeutic area, physicians loved using videos before and the future looks even brighter for this medium. General predictions are that in the next period, 80% of all traffic online will be video, in some shape or form. At this moment, 87% of marketers are using video as a marketing method across industries and with the tendencies for growth, the number is likely to increase in the future.
Video push in pharma
For many pharma marketers, they remain unaware of the type of content that physicians want to consume and as a result, they use tactics that may have worked a decade ago, but have no place in pharmaceutical marketing now. As it turns out, video is in demand with HCPs, as 81% of physicians already watch medical educational videos online.
As we’ve mentioned, pharma websites are not exactly reflecting the content that physicians want to see. By putting video content on pharma websites, companies are ensuring that physicians stay longer, get the information they want and have the ability to easily share it across channels.
Moreover, one of pharma’s biggest concerns is being available across channels and having multiple touchpoints with physicians. Seeing how versatile video is, this problem can be considered as solved. As multiple examples in use have shown, the same pharma marketing video can be used in emails, on websites, in booths on conferences, in sales rep calls… The list is virtually endless.
Medical animation videos in particular have proven to be a success across touchpoints. Whether they’re used for interacting with KOLs, physicians or patients, medical animation videos can be used with different channels and stakeholders.
While this year will bring about some very advanced marketing techniques such as artificial intelligence and VR, some more contemporary strategies will become even more relevant. With certainty, we can say that video will make an even bigger of a boom in the next period than it did in the years before, and personalization of content to physicians and the focus on patient centricity will be more important than ever.
On that note, BlueNovius can help your pharma company with your video marketing strategy for the upcoming year, so that you too are prepared to wow your physicians and make an impact with the patients. Reach out to us today and we’ll find a way to launch your pharma marketing efforts into the future.
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