Pharma executives need to become digital marketing promoters

KEY TAKEAWAY: Pharma emarketers understand that there is a wealth of opporrunties in digital marketing, but in order to move forward they need to “sell” the organization.

If you have attended research you know all too well that patients are getting lost in our health care system and the search for good, relevant information that can help them make better treatment decisions.  Pharma brands have the opportunity to really connect patients, but the wall they have to climb over to make it happen is a big one. Too much emphasis on sales; too little emphasis on really putting patients first.

So how can pharma emarketers and agencies covert “non believers” into digital promoters? It requires a lot of interpersonal skills with a side of selling.

The first step is to subscribe to DRG Research (Formerly Manhattan Research).  They have a wealth of data that can convince even the most stubborn person that more and more people are going online for health information.  However, don’t just present the data, present the insights in big bullet points as to what the data is saying.  In other words “tell a story”. But even that may not be enough.

You need to consistently meet with company influencers to win them over to digital so that they begin to ask “why aren’t WE doing that?”.

It’s not going to happen overnight, which is why you need to install a sense of urgency. Digital marketing is moving too fast to stay stuck in neutral.  

If you have a success, online, you need to blow the horn loud and clear to show the results.  When we helped a brand redo their website the time on site went up almost 150% as did page views.  Rather than send out the numbers alone the DTC manager sent out some narrative about the implications for management.

If you get frustrated at the slow pace of digital innovation remember that every small battle we win means more educated and better informed patients. Despite the stories on high drug prices patients and caregivers still look to pharma for help when it comes to managing health problems.

In the end knowing that you have succeeded is a small win for such a big task, but we’re not in this for glory or promotion but rather helping people.

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