Putting patients first

MillsChang11-2012While I was listening to the discussion on a conference call about some possible digital marketing initiatives for a client I asked a question that nobody had considered “what about the patients?”.  There was an uncomfortable silence and then someone finally said “do we know what our patients really want and need here to make an educated choice?”  It’s a very simple guideline but with talk of KPI’s and business objectives we sometimes forget to get back to marketing 101 and give our audience what THEY want.

The hardest challenge for DTC marketers is to balance audience needs with brand objectives.  Too often product websites become a sales brochure with language that most consumers find hard to understand.  When was the last time a pharma product website was described as warm and full of great information ?

digital-marketing-educated-patientsWhat too many marketers forget is that consumers control the message on the Web.  With a click of the mouse they can add numbers to your bounce rate as they go to sites that meet their needs.  The other thing DTC marketers forget is that, depending on the health condition, consumers will go to several health sites to piece together the health information that is relevant to THEM.

Next time you go into a meeting to discuss a DTC marketing initiative reserve a chair and keep it empty.  When someone asks who the chair is for tell them it’s for a patient within your target audience to ask “why and is this what I really need and want to choose your product?”

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