Content and innovation for pharma marketers

Bright IdeaPOST SUMMARY: If you want to excel as an innovator in the future, don’t set out to copy and improve what someone else has already done. Focus on your audience and deliver a great online brand experience while answering their concerns about living with health conditions.

Forrester, in its annual report on how consumers found websites discovered that 54% of respondents found websites through natural search results and that trend is continuing to climb.  When consumers first start to gather information, they start with a search engine like Google, but how many pharma product websites are listed in search results when a patient searches, for example, for the causes of high cholesterol or sexual function and MS? The answer is very few, at least in organic search.

Google is now indexing websites organically based on the both the quality of content and how often that content is shared.  Content marketing is again a huge buzzword, but for some reason the content within pharma websites is both long, difficult to understand and doesn’t do a good job answering consumers’ questions about health.  If engagement, how long someone spends on your website, is a key metric, then DTC marketers have to make content an essential part of their interactive strategy.  I would argue that content is probably more important than usability.


There isn’t a “one strategy fits all’ for implementing content marketing within a health website.  You need to get out and do the lifting of listening to your audience to learn what’s important to them and balance it with executing your brand strategy.  If you try too hard to sell you’re going to turn off consumers, if you don’t have the information they want and need to make health care decisions they are going to go somewhere else.

DTC marketing needs innovation to stay relevant to consumers and that includes content.  

Too many companies today think the essence of innovation is to come up with a better Facebook or a new-and-improved Microsoft. Or to fine-tune and optimize existing lines of business. That’s not innovation – that’s merely globalization, which is the art of going from one to many.

True innovation means going from zero to one – creating new, fresh and probably strange things that have never before been seen.

If you want to excel as an innovator in the future, don’t set out to copy and improve what someone else has already done. Figure out some job that is entirely new and blaze your own trail. Focus on going from zero to one. That’s the real challenge and hope of the future of really great marketing.