DTC as part of an integrated strategy

DTC marketers spend a lot of time and money gaining insights into patients and caregivers. That information should be shared with HCPs and insurers to understand better the barriers and opportunities of treating patients.

A sales representative for a biotech company shared information with oncologists about patients’ attitudes towards treatment options, including the company’s brand. The research showed that patients wanted to understand how the drug works and the potential side effects. Patients who experienced side one or more side effects were more likely to delay or stop treatment.

HCPs want to understand their patients better as insurers require better patient outcomes. On physician social media sites, doctors are talking about how to treat patients, including a better understanding of patient attitudes. At a recent online seminar, a leading biotech company had over 200 oncologists discuss “helping patients understand their treatment.” Questions abounded regarding patient communication and the reality of “what to expect.”

The concept of logical thinking. Geometric shapes on a gray background. Business building concept.

Much is being said about integrated messaging in the CPG arena, but in pharma, the messages to the patient and physician are often different when there should be some overlap. Most physicians are trained in medicine and rely on their experiences to understand patients. Communicating patient insights to HCPs is just as crucial as data behind the brand.

An integrated approach that ensures a consistency of message(s). A pharma company that silos DTC from HCP marketing people is disadvantaged. I’ve also found that physicians are interested in the “why” and “how” of DTC campaigns.

While living in Boston, I was asked to talk to a class of medical students about DTC marketing. They were surprised about the depth of information we had on patient attitudes towards their health condition and treatments and wanted to know more. They felt that better understanding “what’s important to patients,” they could better treat the whole person.

It’s time to join DTC and HCP marketing with common messages when warranted.