How agencies can help pharma DTC

The way people make treatment decisions is changing because of COVID. Agencies are responsible for working with clients to implement changes that support brand objectives. It won’t be easy and means changing the mindset from a vendor to a strategic partner.

If you work in an agency, your job is not to develop a website or TV spot. You need to work with pharma clients to educate them on the complicated path from awareness to requesting an Rx. Here are some things you should focus on:

1ne: The journey from awareness to asking for an Rx is more complicated with more noise. While the Internet provides a wealth of online health information, it can also confuse people looking for information. Social media is being used more and more by online health seekers, but it has a lot of inaccurate information.

2wo: The pharma product website is a living entity. DTC marketers need to listen to what people ask about treatments on websites like Google Trends. Content that’s not being read needs to be removed and added as the noise around your product increases.

3hree: TV is not the right channel for all medications. If your market consists of a small number of patients TV is a waste of money. Agencies should persuade clients to use their DTC budgets to reach their target market better, whether in the doctor’s office or online.

4our: Extended frequency and reach is wasting money. Suppose you have to ask why you’re already in trouble.

5ive: We want to know about your target market. Demographics alone don’t mean a damn thing; we need psychographics. Where does your target market go online? What do they read? What do they think about competitors’ products?

6ix: We have the analytics people to show you what works; here’s why that’s important. Pharma markers are still spending way too much money on paid search that has terrible metrics. Agencies should be helping pharma clients learn about the importance of metrics.

7even: How can we help you sell a strategy within your organization? Sometimes upper management needs to be educated on why TV may not be a great choice or why you’re allocating a lot of your budget to website upgrades.

Talented DTC marketers are constantly learning and applying what has worked to succeed. Poor agencies do what clients want and don’t care about evolving DTC strategies. Good agencies listen more than talk and strategize how to take their client’s expectations to the next level.