Making Your DTC Marketing Relevant Again

The pandemic has forever changed how we look for and about health information, primarily online. Patients are taking a more active role in their healthcare and want to make informed and educated decisions. In addition, insurers are dictating which medications patients can use with higher copays. So, how does a DTC manager adjust a campaign?

STEP 1: Examine how your target audience makes treatment decisions WITHIN the category you’re competing against. Every category is different, and marketers need to understand how their audience makes decisions and the barriers to asking for/about specific products.

STEP 2: Create a target audience personas for each market segment. What are their motivations and beliefs, and what can WE do to reach them with tested messages that may change their behaviors?

STEP 3: Prepare a decision tree for each segment and ask what channel is the most influential. Measure and adjust as needed.

STEP 4: Don’t let your agency dictate what channel should get the most money. For some products, digital may be better, but TV or print could be the tipping point for others.

STEP 5: Market Research needs to measure, within your target audience, if they remember your message and whether it’s reaching the right people. If it is, but you’re not reaching your sales goals, then something is wrong with your message. If it’s not getting them, you need to understand why.

STEP 6: Research indicates that people are going to pharma product websites, but they are not staying long, and they’re not used as a critical decision tool. Your website should be tested with your target audience, but, more importantly, your website should be updated as you learn more about your audience’s needs and wants.

STEP 7: Listen to what people are saying. It would help if you had your e-marketing people listen to social media and report what people say about the category.

STEP 8: Ask your HCP marketing people for feedback on your DTC from HCPs. Do they like it, or do they feel it contains inaccurate information?

STEP 9: TV may not be the best channel if your audience is smaller. However, streaming options allow you to test different TV spots and better target your audience.

Finally, understand that your DTC is like trying to receive a TV channel with rabbit ear antennas. You’re going to have to tune your campaign to be effective continually.

Obviously, many additional steps are needed, but this is a broad idea. DTC managers have to sell to their organizations that people have changed. Your agency should have done this already. Sell the organization and key influencers on which channel is best and how it could be beneficial for your brand needs.