imagesI never thought I would say this but pharma maybe putting too much emphasis on digital.  Before you drop your coffee let me explain… The report from Compas released yesterday clearly showed the best way to reach physicians is with an integrated channel approach using digital and off-line channels.  But what about patients and consumers? My thoughts are that the same thinking is needed along with an in depth understanding of each disease state psychographics.

cimicompassIn June 2013, CMI/Compas conducted its inaugural Media VitalsTM study to assess the varying key factors of physician engagement across 21 specialties, enabling strategy teams to leverage data about physician‐stated media preferences and behaviors to inform how best to reach their critical audiences.  Knowing that the existing biopharm sales and marketing approach is no longer viable and that doctors are simply less available, CMI/Compas looks for alternate means of reaching, educating, and engaging physicians by combining non‐personal promotion with a customer‐centric orientation to meet physicians’ knowledge needs and enhance experiences.

bigstockphoto_health_care_reform_green_road__5632944Once again healthcare, via the Affordable Care Act, is taking center stage in Washington DC.  The House has voted to continue to fund the government but not the Affordable Care Act.   John McCain told CNN on Thursday: “In the United States Senate, we will not repeal, or defund, Obamacare. We will not. And to think we can is not rational.” Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, said of the House Republicans’ strategy of threatening a government shutdown to force the defunding of Obamacare, “I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.”  Even though the public opposes the Affordable Care Act they do because the majority of them believes it doesn’t go far enough.

google.cover.inddGoogle is launching Calico, a new company that will focus on health and aging in particular. The independent firm will be run by Arthur Levinson, former CEO of biotech pioneer Genentech, who will also be an investor. Levinson, who began his career as a scientist and has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, plans to remain in his current roles as the chairman of the board of directors for both Genentech and Apple, a position he took over after its co-founder Steve Jobs died in 2011. In other words, the company behind YouTube and Google+ is gearing up to seriously attempt to extend the human life span.  But it’s a monumental task that’s going to require a ton of money as well as people who understand how consumers view health.

screenshot_886Many in a study by Atkearney expressed a negative view of advertising, finding it too loud and too focused on young people and rock music. Their findings are supported by a survey by the U.K.’s Age Concern (now called Age UK), in which two-thirds of mature consumers say advertising portrays them negatively and three-quarters say they do not relate to it at all. For some age-related products, usually in the health products field or in personal care, communicating the right message can be particularly challenging.  Advertising is a young person’s game, and despite the wealth and spending power of the 50-somethings, it is difficult to craft an age-neutral marketing campaign that appeals to mature consumers. The reign of the l8-to-34 target segment and the mother with kids segment is not over, but Forum members will do well to pay special attention: The agequake is easy to miss, but dangerous to ignore.

digitalpharmaWe have all seen the data: physicians are spending more time online and consumers are turning to the Internet for health information in greater numbers.  At the same time sales people are spending less time with physicians, more and more magazines are going to online editions and consumers are time-shifting prime time programming to watch TV shows when THEIR schedule permits.   So then is all of pharma marketing offline marketing on life support ?

misconceptionThere is a misconception within marketing that just because people are using a certain technology or going to a certain website that they want marketers to follow them there.  The rule seems to be for startups “build it, get a mass audience & then intrude and interrupt consumers when they are there”.  For pharma marketers agencies are trying tell them to “get into mobile marketing” because “mobile marketing is growing rapidly and is where the eyeballs are”.  This is far from reality and far from the truth.

Do patients want apps to remind them to stay compliant ?

patientsTreat the whole patient, not just the health problem.  I wish more HCP’s would take that to heart.  I still see commercials for Enbrel but a lot of people have stopped taking biological agents because  the drugs didn’t work well or there were adverse side effects, including an increased risk of infections according to a new study in the journal JAMA Dermatology.  So rather than just writing an Rx physicians need to ask patients how they feel about taking certain medications.  A quality treatment that helps patients live life on their terms is what consumers want.