According to Manhattan Research three years into the iPad age, most manufacturers have tablet-equipped reps in place, and ePharma Physician feedback suggests the devices provide a substantial boost to details. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of room for refinement in reps’ use of tablets, and risk-averse firms may be limiting their opportunities to engage with healthcare professionals by concentrating digital investment in product sites and other properties they own. Moreover, physicians are being buffeted by epochal changes to their practices—changes that successful marketers must understand to get closer to their customers.
Now that summer is unofficially over a lot of DTC marketers are going to be spending a lot of time and hours preparing their budgets for 2014. There will be the usual meetings and questions about where the dollars should be spent and some will rely on agencies to help them prepare arguments for certain tactics but before you open up that spreadsheet the first question you should be asking is “what has changed in the environment in which we market ?” and “what is likely to change ?”. Here are some of the things that we all need to consider for 2014..
You have the right to work with your physician or other prescriber to make informed decisions about your health care and potential treatments. This includes making informed decisions about the medicines you take. So states the copy on the home page of Prescription Process.com. It’s a website that gives patients a better understanding as to what actually happens when their doctor writes an Rx. Do patients care ? From what I have heard if focus groups and read the answer maybe more than DTC marketers actually are aware.
On a week where a lot of people are taking their final summer vacations the news is that Amgen is buying Onyx and AstraZeneca Plc took a further step to bolster its pipeline of new cancer drugs on Monday by agreeing to acquire privately held U.S. biotech company Amplimmune for up to $500 million. On paper it’s a good business move but as big pharma companies gobble up small biotech companies they bring with then antiquated processes and business people who are thinking about the bottom line rather than patients. The results ? Innovation that led these smaller biotech companies to develop new drugs will be stymied by a bureaucratic business model.
The rise of people using the Internet has probably done more to make DTC marketing ineffective than any other consumer behavior. Yet with more and more people using the Internet for health pharma marketers have not evolved their online marketing to meet changing needs and wants of empowered patients.
Two in ten online consumers indicate that, in the past month, they have forwarded a link to an article about a brand or product (19%) or to a brand’s or product’s website (19%) to someone in the past month, while 15% have forwarded a link to a brand’s or product’s video (Source). With all DTC budgets facing increasing scrutiny it’s time to pay a hell of a lot more attention to your product website than to simply turn it over to an agency to develop. A good website can help achieve brand objectives, but a poor one can lead to a lost conversion and a waste of money against key brand KPI’s.
Employees are contributing nearly 6% more for health insurance for their families in 2013, more than three times the increase in workers’ wages. Workers are shelling out an average of $4,565 for their employer-sponsored family health coverage this year, according to the annual survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. What does this mean for DTC marketers and patient behavior ?