The old model of looking at performance in the first six months of product launch isn’t relevant. Today, colossal budget product launches are not returning the same ROI as before. Product launches are going to need to be micro-targeted to specific audiences.
What is the definition of a successful pharma product launch? Usually, it’s reaching a certain sales level within a specified time, but that metric is not relevant anymore. The pandemic has changed both HCP and patient behaviors. Saturating TV with DTC spots are not enough to ensure success.
Pharma companies have been investing deeply into digital advertising but vastly under measuring customer engagement and other metrics. The continued fraud of programmatic advertising is one reason, 46% by one measure. Too many marketers rely on metrics that don’t mean a damn thing, like visitors to your website. They should be measuring bounce rate, pages viewed, and time on site.
All this means is that DTC and HCP marketers will have to do a lot better job connecting their spending to quantitative brand metrics. Both on and offline, targeting has improved tremendously over the last couple of years. When it comes to reaching HCPs, the number one website continues to be Medscape by a vast margin. Work with vendors to submit quantitative metrics proposals, like reaching a certain percentage of your targeted physicians.
The other challenge is going to be flexibility. Pharma marketers spend countless hours developing PowerPoints and getting approval for tactics, but they need specific listening metrics to pivot quickly if their plans aren’t effective. This is a massive issue for most big pharma companies because it often takes weeks of meetings to make even small changes.
HCP marketing is changing very quickly. HCPs are more interested in all the data than the data that pharma wants them to see. Initial research indicates that drug reps are becoming less effective, and they are the number one target to reduce costs. Using a vendor that has a broad reach and can guarantee specific metrics is a must.
Today’s drug launches should be measured as steps that lead to your brand objective. Trying to get there with one huge splash will cut it anymore. Patients and doctors are too bright and do a LOT of research before starting ANY new medication.