The truisms of DTC marketing today

KEY TAKEAWAY: DTC marketing has to evolve and change if it’s to remain relevant to the pharma organization.  Gone are the days of people seeing an ad and running to their doctor to ask for an Rx.  Today it’s check and verify claims and the cost and make my life easier.

I kind of miss the good old days of DTC marketing.  Run some TV ads, launch a website and measure new Rx’s was the rule of the day.  Today there are so many changes happening within the healthcare market and consumers are just as smart as marketers, thanks to the Internet.

My group often hears from clients”we’re not sure DTC marketing is relevant for this product” but they are mistaken.  New DTC marketing is relevant, old DTC marketing like those discussed in DTC Perspectives, are as dead as Trump voters’ brains.

The truisms of DTC marketing today are:

1ne: We have to get to the patient when they are making health care decisions and not bombard them with repetitive ads.

2wo: We can’t just promote product benefits.  We have to clearly demonstrate how OUR product improves the lifestyle of patients.

3hree: Consumers may have a very little trust in social media, but we need to listen to the conversations as much as possible and acknowledge their concerns in Internet time.

4our: DTC that works for one product category will not necessarily work in others.  Each market is a micro market with its own characteristics.

5ive: DTC conferences, for the most part, are a waste of time and money.  It’s about adapting your organization to respond to change and nobody is going to reveal their successful formula at a conference.

6ix: DTC websites have to be more like “consumer product websites” and less like medical websites.  Content that keeps people on your site needs to read like a conversation and you need to help patient navigate the complex world of getting an Rx.

7even: Pharma organizations have nowhere to hide.  The changes affecting organizations today are colliding in ways they haven’t before.  The changes are historic and monumental. Organizations are reconsidering how they manage and optimize performance just as the very essence of how, when and where people work is shifting. Fail to do so, and organizations will struggle to attract and keep great employees and customers.

The challenges are vast but so are the opportunities.  We have already heard, from clients, “how can we better align our organization?”.  Those that can envision the future will succeed.  Those that cling to a sales based model are going to fail.