Top 10 trends in pharma marketing after COVID-19

QUICK READ: Marketing to HCP’s and patients after COVID-19 in not going to be revolutionary, it’s going to be evolutionary. Companies that ask “what if?” and are prepared to fail will learn and succeed.

HCP Marketing

1ne: Pharma will come to rely more and more on digital channels to communicate with physicians.

2wo: A lot of digital efforts will fail because marketers are stuck in the mindset of pushing information they want to share with doctors.

3hree: Physicians are going to demand almost instant access to MSL’s when they have a question about a product. Pharma is going to have to get used to the changes in the HCP-pharma relationship.

4our: With most conferences being called off pharma is going to have to be creative about communicating updates on drugs in trials. Physicians want more access to clinical data.

5ive: Pharma is going to have to help HCP’s with patients who maybe afraid to come into offices. Case studies and tools are going to be essentials.

DTC Marketing

6ix: TV will remain the top channel for new drug awareness but DTC marketers need to be able to switch quickly from an awareness mode to a pull mode. This is going to be especially challenging for patients who may not want to talk to doctors about new products.

7even: Under no circumstances should pharma get comfortable with a possible revised reputation based on treatments/vaccines for COVID-19. The media is still very anti-pharma and will continue to run stories about patients who can’t afford medications.

8ight: Pharma websites need a complete makeover. It can’t be just about the product anymore. It has to focus on the benefit to the patient beyond medication labels. Pharma is going to need to communicate which drugs can be prescribed via telehealth vs. which ones require an in-office visit.

9ine: Pharma needs to get over their fear of talking directly to patients. Customer service is going to become more important.

10en: Forget social media. Nearly half of all Twitter accounts tweeting about COVID-19 are BOTS. If you’re going to use social media you need to do it in-house and understand that it’s going to take time to win the trust of a very skeptical audience.

Will pharma come to understand that salespeople, for the most part, are an expense that is increasing while their ROI is decreasing? Those discussions are already being held but salespeople have a lot of allies in home offices. I have seen manipulated data presented to management showing the effectiveness of salespeople. In reality these presentations have more holes than Swiss cheese but the atmosphere doesn’t exist where people can speak freely about this without fear of repercussion.