Many established compounding pharma companies are ceding market share to new competitors because they invest in strategies, tactics, and tools for robust provider relationship management. In this article, we’ll discuss:
- How to define a successful marketing strategy
- Examples of effective tactics
Defining a Marketing Strategy for a Pharma Company
There is a big difference between ‘strategy’ and ‘tactic’ when it comes to marketing. Many people, including marketers, confuse the two terms – often using them interchangeably.
A marketing strategy is the overall plan of attack. These include specific campaign objectives. Strategizing involves planning and identifying the strengths, shortcomings, or obstacles of the marketing plan.
On the other hand, a marketing tactic is the actual implementation of a marketing strategy (or lack thereof). For instance, designing a marketing campaign that combines multiple advertising and promotion channels is drawing up a marketing strategy. Advertising online and promoting products with free samples are the actual marketing tactics. The marketing tactics may vary greatly, especially when marketing to providers with multiple locations.
With so many marketing tactics to choose from, it takes a solid marketing strategy for a compounding pharma company to find the right tactics to use.
Here are seven important questions you can ask yourself to understand which marketing tactics and options are available – and then successfully execute a marketing campaign.
- What are the objectives of your pharmaceutical company?
- Which marketing tactics are most likely to reach multiple locations of the same target at minimal cost?
- What position would best help your company achieve its objectives?
- Which segment of the market are you targeting?
- What experience does your company look to create for a target audience?
- Which tactics can your company use to stand out from competitors?
- Which emerging market trends do you need to respond to – and how can they be used to promote your brand and products?
The answers to these questions should help you choose the most effective marketing strategies. Here are four of the top ways that successful pharmaceutical companies have promoted their products.
1. Direct Marketing with Messaging Apps and Chat Bots
A significant part of what makes marketing to a medical service provider with multiple locations difficult is that most swear by old direct marketing techniques. The best way to impress many doctors and healthcare practitioners is to offer information about a product directly to them. Since you cannot hop from one location to another to make a point, the surest way to reach them all is to use messaging platforms and chatbots.
Direct message marketing can be an effective marketing tactic for target clients who prefer one-to-one conversations with the marketer. When the marketer can present the product and answer all questions doctors or hospital administrators have, the company stands a higher chance of making a returning customer.
Chatbots are a cost-effective way to leverage direct message marketing. A chatbot is an automated robot that uses a programmed script to mimic an actual human response while communicating with a prospect. Chatbots that reply to frequently asked questions make it easy and affordable to market to multiple locations of the same service provider.
More pharmaceutical companies are discovering just how effective chatbots are in managing FAQs, surveys, questionnaires, and repetitive presentations. The initial investment in setting up a chatbot may be high, but ultimately, it will offer personalized services that mimic those of a real marketer.
2. Marketing via Media Placement
If you already know the kind of experience your pharma products can create for the doctor, hospital, or patient, tactical media placement is a great tactic to reach your target market. Marketing via media placement is all about offering well-researched and practical solutions – creatively and in a way that the audience will identify with.
Doctors hold the key to the success of a pharmaceutical product in America. Therefore, with proper investment, a pharma company can gradually establish a relationship with these professionals and get them to sell their products to a much wider audience.
Many factors influence the effectiveness of media placement when targeting doctors. They include:
- The content of the media must be very specific and must define the expected results.
- Tactical and creative placement is crucial to reaching professionals who may be desensitized to traditional pharma marketing strategies.
- The content must be relevant and well researched. The information about the product must be concise and well-articulated.
Doctors are a tough bunch to impress, but their attention is not hard to attract. When targeting clients in different locations, place the product where doctors in different locations cannot miss, such as a medical journal. In some cases, a conservative marketing approach may be all it takes to win one over.
3. Leave-Behinds Still Rule in Pharma Marketing
It is common knowledge in the medical circles that an entire generation of medical sales representatives was trained to use paper leave-behinds to reach HCPs. Printed on glossy papers, shipped in reams, and containing catchy fonts and illustrations, these items may seem antiquated, but they still work.
Appropriately designed leave-behinds are great for use as follow-up literature to remind a doctor about a product. The leave-behind literature can be in the form of a pen, calendar, brochure, or business card. It is essential that it looks premium to be believable, and the information should be well structured and defined.
Leave-behinds are great for use in marketing to organizations with multiple locations because they are easier to distribute. However, since many pharma representatives still use them, it is crucial to make your company’s leave-behinds stand out with unique colors, icons, fonts, and even personalized messages.
The most effective leave-behinds are those that reinforce the memorability of a previously delivered message. Therefore, it must be unique to a product or company and have a hard-to-ignore visual impact on a doctor’s desk.
4. Customer Engagement Marketing Strategy
Customer engagement is an exceptional strategy to market to the end-user who would need a lot of information about a product or service. This strategy works by creating a compelling experience and content for the target client and encourages interaction and participation.
This strategy may work best in the pharmaceutical field when launching a new product in which doctors and healthcare providers will have specific questions. Considering the sophistication of medical technologies and the growth of digital B2B and B2C engagement channels, this may be the most effective marketing strategy your company must try.
Customer engagement aims to build a community of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals to explore, learn about, and use a new product. When marketing to an institution that uses such a platform as Salesforce Health Cloud, it is easy to integrate a referral marketing system with a client’s customer engagement platform by setting up parent/child hierarchical accounts. Many pharmaceuticals use this strategy as a tactic to complement other marketing strategies, such as the ones already covered in this guide.
The most effective solutions for marketing pharma products to healthcare providers with multiple locations should focus on minimizing effort and costs while maximizing reach and efficiency. It takes proper strategizing of marketing campaigns to increase the chances of a pharma company achieving sustainable industry success.