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How Successful Pharmaceuticals Market to Providers with Multiple Locations

The average American spends about $1,200 on drugs every year. For this reason alone, impactful marketing programs should be a top priority for any player in the pharmaceutical industry looking to get a piece of the pie. The trouble is, marketing drugs and medical devices to healthcare providers with multiple branches and locations, medical practitioners, labs, clinics, and other institutions is an uphill task.

With so much medical spending these days, it pays to invest some time finding the right strategy to promote pharma products.

Differences between marketing strategies and tactics
Things to consider when developing a pharma marketing strategy
The Top 5 Ways to Market to Providers with Multiple Locations

Today, marketing is the key driving force behind consistent sales, profits, and ultimately shareholder value. Unfortunately, many established pharma companies are slipping and ceding the market to newer competitors because they still believe that branding is the surest and even only way to penetrate or dominate the market.

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. Let’s lay down some definitions.

Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy is the overall plan. These include the specific ways in which the objectives of multiple campaigns are to be met. Strategizing involves planning and identifying the shortcomings, threats, obstacles, and strengths of the marketing plan.

Marketing Tactic
On the other hand, a marketing tactic is the actual implementation of a marketing strategy. 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 pharma company to find the right tactics to use. A pharmaceutical company must find answers to these seven important questions to successfully execute a marketing campaign.

  • What are the objectives of the pharmaceutical company?
  • Which marketing tactics are most likely to reach multiple locations of the same target at minimal cost?
  • What position would best help the company achieve its objectives?
  • Which segment of the pharma market is the company targeting?
  • What experience does the company look to create for the target audience?
  • Which tactics can the pharma company use to stand out from the competition?
  • Which emerging market trends should the company respond to and use to promote its brand and products?

The answers to these questions should help the company choose the most effective marketing strategies. This post will cover five of the top ways that successful pharmaceutical companies promote and market their products today.

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1. Influencer Marketing

Make-up and soap companies vastly increased revenue by using influencers on social media platforms to promote their products. If you thought such a tactic would not work for a pharma product targeting healthcare providers with multiple branches and locations, you either have not tried it or did it wrong.

An influencer is a person with a massive following on social media. The number of followers can range from a few hundred thousand to millions. One way to establish a presence is to get your product featured on a pertinent post on a popular influencer’s page. If your pharmaceutical company is looking for ways to reach new customers, it may have to try new tactics such as this.

An excellent example of a pharmaceutical company that has leveraged social media influencers to reach service providers is Australian Pharma Amcal Pharmacy. Amcal used Instagram to boost its brand awareness and influencers to educate people on how to manage their conditions. As part of the campaign, they teamed up with a supercar driver Jack Perkins to reach over 21,000 followers and fans outside the social media. The campaign raised awareness for their products and alerted established healthcare service providers of their new diabetes treatment.

2. 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.

3. 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 can be tough 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.

4. Leave-Behinds Still Rule in Pharma Marketing

It is common knowledge in the medical circles that an entire generation of medical sales representatives were trained to use paper leave-behinds to capture the attention of doctors and medical admins. Printed on glossy papers, shipped in reams, and filled with catchy fonts and illustrations, these marketing items may be out of date, 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.

5. 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 such as a drug or device, about which the doctors and healthcare providers may have 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 big pharmaceuticals use this strategy as a tactic to complement other marketing strategies, such as the four already covered in this guide.

Final Thoughts

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. Unfortunately, without the right tools, many pharmaceutical companies aren’t able to achieve peak marketing impact.

This is why the most successful companies started to implement customer relationship management (CRM) platforms tailored for pharma.

These systems ensure that providers, referral streams, and patients are synced with marketing campaigns in ways that antiquated point systems, spreadsheets, or home-brewed tools can’t achieve.

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