Modern medicine is all about specialization. And the same can be said about pharmaceutical marketing. Little wonder that pharma companies––big and small––are seeking out third-party expertise when planning and implementing digital tactics.
A recent survey by Cutting Edge Information indicates the vast majority of biopharmaceutical and medical device companies utilize an outside digital partner to either execute digital marketing or to at least develop their digital strategy. This approach can be very lucrative for pharma companies, but only if done properly.
“For many surveyed companies, vendor involvement is highly beneficial, especially concerning strategy development,” said Sarah Ray, research analyst at Cutting Edge Information. “Digital marketing has the potential to provide significant ROI, but only if the initiatives are implemented on a large scale.”
Here are three things that a pharma or medical device company should consider when going with a third-party digital partner:
Make sure the message is on-target
One of the downsides in this third-party approach is the potential for fragmentation. Too many times a pharmaceutical company will parcel out assignments to multiple vendors––one digital partner handles email marketing, another handles PPC, another handles the website, etc.––all without a cohesive, overarching digital strategy. While relying on specialists for these various initiatives, looking to an integrated branding agency can better guarantee both a strategic and graphic cohesion.
Make sure the message is customer-centric
Pharmas and device companies know their market and work to deliver a customer-centric experience based on the target’s ailments, lifestyle, age and gender. By effective segmentation, the digital communication can provide the appropriate audience with a message that not only communicates the benefits of the product but the healthy world the customer aspires to. Third-party digital partners need to understand more than the attributes of the pill or device, they need to understand the customers pain points. And for messaging directed to doctors and pharmacists, the same is true.
Make sure the message is mobile accessible
Understanding the role mobile devices play in this seamless customer experience is also important. Today’s customer is just a few taps away from information about treatments and medical devices. Oftentimes they are asking the doctor to prescribe something they have already read about online. Many times they are cross-referencing what they find on the shelf at the drug store with what they can find from WebMD.com or medicinenet.com. The more you consider this sort of customer behavior, the better your digital marketing will be.