Pharmaceutical Marketing: finding the right mix
I’ve spent the last few months buried in the pharmaceutical marketing world, working hard on producing the Pharma Marketing Show, which will run alongside DigiPharm this September. I thought it was important to give a bit of background as to what we are hearing from the industry about the topic and why we are launching a new pharmaceutical marketing event.
Its easy to get swept away with the opportunities and innovative strategies that digital and mobile technologies can offer pharma marketing. I’ve had a sneak peak at the DigiPharm agenda this year and there are loads of exciting examples of companies who are really standing out in this field in their approach to digital technologies.
So while DigiPharm looks at who is doing what in digital, and who is doing it well and really driving growth and innovation in this field, I think it’s vital to remember that however important digital technologies are, they are still only one (important) piece of the puzzle. I’m interested in understanding how pharma can get all of the pieces of the puzzle and fit them together in the right way. How has pharma done to date? Has it embraced newer technologies well and incorporated them in the marketing mix or is their approach still lacklustre leaving much to be desired? I think there is further to go, which i hope this event can help with. It’s about understanding your product, brand, customers and engaging them through the right channels whether that’s social media, online communities, detailing, sales force, face-to-face, video etc.
It feels like pharma is in a transition phase in recent years, undergoing some evolutionary changes to the way medicines are valued and purchased while facing bigger and bigger financial and social pressures. More than ever, innovation and comparative effectiveness are driving market access decisions, a big hurdle in getting your drug to the end patient. This hurdle – payer influence on the decisions – is now a primary concern for all involved in the development of a drug including the marketing team. This is all having a big impact on the marketing function as it needs to respond proactively in its approach to the changes to stay ahead of the game, understand the changing customer base along with their new information and engagement needs. Its not about shouting your message in a blanket marketing campaign anymore. It is about tailoring the information, being a hub of scientific and medical knowledge and helping the relevant customer (be that patient, physician, pharmacist or payer) access, understand and gain benefit from it.
So anyway, back on track, we are just about there with the Pharma Marketing Show agenda and the brochure will be available soon. It’s been developed based on what the industry has asked for with lots of discussion on multichannel marketing, the regulatory back bone, big data capabilities, new expertise requirements, market access, the new customer base, customer engagement, brand development and differentiation strategies. All very important and relevant to the industry. I hope you like it and look forward to hearing your thoughts.