The Pharma Sector Should Operate Like The FMCG Sector – Opinion
Back in 2018, United Partners published a report on the developing data and insights that drive communication in the Pharma sector. In the report, they highlighted the importance of adopting an FMCG approach to pharma communication, mainly because the customer base is being influenced by approved drug players that limit physician’s options with regards to medications.
With patients on the look for more holistic treatments that go beyond just treating symptoms, focusing on long term solutions that foster better patient health is the key to effective engagement. This introduces a new challenge for pharmaceuticals- changing their model from just manufacturing and selling drugs to addressing their consumer’s more long-term state of mind. The tech giants have already entered this sector. Fitness and health trackers in the form of smart watches from Apple and Samsung for example are slowly biting into the pie.
Today’s medical communication is bland. Campaigns are focused on providing as much information as possible and backing it up with as much data as possible. However, these campaigns often face low success rates, mainly because the end goal was lost in the process. Remember, many people tend to round corners when it comes to health and wellness information, because we live in the age of quick results.
So how can a traditional pharmaceutical create exciting communication that connects with both doctors and patients? Synergy Pharmaceuticals in the United States implemented the use of a unique gaming experience that provides doctors information about components in its drugs.
Another important element in upgrading communication campaigns is to incorporate the concept of consumer experience into the mix. The patient journey played a minor role for far too long and as a result, campaigns have been turning in weak results.
The focus of the patient journey approach is to put the patient at the centre of the analysis, to understand exactly what decisions they are directly faced with that can impact on treatment choice, even in pure prescription markets where the doctor has traditionally been regarded as the key commercial stakeholder. Consumer voices are powerful marketing tools and creating engaging communication that comprises of them is the need of the hour.