Pharmaceutical companies have many challenges to overcome when it comes to marketing their products. Because there are strong regulations, but there are also many pharmaceutical marketing strategies that you can use to gain attention for your products. The digital age has also changed the strategies, this is due to the new technologies, also in healthcare.
What is pharmaceutical Marketing?
Pharma marketing is about marketing medicine and medical devices to doctors, clinics, and consumers. Marketing enables pharmaceutical companies to gain insight into customers’ needs and offer them solutions to their problems. Read more about that on our blogpost What is Pharma digital Marketing.
Marketing strategies for pharmaceutical companies
Strategy is the overall plan of the campaign and tactics are the tools to achieve the goal of the strategy. Pharmaceutical marketing strategy planning involves defining many strategic marketing options that must align with business objectives. In doing so, you may ask yourself questions such as:
- How will marketing efforts affect sales?
- What are the current market trends?
- Which target groups in the pharmaceutical market are being addressed?
- How can we differentiate ourselves from competitors?
Another challenge for pharmaceutical companies is that they need to focus their marketing heavily on educating healthcare practitioners about diseases and treatments, as well as patients and their caregivers.
Patients today want to rely not only on the information they get from healthcare providers but also on information they get from the Internet. Patients use social media, forums, or advertisements to be able to learn more about the disease they are suffering from.
This has changed the way information is sourced compared to the past, and as a result, the pharmaceutical industry must also address its target group differently and adapt and change its strategies to remain relevant to the target group in the long term.
Goals of pharmaceutical marketing strategies
Pharmaceutical companies pursue the following goals with their marketing strategy:
- Strengthen brand awareness and brand to build trust.
- Educate physicians
- Educate patients by providing information about symptoms and treatment options
- Supporting patients during the product launch
- Increase sales
Especially when launching a new product, pharmaceutical companies need to communicate critical data such as efficacy, side effects or costs with patients.
Pharmaceutical companies therefore need to advertise on relevant channels. This means on the following channels:
- PPC advertising
- Campaigns on products
- Print advertising
- Social media
Many channels and methods must be tested in order to reach the various target groups in the best possible way. In addition, you need to perform consistently and effectively on the platforms.
Target Marketing strategy
The pharmaceutical marketing strategies need a target marketing strategy.
First, it is important to identify the target audience that is relevant to the particular product so that the pharmaceutical marketing strategy can then be applied to that target audience. The pharma company should focus on the needs of the end-user and less on the sales target. Then you can further narrow down the target market and marketing efforts can be focused on it.
Market development strategy
This strategy involves developing new products or modifying products that already exist. Then you can offer these products in a new market or an existing one.
- Market penetration: increasing the sales of a product
- Market development: introducing an existing product to a new market
- Product development: introduction of an existing product to an existing market
- Diversification: introduction of a new product in a new market
In this industry, there are many mergers or partnerships where pharmaceutical companies pool resources to increase their market share.
Within the strategy, there should be a search engine marketing (SEO) strategy. This has the goal of increasing visibility in search engines to drive more users to the site. This takes time but provides effective results in the long run.
This strategy is aimed at developing a product that can subsequently generate advertising revenue.
One way to do this is through affiliate marketing, for example. This is performance-based marketing where a company has an affiliate and rewards them for each customer they generate. The goal is to keep marketing costs as low as possible, as affiliates are paid based on their sales.
Here it is assumed that the elements of the strategy take the customer into account. This happens in comparison with competitors. Here, you can compare your strengths and weaknesses with those of the competition and determine what the competitors are offering to customers.
Pharmaceutical companies can accomplish this with a phrase or sentence that makes the unique selling proposition and benefits clear.
This is how users or customers perceive their brand. The brand strategy allows you to stand out from your competitors. A brand is the recognizable feeling that a product or company evokes. To do this, you need to analyze the current brand image so that optimizations can be made to it with the help of marketing measures.
Customer loyalty strategy
The goal is to deliver content that is as compelling as possible and to create interaction. Here, a dialogue with the target group should be aimed for, as this can create a community around the brand. It also allows customers to interact with the content. Therefore, you need to create a strong bond with the brand.
Content marketing means publishing content to inform potential customers about the products around a certain topic. With this strategy, you can connect with potential customers and open up new markets. This strategy also helps in positioning new products.
Social media provides a platform with engaged users that you can target through organic and paid posts. This strategy includes social media platforms and also the company website. For example, this can include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter,… depending on where their target audience is.
This looks at how the customer engages with the company. You need to figure the touchpoints out with the marketing efforts so that it can be determined where the customers interact with the company or where they bounce off. This applies to both online and offline channels.
An important part of effective pharma marketing is keeping a close eye on the numbers. By tracking the results, you can measure the success of the marketing efforts and marketing strategy used. As with other strategies, the path to success is consistency in your core message to build a brand image.