What Marketers Can Learn from Pharma: Target, Target, Target
The more things change, the more they stay the same. One of the most consistent challenges all marketers face, including those in the pharma industry, is reaching their audience. We all know the solution is a targeted approach. The question is – is it really possible?
Pharma companies have always battled for physicians’ time. But today, it’s becoming even harder to get into their offices. According to a TNS Healthcare Survey, sales reps are never seen by the doctor in 43% of calls. In fact, one out of four physicians work in a practice that refuses to see reps at all.
Even sampling—which used to be a “guaranteed” way in—is often restricted. According to drugwatch.com, nearly 2/3 of medical schools and a quarter of private-practice physicians have limited sampling in one way or another.
The fact is, as much as 80% to 90% of commercial resources are still poured into physician detailing despite rapidly diminishing returns. Marketers need to more effectively target their audience if they’re going to be successful.
To help overcome these challenges, marketing has to be more personal and meet the specific needs of their audience. It isn’t simply enough to state why a product is better than a competitor. It’s imperative that pharma marketers target their audience with critical information that’s pertinent to them, to help meet specific clinical needs.
These days, marketers can’t simply go to high decile prescribers and expect success. The industry is in search of ways to reach a broader, viable audience that can benefit from what’s being offered.
So how can marketers identify the right opportunities to reach their audience and help ensure success?
They need a more intelligent, intuitive approach. The good news is web-based options and new, innovative technologies continue to evolve to help marketers identify and reach the right audiences and be successful.
E-detailing is a prime example. Not only can it be extremely cost-effective, the development of more interactive features like web chats, videos, and interviews with thought leaders have continued to further enhance success. According to firstwordplus.com, experts reporting on important trends affecting the pharmaceutical industry today, 43% of physicians favor e-detailing over reps.
New technologies that capitalize on the “fish where the fish are” mentality have also evolved, offering unique targeting opportunities for marketers. One such example is a web-based, HIPPA-compliant platform that uses real-time medical claims data to deliver targeted messages to providers via a secure portal, right near the point of care. These messages not only provide the physician with valuable information, they’re also actionable.
Reaching providers through a channel embedded in their workflow, it provides pharma marketers with a new way of accessing HCPs—even those with time constraints. It’s an instant connection to a continuously growing network of over 65,000 actively engaged physicians and tens of millions of patients. And it enables marketers to reach physicians outside the traditional model of using only Rx data. It helps identify windows of opportunity to offer physicians options they might not have previously considered and the necessary triggers to take action. Never before has a channel combined both the data for targeting with the ability to deliver specific, actionable messages.
All marketers, including those in the pharma industry, are constantly faced with the never-ending challenge of effectively reaching their audience. And when they do, they are also burdened with the challenge of delivering the right messages to the right customers. The good news is, web-based options and new, innovative technologies enable them to do both.
- All marketers are faced with the constant challenge of reaching their audience
- A targeted approach is the key
- Innovative, intelligent use of data is an effective way to overcome this barrier
- Web-based tools and developing technologies can help ensure you reach the right customers with the right messages
Jeff Meehan is chief commercial officer of MD On-line, a leading provider of electronic data interchange solutions that facilitate the critical connection between doctors and payers. For more information about Instinctive Data, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: August 26, 2012 By: