4 Things Pharma Marketing Can Learn from Other Industries


By Guy Mastrion (@gmastrion)

Across all industries, people are using new technologies, tactics and communication mediums to connect with customers and accelerate business momentum. What qualities do other industries possess that can be beneficial to pharma?

Retail Think Outside the Store

Retail has broken free from brick-and-mortar establishments and catalog shopping to include social media, online and mobile communications to attract customers and motivate them to buy. These trends are applicable to pharma, too. If youre stuck on launching in-office tent cards and the same old promotions, chances are, youll get the same results youve always gotten. Instead, create some excitement by interacting with patients and health care professionals using new interactive mediums and get them engaged in your product or services.

Conducting an in-store event at the neighborhood CVS offering customers free blood pressure or cholesterol screening? Consider creating an opt-in mobile phone campaign that alerts individuals to these happenings. Build excitement by pulsing out valuable information and while youre at it, supply them with a coupon on their mobile device. Who doesnt love convenience AND a good bargain?

Food & Beverage Industry – Supplying the Full Spectrum of Consumer Needs

Lo-cal, low-carb, gluten-free, made with natural ingredients or loaded with extra cheese whatever you fancy, chances are you can find a product to whet your whistle from one of your favourite brands. Food and beverage vendors appeal to the senses whether thats taste, touch, smell or packaging and whatever the latest trend is, they provide a full spectrum of options when appealing to their consumer.

Likewise, pharma should forge deeper relationships with its target customers, encompassing the full spectrum of care. Marketing a diabetes drug? Go beyond product details and empower consumers with knowledge about diet and lifestyle so they get the most benefit from your relationship while achieving optimal health.

Leisure and Hospitality Industry Experience-based Differentiation

Experience matters, especially in todays economy and in an environment where choices abound. Leisure and hospitality companies that harness the art of delivering an outstanding experience are able to soar beyond customers expectations, differentiate their brand, raise awareness and build customer loyalty. Attention to detail and the right technology from always-on access to guest reservation systems to equipping public spaces and guest rooms with the latest electronics are some of the ways these companies are making people feel good while delivering on the promise of exceptional experience.

For pharma companies, its important to communicate with health care professionals and invest in strengthening those bonds, but its also critical to connect with patients the end customer and provide the right customer experience. Our knowledge-based society gives patients more power to educate themselves, request prescriptions and have a greater say in their own health care. Whether its a sales rep meeting with a physician or a consumer at-shelf choosing between one OTC drug or another, give them a reason to understand why your product is the choice most likely to suit their needs and deliver the best experience possible.

Financial Services Industry Have an Eye on the Future and Educate the Workforce

The financial services industry is always in a state of continuous change, facing new regulations and changing compliance requirements. While a constant state of flux is de rigueur, financial services firms also require an infrastructure of knowledge-worker talent. Typically, financial downturns are the time when companies get lax on training and development of their workforce. However, those financial services firms with an eye on the future realize this is not a time to rest on their laurels; successful organizations empower their people to amass new skills.

As pharma companies innovate for the present and the future, they need to continue to invest in educating their workforce. Similar to financial services, the pharmaceutical industry offers a steadily evolving business landscape as manufacturing processes chance, new drugs are discovered and lower-cost generic drugs enter the market. To take advantage of new opportunities and to grow and thrive, companies need to recruit qualified individuals and get them to stay. By investing in their workforce, defining career paths and providing coaching so employees develop new skills and competencies, pharmaceutical companies can keep an eye on the future and succeed amidst change.

By learning from other industries, pharma companies can increase the impact of their marketing efforts, stimulate innovation, and discover new ways to provide care. The wealth of lessons abounds what are you doing with it?

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2 Responses to 4 Things Pharma Marketing Can Learn from Other Industries

  1. Arka says:

    What is you said is absolutely right and make sense.But compared to retail/finance/food industry…people have different outlook & perception towards health,drugs and pharma industry.You can try to make a campaign attractive but to what extent it can be attractive?its a question in pharma.Digital and other mediums can be various options but still comparative effectiveness can only be a wayout in current conditions to pharma.

    Many promoters of digi.marketing say this stuff of to leverage internet in healthcare.As per one of the studies only 14%of physicians access EHRs….patients come first to any physicians but look at the mentioned stat.Recent studies(NEJM 2008 study and PWHC study 2008)have clearly shown impact of drug rep on physicians and the impact of personalised selling is going to be their but with greater levels of skills with situational mend.So in healthcare or pharma one cannot pick up a channel.With traditional ways of selling one has pick up other media/channel that has potential optimally supplement or complement the conventional methods.

  2. admin says:

    First, thank you very much for your thoughtful response. I appreciate your perspective and agree that all of the examples used may not be applicable to healthcare. That said, the intention of the post was not to prescribe specific direction for the healthcare industry but to suggest that looking “outside the box might stimulate new thinking and new solutions to some of our more vexing challenges. To your point, change is never easy and what works for one industry may not work for another but one thing is certain, as individuals and as an industry, if we dont try well never realize our potential. I believe we can make it better — improve patient outcomes, quality of care and lower costs but first we must admit that what we have achieved thus far is simply not good enough. Dialogue like this is very often the first step to a new solution. Thank you again for reading Pixels and Pills and lending your voice to the cause.

    – Guy Mastrion