The emergence of new technology has transformed the marketing industry, and now those changes are making their way into the pharma industry. This has created new opportunities for pharma marketer, and also generated some security concerns. As a pharma marketer, it’s essential that you are aware of these emerging trends in order to get ahead of the curve.
Healthcare in the Online World
Technology is the biggest driver behind the pharma trends. More and more healthcare professionals go online to research diseases and to get information. Of course, as healthcare professionals rely heavily on the Internet, privacy concerns can’t help but arise. First, many use their own mobile devices, and they don’t just use them to look up health information. They also use them for patient data. They need to make sure their phones are properly encrypted, so the data aren’t compromised. Privacy concerns also come up when physicians use social media. From patient friend requests to accidently transmitting information about a patient’s illness to all of his or her Twitter followers, this can be a serious issue. It’s important that professionals don’t just stay on top of the emerging trends but embrace them responsibly.
The Informed Patient
It’s also important to understand that patients are more informed than ever before. Just like doctors, they access the Internet to learn more about medical conditions. Now, patients come into medical facilities with knowledge of their conditions, which changes the relationship they have with doctors. It also changes the role of the pharma rep, since patients also know about new treatment options.
Technology and the Pharma Rep
Technology doesn’t just have an impact on healthcare professionals. Pharma reps are also experiencing the technological winds of change. While some people think that technology has replaced the traditional sales rep, that isn’t the case. In fact, pharma reps who embrace technology can include it in their sales strategies, which makes them much more effective. Pharma reps are as important as ever, but they have to change the way they approach their sales calls. Those who do that enjoy a great deal of success.
The Transition to Digital Marketing
It’s harder than ever before for pharma reps to get facetime with physicians. They are still getting several meetings a day, but they have trouble securing meetings with some of the top dogs. Unfortunately, a lot of reps are slow to adopt digital marketing strategies. Those who jump into digital marketing with both feet are able to introduce new treatments and get the face-to-face meetings they need to make sales. First, it’s important to understand that pharma reps need to take a team-based approach to digital marketing and the alignment between marketing and sales becomes more important to succeed. You can’t do it on your own. As part of a team, you can help your entire company thrive, which will also help your sales.
Second, you have to decide which channels to utilize. You need to use the big three, which are websites, social media applications, and mobile sales enablement tools. In regards to websites, you should provide education and coaching. Also, include a web chat feature to boost interaction.
Use social media applications to engage healthcare professionals and patients. You can go the extra step and encourage the physicians and patients to communicate with one another. As the facilitator, you’ll play an important role, although the physicians and patients will take the lead.
Finally, you should create mobile health solutions so people can access your information on the go. Consider creating separate content for patients and physicians. The content needs to provide a strong link between personal and non-personal conversations. Sales enablement tools can help you with this.
Where Do You Stand?
As you have read this, you probably had one of two thoughts in your head. You either feel as if you are a part of the emerging trends, or you feel as if you have been left behind.
In reality, you have to dig a little bit deeper in order to determine if you’re ready for the future of pharma. If you aren’t ready yet, you can make adjustments to prepare. If you are ready, you can tackle your marketing challenges with confidence. Fortunately, it’s easy to dig deeper by taking a short pharma quiz. Take the quiz today to find out if you’re ready to move into the future of pharma marketing.