In the world of pharma, multi-channel marketing (MCM) is one of the most thrown around buzzwords of today. However, as more pharma brands jump into the world of digital every day, they begin to recognize the value of multi-channel. Given that they’re fairly new to this world, some mistakes are bound to be made. So, how does a pharma brand make the most out of their multi-channel marketing strategy? Let’s find out.
Determine your target audience
Before moving any further with your multi-channel marketing plan, you first need to know who you’re marketing to. Do you want to target patients, physicians or payers? What is the ROI on marketing for any of these specific groups? You can target as many audience segments as you want, as long as you have the necessary logistics to cover their entire customer journey.
Once you determined who your audience is, it’s time to get up close and personal. What are their pain points? What kind of problems do they have that you can solve? How familiar are they with your brand already? In order to get super precise with your targeting, it’s worth probing for other factors such as country, channels they are using, their preference in device etc.
Measure your multi-channel pharma marketing success
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. In order to see if your multi-channel marketing is actually performing, you need to track success. There are numerous ways to go about it, but we suggest setting a couple of KPIs (key performance indicators) and tracking how the numbers change over time. Set a goal and a time frame and track your performance.
First, you need to track your reach. This means your average organic position in search results, as well as the amount of traffic that you’re getting across channels. This also includes your email metrics, such as open rate, click-through rate, list growth rate and more.
Second, you need to track your acquisition – how many of those interacting with your content actually connect? This includes metrics such as cost per visit, bounce rate for your main pages, how many people click on your search results etc.
Finally, there is conversion. No matter how many visitors you’re able to get to your website or landing pages, or how many subscribers your pharma brand is able to get, these metrics are useless if the visitors don’t turn into buyers. Conversion tracks data points such as cost per visitor, cost per visit, cost per conversion and many more.
Ensure all channels are integrated
Pharma brands that embraced digital are on the forefront of global marketing. This means following new trends and being up to date with the latest marketing channels. However, if a channel is new, it does not mean that it will work for pharma. For example, social media has proven to be a poor choice for pharma marketing (with the exception of DTC advertising).
Once you have a selection of channels, you need to ensure that they are properly integrated. Channels need to naturally connect to one another, and not compete. For example – your blog post leads to a subscription box, which leads to a newsletter, which leads to a landing page. Moreover, the message needs to be uniform across all channels.
Timely engagement with stakeholders
As pharma brands join the modern marketing arena, they have a lot of catching up to do. Today’s consumers are used to instant engagement and personalized messaging and content. However, this does not need to be a complicated (or expensive) endeavor at all.
Your pharma brand needs to have a conversation online, and not just static presence. In order to make this happen, you can use live chat (you can see an example in the bottom right corner of this screen), mobile apps, email, chatbots, etc. You can cater the message to be as personalized as possible. If you’re afraid that your customers won’t share their data – don’t be. They know that in return they get better content, messaging and overall service and products.
Involve the rep at all times
Although pharma sales reps numbers are slowly dwindling, they’re still a major driving force in multi-channel pharma marketing. As such, they need to be involved in all aspects of the marketing process. If they are left out, they may be left in the dark when it comes to some crucial information. During a call, they might get asked about it and they could be seen as contradictory in front of the HCP.
Furthermore, reps’ statements and opinions hold certain weight to them. For example, emails sent by reps have higher open rates than those sent by pharma officials. If reps are well acquainted with a brand’s multi-channel marketing strategy, everybody wins.
Focus on the patient
Among digital pharma marketers, patient centricity is one of the most (ab)used buzzwords. Still, patients are increasingly becoming an influential figure in pharma, and brands need to acknowledge this fact.
Pharma brands need to be aware of patients’ needs and stay available during their journey.
Stay up to date
With traditional marketing channels, there were very few surprises. TV ads and print ads hardly had any changes in the past decade or so. On the other hand, the digital marketing landscape changes rapidly, where you can sometimes be out of the loop in just a few months. For multi-channel marketing to truly work, pharma brands need to stay up to date with global marketing trends – and not just stick to their industry.
On the other hand, staying up to date means adapting to change. One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to get data and learn from it. Are physicains not engaging with your website enough? Patients don’t find the information on your website useful Learn from the data you have and adapt your multi-channel marketing strategy as time goes by.
Start small with multi-channel marketing
Pharma companies just beginning their multi-channel marketing journey are eager to try it all at once. While this is possible (provided you have a well-developed digital marketing department), it’s best to start off small.
A Product Manager with expertise in pharma marketing and sales operations