I’ve begun to observe among our clients a distinct shift in expectations for the role of digital marketing. Even though pharma marketing budgets continue to invest in the traditional channels of television and print, I’m seeing a change in how digital is viewed, and that’s a positive sign.
Smarter Marketing Talent
The caliber of marketing talent in key pharma leadership roles has improved, bringing higher expectations for technology and digital-based marketing. Marketers in both so-called centers of excellence and at the brand level are demanding measurable goals for what technology can be and should be doing for their company and their products. They reward success and fire agencies or technology partners that don’t meet expectations.
The Amazon Effect
Online retail and social media companies have raised the bar of consumer expectations for access to information and the ability to search and buy in a very seamless way. But until recently, consumer expectations didn’t impact pharma. Now, the online consumer experience is raising the bar on healthcare.
Pharma marketers are realizing that consumers have been trained to expect the same experience they have with Google, Amazon, Facebook and their Apple iPhone. The expectation that pharma agencies will deliver a world-class user experience for consumers, patients and healthcare professionals is now standard. Traditional agencies are scrambling to build new capabilities in UX and mobile.
In addition to enhanced customer experience, pharma marketers are also demanding a competitive ROI from their digital investments. One of the features of closerlook’s Backstage digital marketing platform is the ability to pull response data from multiple agencies to understand how various channels are performing with certain physician segments. This give brand leadership important channel insight for planning purposes and enables marketing ops to build reliable ROI and budget projections.
Expectations are rising and marketers are demanding the best. As has happened in other sectors, this will push the industry to create higher quality platforms and develop better strategies for reaching their audiences.
There is a new reckoning happening within pharma marketing, particularly within digital and relationship marketing. This will weed out the under performers and make room for the more qualified companies and solutions.
It’s a new, exciting world!