Pharmaceutical firms, like most large sophisticated marketing organizations, spend a lot of money in promotion and branding. Individual brands will use multiple sales and marketing channels to reach their customers, including sales reps, traditional direct mail, drug samples, journal advertising, websites and edetailing, conferences and symposia and small dinner meetings. It’s not unusual for a brand to use six or more different ways to reach and impact their target doctors.
The Lack of Integrated Campaigns
While each of these tactics may be implemented by best-of-breed agencies, there is generally little coordination or sophisticated strategy that enables the whole effort to be greater than the sum of the parts. Unlike in other industries where marketers have learned how to build multi-channel programs, pharma has continued to use its traditional silo approach.
For example, in pharma you rarely see integrated campaigns in which one tactic, say direct mail, launches a chain of touch points by presenting a call to action to go to a website, where there is a prompt to opt-in to an email newsletter program or register for a conference.
Why is integrated marketing so important? There are two reasons why a more sophisticated approach to marketing is beneficial for both the brand and physicians.
Two Reasons Why Integration Is Important
Integrated marketing acknowledges the fact that there is an adoption path over which all of us travel during the process of becoming aware, considering, evaluating and eventually making a purchase decision. An integrated marketing program understands what types of information and presentation formats are most helpful at each stage in the decision making process.
Secondly, an integrated multi-channel approach respects that fact that individuals use and respond to different marketing media. Some physicians prefer sales reps, while others insist that they receive their information digitally. Some professionals need clinical documentation while others want to hear from a colleague…