Consumer Marketing Moves in a New Direction for Pharma
SummaryIn this edition of StrategicEdge, CBR Pharma Insights discusses the current trends and opportunities that exist in marketing to consumers as the age of TiVo, DVRs, and cost constraints point the industry towards creative uses of the internet and other e-technologies.
With sales slowing and marketing budgets being cut, pharmaceutical brand managers will be expected to do more with less. This shift may dramatically change how companies reach their communication and marketing goals. Going forward, social media and other methods of online communication are likely to play a much larger role in building brand loyalty and increasing compliance than ever before.
In using Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing campaigns, pharmaceutical companies are trying to increase awareness of their products. In doing this, they hope to drive consumers to request these products from their prescribing physicians or to mention these products to people, such as family and friends, who could use them. However, not only are pharmaceutical marketers being challenged with accomplishing these goals with decreasing budgets, but they are also fighting against electronic innovation, namely TiVo and DVR technologies. CBR Pharma Insights’ 2009 Consumer Marketing Survey assessed several key ways that pharmaceutical companies could drive awareness of their products and increase patient compliance through stronger e-based DTC efforts.
The number of consumers who visit social networking websites, such as Facebook, or who use internet search engines, such as Google, is growing exponentially every day. As such, CBR Pharma Insights looked at whether pharmaceutical companies should use advertisements targeted through these two types of websites. In comparing these opportunities, CBR’s survey indicated that placing sponsored links for pharmaceutical products on search engine websites would yield better results than on social networking sites. Specifically, 45.5% of the consumers surveyed noted that they would click on a sponsored link placed on a search engine website for a product that they were taking. Additionally, 35.8% noted that they click on a sponsored link for a product that they had heard about but were not taking. In contrast, these numbers were 14.5% and 9.4%, respectively, for social networking sites.
In addition to using DTC campaigns to increase brand awareness, brand managers could use several e-technologies to increase patient compliance to their products. Two such opportunities exist with email and text messaging. Through CBR’s 2009 Consumer Marketing Survey, it was found that over 20% of consumers surveyed between the ages of 18 – 29 would sign up to receive email reminders to take their medication. Additionally, within the same age range, 35% of consumers said that they would sign up to receive text message reminders. Thus, providing patients with the ability to sign up for email and/or text message reminders to take their medications are two ways pharmaceutical companies could increase patient compliance and overall sales.
As noted in previous StrategicEdge commentaries, times are changing for pharmaceutical companies in many ways. Along these lines, the traditional television DTC thought process needs to be adjusted to account for new technologies. Consumers now have the ability to fast forward past advertising campaigns through the use of TiVo and DVRs. Moving more towards the use of e-technologies, such as search engine banner ads and permission-based email/text messaging, could open up a wealth of opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to reach their target audience, increase patient compliance, and positively impact product sales while staying within their budget.
Sources used for this commentary include:
CBRSV002 – Key Trends Shaping Future Marketing Strategies
CBR’s 2009 Consumer Marketing Survey
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About CBR Pharma Insights:
CBR Pharma Insights is a new, innovative, strategic market research firm based in the United States established specifically to provide the pharmaceutical industry with the critical business research support they need and deserve through our innovative solutions.