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Three strategies to enhance pharma marketing effectiveness

Posted by: 
 | Oct 2020

With diverse HCP and patient needs, stringent regulations, fast evolving technologies and a deluge of disparate data to make sense of, marketing pharmaceutical drugs is a difficult task. We explore three strategies that can help.

Maximising the value of your products at every stage of their lifecycle is never easy. But, in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s a uniquely challenging task. 

To build and execute effective marketing strategies, teams in the pharmaceutical industry are tasked with navigating a complex and dynamic regulatory landscape, staying on top of diverse patient and healthcare professional (HCP) preferences, and extracting meaningful insights from a deluge of traditional data and newer digital sources.

To add to the challenge, the pharmaceutical market is extremely competitive and dynamic. Teams don’t just need to be able to tackle those challenges effectively – they need to be able to tackle them fast – and in near real time to keep pace with changing business scenarios

The Smart Cube has been helping pharmaceutical teams improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts for many years. While every organisation’s challenges are different, here are three strategies we’ve found can help almost any pharmaceutical marketing team generate more value from its efforts.


#1) Derive near real-time holistic actionable insights from data 

To gain a complete view of patient and HCP preferences and behaviours, brand and drug awareness, and potential value across diverse marketing channels – both digital and physical, companies must have a holistic view and insights into both traditional and digital data sets.

That raises two key challenges. The first is successfully extracting and managing data from digital sources – including social media channels, connected devices, EMR systems, and customer engagement channels like patient forums and web chat. These modern data types can provide valuable context and augment traditional data types such as drug sales and salesforce data, deepening what you can get from them, and helping to uncover new insights.

The second challenge is analysing all of your diverse and disparate data sets alongside one another. It isn’t enough to simply source new data, you must be able to extract insights from it in tandem with other data sets, in near real time. That’s where your complete customer and market view comes from.


#2) Ensure your marketing efforts are aligned with where drugs are in their lifecycle

In order to optimise spend and implement targeted brand strategies, marketing efforts need to be aligned with the drug lifecycle stage. For instance, in the case of blockbuster drugs, where the lifecycle is fast and volatile, it is the marketing team’s responsibility to ensure that the company gains the maximum value from a drug before the patent expires and generic alternatives flood the market.

While no two drug lifecycles look exactly the same, in general, pharmaceutical marketing teams target high immediate growth for new drugs – propelled by the critical early window of opportunity around launch. Then, that growth is maintained through ongoing awareness-based marketing efforts and regular tracking of KPIs, assuming there are no major shifts in how the drug is used or positioned.

However, over investing into marketing during a drug decline phase may not be the most appropriate decision. 

Deciding when and how to shift marketing spend and align strategies with the drug lifecycle is an extremely difficult – but critical – decision to make. And it can only be confidently made with access to the right market, customer, sales and channel insights.


#3) Stay ahead of competitors by creating reusable and scalable models for analysis and insight delivery

Marketing strategies can vary greatly between products in the pharmaceutical industry. With some marketed to HCPs, others marketed directly to patients, and significant regional variations in how different drug products can legally be marketed, building repeatable frameworks for marketing strategies has traditionally been difficult. Keeping on top of an ever-evolving technological landscape adds an additional layer of challenge.

However, what pharmaceutical companies can do – with the right support – is build repeatable models for data analysis and insight delivery. Those models enable teams to explore opportunities and build informed strategies at speed, by quickly digging into the data points that matter – helping them to accelerate delivery and respond at a faster rate. 

Using technologies like AI and advanced analytics techniques such as NLP and machine learning, companies can build scalable, flexible models that can be applied in almost any pharmaceutical scenario. With the pace of change accelerating, that can provide significant competitive advantage, and remove a huge amount of manual work required to analyse and explore new opportunities and market scenarios.


Great results begin with holistic data and deeper insights

By augmenting existing data with newer and digital sources, developing targeted marketing strategies depending on the drug lifecycle, and building repeatable analytical models that enable rapid delivery of powerful patient, HCP and channel and market insights, pharmaceutical marketing teams can effectively tackle challenges they’ve faced for decades.

By following the three strategies outlined in this blog, they can make accelerated data-driven decisions to optimise spend and better understand their customers, increase brand awareness where it’s needed most, and build better-informed channel strategies that deliver the right results, at the right time. 

Find out how our Pharma Marketing Effectiveness solution can help.

  • Komal Khandelwal

    In her 9 years with The Smart Cube, Komal has risen through the ranks from a Senior Analyst to a Senior Manager in the Life Sciences sector. She is responsible for designing and developing research – and analytics-led solutions for pharma and consumer healthcare companies, particularly in the marketing effectiveness and commercial excellence domain. Komal has extensive experience in client engagement and has managed large key accounts in pharma, biopharma and OTC space. Outside work, she likes to travel and experience different cultures across the globe.