Pharma marketers know they have a lot of regulatory hurdles to jump, but the digital age need not erase some legacy content marketing lessons, Cadient suggests. On Friday, pharma marketers gathered in Cleveland for Content Marketing World 2016’s vertical sessions.
As a reminder, Malvern, Penn. marketing agency Cadient reminded pharma content marketers of the basics:
“Believe it or not, there was a time not so very long ago when pharma marketing was relatively predictable,” writes Jim Walker in a 2015 Cadient blog post the agency highlighted before the Friday session. “Brands needed to fit all of their promotional information onto a two-sided detail aid (or sometimes even a four-sided detail aid!) made of paper, and then make sure that the regulatory team approved it. Television ads could complicate things, but things were fine as long as the actors didn’t show a lot of emotion and read all of the balance. While those days now seem rather simplistic, the pharma content marketing system which operated in the pre-iPhone, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat era had some important strengths that are worth revisiting.”
Here’s what Walker thinks pharma content marketers need to revisit:
The Core Message
Some marketers think of digital messages as unlimited real estate for brand messaging. As a result, the message can become diluted, confused or completely obscured, he says.
“For brand teams, regulatory, sales reps and even HCPs (healthcare providers), the (core visual aid) CVA provided a simple and distilled story about product efficacy, the target patient profile and potential side effects,” Walker writes. “The process of creating the CVA also helped to drive clarity, alignment and brevity.”
Again, having unlimited real estate can tempt marketers into nebulous communication, he says.
“Having access to multiple channels is not an excuse for creating an inconsistent or confusing brand message,” Walker opines. “If you want to do a sobering test, take a moment and visit your brand’s website, Facebook page, and any other social channels. Then try that exercise from a tablet and iPhone. What about the print and convention experience? Is your brand story integrated across all of these channels? Is there a beginning, middle and end to your story, or just a series of seemingly random messages and ‘customer experiences’?”
Ideal Customer Experience
Speaking of the customer experience, is the brand paying attention to that?
“At the end of the day, our customers, and patients in particular, want clarity, consistency and peace of mind,” he says.
Is Your Regulatory Team ‘Content-ready’?
Does the regulatory team know what the marketing team is doing?
“Educating the regulatory team about your content strategy and content tactics must be a strategic priority,” Walker states. “Remember — what’s old is new again. For some reason, here in the middle of the 2010s, there are regulatory teams that seem to have forgotten all of the hard-won lessons of Web balance from the early 2000s, and need to be reminded about below the fold and page links, not to mention responsive Web design, [clickthroughs], user-generated content and social content marketing. (If anyone has dared to try and explain SnapChat at a regulatory meeting, please let me know how that went!?)”
ID Important Metrics
When in doubt about tracking, ask the customer.
“Patient and HCP communities can be powerful resources in this regard,” Walker writes, “not only by helping to shape a meaningful customer experience, but also by qualitatively and quantitatively responding to specific marketing content in a controlled environment. This type of content market research, when linked with attribution models and actual sales data, can provide powerful insights into which types of content, in which channels, are driving commercial results.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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