Customer Experience Is BioPharma’s Brand Differentiation
Customer experience is entering healthcare marketing in a big way in biopharma — out of necessity. Now that many drugs are similar, brands have to differentiate themselves with patient marketing.
That means biopharma companies need to create marketing centered on self-service products, patient education and eliminating unnecessary complexity, whether that be through product design or creating a seamless out-of-clinic experience that ensures disease doesn’t limit a patient’s lifestyle.
These marketing extras are no longer extra, writes Brian McDonagh, a Minneapolis-based strategy director at CBX, in the April issue of BioProcess International magazine.
CBX quotes McDonagh in a press release distributed yesterday:
“The success of biopharmaceutical businesses increasingly hinges on their ability to excel at something that is more typically associated with consumer product goods — namely, creating meaningful brand experiences for consumers.”
Marketing Self-Serve Biopharma Products
CBX notes of an aging population used to independence that ease of use, such as ergonomics or changing a disease treatment from in-clinic to a self-service injectable, can mean the customer experience improves enough for patients to chose one healthcare marketer’s drug over another, similar, drug.
This is the brand differentiation that matters, CBX says of McDonagh’s analysis:
“Formerly regarded as user-experience "extras," product qualities such as ease of use, ergonomics and intuitiveness are coming to the fore, he notes.”
Marketing Campaigns Centered on Patient Education
Still, when moving a medication out of a controlled environment, for instance, to a patient’s own hands, biopharma needs to educate patients, McDonagh writes.
"When a drug is subject to clinical parity among its competitors," he explains, "its value comes from factors that increase the likelihood of each patient recipient's administrating that therapy the right way, at the right time, every time."
Target Marketing blogger Chuck McLeester says patients often stop taking even life-saving medications if they don’t understand why they’re taking them or how to do it properly, so marketing needs to step in to ensure patient compliance.
While neither author said so explicitly, it’s clear that educating patients and ensuring compliance will, at the very least, ensure biopharma marketers continue to sell the product that’s saving customers' lives.
Eliminating Unnecessary Complexity From the Customer Experience
The customer experience shouldn’t be complicated for a simple reason that living with illness can be painful. Marketers shouldn’t be part of the problem, they should be part of the solution.
“If I am forced to live with a chronic disease, then I should get to choose the therapy that doesn’t remind me of that fact every time I use it. It doesn’t have to be fun. But if your design makes the experience less unpleasant in some way than it would be otherwise, patients will pay you back with adherence and loyalty. Your investors will be gratified when no competitor can easily copy the value you have created.”
What do you think marketers?
Please let us know in the comments section below.
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