The landscape of the pharmaceutical industry has changed this year with in-person promotion coming to a standstill. Marketing budgets are expected to be down for 46% of pharma companies, and 54% expect that drug launches will be delayed due to the pandemic.
While business as usual has taken on a new form, it’s important pharma reps continue to operate alongside HCPs, as these brands play an important role in the healthcare ecosystem. As pharma brands are continuing to stay connected with their audiences, here are some trends we’re seeing in the marketplace and how they can prepare for what’s next:
Shift to digital
Even with diminishing budgets, pharma companies are still communicating with their audiences digitally. We’ve seen pharma brands leveraging programmatic and email campaigns to hone in on more specific targets, which is important during a global pandemic since there is already so much noise in the medical community.
As pharma companies continue to adjust, it’s unlikely that the sales model will shift back to pre-pandemic ways. However, this is nothing new. Pharma companies have been experiencing declines in in-person sales reps over the past 15 years, and this trend will likely continue. Concentrating on how to utilize digital, mobile, and programmatic channels right now can help pharma brands in preparation for how business will be affected moving forward.
Engagement with customers
During a time of crisis, one of the most crucial factors in continuing business is to operate with empathy, and many pharma brands are offering resources to customers via email. Consumer outreach is being conducted using email to offer discounted, direct-to-patient prescription services, up-to-date information, adherence, and payment information. In fact, there has been a surge in pharma brand’s reputation with consumers reporting a 40% increase in their view of pharma companies since the pandemic. For pharma brands reaching out to HCPs, we’re seeing our clients use digital resources to provide helpful and relevant product information during the crisis.
While pharma brands need to continue communicating with their audiences, they need to think about the platform they choose and be a resource for education. In order to keep brand trust, they must engage customers while following three key factors, including responsibility, adaptability, and authenticity, to stay appropriate even as the times evolve.
Focus on employees
While in-person meetings with HCPs have come to a halt, so have in-office work settings. Pharma brands are keeping their employees’ health in mind by following national and state guidelines by allowing their staff to work remotely. A spokesperson from Arbor Pharmaceuticals says that they are focusing on their employee training so that they are fully prepared for what’s to come.
As reps continue to rely on digital channels to conduct business, pharma brands will need to be open minded with their employees’ work settings. Allowing successful team members to keep flexible work accommodations will increase productivity as the pandemic subsides.
Get started with digital solutions
If you are a pharmaceutical brand who wants to stay on the forefront of the industry through digital communication tools, let’s discuss how our email database, email deployment, mobile, and programmatic solutions can help. Feel free to fill out the form or contact us today!