Pharmaceutical marketing can be challenging, as companies must interact with a targeted audience unlike any other. Reaching out to doctors in the appropriate specialty, as well as medical professionals at hospitals and private practices is essential. Inadvertently sending pharmaceutical marketing materials meant for cardiac specialists to thoracic surgeons is a mistake that can cost your company time, money and reputation – it can also come off as unprofessional or careless to those recipients, affecting your abilities to successfully market to different audiences in the future. Here are five crucial elements to help you reach your desired pharmaceutical marketing audience:
“Include a call to action in every email.”
Email marketing should be your primary approach to marketing to physicians, hospital administrators and other healthcare professionals. While physicians don’t work at their desks all day, doctors and other medical professionals still check their inboxes regularly, giving an email marketing campaign a high opportunity for success.
There are a few ways to increase the odds of a physician opening an email from your company. First, make your physician marketing emails interesting and relevant, and avoid sending emails that don’t serve a purpose. For example, when your company is releasing a new medication, that’s a perfect opportunity to send a marketing email.
It’s also helpful to send emails from an account that has a name attached to it – the head of your marketing department, medical branch or specific representatives rather than something akin to firstname.lastname@example.org. This also will reduce the odds that your marketing emails will be sent to spam or trash folders.
Include a call to action in every email – these include an urge to contact for more information, links to your company’s website or an invitation to email a pharmaceutical representative they’re familiar with.
You can also use email marketing as an opportunity to highlight company successes as well as when you’ll be participating in medical conferences and conventions. This is a great way to encourage more contact with physicians and medical professionals across multiple fields. As many pharmaceutical companies acquire or create products across multiple medical specialties, encouraging doctors and others to get in touch at conferences, perhaps even setting up in-person meetings, is a valuable way to drive in more business for your organization. Communicate these and other options for contact through regular emails, inviting medical professionals to get in touch in advance so you can set aside some personal time to discuss new medications and devices.
While emails should always contain pertinent information, they should also come regularly. You don’t have to send marketing emails three times a week, but once a quarter is hardly enough either. You can strike a balance by using data analysis to examine how often recipients open their emails. Once you’ve analyzed this information through a marketing lens, you can make educated decisions regarding frequency of contact.
Contact doesn’t have to come solely in the form of marketing emails, however. In addition to electronic communications, direct mailings and in-person visits are vital to nurturing valuable relationships with physicians, hospital employees and other medical professionals. Balance regular emails with other types of interaction to keep your company fresh in physicians’ minds when new products or medications are released.
“Share interesting articles, company updates, and promote new products and studies on social media.”
An active online presence
Social media and a high-quality website can also act as tools in your approach to marketing in the medical field. When you leave your business card with a physician or invite them to visit your website through a marketing email, it’s important that your company presents itself in a highly professional manner. One way to achieve this is by maintaining an active website.
Include links to your company’s social media accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. It may not seem relevant to your business, but maintaining a robust social media presence helps your company increase visibility and appear more prominently in Google searches.
Share interesting articles, company updates and studies on social media, interacting with users to gain followers. Focus these interactions and communications on increasing traffic to your website.
One way to do this is to begin content marketing. Blogs, articles, news items, infographics and videos are all highly valuable in creating a powerful online presence. Options include infographics on drug efficacy rates, which can break down complicated information into a more digestible form. Or you can create medical device demo videos that you can easily share through a tweet or Facebook post. Create a section of your website for industry updates, whitepapers, studies and other relevant readings. All of these materials can drive new visitors to your website, increasing lead generation and rates of contact.
Keep your website looking fresh and modern. Work with web designers and other creative professionals to ensure your site is the best it can be, with an interface that is easy to navigate, promoting a positive user experience.
A strong email or direct-mail marketing campaign can be weakened when using inaccurate data. When you’re emailing hundreds or thousands of medical professionals at once, out-of-date information can compromise your endeavor. The wrong data can prevent you from reaching your target audience and slow down your efforts. It’s also a waste of time and money when emails or carefully constructed pamphlets are sent to the wrong offices and individuals.
When physicians switch specialties or move to different hospitals or private practices, their email addresses and office locations will change as well. This means the emails you’re regularly sending out aren’t getting to their intended destination. As a result, you may be accidentally neglecting important relationships that could eventually cost your company revenue. To prevent this from happening, employ data cleansing services to keep your database as accurate as possible.
Data cleansing is a process that takes your database and brings it up to date by sifting through information and altering it as needed. Updates include more than just email addresses – cleansing can help your company reach the right providers by updating data including addresses and phone numbers, as well specialties, group practices, state license validations and hospital affiliations. Revised databases can even include what types of insurance physicians accept, as well as tax IDs and treatment insights for prescriptions and procedures. Working with up-to-date information is an invaluable way to help you carry out an effective marketing campaign.
Even after cleansing your data, you’ll still need to maintain a database that evolves as your company and the medical profession shift and change. That means that even a database that has been scrubbed clean needs to be updated regularly. Furthermore, over time, you may find that you could benefit from different data sets.
That’s where data appending comes in. This automated process fills information gaps, providing companies with an accurate, full view of the physicians and medical professionals they’re trying to reach. By outsourcing this vital task, your company can reap the benefits of an automated solution focused on giving you the information you may have been missing, allowing you to target the specific medical professionals who will bring in revenue for your pharmaceutical company.
A focused, targeted marketing campaign to get out the word about new pharmaceutical products and services is a valuable, crucial part of any company’s operations. By incorporating each of these elements into your campaign, you can improve your rates of success and increase your reach.