Pandemic Innovators: Pharma Marketing Strategies that Reinvent the In-Person Conversation

The 2021 pandemic has inspired pharmaceutical companies to reform their strategies for in-person sales and meetings.

Before 2020, the landscape of drug marketing involved following drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finding which patient population would benefit from therapy, and visiting specialized doctors in-person to advertise its advantages compared to current guidelines. The 2021 pandemic has inspired pharmaceutical companies to reform their strategies for in-person sales and meetings. 

The pandemic has incentivized pharmaceutical marketers to use digital advertisements to impact which therapies doctors prescribe by influencing the prescriber-patient conversation. The end goal of a successful marketing interaction is a patient receiving his or her medication from their pharmacy and becoming their own self-advocate from inside their home. With much competition between drug companies and decreased time for doctors to meet with pharma sales reps, there has been a call for reinventing commonplace marketing strategies. 

The last eighteen months have proven the success of the digital world, not only for doctors but also for patients. With the successful use of programs to facilitate teleconferences and doctor’s appointments, the industry has been a sustained improvement in communication. Digitalizing pharmaceutical advertisements had been implemented and supported by both the Affordable Care Acts’ call to transform patient health records to a digital source, and the reality of quarantine’s effects on in-person meetings. 

Pharmaceutical advertisement strategies have been reconstructed recently by some companies; For example, Ogilvy Health announced their partnership with Doceree, a firm that offers demand-and-sell advertisement technology that targets physicians. The technology identifies

physicians through doctor-specific codes and in-house facility logins. Data sourced from this method isolates prescribing history, medical associations, expertise, and competitor drug products. The Ogilvy-Doceree partnership has successfully developed a methodology of creating tailored advertisements, display ads, and pop-up text blocks for doctors within their facility EMR systems. 

EMR advertisements are not an invention, however, the adaptation of targeted ads and measuring their success is revolutionary for the healthcare industry. This technology sustains the link between prescriber history and a patient’s profile to produce a tailored ad that not only may optimize the therapeutic benefit for a patient, but also influence conversations between prescribers and patients in future appointments.

The success of Doceree’s programming is measured using a drug’s National Drug Code (NDC) inputs into the EMR system. A page refresh occurs that transmits the data to Doceree which can be monitored as a KPI statistic. If a doctor uses a competing drug companies’ product, the system also receives this data. Further, this system can also measure if a patient fills and purchases a prescription – a large draw to the use of this system. To address compliance, Doceree has assured that the targeting system does not transmit private patient information and is only communicating pertinent information such as which drugs are prescribed and the number of times they are picked up and used by patients. Even without concrete evidence of changes in the healthcare landscape, the innovation of digital communication has become essential and an asset to the reach of medical reps and the success of drug companies for better patient care in the community. Visit ACMA to learn more.