Thursday, February 5, 2015

How best to improve marketing strategies in a changing medical landscape

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The Physician world today is increasingly moving from Physicians being in private practice positions to staff positions or joining with hospitals or health systems. Some simply are just retiring altogether. The ever changing medical landscape means that pharmaceutical manufacturers and other healthcare stakeholders can longer rely on their marketing strategies of old. Marketing to physicians today requires new ways of thinking and selling in order to maximize sales.

Healthcare Data Solutions released a whitepaper detailing their advice for updating marketing channels and techniques and the main points are listed below.

Key points:
  • Use a reliable, up-to-date database of Physician information
  • Demonstrate value that speaks to the needs of the Physician
  • Create Physician orientated mobile websites
  • Develop a Physician-focused search strategy
  • Keep research content fresh
  • Start with robust data
  • Aim for stronger relationships
  • Focus on quality rather than quantity
  • Utilise multichannel processes
  • Consistency across all channels
There are a few key elements that stand out in those points that feature throughout the paper. Customisation is deemed vital for the development of marketing in the medical world today. Knowing Physician’s attributes such as area of specialty, location and behavioural patterns such as big purchasers or trial only prospects can be vital for who to aim products at. By creating more personalised marketing strategies will mean physicians are less likely to just ignore sales pitches and will know that what is being offered may be of interest. This creates much stronger relationships between marketer and client.

Being able to personalise marketing schemes can help with another strategy which is email segmentation. This allows for specific email sends to certain groups based on their interests and can help with future predictions for who to market to. However despite it being touted as an extremely important tool for marketing, a 2014 survey found that from over 600 email marketers only 44% of respondents had no created segmented email lists. This shows quite a slow adoption of email segmentation but many marketing professionals say it is a ‘top priority’.

Lastly the need for multichannel marketing processes is becoming more and more critical in an age where the Internet of Things is revolutionising everything people do today. Studies show that 75% of physicians own a smartphone and 55% use both a tablet and smartphone when at work. Being able to utilise many different platforms for which to market to physicians is paramount. By keeping research up to date and fresh and posting it on different platforms such as websites, twitter feeds and LinkedIn means physicians have more access to information instead of just getting bombarded with emails.
To connect today with physicians marketers have to go beyond traditional tactics of building relationships. Personalisation and versatility across different platforms coupled with a good database of research and contact information can create more efficient and effective marketing strategies.

Download the full white paper here.

Healthcare Data Solutions is a sponsor of this year's ePharma.  You can meet this February 24-26, 2015 in New York City.  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP2006BL, you can save $100 off current rates

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.
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