There are many challenges facing marketing in general, and healthcare marketing is a sector that is ever changing. That's why it's important for those in the industry to not just keep up with their competitors, but to also stay ahead of the curve. The marketing of medications and healthcare products is strictly controlled, which adds another challenge to firms in this sector, and it means that it's essential to work with an experienced team who have worked in this field. Here are some of the trends in healthcare marketing that the sector will need to face, and ways that you can rise to the challenge.
It may seem strange to use social media, but healthcare products can still use the many features that marketing teams love about the sites to engage with customers.
Although doctors are often the primary target when it comes to advertising, consumers are becoming increasingly vocal about the treatment that they have, and therefore gaining a brand loyalty. You'll see plenty of pages on social media dedicated to over the counter drugs, with companies interacting with customers, posting interesting content, and engaging users as any modern business would. Therefore, using social media will be a big challenge for drug companies, as they try to stay within regulations, but also reach out to people.
There are specialist software packages for social media reporting, but it's often best to have humans behind the strategy to be able to interact and deal with complaints.
People love posting reviews online, whether it's for their local fast food joint or a hotel, and it's no surprise that they'll also be posting reviews of their medication. This is often so that they can tell people what to expect, talk about side effects, and swap stories. This has various pros and cons.
• Free advertising for your product
• Consumers get to interact to talk about positive experiences
• It can create a supportive environment
• Those who are nervous about taking a drug can be reassured that they are not alone
• You may find more negative than positive reviews
• People may post bad reviews without properly trying the drug
• Disinformation and bad advice can be spread
• It can be hard to control what is said
It can therefore be helpful to have people with medical knowledge available to discuss things like side effects, and by being a part of online communities they will be able to offer sensible advice such as going back to the doctor to discuss their care plan. It's important to choose the right medical marketing team as they will have worked with these kinds of situations before, and will be able to offer advice on how to deal with both sides of PR.
If you are marketing a prescription drug then your website and literature will be aimed at doctors, but online information is also read by curious consumers, and so it's worth taking the readability into consideration. You can also have a separate section of information aimed at consumers, with information such as a FAQ and the details they'd usually find with their instructions.
A big challenge to the healthcare market, both at present and in the future, is the usage of generic drugs. More people are choosing generic versions of their prescriptions, especially those who need to save money, and this can therefore have a negative impact on the sales of big brands. That's why marketing is more important than ever to push the larger brands, and this kind of recognition ensures that people keep using your product and builds loyalty.
The healthcare industry changes every year, and that's why their marketing teams have to be so inventive to keep up with general trends, as well as industry specific ones. The tightening of regulations has made marketing almost impossible in many areas, but there are ways to reach out to consumers still, and your focus doesn't need to be all about doctors. By choosing the right marketing team it's much easier to find ways to stay within the industry's rules, yet still market the product effectively, giving you a better chance of getting the results that you want.
By Chloe Lovette