When it comes to pharmaceutical marketing, precariousness and high risk are ever-present givens. An estimated 70% of therapeutic brands never achieve their commercial potential, and when sales goals aren’t being met, it’s common to scapegoat messaging. More often than not, the root cause of the issue is not messaging, but rather, an unevolved, out-of-touch positioning and strategy. To position a brand successfully, you must update it, as well as differentiate it, so that health care providers have legitimate reasons to fold it into their treatments and start prescribing it.
Solid, modern health care strategies should always do as society does, and right now, society is going on camera. There are two major influences on the landscape of health care right now, spearheading a new era: social media and telemedicine. In terms of market research, digital platforms supply a constant stream of data on target populations, and so, of course, this makes them extremely valuable for any type of business. Culturally speaking, however, they’ve completely changed the norms of modern communication. Whether for work, for fun, and now, their health, people are using video, broadcasting themselves to one another. This behavior has permeated all aspects of day-to-day to life, becoming routine for all populations, including health care providers. Given these truths, to change ingrained behaviors (such as prescribing choices of HCPs), a current strategy should involve audio-visual components.
By nature, medical professionals subscribe to science and data—it rules their work. But, what changes a person’s mind? Emotions. Therefore, to reach HCPs effectively and “speak their language,” a brand must marry data with society’s currently preferred mode of communication, testimonial-style content captured on video. Due to the aforementioned usage of smart devices and social media, confessional speech has emerged as the new “honesty.” This trend has already made its way into advertising via User Generated Content (UGC), so its value has been proven, in terms of effectively changing opinions. When strategists conduct market research, there needs to be a produced video to capture and package qualitative data. Consequently, this narrative, visual, and human-centered content will be far more impactful in engagements with HCPs.
The bottom line: it takes high-impact data to change the mind of a doctor that’s been practicing for decades. To be an active player in today’s market, a brand needs to present and leverage person-person influence, visually directing it at Key Opinion Leaders, instead of just at consumers. Having a patient speak from experience is just as truthful as numbers on paper, but exponentially more impactful. Empathetically more impactful. The two parties are already communicating via telemedicine, so HCPs are primed for this type of communication. But, a produced, edited video can highlight insights from a qualitative interview that get overlooked—or unaddressed, altogether—during a doctor’s appointment. Make the data audio-visual, make it emotional, and share it with HCPs—especially at a time when meaningful in-person interactions with patients have declined due to COVID-19.