As we mentioned in Part One of “Drug Prices Coming to DTC,” marketers who are proactively planning during brand development will have the advantage, but exactly what should you be keeping in mind when you set out to build a pharma brand in this new landscape.
Here are two elements to consider.
Element one is the potential for added mistrust and skepticism amongst consumers. Increasingly, Rx brands are being pulled into the ongoing discussion around healthcare reform, which appears to be orbiting around this topic. It may be wise to better understand the impact through a 360 look at patient segmentation that seeks to define patient beliefs more broadly.
These segments may even require pharma marketers to get more comfortable identifying political beliefs to better inform segments. In all likelihood, the need for true segmented messaging will help brands navigate this landscape more effectively.
Pharma has been slower to adopt truly segmented messaging for a variety of reasons; including, the additional burden of getting claims and added messages approved internally.
Element two is the need to differentiate at the brand level more effectively. Far too often, Rx brands compete on data points. Data point advertising will likely lead to functional cost/benefit decisions, making it difficult for new brands to compete.
Marketers will need to ensure that their creative is not only set up to activate on an emotional level, but they need to ensure their creative is delivering on true differentiation. Ads can’t merely be creatively different; they need to be strategically different. That means being singular in your efforts to activate on an emotion. Brands should consider trying to isolate and ‘own’ an emotion within their disease state.
Rx brands are a class of products that more than any other can change lives, and our strategies should live up to that order.