The Power of Digital Transformation in Pharma


Digital Transformation

You have probably already heard of this before.

But, Covid-19 has accelerated the implementation of digital transformation in Pharma. It brings more transparency, improvement in patient communication and drug development.

Instead of solving one problem, digital transformation in Pharma solves many problems.

You invest a lot of energy and time in winning new customers and retaining their trust. But the most affordable customer to win is the existing one.

So, how do you manage all these leads, opportunities, traffic and data?

You can’t fill the bucket with a hole and hope for the best. If you are planning to implement digital transformation then it’s good. Because it will make you a wise decision-maker.

Why digital transformation in pharma?

Today’s patients have more information.

But all the information available over the internet is not accurate but the patient still searches for the best possible medicines and alternatives like diet or exercise for maintaining their health.  They also understand the impact of long-term usage of allopathy drugs.

So, digital transformation in pharma  can help develop authority by providing patients with accurate information. By establishing an online presence and answering prospects’ and customers’ queries, Pharma brands can develop a meaningful connection with them.

Transition from ‘patients’ to ‘consumers’

Marketing only to medical professionals will not be beneficial in the long run. As patients are more aware of the available options, developing a brand image through digital media is the future.

Process efficiency is significantly improving

Process efficiency is improving in most industries with data analytics and automation. Pharma industry also needs to embrace next-generation technologies to stay relevant.

Tailored personalized customer care

Today’s customers expect personalized care now, not later.

Pharma companies can also provide personalized care by leveraging the data collected from IoT-enabled wearables, medical devices, digital services and sensors.

Multiple-channel engagement between patients and doctors

These days’ patients use mobile apps to access their medical records and to consult doctors.

So, it is a whole new avenue for Pharma and healthcare companies to interact with patients. Using these avenues, the Pharma and healthcare companies, through their medical representatives, patient-centric team and other team members, can monitor and engage with patients and specialist doctors online through apps, social media and SMS.

Transparency is enabling accountability

The ability to check physiological responses and efficacy of medication is all possible with IoT-enabled wearables. It has given individuals greater visibility into their present health condition.

If they have a negative experience due to medications, they are very likely to share their story over social media and this can hamper the company’s brand image.

In such a market environment, digital marketing can help companies to communicate the benefits of their drugs and develop a strong bond with consumers.

How to implement digital transformation in pharma?

Digital Marketing in Pharma enables marketers to monitor and manage leads, set up campaigns on the large scale and provide proactive handling of errors and issues with real-time notifications.

Some Digital Marketing Strategies for the Pharma Company are below given.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimization is a pillar for any industry. It is an On-page and off-page technique to rank a page.  By implementing the right SEO strategy, you can always stay ahead.

 SEO tips for Pharmaceutical companies:

 Use long-tail keywords that are relevant to your medicinal products.

  • Optimise titles, meta descriptions and relevant keyword.
  • Get backlinks from relevant high domain authority websites.

Customer-centric Content Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Good quality content brings more clarity, drives engagement and reduces bounce rate.

Make sure that the website content fulfills physician or the patient’s needs.

Pharma Companies can implement this strategy by developing marketing collaterals. Some are below given.

  • Press Release
  • White papers
  • Case Studies
  • Testimonials
  • Blogs
  • Data Sheets
  • E-books

Online Reputation Management

In the Pharma industry, several times there is negative coverage and inaccurate information spread by the niche groups. If ignored can destroy the brand’s reputation in the market.

During negative coverage, the online reputation management helps. It is the art of dealing with negative reviews.

An effective technique to do it is by search saturation. To do this company should keep a check on negative keywords related to their own brand. After identification, brands should target these keywords and create all-new positive content out of them. By doing this, companies can minimize the negative coverage effect.

Nurture consumers through Community Building

Social media platforms can be used for community building. This is useful to engage with doctors and patients.

To engage with doctors, LinkedIn is the best platform. And Facebook can be a useful platform for brand awareness and engaging with the audience.

AI-powered Chatbot

Pharma companies can leverage chatbot capability to communicate directly with consumers, doctors or medical representatives. They can be used as a lead generation tool. ‘Remote Medical Team’ can help patients take medications on time, book appointments and maintain medicine prescription. To engage with patients on an ongoing basis, companies can deploy chatbots to assist them. Chatbots for doctors can give them information related to medicine usage and resolve queries.

Establish a multilingual strategy

Most of the Pharma companies have markets across the globe. So a multilingual website can help. This will help brands increase reach and connect with a wider audience.

Social Media Marketing

Patients use social media channels to gather information about symptoms, learn from survivor experience, research for the best possible solution – hospital or doctor.

These channels are a great medium to help or advise your prospects by sharing relevant content, explainer videos, etc.

One such example is Facebook Live, easy to use platform which enables brands to answer their audience queries live and turn regular customers into brand advocates.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Despite AR and VR adoption in the Pharma industry is in its initial stage, some companies are already using it. These technologies offer information and care via remote clinics and product demonstrations.

Influencer Marketing

Millennials are influenced by the recommendations of their colleagues while some refer to social media for medical information or do online research to find out the reason behind consistent problems or symptoms.

So, there is an opportunity for Pharma brands by networking with relevant influencers and thought-leaders.

Take the time to build valuable relationships with influencers. This will benefit your brand for the long term.

Are there any Challenges in Pharma Digital transformation?

DIGITAL display advertising is widely popular as the average time spent per user per day increases each year, however, some countries prohibit advertising medicinal products to the public. For example in Turkey digital marketing in the pharmaceutical sector is not evolving. In Indian law also companies are prohibited from advertising drugs, with exceptions only in a few cases.

Now let’s see how the best practices to advertise drugs look like.

 Run Ads on Google

  • Follow the guidelines for healthcare and medicinal products advertising
  • Check if your product or service is allowed on advertising platform
  • Read the laws on prescription drug marketing
  • Check the legality of ad copy

Run Ads on Social Media

Facebook provides targeting options,  a huge audience and many other features to increase reach.

It has even enabled Pharma firms to turn off comments on pages and build pages for customer engagement

What to consider when running ads on Facebook?

  • You may require pre-approval / authorization from Facebook to run some ads. So plan in advance
  • Do not use BEFORE/AFTER images. These are strictly prohibited by Facebook.

How to use Facebook for Pharma marketing?

  • Share tips on the company page. This will help you to increase your organic reach
  • Share press releases and media coverage. This builds trust and authority
  • Share latest updates from the United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Go LIVE, conduct webinars, or invite industry expert for knowledge sharing

Facebook Audience and Interest-Based Targeting

  • Create a buyer persona on the basis of demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  • Conduct an online survey to understand your customer buying pattern
  • Use the collected data from the survey to refine targeting ads.
  • Create a custom audience based on user interaction with your website
  • Create and run remarketing campaigns to target your custom audience.
  • Scale your campaign efforts by developing a lookalike audience.

By using the above practices, you will improve your Customer Experience across multiple touchpoints. This will help you to get more leads and customers.

 Wrapping Up

By now, you might have a fair idea of why Digital Transformation is important for the Pharma sector.

The Pharma companies that are harnessing the potential of digital transformation are the ones getting more business. At this time the right strategy will be how quickly you respond to your customer’s service requests and close them.

Companies will either have to develop these capabilities in-house or collaborate with existing experts or think creatively to maintain business momentum.

Thus, both the customers and the Pharma Industry are moving towards digital for valuable information.

The traditional medical summit, seminars, conferences and meetings are evolving too with time.

There are different ways to gain expertise in this. You can join any training institute or learn on your own using online material and tutorials. If confusion still exists you can leverage a digital transformation boot camp for Pharma marketers. This will help you to gain valuable knowledge on digital transformation in Pharma.

PharmaState Blog
This is a platform for people working in the pharmaceuticals industry for Discussions, Jobs, News updates, Professional Profile display space and company business pages. PharmaState DNA is having four pillars: Quality, Transparency, Innovation & Benchmarks.

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