Changes in pharma marketing will be profound in the foreseeable future. Not just with the advent of technology, but also with the adoption of the human-to-human marketing (H2H Marketing) concept. Thinking of their customers as human beings and not accounts will allow pharma marketers to engage them in very meaningful ways. None of these tenets are new. This is what marketing is about. However, most of it has got lost along the way as pharma-doctor engagement became tactical and transactional; from information sharing and knowledge-building to ultimately benefit the patient.
The fundamental shifts in H2H marketing are that it becomes all about the doctor/patient (human-centric) rather than about the product; it becomes data-driven (the more the brand/company knows about the customer, the better they can serve her) and it focuses on experience (if customers find pharma to be too nosy or the content uninteresting, she simply dumps them). The H2H concept will therefore move pharma marketing from the ABC – awareness (of the brand), (prescription of the) brand, and CRM – to the CDE – Customer, Data, and Experience.
The pharma industry like every other industry is now a part of them and in that economy, there are 3 rules:
1. Your business is not to sell your product. It is to engage your customer
2. Your differentiation is not how good your product is. It is how well you know your customer
3. Your competitive advantage is not the size of the salesforce or the number of SKUs you sell. It is the experience that you create for your customer which determines how loyal they stay to you.
Products have stopped to differentiate. Experiences have begun to differentiate. Does this mean that product selling is not important? On the contrary, the CDE of digital marketing only strengthens product sales. Through digital channels, you can engage the customer better. And engaged customers don’t need to be sold to.
H2H Marketing is a great fit for the pharma industry. After all, it is exactly what we have always wanted to do – engage with customers, ensure the relevance of marketing content and ensure spontaneous brand recall. With H2H Marketing, there is a difference – it won’t feel like it is marketing.
Digital Brand Coach | Professor | Pharma Industry Observer