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Effective marketing is at the heart of success for pharmaceutical brands and companies. And to get to the promised land, pharmaceutical companies around the globe are leveraging traditional and new media to sell and market their products. Most companies are faced with balancing myriad tactics to achieve optimal results: market segmentation, patient identification, physician adoption, identifying the best technologies, overcoming cultural resistance, and integrating online efforts into the total marketing mix. The patent life of a drug averages between seven and 12 years, and as the market exclusivity window continues to shrink for drugs and biologics, to be well-positioned to penetrate the market from day 1, companies need to consider market research, data mining, sales, branding, promotion, advertising, direct marketing, public relations, social media, e-detailing, and mobile marketing. Audience Segmentation According to Liz Kay, VP, business development, healthcare, Cramer, providing the right educational content, at the right time, in the preferred channel is more important today than ever. “There is increased pressure to be more precise today than before,” she says. “When we think about all the information we all have to process every day, we can appreciate the needs of HCPs, as well as patients. We need to be clear and efficient with our communications. We need to deliver rich, informative content in a manner that is the most relevant and accessible. This puts more pressure on all of us to take the time to ask questions of our audiences and then invest the time and resources to provide these in accessible channels. The good news is that the technology is becoming less complicated and more cost-effective to integrate into programs where we can make a difference. Certainly, marketing automation, which can be dialed up or down, has greatly helped. Stacy Doce Patterson, M.D., executive VP, director of medical affairs, ICC Lowe, believes just as personalized medicine is becoming a best practice for delivering optimal healthcare, personalized messaging to the physician audience is increasingly becoming a best practice for marketing. “Careful segmentation allows marketers to specifically target the audience with messages that speak directly to them,” she says. “Segmentation helps deliver the right message to the right physician at the right time. Personalization shows physicians that they are intimately understood, which fosters trust and value.” The ability to identify a significant group of the target audience within the market using geographic, demographic, or behavioral data is still an effective tool to customize messaging. “As all customers are not created equal, segmentation has always been and remains extremely important for effective marketing communications,” says Frank Powers, president, Dudnyk. “Through effective segmenting of the audience, marketers can better focus campaigns, programs, messaging, and spend for a select target group.” Currently, he says the majority of healthcare marketers drive toward behavioral segmentation. “Dividing target physicians based upon knowledge, attitudes, product usage, and loyalty are the key pillars upon which much of current segmentation modeling is based,” Mr. Powers says. “As a best practice, using psychographic profiles to uncover core values and belief systems have helped marketers to better shape more recent segmentation efforts.” Essentially, he says, the key ongoing challenge will be to identify and communicate product value in a manner that is both meaningful and compliant with needs of customers who are increasingly striving to balance the optimization of population health with affordability. One of the current challenges is the blurring of stakeholder lines, which has significant implications for pharma companies because the reality is that all messages can generally be assessed by all audiences at almost all times due to digital media, says Erin Byrne, managing partner, chief engagement officer, Grey Healthcare Group. “Companies now need to skillfully craft messages that start broad, and then allow users to self-select and navigate their way to more specific content of interest and relevance to themselves,” she says. “When done well, this can help facilitate better dialogue between key audience members, including a patient and his or her doctor. However, when done poorly, brand confusion and disengagement can occur. By clearly understanding where each audience is likely to consume each message, more targeted messaging can be created that reaches the intended audience and directs them to deeper content of interest.” Melissa Hammond, managing director at Snowfish LLC, agrees that the hallmark of effective marketing is delivering the right message to the right stakeholder at the right time, and adds that clinicians have various needs and all communication efforts should be designed to address their specific needs. “For example, a patient with cancer has multiple clinicians involved in his or her care,” she says. “A surgeon’s primary interest is in removing as much of the tumor as possible. The oncologist is interested in killing any remaining cancer cells and preventing regrowth. The oncology nurse has an interest in managing side-effects of the cancer treatment. The payers are concerned about the cost-benefit analysis, and the patient has multiple concerns but his or her perspective is non-medical. Each audience has separate needs that have to be addressed.” Multichannel Marketing The idea of multichannel marketing is by no means new, however the number of channels available for message dissemination continues to grow and increases the complexity of the communications path. According to Ms. Byrne, creating an integrated campaign begins with developing a compelling story that can then be leveraged across channels to create relevant experiences that drive deeper engagement. “The days of creating a television spot and then simply posting the ad on the company website and tying it into the print campaign are long gone,” she says. “Today’s integrated campaigns move users from one channel to the next, deepening the experience, and creating opportunities for consumers to be advocates and bring their networks into the story. The key is creating actionable moments, based on a meaningful story, in each channel that are emotionally and rationally relevant to the target audience.” Dr. Patterson says it’s important to remember that different segments respond more favorably to different methods of communication. “This is proven over and over again in learning models,” she says. “Best practices for creating integrated campaigns include understanding the audience segments, crafting messages that uniquely speak to them, and delivering these messages through channels that appeal to them. It is critical that tactics and programs are not created in silos. We believe that all aspects of a campaign are intertwined with one another, forming an ecosystem. Print drives to online, which drives to mobile and to live events.” Michael Zilligen, president, Ogilvy CommonHealth Specialty Marketing, part of Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, offers the best practice of developing consistent messaging with a lexicon tailored to a specific brand that connects and spans all channels of marketing. “The immediate uses of an established scientific narrative for a new brand are nearly limitless, and marketers need to begin with internal communications and routine use among the people who work with the brand every day, such as the commercial and clinical teams, and medical science liaisons,” he says. “From the foundation of a clear story, the lexicon for the brand — whether class designation, molecule name, brand name, or disease-related language — can be built and delivered via virtually any medium.” Mr. Powers says as healthcare marketers, it is critical to leverage the best channels to reach both the healthcare professional and the patient. “In fact, it is easier today than ever before because of how connected both audiences are through digital media,” he says. “Integrated marketing or multichannel marketing is a way of looking at the whole marketing process from the point of view of the customer. It’s a process for managing customer relationships that drive brand value through communication efforts. Technology is evolving at the speed of sound so communication to the technology-empowered consumer must evolve in kind.” With an unlimited budget, he suggests that there’s quite a list of best-practice tactical recommendations. But there is one essential key to success: build the foundation of the brand on three pillars — scientific rigor, audience insight, and a singular focus of differentiation. “This is so important, because as a marketer you are about to set your brand, your investment — maybe the very basis of your company — into a rushing, raging multichannel river,” he says. “Build it right and you will be able to navigate the toughest of waters.” Karla Anderson, partner, advisory pharmaceutical and life sciences practice, PwC, reinforces that the investment in customer experience consistency, cross channel data integration, and robust multichannel analytics are some necessary best practices for a successful multichannel campaign. “This effort is a journey that requires the commitment of the marketing, sales, and medical affairs resources and their third-party partners to think differently about how customers engage with the company and how relationships are built and maintained in today’s multichannel environment,” she says. “In addition the teams need to be proactive about how to identify the appropriate data to collect and how to embed the required data elements in the customer interactions to efficiently integrate data on the back end. Companies need to commit to changing the upfront processes to allow for the power of multichannel marketing to be realized. Once the data are consistently combined the ability to understand customer preferences and behavior through ongoing analytics changes exponentially.” Will Reese, chief innovation officer at Cadient, agrees that the key to successful multichannel efforts is relevant integration. He says it’s important to think about the multichannel plan from the perspective of the customer’s experience. “Customers don’t see channels; they experience a campaign through their questions, expectations, and transactions,” Mr. Reese says. “Mapping this customer experience up front, before assigning channels, can create a very different picture of which channels are truly critical to delivering the experience and what specific integration points are necessary to deliver answers, satisfy expectations, and simplify transactions.” He says building on the customer experience map allows one to then map the key channels and integration points for a multichannel system. “A key question to ask of every tactic is, ‘and then what?’” Mr. Reese says. “This helps to consistently challenge whether each element satisfies the customer need, expectation, and key actions, and whether there is a logical next step the customer would want to take where value can be provided through another element or channel. When a customer’s experience of value ends, don’t force another integration point.” Mr. Powers offers up some additional best practices for creating an integrated campaign. “First, create a strategic plan for success —define your key performance indicators (KPIs),” he says. “This may sound basic, but you’d be surprised how many teams don’t take enough time to cement concrete, measurable KPIs. This is also the time to make sure everyone on the team is on board. “Second, pilot the marketing mix — test various programs with the key audience; dive deep to see what really works and what motivates this group; and determine who and what influences them,” Mr. Powers continues. “Then, use these insights to optimize the program.” He also advises to heed the time-tested strategy of fishing where the fish are. “Identify how and through what channels your customers prefer to consume information and then structure your marketing mix accordingly,” he says. “This is when really understanding the target audience has impact. It may be tempting to use a new technology or platform, but the integrated mix will be far more effective when the components are channels in which the target audience is already active.” Mr. Powers says remember custom content is king — write specifically for the audience and its needs, which have been identified in the research. “When marketers understand the type of content the audience wants — case studies, videos, or interactive tools — they will be in the strongest position to connect with the audience,” he says. Finally, he says the million-dollar question is how to integrate the data. “The tools, metrics, and reporting must tie back to the business goals,” he says. “That’s why setting goals comes first — it’s that important. Outcomes Outcomes research is a growing field of interest for sponsors, employers, payers, physicians, government, and patients. “By studying the care effects of various treatments and their respective market potential, we can draw conclusions about overall patient well-being after a product has gone to market,” says Christina Fleming, Ph.D., executive VP of scientific and medical affairs, Advanced Clinical. “Outcomes data yield information on cost-benefit and treatment effectiveness — how a product is protecting or enhancing patient well-being. Through postmarketing efforts, outcomes data can be explored using existing databases, combined with or separate from a company’s own data, to generate links between cost and availability of treatment to certain patients; to evaluate a product’s use in specific populations, such as particular demographics, worker/social groups, and geographic areas; or to justify a product’s inclusion in the formulary or classify a product as a first-line offering. Physicians, nurses, financial analysts, scientists, statisticians, epidemiologists, government employees, and others can pool and configure these data to find new ways to market products to physicians and patients.” As drug-development and clinical-trial costs consume much of a sponsor’s budget, some companies may benefit greatly from outsourcing their outcomes research with validation tools, reporting or publishing experience, and a novel expert perspective. “Outcomes data measure cost, quality of care, and patient satisfaction, which can augment or boost a product’s marketing plan,” Dr. Fleming says. The shift to health outcomes has required everybody to think differently and to more carefully define the different stakeholders. “The focus on outcomes is forcing us as marketers to make sure that we are speaking to each stakeholder with the content that is most relevant to them — as well as providing it when they wish to hear it, and in the channel that is most accessible,” Ms. Kay says. Ann Mohamadi, managing director, pharmaceuticals and life sciences practice, PwC, believes as the expectation to demonstrate relative value of products and measurable outcomes for patients increases, there is a need to establish a more evidence-based, relative-value communication plan. “There are currently limitations in terms of using health outcomes data and comparative effectiveness research results in the traditional promotional marketing plan based on the regulatory environment, including how the information can be communicated and who can communicate it,” Ms. Mohamadi says. “In the short term, companies need to leverage clinical resources to get the message communicated to the market, and longer term, the industry has to influence the regulatory environment to allow for the entire product value message to be communicated in a more integrated manner than is permissible today.” Mobile Marketing Seemingly the whole world is already using smartphones and other portable device as part the daily experience. Jim Walker, director of emerging trends at Cadient says mobile marketing represents the opportunity for the pharma industry to cost-effectively reach patients long after the initial script is written. “Obviously the details will vary by product, but the essence of these mobile touchpoints revolves around medication reminders, symptom tracking, and information exchange,” Mr. Walker says. “This type of anywhere health environment — where mobile devices increasingly serve as the central gateway to health services — promises to bring dramatic changes not only in how physicians practice medicine, but also in how patients receive and experience care.” The mobile experience is also changing the creative behind the message. Mr. Powers says he loves watching his agency’s Chief Creative Officer Barry Schmader hold up his phone and remind people that “the page is this big now.” “We’ve always known that to represent a brand’s essence, a singular bold image works best because it will stick in a person’s mind better than multiple images,” he says. “Years ago that image would have been reproduced on everything from ads to pens to canvas tote bags, but now there are other ways to make a brand mark ubiquitous. And some of the same rules apply. If it’s going to be memorable and convey some attribute, it needs to be quick, simple, and bold, and be in all the places as your target. As it turns out the classic pharmaceutical iconic imagery may have a place in the new multichannel world order after all.” Frank Powers n Dudnyk “Using psychographic profiles to uncover core values and belief systems has helped marketers to better shape more ­recent segmentation efforts.” Getting to market is no easy task for a compound, and once there manufacturers face a whole new set of hurdles. Market Capitalization Erin Byrne n Grey Healthcare Group “Companies now need to skillfully craft messages that start broad, and then allow users to self-select and navigate their way to more specific content of interest and ­relevance to themselves.” Melissa Hammond n Snowfish “The hallmark of effective marketing is ­delivering the right message to the right stakeholder at the right time.” Liz Kay n Cramer “The focus on outcomes is forcing us as marketers to make sure that we are ­speaking to each stakeholder with the content that is most relevant to him or her and most clearly provides a call to action ­toward compliance.” Karla Anderson n PwC “Companies need to commit to changing the upfront processes to allow for the power of multichannel marketing to be realized.” Jim Walker n Cadient Group “Mobile marketing represents the ­opportunity for the pharma industry to cost-effectively reach patients long after the initial script is written.” Experts Karla Anderson. Partner, ­Advisory Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Practice, PwC, which ­provides industry-focused ­assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. For more information, visit Erin Byrne. Managing Partner, Chief Engagement Officer, Grey Healthcare Group, an ­integrated, multichannel, global agency. For more information, visit Christina Fleming, Ph.D. ­Executive VP of Scientific and ­Medical Affairs, Advanced ­Clinical, a provider of clinical research ­solutions. For more information, visit ­ Melissa Hammond. Managing ­Director, Snowfish LLC, a strategic consulting firm focused on the pharma, biotech, and medical device industries. For more ­information, visit Liz Kay. VP, Business Development, Healthcare, Cramer, which ­specializes in ­developing and delivering ­innovative marketing solutions. For more ­information, visit Ann Mohamadi. Managing ­Director, Pharmaceuticals & Life ­Sciences Practices, PwC, which ­provides industry-focused ­assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and ­enhance value for its clients and their ­stakeholders. For more information, visit or email Stacy Doce Patterson, M.D. ­Executive VP, Director of Medical ­Affairs, ICC Lowe, the healthcare arm of Lowe & Partners, which consists of nine wholly owned offices in the U.S. and ­Europe. For more ­information, visit Frank X. Powers. President, Dudnyk, an ­independently owned, full-service branding, ­medical ­marketing, and ­advertising agency. For more information, visit Will Reese. Chief Innovation ­Officer, Cadient Group, a digital healthcare marketing agency ­serving a diverse range of industry markets and ­stakeholders, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, hospital ­healthcare systems, institutions, and associations. For more information, visit Jim Walker. Director of Emerging Trends, Cadient Group, a digital healthcare marketing agency ­serving a diverse range of industry markets and stakeholders, including ­pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical ­devices, hospital healthcare systems, ­institutions, and ­associations. For more ­information, visit Michael Zilligen. President, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, a full-service ­digital healthcare ­marketing group. For more ­information, visit

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