Heather Campbell, VP - Marketing, and Julie Van Inwegen, VP - Business Development, Adheris Health
NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.
The time is now — patients have firmly established themselves as savvy and engaged consumers. And they are becoming more empowered every day — with more access to research and information, online connections to other patients like themselves, and demanding more from a healthcare system that was and still is directive with a pretty standard one-size-fits-all approach. They are demanding more consumer-like experiences across all industries they interact with – in the form of individualized communications, options tailored to them, and feeling like brands “get them.”
The Changing Patient Perspective
With advertising being a critical cornerstone for the promotion of any brand, it is essential that brands acknowledge the changing patient perspective and account for this in their promotional plans. Pharma invests heavily in advertising, to the tune of $6.58 billion in 2020. However, it is reported that up to 30% of the associated marketing content is wasted. That equates to tens of millions of dollars wasted that could be repurposed into other forms of marketing that could drive incremental revenue rather than financial loss.
Additional Layers of Complexity
In addition to the significant waste from traditional promotion, market forces threaten to make advertising as we know it much more challenging. Google has announced plans to block third-party cookies by 2023, while other web browsers (Safari and Firefox) have already launched this feature. Stricter regulations are also on their way.
Under regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), users will have more control over how ad platforms collect, share and use their data, including the requirement for platforms to secure explicit user permission. Another example is the App Tracking Transparency feature that was recently launched by Apple which enables users to opt-out of their data being shared and tracked. And there are more restrictions on the horizon.
The increasing popularity of streaming services adds yet another layer to the complexities of reaching key audiences. With 80% of US households having at least one streaming subscription, streaming is here to stay. A key subscription driver is the desire for fewer advertisements compared to cable. Here are a few statistics that are pretty revealing:
35% of streaming viewers prefer a no-ad experience and will pay for that feature
72% of consumers dislike brands with repetitive messaging in their ads
65% of viewers skip online video advertising
Netflix saves the average viewer 219 hours (or 9.1 days) in time per year
Then there are the non-quantitative events to consider. How many of us jump to another device while our show is breaking for commercials? With countdowns showing the remaining time we have before our show resumes, we have time to grab a snack, use the restroom or check in on the kids.
Savvier Patients Need Savvier Marketing
So, what does this all mean? Savvier patients require savvier advertising plans.
There are a few immediate key steps that can be taken to build more meaningful brand experiences. First is pivoting from reliance on third-party data to first-party data for the creation of robust patient audience segments that will drive precision marketing to high-value patients. Second is identifying partners who can help brands build those meaningful experiences how patients want or need them at critical intersections of care. Third is developing content that builds a brand relationship with the patient. Content needs to be educational, provide needed resources and transparency, and be easily consumable and understood.
By empowering patients with comprehensive support, they are better able to navigate the complexities of healthcare and be successful in their treatment journeys. For example: reaching an anxious mother at the pharmacy point-of-care where she is picking up her son’s first asthma inhaler with important inhaler instructions and education on key symptoms to look for and when to use — that mother is now empowered with information literally in-hand as she walks away from the pharmacy counter into her new reality. We at Adheris Health are seeing this play out more than ever in our over 30 years of experience in this space. It’s the reason we recently launched our newest innovation, THRiV, an intelligent patient management platform, to provide our clients with elevated patient solutions that individualize patient engagement with access to the largest patient and prescriber database. Because when patients are successful, we’re all successful.(PV)
Adheris Health, a MedAdvisor company, provides patient health and wellness engagement solutions so patients can live healthful lives.
For more information, visit