Marketing 3.0, Where is Pharma Industry?

We all know that marketing is one of the most critical functions in any industry. On average Pharma companies on an average spend about 10-11% of their annual budgets on marketing activities. Some companies even spend upwards of about 23% on marketing. The reports published by reputed consultants and publications such as Forbes, Deloitte, KPMG etc. have shown that this trend is consistent for a very long time. But, despite the hefty increase in marketing spend, the pharmaceutical industry is now facing pressures on profit margins, the report from Forbes corroborated this finding. Why is this trend? Is Pharma stuck in the past whereas other businesses have moved ahead? Should Pharma companies adopt Marketing 3.0 at least now?

It seems that Pharma industry has been quite slow compared to other sectors. It’s not a debate that Pharma and healthcare sector altogether have their own set of constraints that limits their marketing efforts. But has Pharma at least adopted the philosophy of Marketing 3.0?

When we talk about Marketing 3.0 to the professionals in the industry, only a few of them seem to know what Marketing 3.0 is. This lacuna about the knowledge has actually kept Pharma marketing behind.

What is Pharma Marketing 3.0?

Every marketing person knows Dr. Philip Kotler. Dr. Philip Kotler redefined what everything that revolves in and around marketing in last 4 decades globally. His work has been inspiring for all those who want to use marketing to take their products and company to new heights. Marketing has evolved so much since Dr. Kotler published his first book in 1967. However, many marketers are still trapped in Marketing 1.0 elaborated in his first few editions.

Let’s see what the marketing journey looks like.

  • Marketing 1.0: Marketing 1.0 is the first step Pharma marketers need to achieve. It is all about knowing your “Customers’ Minds”. Unfortunately many professionals in the pharmaceutical sector have not been able to bifurcate their sales and marketing activities. Pharma field force is still considered as the most effective asset for Pharma companies. However, Marketing 1.0 goes beyond sales and aims to create brand identity, bring brand awareness and connect with customers beyond sales. Marketing 1.0’s goal is to understand how doctors and other pharma customers make their decisions, what affects the decision making, and what the trends in the market are. Thus, Marketing 1.0 focuses mainly on acquiring marketing data, sales data of various pharma offerings and analyzing that data in-house. Pharma companies along with their partners in market research acquire this data hoping to use it in their marketing activities.
  • Marketing 2.0: Companies can move to Marketing 2.0 once they start applying marketing 2.0 principles. According to Dr. Philip Kotler, many sectors such as FMCG, retail, fashion, automobile, banking, real estate, sports etc. have already entered Marketing 2.0 phase. Marketing 2.0 is all about knowing your “Customers’ Heart”. It is a step higher than Marketing 1.0 where companies try to understand what their customers like, what they do when they are not buying their products. This is more about knowing what drives the customers’ decision making. Many companies in above-mentioned sectors now rely on social media, where they can gain tremendous insights about the market. Pharma and healthcare sector is the slowest to adopt Marketing 2.0 which is evident by limited activities in both offline and digital channels to connect with and understand their customers, including doctors. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter have emerged as effective channels for Marketing 2.0.
  • Marketing 3.0: One may ask we gain both know about customers’ mind and heart through marketing 1.0 and 2.0. What is left then? Well, Marketing 3.0 stretches the horizon even further. In addition to knowing customers’ mind and heart, Marketing 3.0 aims to address the concerns of the customers, in Pharma’s case doctors’. By addressing the concerns of their customers, companies demonstrate that they wish to connect with the doctors beyond sales, they care about doctors and that is why wish to address the concerns. This creates a bond of trust between the companies and the doctors, the most important ingredient currently at the stake. As you know you can only build a love-affair if you have trust. Engaging with customers and co-creating marketing campaigns that address their concerns is the key in Marketing 3.0. Docplexus has established itself as the best channel for reaching and addressing concerns of Indian doctors and has been helping leading Pharma companies to achieve their marketing goals with Marketing 3.0.

How can Docplexus Help Pharma Companies?

Docplexus is India’s largest and fastest growing interactive professional platform of doctors. With more than 1,50,000 registered members spread across 1500 cities and towns, Docplexus provides unique reach to the partners in the Pharma industry.

Doctors and Pharma companies share their clinical insights, clinical practice related experiences on the live-feed where more than 12000 doctors access it daily. Doctors’ interactions on these various types of contents provide Pharma marketers insights about and beyond clinical trends in the field of medicine. An unbiased content also provides marketers an opportunity for novel crowd-sourced marketing ideas that work much more effectively.

Docplexus also offers Pharma companies an opportunity of with beta-testing their marketing campaigns to the selected audience with articles, interactive webinars, and CMEs. It is a great opportunity for Pharma companies to minimize the potential risks there may be by understanding them at an early stage. As everyone is aware, social media has put every company in a fish-bowl, beta testing with selected audience can help tailor the Pharma marketers tailor their marketing activities for best results.


Docplexus – Pharma’s Trusted Marketing Partner
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