9 Ways Digital Engagement Benefits Pharma
A very dynamic Indian pharmaceutical industry has faced setbacks recently, thanks to the lack of digital engagement initiatives. We have seen a big drought in ideas, innovation, and implementation which has negatively affected profits. Tremendous pressures have been mounting from various areas, be it financial or regulatory.
For a long time, Indian pharma companies have been focussing on a small pool of potential customers, unwary of the huge numbers that are present on digital platforms like Docplexus.
By entering into digital ecosystem pharma will not have to scout around for potential leads or clients. Yet, most Pharma companies are in a dilemma whether to go ahead with digital engagement or not. This decision will be easier if we look at the advantages it provides.
So what exactly does digital marketing offer?
- Far Better Exposure: The traditional way of marketing is focused on making contact with each potential client, in Pharma’s case ‘the doctor’, to increase the prescriptions from them. This approach is very cumbersome, time-consuming and costly in terms of time and money for Pharma companies. Industry insights suggest that nearly 50% of marketing budgets are spent on face to face marketing initiatives, including developing collaterals for such activities. But, when your marketing efforts are focused on digital marketing with that same investment you can tap at least 30-40% more prospects. Thus, by going digital, you can increase your exposure to your potential target audience, provided they are tapped at the right place.
- Level Playing Field: All companies, irrespective of their size can compete with rivals, through solid and effective digital marketing strategy. Well-thought content and its targeted delivery are what attract customers, not the size.
- Reduced Cost: Studies conducted by consulting firm A.T. Kearney suggest that even a partial adoption of digital marketing saves costs by 20-50% and provides better results. So does it makes sense to use the most expensive traditional channel when digital marketing can provide you better results?
- Easy and Readily Measurable: Indian pharma companies have failed to measure the impact of their traditional marketing efforts. On the other hand, digitization helps them easily gauge whether their marketing messages have had the desired effect. Here it is important that the marketing message is well designed and delivered digitally. At Docplexus, we have used an array of tools to positively measure whether the target audience (‘the Doctors’) has received the message delivered.
- Easier Strategy Reorientation: Digital marketing provides better overall insights about customers to Pharma companies. Moreover, these insights can be gained at much cheaper costs. Digital marketing enables you to refine your strategy at any point in time and see any improvements or opportunities for further refinement almost instantaneously. Moving to digital marketing initially may require little rigor, but once initiated the changes in strategy can be easily implemented, even in as little time as a week. Moreover, the results of these changes are also quickly and easily interpreted as they are available in the forms of feedback comments, upvotes, shares and dislikes. If your drug is unpopular due to some reason in the doctors’ community and your focus remains on ‘pushing’ the drugs anyway, the approach will certainly fail. Instead, by checking doctors’ feedbacks and responding to queries for addressing their key concerns you can easily re-establish the brand. After all, a good reputation is always built on the solid foundation of communication.
- Responsive Brand Development: Brian Fox, Senior Partner, McKinsey opines that you can generate leads only when you hold meaningful conversations. Pharma companies need to be a part of the conversations taking place about their drugs. Even when the overall physician opinion is negative, communication should not be discontinued.
- Makes Your Brand Viral: How many times do doctors pay full attention to your product during MRs visits? The answer is ‘Almost Never’. Rarely do doctors spend more than 10 minutes with MRs. But the “Share” button right next to your content hosted on Docplexus makes your content go viral incredibly quickly among other doctors. Every time the content is shared by the doctor to his/her peers, your product has new prospects.
- It Is Not Intrusive: Most of us know how doctors get annoyed when we visit to market a product to them during their busy schedule. Obviously, all marketing efforts go in vain as we do not get proper attention. What digital marketing gives them is the “convenience” and the “choice”. The doctors may not have time for face-to-face interaction with MRs but when your marketing message is available digitally, they tend to consume it, whenever they get few minutes. At Docplexus, as the doctors know that the content is tailored to match their needs, we have seen them active even at midnight. Imagine your marketing person calling or visiting them at midnight, Definitely not happening, right?
- Greater Effective Engagement: Most importantly what digital marketing does is that it encourages your clients, prospects, and followers to take immediate action. That action can be visiting your website, reading more about your drugs, checking out the services or devices you provide, rating them, and most importantly prescribing them. What feedback they provide about your product and company is very important as it is visible to the community of the doctors. It doesn’t take long for such great publicity to enhance the prospects of your products and product lines.
What is important, that Indian pharma companies need to move ahead fast. Hesitation is the only hurdle, as someone has said: “A moment of hesitation may cause you a lifetime of regrets”.