Decoding: 3 key digital marketing strategies pharma brands use to reach consumers

Pharma brands digital marketing

From inhalers to contraceptives, pharma brands do quite a bit to support the Indian healthcare system, we take a look at some of the digital marketing strategies that help them succeed.

The last two years have been quite dramatic around the globe. With COVID-19 still going strong, there is a lot of focus on healthcare and pharma brands. Every new update about the vaccines is welcome with open arms, as long as they can help humanity get through the other side of this deadly phase. However, it’s not just the life-saving and prescription works that are keeping pharma brands up and running — it’s also the non-prescription medicinal products and the need to use effective marketing strategies to help them reach the masses. These include pregnancy tests, contraceptives, digestive solutions, over-the-counter rash medicines, and inhalers. Digital marketing is key for pharma brands as it helps them strengthen brand recall and infuse much-needed confidence among potential customers. With the rise of e-commerce options to buy medicines, the need to be visible has only grown.

Lending A Helping Hand

One of the most important marketing strategies for a pharma brand is to build a trust-based relationship with their potential customers. They often communicate how they will be around to help through a crisis. This is especially true for brands that sell contraceptives and over-the-counter medication for digestive issues. Here, the portrayal is not merely about the product usage and benefits but also how the brand is offering relief against distress.

Consistency In Communication

Advocacy for usage is a major part of what brands do as part of marketing. This is especially true when they are trying to dispel myths around certain health conditions and how they can offer solutions that might make life easier for those dealing with such conditions on a daily basis. One such example is that of the work Cipla is doing to make people aware of how inhalers can help people with respiratory diseases.

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Dr Vikas Gupta, Head of prescription business, Cipla says, “Creating a marketing IP requires a long-term commitment. It is important to be consistent not only across all touchpoints but over a period of time. The key will be to be true to the cause and consistency in messaging. To ensure the campaign stands the test of time, it is important to stay true to the purpose but evolve with culture.”

When asked about Cipla’s overall 2021 marketing strategy, he tells us, “Our focus will entirely be on driving awareness and empowering patients, not only by educating them but also by equipping them with the required wherewithal for taking care of themselves better. This is through quicker diagnosis and better disease management.”

Contextual Placement

Over time, pharma brands have concentrated their efforts to find out customer touchpoints — where the customer is spending time and why. The freedom to pick and choose audiences based on their demographics (via digital platforms) helps pharma brands enhance their reach across varied markets.

“Every time a customer prefers to buy any product, they read to gain information about it. Hence, digital knowledge has now become an integral part of the customer purchase cycle. We have to make sure that our products are available at all these search portals and eCommerce with the right pricing, product stories and product integrations,” Joy Chatterjee, General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Mankind Pharma tells us.

He added, “Customers are bombarded with several options, making it tough for them to find the best fit. It thus becomes crucial for brands to avoid noise and clutter and chose a way that serves the purpose without being diverted from their goal. Brands should try to build their place on the internet rather than placing their products on different e-commerce platforms — it’s a new shift that will be evident in the coming years.”

With brands across the spectrum coming up with a range of immunity-building products and sanitization solutions in their own unique ways, the importance of the work done by pharma companies in reassuring people is bound to grow manifold. Marketing will be key to their efforts, as would be presence and accessibility. They are expected to stay consistent in their communication and meet people where they are — in contexts that matter most.