Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It

Dr. Sanjay Agrawal*

Leading Pharmaceutical Consultant and Editor-in-Chief of IJM Today


If we talk about the next frontier of pharmaceutical companies, it is undoubtedly digital marketing. The trend is not only scaling the consumer business but also introducing an array of consumer brands to safeguard the future of medical science as well. Traditionally, the concept of marketing innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has been intensively stunted by heavy regulatory restrictions. If we glance into the history of the pharmaceutical companies the interaction was always very less with the end-to-end patients as they were chiefly dependent on the healthcare providers for the medical advice and further knowledge assistance.


However, with the extensive growth, there has been a huge opportunity where the exploration of the Pharmaceutical industry has taken place, as digital marketing changes the fundamentals of the business. The patients, too, are tech savvy to get verified about doctors, prescriptions, and even dosage. Majorly of digital marketing for Pharma and health care is undoubtedly the key differentiator for the brands charting futuristic growth with a strategy.


The Agile elephant defines digital transformation as a change in leadership with diverse thinking, encouragement of innovation, and newer business models for incorporating digitally increased technology. The experience of your pharmaceutical company, the customers, the employees, suppliers, and stakeholders all vary and operate the way the world works.  There is a sharp shift in behavior which is observed in various industries, including the pharmaceutical. Digital is truly empowering patients to be more active when it comes to health care. Few noticeable points we will discuss followed by making you understand the positive effects of it on human behaviors and life.


Patients are better informed in every way

These days, patients are not just passive recipients of prescriptions handed over to them. They are much smarter and play an active role in their healthcare research and various other sorts of drugs. Exercising the decision of their right on what is prescribed to them is one question that the majority of the patients ask.  Digital enhancement has increased and informed patients massively in healthcare facilities. The information is no longer necessary for reliable services. It is building up a strong presence online and answering all the required questions of a patient.  Pharmaceutical companies are getting close to the audiences with much detail and proof.


Shift from ‘patients’ to ‘consumers’- Patient is the large consumer

Patients have always been a large number of consumers from time to time. Marketing society to health care professionals will not be viable in the long run. It is the actual consumer. Armed awareness of the patients in a much better position to reject or request any specific brands. In the pharmaceutical industry, the commercialization and the consumerization of health care mean that it will take a much larger step toward the idea of consistency. The development of a strong sense to trust a brand through digital Pharma is becoming popular these days.


Transparency is forcing greater accountability

Any patient experiencing any sort of drug is no longer operated in the vacuum. The tracking features are all physiological responses, efficacy, and progressive medication which are made because of the interconnected Internet of Things (IoT). It offers the commoners much greater visibility in the healthcare industry, which was not at all present. Pharma companies cannot hold much information about the brands in private, as digital transparency has made communication more open to all. This is creating a much better condition in every way.


New competitors are closing in

Unlike any other industry, the pharmaceutical in preserving a much oligarchic market which it is enjoying every bit now.  With the proliferation of technological changes, users are getting accessible vital information; it is because healthcare information is no longer controlled by healthcare providers. This as a result is leading to the emergence of new competitors in the space of Pharma from the technology industry.


Digital Pharma companies are moving beyond the just idea of drugs, instead offering patients much more visibility and control of healthcare enormously. Few wearable activity trackers include Chips, VR, AI, and other potential disputes in this arena. The traditional Pharma companies do not realign any sort of strategy instead they are competing with recent errands to win over the new age of consumers or better said, patients.


A wealth of data is available

The availability of data in the pharmaceutical industry is of huge volume. You cannot afford to neglect it. The brands are getting unique insights into the consumers’ perspectives and behavioral approaches. The data was earlier unavailable because of the traditional mode of maintaining it. No one could ever complain if it was lost. But now, with the technology everything is drafted and digital strategy is getting better for helping the Pharma industry to build up a comprehensive digital engagement with the end-to-end user.

Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It

Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It

Benefits of Digital Marketing in Pharma

The new technologically developed companies are entering a market where the existing players have had to up their games across the globe to market, sales, and operations. If you are relatively new in the Pharma industry, then there are certain suggested benefits that you should know. These are

  1. Better patient communication: This is an obvious area for improvement which we can pretty relate to the consumers.  Any patient’s journey is ripe for digital disruption. From any healthcare point of view, the visits, diagnosis, treatments, and selection are all involved for better updates.  There are patients’ online portals where the online communication, prescription, and details of every meeting are updated. There is no longer any chance of losing or forgetting information.


  1. Providing services, not just drugs: The digital trends cannot replace patients’ well-being through investigation, diagnosis, and treatment.  There is much more new to offer to the patient. Anything stated on behalf of the education, it now takes lifestyle advice to the emotional support care of. Pharma companies are much more engaged in consumer and digital technology, where the ultimate promises are made on much a larger scale.  The availability of the combination of digital content with one-to-one coaching sessions helps the patient to manage stress and find information through notable chats in times of requirement.

The ultimate aim of pharmaceutical companies is to offer the best outcome to any issue with greater engagement, which is done through digital reach. To achieve such holistic patient care, the combination of therapeutics should be balanced well. With such a development, consumers are more motivated by finding their best outcome and cheapest service as well. It offers technologically grown companies an unbiased third-party market between the Pharma companies and patients.


  1. Improving diagnostics and adherence: The idea of connecting humans with personalized treatments is now happening day in and day out. The efficacy of treatment is now transparent. Thus, no longer the pharmaceutical companies are the sole provider of information. The recent digital transformation has made unparallel access to the respective information that creates a positive impact on the entire healthcare industry as well.  The online information platforms and the communities enable the patient to discuss the process through mobile apps and track how the patient is doing.  To support this concept, we suggest you read McKinsey’s article, “The Road to Digital Success in Pharma”, for understanding the development processes offering new information based on old and new pharmaceutical companies every day.


  1. Better sales practices in the pharmaceutical industry: Digital sales aids and marketing is now increasing at an alarming rate, and the generation of leads, in this case, patients contact, offer new patient detail to the registered doctor. The big data allows the drug manufacturer to identify the potential patient who has a disease, and it is hard to diagnose.  Using the data, health records, and genomics they offer improved treatment with better diagnosis to the patients.


  1. R&D and supply chain efficiency: In the recent post made by the CRM, Marketing automation and data management the concept of the CRM–it provokes anything. CRM not only increases sales but also increases customer-facing technology through variable analysis. R&D is a much improved real-time technology to bear the clinical trials and the supply chain that could bring the joy of sales and operation plans.  The productivity, inventory levels, and service level increase at a different range. The digitalization of the supply chain represents a risk to the Pharma industry to exceed expectations from all parties.


  1. Effects Real-world data and drug development: The proliferation effects on the health analytic solution have created a much more impactful implication for drug development as well.  Manufacturers have the accessibility of tracking real-world data and understanding the effects of a drug on a long-term basis. Clinical informatics have effectively shown a rise in the business leaders of the Pharma industry where the companies have come across a long-term dominance of their products. Drug discovery was slow in between but the recent digital technology has fast-paced the process for monitoring wider-scale effects.


  1. Data visualization had to increase accessibility: With the detailed aesthetics of data visualization, the industry is finding a new process of information to track the changes.  For the newly formed Pharma companies, the midst of using digital is different as they never faced the issues or the procedure of the ancient/ traditional times.  The sharing of data intelligence is more tangible with a broader spectrum of audiences and not just limited to scientific people.  These days data visualization can enhance the fact that how a patient’s data is communicated and how certain medication and treatments are affecting their physiological system.


  1. A virtual help of 24/7 is present: Responding to almost 500 healthcare and Pharma industry is possible, which is involving the uncovered areas of digital marketing.  74% of the respondents are optimizing the customer’s journey with multiple touch points and a strategic future.  So, what do you think about the new Pharma companies and professionals? If we put it in the broader spectrum of patients, it connects physicians in a much better way 24/7 and up-to-date with the norms of the industry.
Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It

With personalization, this transformation has access to 24/7. Technology like the sensor, and apps allows patients unique care and customized services like treatments based on their personalized queries.  Some patients already have access to these wireless sensors. Digital streamlined processes for efficiency are increasing day by day. The companies are offering complete treatment as per the digital ecosystem; it has combined data, and measurements as per the patient.


Where are we heading in the future?

The considered fact of pharmaceutical industry is slow in adopting changes with regulatory restrictions. But the significant journey has progressed very well, especially, the digital transformation in a much more effective way. At the latest 77% of the population is using smart phone for accessing online services and tracking healthcare applications regularly.

To succeed in this trend, Pharma and healthcare companies need to personalize their patients’ treatment with much virtualization of data and real-time care. The generating of ideas in pharmaceutical and healthcare companies needs to upgrade with digital strategies for transforming their strength and capabilities. In conclusion, it’s fundamental that pharmaceutical and healthcare companies keep their end goal at the core of their mission: the fitness and security of their patients.


Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It: Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It
*Short Profile of the Author:
Dr. Sanjay Agrawal

Dr. Sanjay Agrawal

Dr. Sanjay Agrawal is a leading Independent Researcher, Pharmaceutical consultant, and patent holder of more than 42 formulations.  He has actively worked in pharmaceutical and related industries for more than 35 years and started his firm Pharmaceutical Consultants and Inventor in 2005. Skilled in formulation development of Solid orals, liquids, multi-particulars, nutraceuticals, and food products. Developed and commercialized novel, adaptable, and patentable platform technologies for various dosage forms. Dr. Agrawal completed his post-graduation in Biochemistry, Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga and Naturopathy from Global Institute of Health & Management-Delhi, and MBA in marketing from IMT.


He is the Founder of Indian Academics of Pharmaceutical Research. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the renowned IJM Today and an honorable member of the editorial board of The Antiseptic and Qual Pharma Magazine. He has published more than 300 papers in reputed national and international Publications. He is appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Sudarshan Pharma Industries Limited.

Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It: Digital Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry: You Can’t Afford to Neglect It

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