Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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The Periodic Table of Pharma Multi-channel Marketing

The Periodic Table of Pharma Multi-channel Marketing | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

For those of you not familiar with these marketing twists on the Periodic Table, over the past few years, people have created periodic tables for various marketing disciplines including SEO, marketing attribution and web design.


Our Periodic Table of Pharma Multi-channel Marketing has been designed to provide pharma marketing folk with an at-a-glance overview of all the key elements needed for multi-channel marketing activity.


We hope it’s reasonably self-explanatory although here are the eleven areas that we’ve focused on:


  1. Research
  2. Strategy
  3. Channels
  4. Owned Media
  5. Paid Media
  6. Earned Media
  7. Content Relevancy
  8. Content Format
  9. Data and Analytics
  10. Martech
  11. KPIs


Further Reading:

  • “#Pharma Not Yet Ready for Multi-Channel Marketing, Says Novartis Head of Digital”;
  • “Towards Achieving the "Holy Grail" of Multichannel #Pharma Marketing”;
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#Pharma Not Yet Ready for Multi-Channel Marketing, Says Novartis Head of Digital

#Pharma Not Yet Ready for Multi-Channel Marketing, Says Novartis Head of Digital | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Pharma is no stranger to multi-channel marketing (MCM), but, according to Panos Papakonstantinou, Novartis's Head, Digital Commercial, Europe, the industry still needs to perfect its approach to MCM. 

PE: Why is pharma is still trying to get multi-channel marketing right after talking about it for so long?

Panos Papakonstantinou: It may raise some eyebrows and surprise people but the fact is that when we bring multi-channel marketing into a discussion with a view to actually changing the business model, we see that people are conservative in terms of moving ahead as the old model has been working. So I don’t feel there is a burning platform within the pharma industry that is forcing it to re-inventing itself and change its approach.

Other industries such as banking, finance, media, etc, have already gone through this process of change; they had their margins hit and have been pressured by advancing technology and competition. Pharma is not yet feeling that pressure — that’s one of the reasons we’re not seeing the business model changing and why we have pretty much had the same one for the last twenty years, even if the customer is shifting. Change is still is not an absolute priority. We need to ramp things up in the next five years to get ready for it.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Back in 2012, 69% of respondents to a survey by Len Starnes believed that pharma marketing would become de facto multichannel marketing within 5 years. See  Fat chance! In any case, "The old model" is indeed working. As one survey respondent said: "it will take turning Pharma marketing and its entire business model on its head - that's where it is getting stuck today...old familiar models, Sales in their DNA, product centric focus - maybe it's safer to do what we've always done?"

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Marketers Must Understand & Integrate Big Data Using Technology or Risk Extinction

Marketers Must Understand & Integrate Big Data Using Technology or Risk Extinction | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
Data has become a critical part of marketers' strategies, and they're adopting new technology to manage it all. Thanks to today's cross-channel consumer, integrating these tools is necessary. According to recent research, if marketers succeed at combining technologies to understand big data, they can transform their entire enterprise. If they can't, they risk extinction.
Pharma Guy's insight:

"Multichannel pharma marketing [see PMN glossary definition: MCM] is conceptually relatively simple to understand, but incredibly difficult in practice," says Len Starnes, former Head of Digital Marketing & Sales, General Medicine at Bayer Schering Pharma.

The "difficult" part of MCM: data collection and management (propeller head stuff) such as:

  • Managing and analysing vast amounts of data
  • How can pharma utilise data to enhance strategic marketing?
  • Using big data to integrate multiple sourced customer information and improve quality of customer engagement

In my mind, pharma marketers are "old school", meaning they believe marketing is more of an art than a science (see, for example, "Are Marketers Artists or Mathematicians?").

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Women A-List Celebs Hold a Special Place in Allergan's Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy

Women A-List Celebs Hold a Special Place in Allergan's Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

As it looks for new ways to connect consumers with its dermatology, women's health, and aesthetics portfolios, Allergan is increasingly calling on celebrity heavyweights to promote its products. In the past year alone, the drugmaker has partnered with TV and stage star Lea Michele, movie star Kate Bosworth, and reality-TV personality Khloé Kardashian.

Allergan, which estimates that 62% of its customers are women, sees the celebrity involvement as a way to create authenticity and draw attention to its brands.“It's part of a multi-channel strategy,” said Jag Dosanjh, SVP, medical dermatology for Allergan, who developed the partnership with Kate Bosworth for its acne treatment Aczone. “People consume their media in many ways, they look for different sources. Whether it's in their Facebook feeds or anything else, having other ways to connect with consumers — so they can understand the issues — is important for us to look at.”

Celebrity partnerships are an important part of the media mix for Allergan because they help break down stigmas around certain disorders, Dosanjh added. 

Last July, Allergan launched #ActuallySheCan, a campaign that was directed at millennial women (read“Allergan's #ActuallySheCan Campaign: Brand Promotion Disguised as Social Media”; That initiative drew on a network of female celebrities, including Michele, to foster a discussion among women. Other popular celebrities, like Emmy Rossum (“Shameless”) and model Miranda Kerr, posted content with the hashtag in support of the campaign. While an unbranded initiative, ActuallySheCan's website featured product information for the company's birth control pill Lo Loestrin Fe.

Kardashian, for her part, helped kicked off the Live Chin Up campaign in March for Kybella, a chin fat reducing injection, at a New York event (read“Khloé Kardashian Shills for Kybella at Dermatologists' Offices & Soon on TV”; There, she moderated a panel, which also featured a dermatologist and a patient, who discussed her experiences with submental fullness — commonly referred to as a double chin.

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Towards Achieving the "Holy Grail" of Multichannel #Pharma Marketing

Towards Achieving the "Holy Grail" of Multichannel #Pharma Marketing | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The rapid development of digital, mobile and ambient technologies has transformed the global communications paradigm, and, with it, set new expectations in how consumers and professionals consume information. The potential impact on pharma/HCP interaction is significant. To succeed, and indeed to optimise valuable resources, companies must align disruptive innovation with the undisputed skills of specialist sales resource to deliver targeted and effective integrated communications.

But despite rhetoric to the contrary, new technologies will never replace face-to-face engagement. The next phase of commercial optimisation will focus not on the death, but on the depth of a salesman. The development of a more nuanced, multichannel approach, where organisations harness technology and leverage communications and insight across a variety of channels, can support and supplement the work of the field force. By adopting a balanced, multichannel approach with the sales force at the centre, companies can enjoy deeper engagement, build deeper relationships and communicate the depth of information that customers in the value-based economy require.

The jury is out on whether European field force numbers have finally plumbed the depths - but the signs are encouraging. “In a lot of markets, downsizing has bottomed out,” says Julian Tompkins, regional president, Ashfield Commercial and Medical Services. “Across Europe, lots of companies have cut quite deeply - in some cases up to 50% - but many are now in a phase where new opportunities are emerging and they're looking to reinvest in sales resources. The most progressive companies are resisting the temptation to revert back towards bloated headcount and are instead resourcing sales much more flexibly. In addition, companies are increasingly considering alternative channels and how they can supplement the activity of the field force and make it more efficient and more cost-effective. The trend towards adopting a multichannel approach is growing, but there remains a lot of experimentation across newer channels.” 

Pharma Guy's insight:

Wow! Pharma marketers are still trying to implement multichannel marketing? 

Back in 2012, Len Starnes, Former Global Head of Digital Sales and Marketing at Bayer, commented: “When I spoke to marketers,” said Starnes, “from a conceptual stand- point they said multichannel market- ing is easy to understand—using multiple channel to target, motivate and engage your audience. Every- one seemed to understand that. But the second thing I discovered was that it was extremely difficult in practice.” Read: Making Sense of Multichannel Marketing

Back in 2011, 69% of respondents to a survey Starnes ran on LinkedIn predicted that practically ALL pharma marketing would be multichannel marketing by 2016. Read: Multichannel Marketing: Easy to Brag About, but Difficult to Do

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