People working in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries are never allowed to take a break, even during a pandemic. Medications, vaccinations, and new technologies to help relieve all kinds of illnesses, disorders, and diseases continue to be discovered, developed, produced, tested, marketed, and communicated about. Existing offerings have to be promoted to new consumers. Healthcare doesn’t take a holiday.
The world may be hunkered down against the pandemic, but pharma and med-tech businesses still have to market to — and communicate with — medical professionals and patients.
Like most things these days, the healthcare industry has been forced to evolve over the last year. It has moved into the digital realm in ways no one could have imagined at the beginning of 2020.
- Telemedicine and virtual doctor appointments have become everyday things. And it looks like patients won’t be willing to return to the doctor’s office or clinic if they don’t have to, even when COVID-19 is no longer a threat.
- In-person conversations between doctors and salespeople — once the norm — have all but disappeared. And it seems unlikely that they’ll ever come back.
In our current reality, and for the foreseeable future, communications have gone almost entirely virtual. This has forced pharma and med-tech marketers and sales teams to quickly regroup, reevaluate, and refocus their energies on multichannel digital campaigns.
Unable to visit medical practices, clinics and hospitals, reps are now launching new offerings and promoting existing ones virtually, leveraging novel tactics, including text messaging.
Texting isn’t new to pharma and med tech. But use is really taking off.
It may seem incongruous that a simplistic medium like text messaging is being used to market and communicate about complex drug and technology offerings.
However, marketers and communicators have proven that SMS opportunities are only limited by creativity, imagination, business needs, and legal and compliance constraints.
- Some companies are airing direct-to-consumer ads that offer attractive discounts to people who text them. It’s proven to be an awesome way for firms to make new connections with consumers.
- Others are leveraging it to send out refill and maintenance notices, which helps ensure they don’t lose customers.
- Some are texting patients with recommendations for related product offerings, which can help grow their current relationships.
When it comes to interacting with medical professionals, sometimes a thoughtful text message sent at the right time is the only way for reps to stay top-of-mind during these hectic times in the healthcare industry.
It’s critical to reach doctors how they want, when they want.
Detailing, the practice of promoting drugs and medical devices to doctors one-on-one at conferences, meetings, and events, has been THE way of doing business for decades. These multi-billion dollar initiatives came to a crashing halt over the past year.
Still, that hasn’t stopped pharma and med-tech companies and their reps from reaching out to medical professionals and connecting with them during the pandemic. Some of the most effective ways they’re doing this include:
- Getting mentioned in unbiased medical journal articles.
- Having data about products referenced in studies.
- Sending timely and helpful emails about current healthcare issues and opportunities.
- Having product information readily accessible online so medical professionals can find it when they need it.
- Providing doctors with only the information they want and not overloading busy medical professionals with things that they haven’t asked for.
- Segmenting lists so promotional messages only go to the people they apply to. For example, pediatric drugs are only promoted to pediatricians and family doctors, not geriatricians.
- Optimizing web performance so people don’t have to wait when they click on a link. Busy medical professionals will give up if they can’t access a page on your site quickly.
- Leveraging meeting reminders to help ensure that doctors attend virtual meetings or cancel them if something else comes up. This can go a long way toward improving the efficiency of sales reps.
- Following up on interactions immediately. If you don’t get busy medical practitioners what they need right away, you’re likely to lose them and your chance to do business with them.
- Using text messages to alert doctors that you sent them an email or left a voicemail message for them. It will help prevent those communications from getting lost on a busy day.
- Providing live chat functionality on websites so medical professionals can get answers to their questions right away.
- Taking a multimedia approach to launching new products. If you don’t reach medical professionals through one channel, you might in another. Plus, repeated exposure makes it more likely they’ll take action.
Our clients have found using these tactics to be a prescription for success now and it will likely continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.
They’ve also found that leveraging Mobile Locker’s platform during these changing times makes it faster and easier for them to develop communications and campaigns and to monitor their effectiveness. It could give your organization the edge it needs to keep up with the latest marketing and communication trends and achieve success now and in the years ahead. Contact a friendly and helpful Mobile Locker representative to find out how we can help you.