Healthcare marketing must go mobile to stay current

In an age where texting has taken the place of casual phone calls and everyone is glued to their smartphones, it's crucial for marketers to fit messaging into the palms of readers' hands. Many of those in healthcare marketing are making the leap to adopting digital marketing strategies, as it's becoming increasingly common for both physicians and patients to absorb information electronically. 

"Pharmaceutical brands can't afford to be outdated."

Introducing mobile to an innovative industry
Pharmaceutical brands can't afford to be outdated. The health care industry is known for being innovative and constantly making cutting edge developments to treat and cure medical conditions. However, the irony lies in how these innovations are typically marketed to medical professionals and the patients they treat. Digital marketing has been around for years, and even late adopters are likely using some sort of electronic promotion to reach their audience. Yet, Tim Moore, Vice President of life sciences strategy for Capgemini Consulting, told the Medical Marketing & Media website that mobile marketing strategies only account for an estimated 10 percent of the media budget for pharmaceutical companies. For other global industries, the number is closer to 60 percent.

"Marketers who don't live and breathe mobile aren't current," Moore told the source. "Pharma needs to follow the path of other industries by merging digital and marketing to provide a seamless customer experience."

Relaying messages through email, social media and responsive websites are just some of the basic ways professionals can begin to adopt digital marketing strategies to reach their audience. However, despite these innovative approaches, the industry will likely always need in-person follow-up from medical sales reps.

"When will we see the end of the field-based rep? Never," Tommy Barlow, director of sales for CRM firm, told MM&M. "We will always need people in the field because there is no better way to reach that audience. But technology is adding substantiated data and a more intelligent approach to the experience."

In fact, not only will digital marketing not take the place of in-person visits, but it will actually enhance them. The technology gives marketers the ability to track the way messages are received. An email blast, for example, can give them insight into which subjects are of interest to their audience. From there, they can use automation software to send appropriate follow-up messaging to the recipients who are likely to be interested in that content. This insight can be shared with a medical sales rep, who can use it to tailor his or her in-person approach accordingly.

Many people get their information from videos online.Many people get their information from online videos.

Using video to target audiences
For consumers with an ever-declining attention span and limited time to devote to digesting dense material, videos can be a quick, effective method of engagement. After all, there's a reason why the Vine app has become so popular and why you continuously see more and more videos on your Facebook News Feed. A short commercial or customer testimonial, when done correctly, can deeply influence a customer and effectively provide him or her with messaging on your product in a way that dense material can't.

Modern Healthcare recommended using simple, short stories and adopting a "less is more" strategy when creating a video for your audience. Sometimes, a blank screen with a short message can help break up a longer promotional video. Be sure to seek help from a digital agency that specializes in video production for those in the healthcare space. High quality videos can increase your brand's credibility and help gain the trust of both a physician and a patient who could benefit from your products.