How can pharma companies appeal to consumers?

Health care advertising can be difficult to accomplish. There needs to be a fine balance between describing an illness and its subsequent treatments without making consumers with the condition feel alienated. Pharmaceutical marketing also needs to be able to provide the necessary information without overwhelming or boring readers and viewers. To accomplish these goals, companies should tell stories instead of solely seeking to inform consumers.

Traditional advertising doesn't appeal to patients
It can seem simple to convey information to patients. As long as pharma companies create ads for print, the Internet and television, they've covered their bases. However, that's not necessarily the best strategy for direct-to-consumer advertising. Too many facts in one sitting can flood patients' minds, and, instead of leaving them with helpful information, these announcements may leave them confused and overrun with questions. If people cannot relate to pharma ads, then consumers may change the channel or flip the page instead of sitting through it.

To improve patient education and retention, companies need to insert consumers into the ads, which can only be done through good storytelling. Businesses must create advertisements that catch people's attention and give them a portrayal of a life that mirrors their own, PharmaVOICE explained. While the facts are important, consumers make decisions based on their emotional connection to brands and products. If they don't relate to pharma companies' ads, they aren't going to consult their physicians or purchase the treatments.

Traditional ads can bore people, so give them something to relate to through storytelling.Traditional ads can bore people, so give them something to relate to through storytelling.

The art of storytelling
Unfortunately, people don't seek out medical treatments because they want to. They do it to get better or to manage their conditions. As long as a medication will work, patients will take them. Because of this, one product won't seem any better than another in their eyes. This makes advertising to them trickier than it would be for other items that consumers actually desire.

This is where storytelling comes in. The pharma company that can humanize the condition and cause people to see themselves in the ad will receive patients' business, PM360 claimed. Marketers can do this by following the "Three Ps" - personalization, personification and projection. It doesn't matter whether the ad is for 10 or thousands of people, the audience must always feel like they are the sole receiver. This personalization leaves consumers feeling as if the message was created just for them. Personification gets people to relate to the ad. Through the story being illustrated via print, video or images, patients can see themselves in the main character. Projection is where the actual selling and call to actions take place. By this point in the campaign, pharma companies have already gotten people's attention. Now, they can show patients how their lives will improve by taking a certain medication or using a specific device.

Patient knowledge increases through storytelling
Advertisements, whether they're for breakthrough pharmaceuticals or the new flavor of potato chip, may not receive the attention they require. Consumers don't flip through magazines, watch TV or surf the Web for them. Unless these announcements are for products they immediately need, people aren't going to search them out. Traditional ads aren't going to catch many patients' eyes nor will they provide information in a way they'll understand. Storytelling, on the other hand, can.

"Storytelling allows consumers to feel as if they are part of a community."

These types of ads communicate the facts in a way that is easy to comprehend, PharmaVoice explained. They help patients sort through all the information for the details that apply to them as individuals. When people see videos, graphics and words they can relate to, they may seek out more information about the product these ads are about. Storytelling allows consumers to feel as if they are part of a community as opposed to experiencing the condition alone, and shows that they can manage their health with the right support and treatment.

Pharma marketing can be beneficial when it is done in the right way. Storytelling allows people to understand their condition and relate to others like them. When pharma companies use this technique, they'll be able to connect with their audiences on a higher level.