How can pharma companies improve their marketing strategies?

Health care is all encompassing. It does not discriminate based on gender, nationality, age or ethnicity, which means pharmaceutical marketing shouldn't either. To fully reach their targeted patients, pharma companies need to appeal to the wider audience that has the conditions and not just a select group of people. Advertising campaigns should follow consumers through all phases of their medical health instead of focusing on promoting companies' brands.

"63% of women lack trustworthy information to make health care decisions for themselves and their families."

Brand-heavy ads create lack of trust
Diseases do not pick and choose who they affect. Men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds can develop nearly any condition and they are going to need the best treatment possible to help them through their illnesses. However, the highest quality medication does not necessarily mean the most popular brand. This is where some pharma companies go wrong, according to PM360. By promoting treatments for health conditions strictly through emphasizing their brand, businesses may actually lose consumers. Patients do not care about the company manufacturing the product. They only focus on how that medication will help them manage their diseases so they can live their lives normally.

This may be why some people - particularly women - struggle to make decisions that impact their health. According to a study from researchers at the Center for Talent Innovation, 63 percent of women in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Brazil don't have the confidence they need to make health care decisions because of their lack of factual information from reliable sources. They have lost faith in the health care industry. Nearly 83 percent do not trust pharmaceutical companies and 35 percent do not even trust their own doctors. As the primary caregivers in families, women make many of the decisions concerning the emotional and physical well-being of themselves and their relatives. Without their support, pharma companies may have a difficult time selling their products.

"At a time when the industry is suffering from only 50 percent prescription adherence rates among patients and the general population is getting less healthy, we find female chief medical officers can be health care companies' best allies to achieve better health outcomes for themselves and others," Carolyn Buck Luce, executive in residence at Center for Talent Innovation and one of the study's authors, said in a press release.

Knowledge is crucial to treatments' success
To promote their products to the public, pharma companies need to commit to patient education. If information is not presented in a way that people will relate, their message will be futile. They should use all forms of media at their disposal to ensure people understand how their treatment - or one similar to it - can help them. Pharmaceutical companies need to use multi-channel marketing to reach a plethora of people in a variety of ways, PM360 explained. The non-linear approach allows people to seek out the information they need in the format they want instead of commercials promoting specific brands to them.

Branding shouldn't just be a logo on an ad. It should tell a story consumers can relate to.Branding shouldn't just be a logo on an ad. It should tell a story consumers can relate to.

Advertising needs to be both informative and relevant to the viewer or reader. They are not going to understand or even pay attention to the message if it does not pertain to them. Instead, pharma companies should use key points that will appeal to people in all parts of their journey with their conditions, PM360 recommended. Health care marketing should be an interactive and immersive experience, not just information put together in a way similiar to a commercial. They need to build a relationship between the business and the consumer in order for a person to trust the company's recommendations.

Pharma companies should tell a story through their marketing strategies that will appeal to people with the condition. They could follow someone through diagnosis to how the person manages their disease on a daily basis. It could show the benefits and the downfalls, but most importantly, it will show patients that they are not alone in living with the illness. However, companies only have a short time in which to get the message across, so they need to target audiences accordingly.

By creating advertisements that different groups on consumers can relate to, pharma companies can help increase health literacy and improve the relationship between the industry and patients.

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