Why pharmaceutical marketers need to get inside physicians' heads

When any marketer tries to come up with a solid campaign, they think of their audience. However, a great marketer knows that it goes beyond that - they need to think, see and act like their audience. Understanding an audience's desires and needs will help any company boost sales and generate revenue.

Yet when it comes to pharmaceutical marketers and their respective audience of physicians, there seems to be a gap. The number of pharmaceutical sales representatives accessing doctors is on the decline, mainly because physicians don't trust pharmaceutical companies. Why? Because they believe they doesn't understand the end goal: healthy patients.

"One third of pharmaceutical revenue goes into product marketing."

A good physician is constantly concerned about his or her set of patients, and works to monitor their health at all times. This concept of constant care, which is being adopted by more and more physicians, is helping patients recover quicker and stay healthier long term. If pharmaceutical companies understand this, they may have a better chance at marketing to physicians. According to the Guardian, however, one third of pharmaceutical revenue goes into product marketing. 

A recent study published by AffinityMonitor investigated the current marketing tactics of pharmaceutical companies. The findings revealed that while sales reps are fewer and further between these days, pharma companies are using other marketing maneuvers, such as digital messaging, to access physicians. Despite this creativity, their efforts still aren't effective, as this can be content overload for doctors.

Instead, marketers need to take a physicians' perspective and understand one main question: What do physicians care about most?

Of course they care about their patients first and foremost. But there's more to the equation than just that - marketers must also consider how doctors like their content delivered. Would they prefer a face-to-face conversation or to receive information through digital media? Pharmaceutical companies also need to think about how frequently they are sending physicians this information, and what kind of information they want most. Is it peer-recommended or self-serve content?

Not every physician will want the same thing just like not every patient has the same condition. Understanding individual physician needs will help pharmaceutical companies better access doctors and in turn, sell more product.