Change marketing – get a competitive edge

TanAx change marketing – your competitive edge

Background

TanAx change marketing.
TanAx change marketing

2020 & 2021 have been years of Change in the Pharmaceutical & Medical Device industry. While the upside for growth in this industry has been tremendous, the Change also meant a clear need to adapt. We will discuss a few market trends & what opportunities may arise from the challenging years of the global pandemic. Today we will speak about Loss of Exclusivity and how change marketing can help you.

Since 2013, there has been a rapid acceleration in the development of alternatives to existing pharmaceutical and medical device products. This especially concerns biosimilars in the US and Europe. These medical products have no clinically meaningful differences from already-approved brands. As a result, they are cheaper to develop and obtain approval for, and consequently, cost less to market. According to Statista forecasts, in a few years, only a handful of the top 20 pharma products will be without an alternative.

So what does that mean for your company? First and foremost, in the post-covid world, it means rapidly expanding your digital capabilities. Many companies in the industry have experimented with online tools. However, only a few pharmaceutical, medical companies have succeeded. One of the main reasons is that healthcare professionals are hard to catch via social media, and you need specific channels and strategies to make it work. Secondly, a lot of medical marketing has shifted from purely directed at the Healthcare Professionals to patient-centric.

This means that traditionally B2B marketing now suddenly requires a B2C approach. That shift implies a dramatic change in marketing content. From long, complex medical materials, to visual, simple, and short patient-oriented communication. In turn, to stay in tune with these major developments you need to pretty much revolutionize marketing efforts. You will need new skills, that your team may not possess, and experience you may not have.

TanAx change marketing

TRENDS

What does that mean for the industry? First and foremost, loss of exclusivity will result in increased competition in Pharma & Medical Device. Furthermore, as the competition becomes more & more fierce, a marketing strategy will make or break your business. We have seen the rise and fall of consumer and hi-tech mega-brands. Therefore, the lesson to be learned from that is the importance of a strong marketing strategy & precise implementation.

TanAx change marketing.

Particularly, in Pharma & Medical Device industry the situation is complicated by the pandemic. Since covid two major changes have happened. First, medical marketing has been heavily focused on medical professionals and education. Meaning a heavy focus on educational activities such as in-person training, seminars, conferences. As these are no longer possible, importance has rapidly shifted to webinars & visual educational tools (for example, 3D). Second, there has been a rapid shift towards patient engagement & digital services. Signifying an urgent need to undergo digital transformation in a matter of months.

DIGITALIZATION

TanAx change marketing

Let’s talk about digitalization first. How often do you run global online campaigns for healthcare professionals? How successful are those campaigns? Do they generate a good number of quality leads? In our experience, some countries are more successful than others with the traditional social media approach when it comes to campaigns for healthcare professionals. While the modern social media tools certainly allow for precise targeting, the challenge usually stems from the fact, that Healthcare Workers do not necessarily use traditional social media in a traditional way. Besides, different categories of medical professionals use social media tools differently. Let’s look at an example.

TanAx change marketing
TanAx change marketing

Let’s imagine a supplier of surgical disposables planning to run an educational campaign for surgeons in multiple countries. What social media network would you use for this project? In our experience, a company has tried using LinkedIn and failed. What they realized is that while LinkedIn is a serious professional social network, doctors do not use it to get educational information. Next, the company in question tried Facebook. With Facebook, they did have limited success, but only in a few countries. Why do you ask? The countries where the campaign has failed were: Russia, China & Thailand. Does that seem logical to you? Upon investigation, the results in Thailand and Russia were due to the language.

TanAx change marketing

Hence, the company has translated the ads into Russian and Thai and ran the campaign in two countries again. However, Russia still did not deliver a good result. Therefore, analyzing the campaign performance in Russia and in China, showed an additional issue. In fact, in both countries, Facebook is not a prevalent social media. Instead, Russia used VKontakte, while in China WeChat is the most popular social media channel. Hence, to be successful in these two countries, the company had to abandon Facebook altogether and run a campaign on local social media.

TanAx change marketing

However, in China, the campaign still did not perform up to the expectations of the company in question. The reason was that the targeting methods of WeChat are based on geography, and there is no mechanism that allows targeting a person by job title or company where the person works. Hence, making it impossible to run a WeChat campaign targeting surgeons in China.

TanAx change marketing

What finally led to a successful campaign in China was cooperating with a local medical association with 9000 members. Running a campaign in Chinese on their WeChat and utilizing their email database has finally achieved the goals set by the client.

TanAx change marketing

The moral of this example is that in the post-covid world you need to know all of this to be successful. However, only a few companies have the experience, resources, and skills needed to run digital campaigns successfully. As you have seen from the story above, gaining this experience and skills takes time and financial investment. The two things that you can’t afford right now. Hence, you are left with a choice to either hire marketing people skilled at digital lead generation for Medical or to work with an experienced marketing agency. The latter, being a more cost-effective option.

Patient-centric marketing

TanAx change marketing

Originally, medical marketing relies heavily on clinical data. This means, that the marketing materials are produced with a doctor in mind. Or, at the very least, for a highly educated and specialized audience. One can’t but see how the marketing materials created in this manner might not necessarily be suitable for patients. Firstly, materials targeting medical professionals would be long, detailed, and use complicated language. They are also likely to contain a lot of references & statistics. Patients are highly unlikely to read such extensive information. They are even less likely to understand the complicated language. The general public is also highly unlikely to appreciate the extensive statistical data normally featured in clinical studies.


Therefore, you will hardly find it surprising, that for patient-oriented materials, you need to make a change. To make medical information digestible for the general public you will need to break it down into simple short but impactful statements. This requires a significantly different copywriting style vs medical essay. Firstly, you need to be aware of how to construct a catchy headline. Skill is much more common in the press and media industry vs the medical community.

TanAx change marketing

Secondly, medical materials usually forgo images altogether or use rather shocking images. While graphs and photos of surgical complications might be very convincing for doctors, that is hardly going to be adequate Instagram content. Not to mention, it will likely never be approved as a paid Ad. This means, that instead of your common photo shoot in the Operating Room, you may need a set of culturally diverse images in everyday situations. Once again, your marketing team will need a totally different approach to visual materials.

TanAx change marketing
TanAx change marketing

Finally, the approach to video material is also entirely different. Common medical videos include testimonials from medical professionals (again using highly specialized language). In the case of patients, it is better to produce simple, short videos explaining the technology. One of the approaches that work great is using 3D visualization. It combines the power of visual materials, animation and has great potential as social media material. They can also serve as great demo materials for presentations to healthcare professionals as well.

TanAx change marketing

Overall, as you can understand based on the discussion above, transitioning to patient-centric marketing requires a new approach. This is bound to put significant strain on your marketing department. Hence, you need to either hire a marketing agency that is familiar with both medical as well as consumer marketing or upgrade your marketing department’s skills by hiring new staff or educating current team members. Hence, let us introduce to you the concept of change marketing.

CONCLUSION

TanAx change marketing

So what is change marketing you ask? Change marketing is when we bring our 15 years of medical marketing experience and 10 years of marketing agency expertise and apply them to revolutionize your marketing department. We have medical marketing strategies that work and new technologies to give you the best ROI.

TanAx change marketing

Developing digital marketing strategy & upgrading rapidly to new visual technologies like 3D, may make the difference between winning & losing in the marketplace. At TanAx change marketing agency we offer a whole range of medical marketing services combining modern technology (like educational medical 3D videos, web pages with embedded 3D models, etc) & 15 years of global expertise marketing Medical products to Healthcare professionals as well as Patients. Check out our Business Case presentation. It contains an example of a massive digital campaign & 3D educational video.

TanAx change marketing

For more details on this technology or other medical, healthcare & pharma marketing services please refer to our special medical Special Offer page. This is just a small example of what we can do for you! Check out the full change marketing service offering on the dedicated Services page.

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