Customer Experience and Design

How One Pharma Is Leveraging Social Communities



In the good ol’ days, walking in the clinic door and asking for a few minutes of a physician’s time was the main method used by sales reps to position a drug in the doctor’s mind. Physician outreach was, and still is, one of the most effective ways to penetrate the market with a new product.

But with time being a significant obstacle more than ever before, how you get a physician’s attention has changed. It could still be in person (that’s, if you can get your foot in the door, of course) or through a different channel, such as e-mail or educational websites. 

With the development and adoption of new digital technologies, such as mobile devices and social communities like Facebook and Twitter, life sciences companies continue to change the way they market their products. Today, patients themselves can play a significant role in market saturation. Positioning a product in a patient’s mind and having them ask their doctor about it can be quite effective.

With patient outreach, you can cultivate a much larger audience that can ultimately become your company’s sales force. Remember Kim Kardashian’s Instagram post for Diclegis? That (relatively targeted) marketing effort was designed to reach a large audience of women who could potentially be a good fit for the product and inquire about it with their doctor.

The development of multichannel marketing (with a strong focus on digital) programs continues to increase. Case in point: I recently read how Imprimis Pharmaceuticals is leveraging a different approach to marketing its new urology business: To help generate interest in its new product that helps treat interstitial cystitis (IC), Imprimis has created an educational website (for both patients and healthcare providers) and several social communities on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. On all channels, the company engages members to discuss their situation and share stories and ideas on how to best deal with their case of IC. Imprimis also attends its fair share of in-person events.

You would think that most companies leverage various marketing channels to promote their products and provide support to their patients, but that’s not necessarily the case. We’ll definitely see more of it as companies realize the benefits of those channels.

About the Author

Sr. Marketing Manager, Industries, Perficient

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