Publisher’s Message: Staying Relevant and Contemporary

What happens when old approaches to pharma marketing are not getting the desired outcomes? Some companies take a hard look around, get the lay of the land, and formulate new approaches. In our cover story, The Future of DTC/DTP Marketing is in Patients’ Hands, (pg. 30) Ken Freirich, president of Health Monitor Network, states that the old school “Bigger is Better” approach of DTC marketing is falling away, while the more focused DTP model—one that puts the patient outcome, not the product at the center—is winning fans.

“Targeting the right individual at the right time with the right message is the goal of most marketers,” agrees Paul Stevenson of Novo Nordisk, Inc. “The appropriate message, including a motivational call to action at point of care, can trigger patients to engage physicians in dialogue about a given disease state and hopefully specific products and benefits.”

For DTP marketers, creating information that is powerful enough to spark a doctor/patient dialogue is all important. “…This is where disease-state information is communicated, options are discussed and treatment plans are put in place,” says Freirich. This is also a place, he adds, to offer valuable “actionable” patient education tools for doctors to use with patients. When effective, patient education materials will break down the emotional and behavioral barriers that too often short-circuit treatment plans.

And new approaches are being applied all across the pharma marketing industry—with this type of engagement in mind. In this month’s Think Tank on Innovative Branding Strategies, (pg. 42) one pharma professional talks about relationship marketing and the connection that needs to happen to get that started. Another talks about gamification to build customer engagement, while another speaks of the possible applications of neuroscience in marketing. It’s a brave new world, and one in which pharma marketers, to keep up, need to stay relevant and contemporary.

Also new this month, PM360 extends a warm welcome to our latest editorial board member, Doug Gabbard. Doug is the Marketing Channel Manager – Savings Card and eSampling Programs at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

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