Technological innovations and changes in consumer behavior over the past 10 years have reduced friction, saved time, and opened new options for consumers and patients seeking routine prescriptions and refills via telehealth. Let’s face it, most consumers seek convenience wherever they can find it. For routine healthcare, that often means skipping the doctor’s office if the individual can be qualified by an HCP via virtual care and then seamlessly receive the prescription (when medically appropriate) either mailed to their home or picked up at their local pharmacy.
Brands that are winning with today’s consumers are upping their game by optimizing the consumer experience and creating digital channels that integrate with all their omnichannel media assets and enable true, measurable performance marketing. Pharma marketers recognize the efficiency and productivity of an integrated customer experience that extends beyond just having a telehealth link on their websites.
Brand websites or other advertising media assets that are integrated with patient self-assessment and qualification platforms serve this purpose very well if done properly. However, optimization falters and abandonment increases when important and necessary features within the digital path are skipped or simply implemented incorrectly by the brand or its digital path partner.
For example, medical history intake surveys must be crisp and intuitive, with the sequence of questions organized in collaboration with the brand’s clinical team. Also, for consumers who become pre-qualified for therapy, the ensuing telehealth consultation should take place in real time—without the need for scheduling. Lastly, integrating SMS messaging into the experience will enhance consumer satisfaction and adherence.
To maximize the conversion potential of direct-to-consumer advertising, the focus must be on consumer behavior. Pharma marketing campaigns have traditionally been brand awareness oriented, with limited direct conversion potential. Campaigns are often designed to reach a mass audience and typically end with the tagline: “Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you.” Consumers are left to navigate the healthcare system on their own to learn more about the therapy elsewhere. This abandons consumers at what is likely their moment of peak interest. The “convenience factor” is nowhere to be found.
To support the conversion of interested consumers into qualified patients and supercharge convenience, an elegant, frictionless digital path can produce superior results. It goes without saying, but in online consumer environments, any form of friction will increase abandonment and diminish a program’s effectiveness. Consumers want to engage with brands that offer an attractive value proposition and/or solve a specific problem. By integrating pharma brand media assets with a smart, well-designed engagement path triggered by a compelling call to action, interested consumers can easily follow the path of self-assessment combined with potential qualification by an HCP via telehealth for a particular therapy. Bringing the HCP directly to the patient in real time in one seamless digital journey is key to optimizing the consumer experience.