My colleague Boris spoke recently in these pages about the importance of seeing your marketing efforts as an interwoven tapestry—(http://www.pm360online.com/weave-patient-centricity-into-your-brand-tapestry)—creating a strong, complex customer experience for individuals, rather than trying to repeat a one-size-fits all idea as many times as possible. It’s a metaphor we find incredibly important for our industry. We see it in effect for marketers in all industries. They optimize the efficiency and the impact of their efforts, using data to help them find precisely the right message to send to consumers at any given specific moment in the consumer’s life.
As Boris put it, “Weaving our brand’s tapestry and encouraging patients and physicians to interact with it is more challenging than coming up with one ‘big idea.’ A single human, after all, is far more complex than any tagline or bit of brilliant creative imagery—but the payoff on this is well worth it: One individual at a time.” How, though, do we get that payoff? How do we, to continue the metaphor, become good weavers and create this brand tapestry?
Four steps toward creating your own brand tapestries include:
Focus on customer-centric, “beyond the pill” services. Patients want help, and healthcare providers (HCPs) want to offer it. Consumers need services and support. HCPs need assistance fitting more patient care into overscheduled days. As marketers, we must take the time to understand our audiences well enough to know what tools will meet these needs for them.
Use more data. All of us. About everything. This is how we’ll achieve the previous step. More data is available to us all than ever before, and the more we can offer, the more valuable we are. Managed care wants to measure the connection between care, prescriptions and outcomes. HCPs want to get information on patients, and on the available treatments and tools and coverage they can offer. Patients want data that can be collected passively to give them a better understanding of their health. Make it a customized experience, and you’ll make it count.
Pay attention to industry trends and “weave in that pattern.” Just as a single one-size-fits-all idea no longer fits the bill, lone blockbusters don’t make the industry tick anymore. For instance, specialty drugs—their approvals, prices and usage—are skyrocketing. With that becoming almost a quarter of pharmacy spend (http://bit.ly/18d3oA4), do you fully understand the impact that trends like that will have on the industry as a whole and on your brands in particular?
Remember the end goal: Good health. At the end of the day, it isn’t really about the products, services or the databases, is it? It’s about whether a father is healthy enough to crawl around on the floor with his toddlers; whether a woman can run with her friends; whether an elderly couple can see another New Year together with their family. A customized experience is what we can offer patients and professionals to reach those goals. In the end, while all of our tapestries may look different, they’re all on the same theme.