3 Steps to Adapting Your Digital Marketing as Telehealth Adoption Grows
Topic: 3 Steps to Adapting Your Digital Marketing as Telehealth Adoption Grows
Before COVID-19, carrying out digital marketing for pharmaceutical companies was fairly straightforward. You could reach providers across all devices when not using the more traditional tactics of in-person meetings, live panels, and events. Patients were a slightly different story, with pharmaceutical companies employing medical marketing strategies such as SEO and print ads or turning the focus toward online user experience and education resources. With either strategy, though, you could still get the message out.
All that changed in March 2020, when lockdowns modified the behaviors of providers and patients alike. No longer would the same creative capture people’s attention. Targeting in and of itself became a bit of a question mark, and many healthcare organizations’ messaging shifted toward safety and employee stories rather than specific treatment expertise.
Patient marketing posed an even bigger problem as the pandemic changed both consumer behavior and mindsets. A Harris Poll study found that only 9% of patients believe pharmaceutical companies put consumers before profits, and a late September Gallup poll found just 50% of consumers would be willing to get a COVID vaccine when available — down from 66% back in July. That’s quite a dip.
Some of this hesitation is likely the result of an aversion to entering medical facilities during the pandemic, choosing instead to use drive-thru or virtual options. While virtual may be the answer, it will require more innovative digital marketing strategies from pharmaceutical companies to ensure that patients opt in.
Although just under half (46%) of consumers currently use online care, more than three-quarters (76%) are interested. This growing interest in and adoption of telehealth offer an opportunity to rethink digital marketing strategies for pharmaceuticals going forward. Rather than providing in-office samples or educational materials, comparable offerings can be developed for virtual office settings. Now’s the time for pharmaceutical marketers to start experimenting with these options.
However, this won’t be an easy road. Although many telehealth platforms are open to the idea of collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, others have no interest in working with the sector. This is at least partly due to regulatory and legal restrictions often accompanying it. In the near future, it will be catch-as-catch-can with this potential medical marketing channel.
Topic Discussed: 3 Steps to Adapting Your Digital Marketing as Telehealth Adoption Grows
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