Pharma marketing is difficult. It is a tangled mix of regulations, and a lack of direct access to consumers and healthcare practitioners (HCP). There are several strategies marketers can deploy to generate results. In Nabler’s experience, there are three things that the marketers in pharma must optimize:
#1 Pharma Marketing Content Optimization
Patients and practitioners do considerable research when looking for information to protect themselves and their family. Marketers cater to this by serving engaging and educational content in a non-invasive way to generate inbound leads.
Pharma marketers need to think long-term and use content to not only generate inbound leads but also nurture existing customers to drive repeat purchase and brand advocacy. It makes sense to consider the complete customer journey and evaluate the type of content needed at each stage.
Challenges for Pharma Marketing in Content Optimization
- Pharma marketers must consider two clients: patients and practitioners. Content creation and delivery that drives value for these two groups are very different. However, this strategy must be mapped to an overall customer journey to close gaps. The content needs of both groups must be served through the journey.
- Content performance measurement is limited to views and engagement. While these are good leading indicators, it is difficult to judge the true impact on business outcomes. By mapping content to customer journey, success measure becomes quite clear: The percentage of customers who move down the funnel.
- Pharma marketers often find it difficult to setup a valid testing plan for the content. The reason being is that, given the nature of the business, audience size is usually limited. This makes traditional testing methods, which rely on big sample size, take much longer to provide results. This makes it difficult to optimize content during campaign runtime.
How Can Nabler Help?
Nabler has designed customer journey plans for our pharma clients. The plans not only focus on defining stages of the funnel but also setup a KPI measurement and testing framework. We analyze historic data to provide content recommendations for each stage of the customer journey.
#2 Pharma Marketing Targeting Optimization
Pharma marketing is governed by strict regulations and with the advent of a cookie-less ecosystem, it is even more crucial to balance privacy and fine targeting.
Pharma marketers first need to create consumer segments and then evaluate the channels and platforms that allow them to activate those segments.
Segments should be created based on:
- First-party Data: This is usually a mix of data from owned digital assets (website, apps, and organic channels) and Customer Relationship Management, or CRM. This data allows marketers to work faster without the reliance on external data sources.
- Geo and demographics data: This can help pharma marketers focus localized attention on the relevance in their messaging and choice of channels. Marketers should merge this with first-party data to identify geos of growth, risk, and saturation.
- Contextual and behavioral targeting: Segments can be enriched by bringing in metadata of publishers and audiences from ad platforms together with historic campaign performance data.
Challenges for Pharma Marketers in Building and Activating Segments
- The knowledge base need to build and define segments is not readily available and must be created. Machine Learning models that develop segments should be updated frequently to respond to shifts in market trends.
- To get the most out of a segment, a pharma marketer needs an omnichannel approach towards activation. This means that the integration of segment definitions with ad platforms is vital to choosing segments.
- To help pharma marketers prioritize segments and execute those with highest impact on business outcomes, segments should be ranked based on expected value and cost.
How Nabler Helps Pharma Marketers
Nabler creates actionable segments with multiple data sources including website, campaign response, and geo and demo data. We integrate segments with Data Management Platforms and the targeting platforms your choice.
#3 Pharma Marketing Media Spend Optimization
Pharma marketers use multiple tactics to reach their consumers, which includes a mix of general and specific partners. For example, paid search to direct patients to a website, and pharma networking site to reach HCPs.
A data-driven approach requires understanding the performance of all components in the media spend including:
- Partners – Where?
- Segments – Who?
- Content type – What?
- Spend magnitude and intensity – How much?
Measurement helps to understand which historic performance and optimization is needed for future planning. In-flight campaign optimization continuously improves the effectiveness of marketing dollars.
Challenges That Pharma Marketers Face in Measurement and Optimization
- Data and process silos are common in pharma marketing. Execution and reporting on campaign performance happen across different media agencies, internal teams, and analytics partners. Data unification poses a severe challenge during inflight and post-campaign analysis. To solve this issue, break the process in three parts: central planning, siloed executions, and central measurement.
- An objective testing strategy is often missing, and hearsay evidence of successes ends up driving optimization plans. Most partners and platforms report on their own performance, which is like grading your own test. Marketers need to take a critical, audit-based approach to validate the claims. Channels and tactics need to be nurtured and improved over time, but this can only be done if marketers know their current effectiveness.
- Conversions for pharma marketers are typically a measurement of prescriptions, patients, and HCPs reached. However, this data is usually delayed and is often an approximation of panel surveys by third-party data providers. Another complexity is the fact that pharma marketing effects are severely lagged, which makes it difficult to link media spends to conversions. One way to deal with this issue is to use leading indicators for conversions, i.e., metrics that are correlated with conversions without latency. These indicators can provide directional insights until panel data arrives.
How Can Nabler Help?
Nabler has built and deployed optimization solutions for multiple pharma customers. We increase Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) by 15% on an average. Nabler designs custom solutions that blends business knowledge from our customers, domain experience in digital marketing, AI, and engineering skillsets.
Nabler conducts five-day discovery workshops for pharma clients. These workshops focus on:
- Understanding the business context and pain points
- Identifying key opportunities and considerations
- Presenting a solution design and overall road map based on Crawl, Walk, and Run