Connecting in the Digital Age

welocalize April 15, 2019
How Pharmaceutical Companies Can Use Marketing Outreach to Better Engage with Global Consumers

Most companies are stepping into the digital age when it comes to their marketing techniques and strategies, and pharmaceutical companies should be no different. For these companies to continue to survive and thrive, new marketing tools should be considered and deployed so they can connect with those truly using their products: the patients, customers, and clinicians.

Direct Connections Between Consumers and Companies

First and foremost, pharmaceutical companies must be prepared to connect with their consumers directly. Today’s digital-savvy and connected consumers like to directly interact with the companies they patronize, which shifts the nature of their relationship from company–doctor–patient to company–consumer, according to a recent article published in Social Beat.

Connecting in the Digital Age

What is the most successful way pharmaceutical companies connect with their consumers? Through digital marketing. People want to be significantly more informed about their medications and obtain that information themselves straight from pharmaceutical companies. Some of the best ways to offer this to individuals are through digital marketing strategies like:

• Content writing with SEO strategies
• Social media
• Interactive websites
• Online message boards and communities
• Chatbots

All of these strategies, used daily by many other types of companies, can be translated easily to the pharmaceutical sphere. In this instance, patients become more directly connected with companies, increased accountability is ensured, and the process of purchasing medications becomes similar to other company-to-consumer processes.

Winning in Emerging Markets

Most pharmaceutical companies have spent the last few decades laser-focused on staying relevant in mature markets like those of the United States, Japan, Europe, and Canada. However, emerging markets such as Mexico, Brazil, and India are important to the future of these companies as well. Winning in emerging markets will be a vastly important part of marketing outreach for pharmaceutical companies going into the 2020s.

Yet, penetrating and succeeding in emerging markets is often difficult. As indicated in a recent article in PharmExec, many factors account for this difficulty, including government protectionism of local drugmakers (particularly generics), cultural or linguistic differences, and a lack of IP Protection. For example, each country has its own cultural nuances and dialects and may respond differently to marketing messages and images. The people of Peru predominantly speak three different languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. In Colombia, there are about 65 indigenous languages and nearly 300 dialects.

In spite of these obstacles, the opportunity for success is there. Strategy& conducted a survey of 12 of the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies, which revealed that more than half of respondents expected more than 30 percent of their global sales to originate in emerging markets in 2018.

To reach new consumers in these markets, global brands are using on-screen text (OST) in the localization of their multimedia content to drive advertising campaigns and training programs in multiple languages. Global advertisements of drugs, for example, often include images of the product, taglines, and sample text content to highlight certain features. Use of OST can also reduce any ambiguity and display legal or disclaimer content to meet local advertising standards.

The winners in emerging markets, according to Strategy&, will be companies that strategically balance their global competences with tailored approaches for local markets.

However, to roll out advertising campaigns at a local level, content can be culturally adapted using OST localization techniques to recreate original effects and animations. Furthermore, OST localization can sometimes be more cost-effective and quicker than voice-over work.

Find out how to implement a step-by-step adaptation process for pharmaceutical marketing campaigns using OST for local markets in this Pharma Marketing article by Welocalize Life Sciences.