The skills and capabilities necessary for marketers to succeed in the pharma vertical are changing more rapidly than almost any other sector. And, with 9 out of the top 10 pharma companies now spending more on marketing than R&D, this rapid shift in pharmaceutical marketing best practices should be of major concern to everyone involved.

Valuing the Customer Experience

A recent survey by Econsultancy found that the single biggest opportunity for pharmaceutical marketing operations lies in improving the customer experience, with 21% of all respondents citing customer experience as their top marketing priority.

Why is this?

First, with Millennials now entering their mid-thirties, there is a generational shift in what is driving purchase consideration. Put simply, younger generations are more likely to be influenced by pharmaceutical advertising (digital, TV, and print). While only 26% of Baby Boomers say they are motivated by pharma advertising, that number grows to 36% of Gen Xers, and then grows again to 51% of Millennials (source: Pulse Online).

Further, a STAT-Harvard study from 2015 found that 21% of consumers were motivated to ask their doctor about a drug they learned about through a television ad.

The importance of direct-to-consumer marketing is made all the more important by the eroding relationships between physicians and pharma brands. Today, the overwhelming majority of physicians — 75% — say they don’t trust information from the pharma industry.

With physician advocacy becoming more costly and elusive, and direct-to-consumer advertising growing in effectiveness, the obvious conclusion is that pharma brands should re-evaluate how they are allocating marketing spend.