Pharmaceutical Marketing – How to Get Ahead in the Pharma Industry

The pharma industry is saturated with many companies ranging from startups to small businesses and big companies. The only way to get your products in the hands of your target customers is to develop effective marketing strategies that make you stand out. 

Here is where having the appropriate pharmaceutical marketing strategy comes in. 

In the pharma industry, doctors have a huge influence on the type of prescription drugs patients use. This means that your marketing strategy should consider how doctors think when deciding which drug is the best for their patients’ conditions. For the non-prescription drugs, patients usually prefer the ones with a marketing message resonating with their conditions. They also trust drugs that fellow patients who had the same condition used before and ended up well.

In this article you are going to learn how to adapt your message for patients, doctors, and B2B partners and convince them that your drug will help treat their conditions. 

What is pharmaceutical marketing?

Pharmaceutical marketing refers to strategies that help pharmaceutical companies achieve their business goals by drawing physicians and patients to their brand. Even though drug affordability and disease prevalences continue to drive the growth rate of the pharmaceutical industry, government regulations slow it down. According to a study published by the Business Research Company, the pharmaceutical industry is growing at the rate of 5% which is behind only two other healthcare segments: medical services and equipment.  

Despite the tight regulations and policies of the governments in different countries, the demand for pharmaceutical drugs is only likely to rise. This is because the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable and in-demand industries in the world. So how exactly do you beat your competition to win the trust of patients and physicians? It is through understanding the consumer needs and finding the solutions to meet these needs.

Successful marketing in the healthcare industry depends greatly on trust and brand transparency. The best way to develop trust with your target clients is to show them how your product will help them solve their problem. By demonstrating the features of your product transparently including its efficacy and side effects, physicians begin to trust you and prescribe your product to their patients.     

pharmaceutical marketing

4 reasons a well-designed pharmaceutical marketing strategy matters

There are three types of target customers in the pharma industry: doctors, patients, and B2B partners. Most pharmaceutical companies aim at developing strong relationship with physicians because they have a huge influence over the type of drug patient will purchase. Through content marketing that is clear and well-researched about your product, physicians will be convinced to go with your brand. 

Here are further benefits an effective pharmaceutical marketing strategy delivers to your business:

#1 Increases sales 

Pharmaceutical marketing improves your sales because your marketing messages are tailored to meet the needs of your target customers. Doctors will only prescribe your product to their patients after learning about the studies that prove its efficacy in treating a specific disease. By coming out clearly on the features of your drug, including its proven benefits and side effects, the healthcare industry will trust you due to transparency. 

#2 Improves brand awareness

Dedicated pharmaceutical marketing enables your target customers to know about your existence and trust your brand. Brand authority in the pharma industry is developed by consistently releasing drugs with high level of efficacy and being transparent about any side effects of your product. If patients recover after using your product, then they will share more about your product with fellow doctors and that is how you brand begins to grow. On the patients’ side, if they recover from their illness using your drug, then they will instantly trust your brand over other competitors. 

#3 Strengthens relationships with customers

Strengthening of relationships in the pharma industry come about when your product improves the health of your patient. Even better, it involves being ready to provide more information about your product whenever the doctors and patients inquire about its features. You can do this by being active on the places where your customers and target customers hang out such as on social media. By being easily accessible, users of your drug will trust you even more.   

#4 Refines your product based on feedback

Feedback is valuable information about the experiences that customers have when interacting with your brand, services, and products. In the pharma industry, feedback helps you to improve the features of your drugs because you learn the more side effects that patients have after using your product.Feedback enables you to do deeper research about the efficacy of your product and refine it to be better medication.  

pharmaceutical marketing

6 effective pharmaceutical marketing methods

Successful marketing strategies in the pharma industry focus on physicians and patients. The marketing messages presented to physicians become clear with proven research about the efficacies and side effects of the drugs. 

Here are marketing methods you can implement to stand out in the pharma industry: 

#1 Creating buyer personas

Every successful pharmaceutical marketing strategy involves defining your target patients and physicians. This way you will improve your marketing ROI because the messages are tailored to meet the needs of a specific patient. A buyer persona is an ideal customer with a specific set of challenges that your product was created to solve. In the healthcare industry, having a deeper understanding about what your target doctors consider in a drug before prescribing it to their patients will help you craft irresistible messages that they will not ignore.

#2 Content marketing

Content marketing in the pharmaceutical industry enables you to showcase the features of your product to doctors and patients. While there are different forms of content marketing that you can use to present your product in front of doctors and patients, many countries have strict regulations on which types of content you can promote and where. This is because some pharma companies may portray a drug to be having features that may not be actually true. So when using content marketing, make sure you do so in a legal and transparent manner.

#3 Case studies

If there is any powerful way to win doctors and patients in the pharmaceutical industry, then it is case studies. A case study refers to the analysis of the results your customer received after using your product over a specific period. In the case of pharmaceuticals, It points to the challenges of the target patient before consuming your drug and the solutions your drug offered. It is like a detailed testimonial. 

The strength lies in the symptoms that your drug was able to treat. If your target patients’ condition aligns with these symptoms, then they will be triggered to try your medication in the hope that they get the same relief.  

#4 Email marketing and list building

Email marketing is one of the oldest marketing tricks in digital marketing and it is still effective if used in the right way. Emails remain the most personalized way to communicate to your target physicians and patients. It allows you to empathize with their conditions and show how your medication may relieve their symptoms. Using marketing automation, you can reach thousands of patients and doctors who are part of your email list in a personalized manner and develop deep relationships that transform into sales. 

On list building, you should implement lead generation strategies such as white papers, checklists, webinars, and ebooks. Patients and doctors who are interested in your resources download them in exchange for their emails. Once you capture their emails, you begin providing relevant information about how your drug can help them treat their conditions in the hope that they will purchase it.  

#5 SEO

SEO involves organizing your website content to rank high on searches in order to increase organic traffic. As a pharmaceutical company, utilizing SEO best practices helps you to  increase the number of target physicians and patients who visit your site through searches on the internet. Once they are on your website, you have a better chance of convincing them that your drug is the best medication for treating their conditions. These SEO best practices include building your content around specific keywords related to the diseases your drugs can treat, building backlinks, guest posting, and much more.   

How to adapt your pharmaceutical marketing to particular audiences

There are three distinct audiences in the pharma industry which include doctors, patients and health companies. By learning their needs and motives, your marketing approach will be tailored to increase the chances of selling them your drugs. Here are the ways to refine your marketing strategies to particular pharmaceutical audiences: 

Marketing to doctors

Marketing to doctors involves giving them thorough information about your product so that they can decide if it might work to heal their patients. Convincing doctors to offer your medication to their patients is therefore a good strategy that enhances your outreach. 

To gain the trust of doctors, you should provide evidence about the efficacies of your products including its features and side effects. No doctors would want to prescribe a medication that ends up harming their patients because they could end up in losing their licences. You can produce forms of content marketing such as case studies and in-depth research revealing the results of the phases of clinical trials of a drug. 

Marketing to patients

Most patients tend to trust their doctors’ prescription whenever they get sick. However, outbound marketing methods such as radio ads and TV ads can influence a patient to ask their doctor about a specific treatment. If your message resonates with the relief that patients seek from their conditions, then they will be triggered to use your medication.   

B2B pharmaceutical marketing

There are pharmaceutical products that aren’t directly for patients. These include items such as laboratory equipment, medical devices, and testing on other organisms like bacteria and animals. In these cases, you’ll most likely be searching for B2B partners to sell your pharmaceutical products to. In this regard, here again case studies are one of the best ways to convince other medical businesses that your products are highly-researched and valuable.  

Ready to utilize pharmaceutical marketing to grow your company? 

Now that you have learned the pharmaceutical marketing strategies you can apply to convince doctors, patients and B2B pharmaceutical companies to use your drug, what are you going to do next? 

I’m a digital marketing expert who can help you increase your sales and get ahead of your competitors in the pharma industry. Contact me to develop your pharmaceutical marketing strategy today!




Published by Adriana Stein

on June 30, 2020

Adriana Stein is an Online Marketing Consultant based in Hamburg, Germany. Originally from the US, she is a native English speaker and specializes in helping companies with their SEO & content marketing strategies, along with graphic design, brand copy and website development.

Connect with Adriana on LinkedIn

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