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Pharma marketing’s “new normal” will require these 3 elements

Physicians are concerned.  

As the anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in the US approached, the Sermo Real Time Barometer (fielded January 8-13) revealed that only 32% of physicians believe that the US and the world would return to “normal” following the vaccine rollout.  

What does this mean for marketing now and in the future? Everything. Just a few months ago, 67% of Sermo physicians said that pharmaceutical companies could improve communications with HCPs, indicating that we were already seeing a need to change how we market. They also felt that the companies were not doing enough to help physicians make prescribing decisions.  

Based on these insights, as we ease toward our collective “new normal,” marketing must be based on three key elements: research, tools, and communication.  

Decoding the “new normal” in pharma marketing 

First, while research has always been a driving force in marketing efforts, things change rapidly now, which means you can’t base your marketing plan on last year’s data. It will be imperative to conduct ongoing research and adjust plans accordingly.  

Second, providing tools and resources that physicians can leverage in making their prescribing decisions will vary greatly from brand to brand. At Sermo, we know firsthand that physicians want information at their fingertips and knowledge they can draw on in the moment.  

Third, and most important, communication. When nearly 70% of physicians surveyed say you need to improve your communication, do it! One key element to communication will be to meet the physicians where they are and talk to them when they want. In our HCP Sentiment survey (fielded July 31-August 6) nearly 30% of physicians said they would like “on-demand” access to pharmaceutical sales representatives.  

As we settle into post-pandemic marketing, the overarching message is to be nimble, and remove friction from the customer experience and patient. We are all changing the way we do things. We just need to work together.