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  • Writer's pictureCiaran Farrelly


*This post has been edited for context. It was originally published on*

We’ve blogged about it before, we’ve wrote a book on it, but now we’ve shortened it down to 5 easy steps – how to create a pharmaceutical brand campaign.


Patient Centricity is a term that’s been a hot topic over the last few years within the pharmaceutical community. While there is much confusion over the term, the core message is simple: Do the best you can for the patient with the available resources. As well as curative and preventative medicines, this includes information, self help tools & support. When it comes to brand campaigns, it’s important to start with the patient. What does the patient need? What do I know about the way the patient will interact with our brand? This will help determine what tools and channels will be best equipped to effectively communicate our message. For example, if I know there is a high probability the patient will have difficulty reading, I should follow the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) guidelines to help make my materials accessible to the patient regardless of disability including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual disabilities.


We’ve spoken before about the huge return on investment creativity generates 3, and there is no exception in the pharmaceutical world. Creativity and innovation is no stranger to the world of medicine but it isn’t instantly associated with pharmaceutical marketing and communications. Whether this is investing in campaign characters or even spending time on creating a simple, effective leave piece or landing page, creativity captures the interest of both the target audiences’ and the creators.


The healthcare landscape is a complicated environment, with each company requiring both a global message, with a localised feel. This can lead to unwieldy processes. Sometimes less is more. In a market like Ireland, relationship building and trust can be more valuable than data mining and advanced personalisation. We aren’t comparable to the UK or US in many respects, and sometimes simplicity is the best solution.Assessing what channels and tools are available to your brand campaign can help proportion resource to where it’s most effective in THIS market. It may be the case that a creative direct mail campaign may be more effective. It is definitely a cost effective way to help build a multichannel strategy, which leads me to my next point.


Bear with me on this one. It could also be called continuity of brand, or consistency of message, but at it’s core all it means is that every time patients, HCPs and other stakeholders encounter your brand, it feels the same and communicates the same key messages. Global brands like Nike, Google and Apple are already trying to achieve this 4 and it’s arguably more achievable with a pharmaceutical brand. Ensure all your campaign elements are connected. Visually, all assets should have the same look and feel, whether it’s web sites, eDetailers, emails, online ads, leave pieces, prescriber guides or detail aids. Creating websites dedicated to disease learning and information you are providing a platform that can benefit HCPs and patients. This can be the focal point of your campaign, with all other assets encouraging return visits to the site.


Things are moving ever quicker in pharmaceutical marketing. Over the last number of years digital channels have opened up, and over the last 18 months video has been hugely on the rise. Education of patients and HCPs has become a core method of brand communication, digital and video as well as broadband accessibility will see this trend continue to grow. Owning an education environment is increasingly valuable, and remember you can do so on your own terms.*Gamefication through apps and social media is another avenue area that will become important, especially as niche disease areas begin to expect more resources and support to be accessible. The shining example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and as the trend toward patient empowerment develops, you can be sure to see more examples.For more details on how to plan a Pharmaceutical Brand Campaign read our complete guide ‘The Digital Treatment’


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