In 1998, a couple of tech guys launched an idea that rocked the world. That was the year a little company called Google was incorporated and marketing as we knew it changed forever.
With the advent of Google and customer relationship management software companies like Oracle and PeopleSoft, marketers discovered the tools they needed to target, segment, and automate their marketing efforts online using data and interests.
Today, digital marketing has become a key component of the marketing mix. It’s one of the essential tools you need to accomplish the 4P’s of marketing: putting the right Product in the right Place at the right Price, and at the right time (Promotion). The marketing mix traditionally includes a variety of channels such as radio, television, billboards, and print ads. With digital marketing, you can expand your reach beyond traditional interruptive strategies to create an automated, integrated pharma multi-channel marketing mix that meets your target buyers where they are.
How Digital Marketing Became Part of the Pharma Multi-Channel Marketing Mix
Before 1990, no one had ever heard the term “digital marketing.” But by the year 2000, in just ten short years, the marketing world saw the development of search engines, clickable ad banners, e-commerce, social media, online customer relationship management software, and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Then in 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone, and the relationship between buyers and sellers experienced a complete metamorphosis. Smartphones took the world by storm, and buyers could access digital content anywhere, anytime. Social media giant Facebook had launched just a few years earlier in 2004, but now social media became a staple for most consumers.
The line between professional and personal interactions began to blur as more people shared content, reviews, and opinions about products and brands on their social media accounts.
Today, 71% of B2B researchers (the people you want to reach) start their research with a generic Google search. When B2B companies blog two or three times per week, they get four times as many leads as when they blog just once per week. Yet, 68% of marketers have no documented content marketing strategy.
And that’s why your pharmaceutical company needs digital marketing in your pharma multi-channel marketing mix.
How Modern Online Marketing Works And What That Means For Your Pharmaceutical Business
In 2017, people rely heavily on digital content when they make purchase decisions, and that’s why digital marketing strategies like inbound marketing have become a crucial part of your marketing mix. Ads no longer deliver the same impact they once did. Instead, buyers are looking for companies they trust, values they support, and content that meets a need or answers a question.
Let’s take a look at how a buyer might follow the path from first encounter with your brand to making a purchase:
- Encounter a piece of content (blog post, white paper, ebook) on social media or in an online search
- Read or download the content
- Research medications or treatment options by searching online, talking to friends, reaching out to others in their network, and checking out each company’s website and Facebook page
- Read reviews and independent research about specific medications
- Make the purchase
Of course, this is just one path a buyer might take, but it drives home the point: digital marketing plays a huge role in the buyer’s journey. It identifies the kinds of people (personas) who need the products you offer and creates marketing content targeted to their needs, interests, and stage of the buyer’s journey. It also uses a wide variety of tools including SEO, social media, and ads to accomplish the 4 P’s—promoting the right product in the right place at the right price and targeting the right people with your message.
Does that mean you should invest all your marketing resources in digital marketing? Not necessarily. It’s still wise to diversify your pharma multi-channel marketing mix by including offline channels like print ads, radio, and television. But digital marketing should take a leading role in your strategy as you design marketing solutions for the modern pharma industry.
Need more ideas for creating your digital marketing mix? Our healthcare marketing consultants are standing by to answer your questions! Give us a call for your free consultation!