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Emerging Disruptions: Pharma Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

There are several emerging disruptions that, as a pharma marketer, you can’t afford to ignore. These trends are artificial intelligence (which includes machine learning and email automation), personalization as an approach to marketing, digital therapeutic apps and sensors, and telehealth and remote care.

By including these emerging disruptions in your marketing plan, you can boost healthcare provider (HCP) and stakeholder engagement while pursuing a campaign that is cost-effective, specific, and promotes brand integrity.

This post will discuss how and why to integrate machine learning into your pharma marketing strategies, how personalization can be applied in digital marketing practices, the value of digital therapeutics as a physician resource, and how telehealth fits within the pharma space.

Artificial Intelligence Used in Machine Learning and Email Automation
Among the pharma marketing trends that should be introduced as a priority within your campaign is the use of artificial intelligence (AI). It has been applied across a number of industries in which a program analyzes and learns from users’ online activities and behaviors. AI assumes these behaviors going forward in order to increase a campaign’s ability to target specific users with a specific message. While the mechanism is less interesting than the result, what AI brings to the pharma marketing table is the ability to elicit real-time responses of the target audience. By teaming with the right medical communications agency, a pharma company can implement marketing strategies that use machine learning to obtain actionable insights by HCPs and stakeholders. These insights, gained via AI, can in turn be applied to email automation programs in which certain user behaviors trigger an email action.

The use of AI in marketing can further eliminate so-called marketing waste, making marketing efforts more efficient and effective. The real-time responses captured by AI allows pharma marketers to be smarter about budgeting and reduce communication costs, and it eliminates the typical trial-and-error approach to marketing campaigns. Using machine learning, pharma marketers can ensure their products and services are seen by the desired audience, who has searched for information that their company can provide, thereby improving engagement.

Personalization of Marketing Content Facilitated by AI
AI can also be used to accurately forecast decision-making patterns by employing algorithms that detect and interpret the digital behaviors of online users. Trying to forecast the needs and desires of HCPs and stakeholders marks an ancient marketing challenge. However, with a shift toward digital channels and the application of AI, forecasting has become a more concrete activity. AI provides insight into the type of content that targeted HCPs and stakeholders crave, and pharma marketers can use the information gathered by the AI mechanism to help plan and structure their company’s marketing content.

Social media platforms further allow marketers to directly monitor the audience response and understand what content resonates the most. When a pharma company can understand the digital behaviors of HCPs and stakeholders, it can personalize the campaign strategy so that it speaks specifically to the target audience. This allows pharma marketers to forego a generic message and instead support brand integrity by listing the explicit benefits of their product as it relates to an HCP’s unique practice. Employing these medical marketing trends can help differentiate your pharma company in a crowded market space.

Digital Therapeutics Apps and Sensors
A bit different than the popular wellness apps, digital therapeutics apps are tailored to specific conditions that require self-management, such as diabetes and heart disease. While digital therapeutics apps center on patient behaviors, pharma companies benefit from them because they provide data on how patients manage their treatment regimens, a valuable resource for physicians. They help the pharma industry measure the efficacy of its products by providing hard data; pharma has even involved the use of digital therapeutic apps in clinical trials.

One of the great benefits of pharma companies introducing digital therapeutics, or digital treatment programs, is the ability to track effectiveness on a large scale and at low cost. Typically, after clinical trials are complete, pharma companies need to monitor real-world results of their therapeutic programs. Sensors are being used to monitor patients’ adherence to certain treatment regimens. For example, sensors may be attached to inhalers, or patients may consume digestible sensors that alert HCPs when a patient misses a dose. These sensors provide valuable data that can be used by the pharma industry to better understand drug adherence and efficacy results.

Telehealth and Remote Care
Like digital therapeutics apps, telehealth allows HCPs to monitor patients remotely. In a way, this parallels the trend of personalized health care; but how does telehealth fit within the pharma space? There are many applications, but for one, it expands the realm of care beyond the pharmacy walls. Pharma companies involved in telehealth or remote care platforms find another means of sharing information about the benefits of their product and applications thereof. Consistent with the other pharma marketing trends we’ve discussed, telehealth is also cost-saving and can be targeted to the appropriate audience.

Ultimately, telehealth and remote care platforms used in the pharma space are a tool for targeted engagement, and can help establish accessible channels for communication. Telehealth applications can help HCPs create and maintain relationships with their patients, but they also allow HCPs to connect with the pharma sector in order ask questions or access specific information quickly. While telehealth is a relatively new device used for pharma marketing, it can help establish an HCP’s trust in your company and support the quality and integrity of the pharma brand.