Most Common Mistakes Pharma Companies Make
Pharma companies are leaning on pharmaceutical marketers more and more in today’s fast-moving market; as they slowly shift to digital tactics, it’s pressing that they connect with a marketing company that is a trusted partner to successfully influence physicians, patients, and KOLs.
Unfortunately, that urgent need often leads to making mistakes when it comes to pharma marketing, whether it be leaving a bad taste in a HCP’s mouth or a failed product launch. Following are the five most common mistakes that pharma marketing companies make – if you’re a pharmaceutical company, pay close attention to these so you can better gauge any potential partners before committing:
- The pharma marketing company attributes all the success to themselves.
The best pharma marketing companies will always focus on singling out the element that really improves results in order to discover what works and what doesn’t. They don’t rely on guesswork, and they don’t pat themselves on the back because of a “win”. If they run a great campaign for you and sales are soaring and prescriptions have made an impact, they need to focus on what it was that drew the increase in sales in the first place. There are many factors that influence the success of marketing campaigns including emails, webinars, websites, sales rep presentations, and conferences. In other words, they themselves should not be applauded single-handedly for success.
- The marketing company relies on awareness as a metric of success.
Have you heard the term “vanity metrics”? This term describes numbers that can be easily changed so that pharma companies get the impression that the campaign at hand is working well, even if it isn’t. They can do this even if there are no actual visible results! Using vanity metrics is a tactic that bad marketing companies use to confuse pharma brand managers. Awareness simply means that a campaign made an impression on an audience. But that doesn’t automatically mean a good impression. You have to look at the real numbers: number of prescriptions, rep visits and calls, and ultimately, sales.
- The company puts too much faith in what the physician says.
There are still several pharmaceutical marketers that will tell pharma companies that what guides their tactics is the statements doctors make. However, what doctors say and what they do are often two different things. While a doc might claim that she will prescribe a certain brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she will actually do it. AMA conducted research on actions doctors stated they would take and what they actually did, and 75% of doctors who were observed followed through. The doctors who were not observed only fulfilled their intentions 10% of the time! The point here is that the best pharma marketing companies don’t rely on doctors’ words. They focus on detailed market research for accurate results.
- Pharma marketers slam the physician with information.
One of the biggest pain points for physicians is that they are overloaded with all kinds of information from pharma reps, and most of that information is repetitive or useless to the doctor. This, needless to say, only turns the physician off even more to the products the reps are trying to push. The best marketers will distill the information that is the most relevant for providers and present it to them in a convenient, compelling way. More data does not mean better results! Physicians only want the basic facts, like what the product accomplishes, why it is better than the competition, and whether it improves patient outcomes.
- Pharmaceutical marketing company reps don’t know the product.
Nothing turns a physician off to a rep and the product they represent more than when they are interested in a product but can’t get immediate data on it from the rep. Unfortunately, too many reps today still never go beyond prepared scripts and only learn certain data. If a doctor is genuinely interested in a product but can’t get the information they want right away, it’s a missed opportunity. By the time someone gets back to him or her with the information, the doctor is often no longer interested or worse, has taken on a competing product instead.
The value of the trust that pharma companies put into marketers is paramount; it takes a company that avoids these five big mistakes to really drive results for their clients and set the clients’ products apart from the rest of the crowd.
A great way to learn more about the qualities of great pharma marketing companies is to attend an upcoming pharma conference; reserve your spot today and hone your skills in the fast-paced competitive industry of pharma marketing.