What’s Next for Pharma Marketing in The New Normal?

VDX.tv Team

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a major spotlight on the healthcare industry and underscored the importance of effective communication and advertising for pharmaceutical companies. Pharma companies have a real opportunity now to connect with audiences who are increasingly technologically savvy and who expect compelling digital experiences. VDX.tv’s Pharma Vertical Lead, Lauren Ohlsson, shares her thoughts on what’s next for pharma marketing in The New Normal.

All commentary below are excerpts from the February 2022 issue of MedAdNews.

On the non-COVID word of the year in 2021 and 2022:

My word for 2021 and 2022 is the same: CTV. As consumers have opted to cut ties with traditional TV and cable services (at a height during the pandemic), the pharma industry has quickly adapted to increasing their reach via CTV. Traditional large-scale TV advertisers are allocating more and more dollars to CTV and it will become a larger part of the estimated $11 billion-plus digital spend from the pharma industry. We are seeing many of our partners starting to ramp up CTV investments and although the long-form content that pharma companies rely upon is scarce and expensive, pharma advertisers have adapted and often times have developed shorter form content or are looking to work with a partner capable of implementing ISI as part of their CTV framework.

On non-COVID trends for pharma marketers that are flying under the radar: 

The rapid growth of digital marketing as a part of the media mix for pharma organizations. It has been on an upward trajectory and is forecasted to have grown 18 percent YOY from 2020 to 2021. Although we are waiting on the industry data, I’d wager to say that CTV has experienced the largest growth over the last year and digital video has been something that advertisers have increasingly embraced. One of our clients asked such a smart question: “What are other heavily regulated clients marketing to their clients?” I loved that question because it shows that pharma organizations are looking outside of traditional standard formats to find new and improved ways of reaching consumers in the digital environment, all while maintaining compliance that is paramount to the industry.

On what’s up next for marketing technologies in 2022: 

For HCP marketing specifically, matching up impressions and interactions to the individual HCP has become increasingly essential when marketing to medical professionals. The process uses data points to ensure the impressions are reaching the right audience and enables the organization to utilize data platforms to effectively track the sales cycle for a pharma product. What once was a “nice to have” has become essential for our HCP clients.

On how pharma’s marketing media mix is changing and developing in 2022:

2022 is going to be the year of digital for pharma advertisers. Growth will remain consistent and emerging formats, such as CTV/ OTT will move from testing to a large portion of the digital media mix. TV media budgets will be reallocated with more budget going toward digital. One of the most commonly used digital media tools is unbranded Google SEM. There is tremendous opportunity outside of Google SEM for unbranded initiatives and video products that can create a real connection with consumers as a part of their consumer journey. Branded products, although tied to stringent compliance, can also benefit from thinking outside of traditional digital parameters like standard banners. I’m looking forward to seeing pharma organizations put on their CPG hats to develop compelling digital experiences for both consumers and HCPs.

Read the full article in MedAdNews.

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