I had a slightly off putting run-in with Big Pharma marketing this week. Sadly, it was the best I’ve ever had.
It happened in my doctor’s office. My appointment time had already passed, and I’d watched three pharmaceutical reps wheel into the office, interrupt people at their work, and then wheel out. The last took at least 10 minutes of the doctor’s time. For all I know, it was to give him details of a drug that would save the life of one of his patients. In that moment though, all I saw was a sales person slowing someone up at their daily tasks.
Ask anyone whether they appreciate the existence of modern day antibiotics and drugs, and they’ll probably say “yes”. Ask them how they feel about “Big Pharma”, and you’re just as likely to hear little more than mistrust.
Obviously That’s an issue for patients, providers and pharmaceutical companies. With little effort, pharma companies could be reaching out to the public that already views them so negatively, and here are 3 reasons why they should:
- Content marketing is inherently about trust. Big Pharma is suffering from a huge issue of mistrust, especially in the U.S. Trust is where content marketing excels. People openly consume content online only AFTER they trust the source or idea. Sources that people already trust abound. Pharma should be talking with and learning from them.
- Doctor’s offices might not be the best place to start–That incident at my doctor’s office? While I was sitting there (waiting to figure out how I could beat back a potentially life-threatening infection) I began to feel like a cog. This wasn’t helped by the ads playing on the waiting room television and mountains of brochures in the offices. Marketing doesn’t work near as well when people actively feel like a target.
- Companies are missing an opportunity to create a relationship. Have you ever heard of a patient who trusts one pharmaceutical brand more than another? They do with cars, why not with the brands that keep them healthy? A big part of that is the (likely intentional) lack of association between brand and product.
So where can pharma companies start? Here are 12 suggestions. (Hint: at least 8 should incorporate intense content marketing geared directly at the public.)
by Megan Williams
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