The past few years have been a whirlwind for pharma marketing. AI, real-world data, and omnichannel strategies have exploded, transforming how we reach doctors and patients. But what's next? What tools will come into maturity and drive the next generation of innovations?
We asked four leaders across the OptimizeRx team for their predictions on the top pharma marketing trends in 2024, and one dominant theme emerged – the refinement of marketing program execution through the application of data and technology. From laser-focused brand messaging that resonates with HCPs to seamless synchronization of patient and doctor marketing, the opportunity is ripe to supercharge brand marketing.
Read on for our team’s perspectives on the developments to watch, and what they mean for life science marketers
Pharma Marketing Prediction: Data-Driven, Clinically-Relevant HCP Marketing
Will Febbo, CEO
In 2024, I believe HCP marketing will truly become data-driven and clinical in orientation. HCPs have been vocal about their need for less “spam” and more relevant, value-add brand information for decades. But today, the difference is that pharma can finally connect patient data to drive content relevancy, then deliver that content during specific care decision windows. As a result, pharma marketing will be simpler and more appropriately targeted – while also being more helpful to the HCP, patient, employer, insurer, and pharmacy.
This shift is possible by virtue of the AI technology to identify highly specific connection points, while simultaneously maintaining patient privacy and delivering performance transparency or results. The benefit to life sciences brands is greater efficiency of marketing dollars and increased effectiveness for all stakeholders.
Pharma Marketing Prediction: Right Message, Right Time – Redux
Brendan Merrell, SVP Client Strategy & Program Management
The trend in pharma digital marketing that has me most excited in the year to come is ‘making good’ on the oft used, “right message, right time” approach. Historically, in HCP digital marketing the ‘right message at the right time’ has referred to using point-in-time data, a physician NPI number, a NDC code or codes, ZIP codes etc. to reach an audience when a member of the audience takes a specific action, and therefore the ‘right message’ is delivered. But was it really delivered at the right time? This style of campaign programming is reactive and prior to machine learning or AI approaching to mining longitudinal data it was as close to the ‘right message, right time’ approach as one could get.
With mass DTC-style market products, this was a sufficient approach. Less data was required to get closer to delivering a message to the right audience at the right time. But as the industry moved past the patent cliff of DTC blockbuster and into specialty biologics, more precise, proactive data was needed. Today’s drug labels are more complex and no longer link to a simple diagnosis and corresponding code. Labels for specialty products are comprised of not only a diagnosed condition but often prior treatment or treatments for said condition, and speak to progression of disease. In other words, today’s drugs are designed not for a general condition, but for a specific moment-in-time on a patient’s journey to manage their condition.
If marketers of specialty products take full advantage of the tools available to them today, they have the ability to leverage longitudinal data and find patterns in the diagnosis and progression of diseases – incorporating the patient’s time on journey into their campaign designs. I am excited to see the “right message, right time” approach evolve to reflect this current reality. Brands will benefit, certainly, but more importantly, more eligible patients and the physicians who treat them will benefit from receiving that right message at that right point in time.
Pharma Marketing Prediction: Aligning Patient and Physician Marketing
Maria Cipicchio, SVP Marketing
In 2024, I think we’ll see more pharmaceutical brands focus on synergizing their patient and provider marketing programs to drive productive and informed care discussions between doctors and patients. This alignment comes as a direct result from the proliferation of real-world data available, as well as technological advances that allow this data to be capitalized on in a privacy-safe, real-time manner.
Innovative brand leaders are utilizing technologies including AI, machine-learning, and microtargeting to identify critical decision points, and those same tools also allow brands to reach and engage both HCPs and patients during those key care windows. By mirroring the care journey through this dynamic message execution, as well as collecting real-time, ongoing performance data, brands can better measure and optimize both HCP and patient marketing programs, driving increased impact, script life, and marketing ROI.
Pharma Marketing Prediction: Fulfilling the Potential of Artificial Intelligence
Mark Connors, SVP Corporate Strategy
From my vantage point, working with both pharma manufacturers and pharmacies, AI will continue to be a top marketing trend in 2024. 2023 saw AI move from a buzzword to an implementable tool, but in the coming year, I think we’ll not only see increased adoption of AI, but also start to close the gap between potential and reality.
When I’m speaking with current and potential clients, it’s clear that pharma is trying to find ways to make AI work to their advantage – and they’re beginning to find success in predicting which patients might be eligible for HCP messaging or clinical trial enrollment, as well as predicting when the patient will see their provider. As their knowledge and comfort grow alongside AI technology, pharma will improve their ability to target the right prescriber and reduce overcommunication and noise – ultimately improving both the patient experience and the manufacturer’s bottom line.