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DIGITAL MARKETING IN PHARMACEUTICAL SECTOR

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Abstract

“Digital” became an essential part of daily life. All the sectors were going to adapt more quickly to the digital world. The pharmaceutical industry, but except for the website has not been able to implement digital marketing entirely. There are many problems facing the pharma business when it comes to marketing. In this generation more pharmaceutical companies are using social media sites or ecommerce sites as a medium for digital marketing. That allows the customers to purchase products online. Several companies are trying to understand digital's true value whilst others are incorporating it into the wider marketing strategy. To raise their brand awareness, pharmaceutical companies will join those influencers in search of new ways to market their products. For example, if a pharmaceutical company approaches Asthmapatients then the influencer who is very involved on any social media platform and had experienced the same disease in the past can be contacted effectively to gain the interest of Asthmasufferers. In the case of medical products or medical devices, influencers may also be useful. All the firms, however, cannot sell products online because they produce prescription drugs which cannot be sold online. To connect with clients, YouTube, daily motion, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were used.Quantum Pharmaceuticals and The Specials Lab, pharmaceutical companies located in the North East, offer online purchasing of special medicines that facilitate e-commerce and online marketing.
DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 1
Digital Marketing In Pharmaceutical Sector
Ganesh R. Bharskar*1, SuhasS. Siddheshwar1
Pravara Rural College of Pharmacy, Pravaranagar
Phone No.:+91 8766845734
Email: ganeshb7748@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
“Digital” became an essential part of daily life. All the sectors were going to adapt more
quickly to the digital world. The pharmaceutical industry, but except for the website has not
been able to implement digital marketing entirely. There are many problems facing the
pharma business when it comes to marketing. In this generation more pharmaceutical
companies are using social media sites or ecommerce sites as a medium for digital marketing.
That allows the customers to purchase products online. Several companies are trying to
understand digital's true value whilst others are incorporating it into the wider marketing
strategy. To raise their brand awareness, pharmaceutical companies will join those
influencers in search of new ways to market their products. For example, if a pharmaceutical
company approaches Asthmapatients then the influencer who is very involved on any social
media platform and had experienced the same disease in the past can be contacted effectively
to gain the interest of Asthmasufferers. In the case of medical products or medical devices,
influencers may also be useful. All the firms, however, cannot sell products online because
they produce prescription drugs which cannot be sold online. To connect with clients,
YouTube, daily motion, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook were used.Quantum
Pharmaceuticals and The Specials Lab, pharmaceutical companies located in the North East,
offer online purchasing of special medicines that facilitate e-commerce and online marketing.
KEYWORDS: Pharmaceutical marketing, digital marketing, digital marketing strategies, e-
pharm, social media.
INTRODUCTION:
There are some firms that are very creative in terms of technical innovation, but the lack of
good case studies on digitization in the pharmaceutical industry restricts the use. The Drug
industry is not so well suited to online marketing. The sector's conservative conduct, coupled
with unpredictable legislation, held back the pharmaceutical sector as advertisers rushed
online in banking, professional services, manufacturing and business services. Nevertheless,
online professional and patient communities have grown to accommodate the increasing use
of internet, social media as well as online information by patient‟s healthcare professionals
(HCP), key opinion leaders (KOL), and the broader medical community, instigating
pharmaceutical companies to invest and test digital marketing approaches under industry
guidelines. Interestingly, this is one of the best marketing tactics on social media channels
that can help pharmaceutical companies boost their brand image.For all organizations which
want to thrive at this digital age, digital marketing is critical. Modern ads, including Twitter,
Youtube, prescription Bing and healthcare, are expected to grow to $10 billion by 2020.This
promotional budget is 13 points above what companies currently invest.
DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 2
DIGITAL MARKETING IN INDIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY
Digital marketing is the developmental stage in Indian pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical companies are using technology-based services, helping patients learn more
about their conditions and helping them monitor their health. It may also be useful to give the
physicians an insight into the health of the patient, any side effects for any particular product.
These digital services also make it easier for doctors to communicate their message to
patients with ease on certain health conditions. Digital marketing has clearly simplified
advertising, awareness campaign organization, and mass reach at low cost and efficient
methodologies. The use of medical pharmaceuticals is worldwide dependent. Cardiovascular
disorders and hypertension are at a peak in the developed nations. Although, infectious
diseases such as tuberculosis typhoid, and some other diseases are prevalent in developing
countries. Pharmaceutical-based companies are working hard to keep up with developments
that digital technology has brought in. In recent years, the use of digital marketing in this
field has allowed companies to take a different approach to targeting customers, doctors and
caregivers. Some of the technologies that change the healthcare sector include mobile
communications, advanced analytics, the internet and the cloud. Although most Indian
companies have restricted their use in creating corporate image, updating therapy, simple diet
guidelines, nutrition, exercise, etc. Nutraceuticals are slightly aggressive in their distribution
with only a few firms concerned with goods in the field Over the Counter.
TYPES OF DIGITAL MARKETING
1. Search engine optimization:As consumers search the most used search engines they first
turn into Google, Yahoo or MSN / Bing. Searching health information among internet
users of all ages is one of the most common activities. The most popular way to find
products or details is via search engines is said by 47 percent of web users. The top 10
search results receive 78% higher visitors than trailing lists, other businesses use SEO to
ensure their sites are high on the list. Nearly every day, SEO approaches change. Search
ranks are manipulated with the help of search engine optimisation strategies, which
improve Google or any other search engine's search ranking. This is a significant
opportunity to reach their target audiences with companies that use Search Engine
Optimization (SE0) approaches. Organizations which are not in search engines lose a
massive chance to reach the target population. The keyword use of titles and URLs,
internal links from your own page, backlinks from other pages, proper use of image tags
and the social network operation are important aspects of search engine optimization.
2. Pay Per Click Ads: Ads may be bought from Google if there is inadequate traffic from
the company's website. Announcements are also available on other blogs and through the
various ad networks. Pay-by-click or PCC adds based on the keywords used by Google's
search engine. The client will determine the success rate of PPC campaigns through Ad
Analytics software. The client just charges if someone clicks on the attach button.
3. Email Newsletters:The 2012 User Preference Survey by ExactTarget showed that the
email is still the first direct channel that users will choose for everyday use both for
customer and marketing communications. However, smartphones and tablets are
commonly used and allow consumers to quickly access the emails. In fact, 77% of
customers prefer to receive authorisation-based marketing messages via e-mail relative to
social media (6%) and text messages (5%). Email gives consumers the sense of control
and personalization in which to opt for a conversation and then supply them with only the
information they want.
DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 3
4. Social Media Marketing: Search engines use social media activity as a marketing tool.
Facebook shares, twitter retweets and Google+1 help your position on the results pages
for search engines. Marketing in social media allows the company to be connected
directly to its consumers. This strengthens the corporate values and improves the
organization's image. In the public forum the negative experiences can be overcome
through the delivery of company website alerts and debate. Modern life, including
pharmaceutical marketing and the healthcare sector, is the result of social media usage.
Almost all (97.8 percent) of participant participants to the study were active social
network users, which coincides with the effects of social media development in the
United States as defined by Moorhead et al.
5. E - Detailing: The Indian industry has yet to be embraced at an early stage. There are
very few firms that are active players on the e-detailing market in India. While e-details
were initially skeptical by the sales force and they were curious whether marketing online
would make the conventional sales call irrelevant, most members saw actually the
opposite effect: e-details actually increase the total time they spend with the rep.
6. eCMEs (electronic continuing medical education) / WebinarsHybrid meetings are
events which combine live and virtual elements. These are also great opportunities and
one of the most important developments in the preparation of events. Live broadcasting
by means of streaming video of a conference will enable event organizers and organizing
organizations, including people following the conference online, to extend their meeting
visibility. This is one of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry's most cost effective strategy.
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
Search
Engine
Optimization
Social Media
Marketing
Email
Newsletters
E - Detailing
eCMEs
Pay Per Click
Ads
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
FREQUENCY(%)
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Facebook
Whatsapp
YouTube
Instagram
Twitter
Researchgate
LinkedIn
DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 4
CURRENT SCENARIO AND CHALLENGES:
The numbers of approximate internet users were 4.48 billion in world in the year 2019
followed by560 million users in India and802 million users in China and increasing day by
day worldwide. This has given a major boost to the digital era in various sectors.
In any sector, digital marketing is a more cost-effective and less time-consuming method of
communicating with clients compared to traditional marketing. Digital marketing permits the
use of data by pharmaceutical marketers to develop more strategic engagement with
prescribers and physicians. Nonetheless, many companies still cannot integrate digital into
the broader business strategy. The pharmaceutical sector is facing several difficulties in
implementing the techniques of digital marketing some of which are discussed below.
1. Inadequate organization vision: For the introduction of digital marketing approaches,
most organizations lack a proper vision. The approaches aren't clearly defined, accepted
and publicly communicated. There is a need for good management to affirm the vision set
goals and track the quality of operation. Identifying the field force and marketing
champions that promote the digital pharmaceutical vision is usually not found in the
companies.
2. A lack of digital minds: There is a lack of skilful workforce in the pharmaceutical sector
that wants to drive digital change. Employees should have knowledge of digital
marketing, as well as the complexities of digital adoption in the pharmaceutical industry,
to develop digital marketing within the business. Most of the companies lack the efficient
workforce that understands both the industry and the new digital market at the same time.
3. A digital disaster: Digital channels and campaigns have started to be implemented by
many pharmaceutical companies; however, marketers in this field are unable to
implement an overall effective digital strategy. Improved data contributed to complicated
analyses and the use of data in digital approaches has created a global tragedy. The
pharmaceutical marketers will unify data across channels; use the data in real-time,
optimize digital campaigns using their digital minds accordingly.
4. Strict Regulations: The question of the regulations in each jurisdiction requires close
review before any digital projects are initiated. Compared with other sectors, life sciences
marketing faces stricter regulations. The pharmaceutical sector must follow the
requirements of both the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from the privacy
to the creative copy. Establishment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act (HIPAA) in 1996 secured the health data's safety and privacy. The act prohibited
digital abuse of health data by advertisers, ensuring the integrity of health care records.In
2010, FDA issued a warning letter to a Novartis to pull back Facebook share, as there was
inadequate risk information about the Tasigna leukaemia treatment drug. With the quest
limitations the pharmaceutical companies have been more cautious about investing in
new digital marketing strategies and introducing them. Industries capable of combining
digital and the approval process with built-in regulatory workflows can do real-time
digital work.
5. Poorly maintained websites: The use of social media by biopharmaceutical producers is
sluggish. Some of the pharmaceutical companies are still following the old world of
"Web 1.0." The pharmaceutical industry has chosen one-way information exchange
which has been properly reviewed, lawfully accepted and shielded from external
interference. These websites only move information that is unavailable in direct patient
DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 5
interaction. An out - of-date, poorly maintained site is worse than finding no site at all.
Efficient human resources must find to manage these interactions.
The few strategies that can be adopted by pharmaceutical companies to increase their
chances in the digital world follow.
1. Introducing mobile apps: The FDA released the guidelines on mobile medical
applications, easing the pharmaceutical sector' long-term wait. Mobile applications in one
go help patients to understand their diagnoses and medicines better before they are
released. Apps that allow better direct marketing to customers can include complete
details about any drug. If they partner with companies that can deliver the applications in
context of patient management, including symptoms and medicines, not specifically
disease management, pharmaceutical companies would be more profitable.
2. Collaborative business model: behind its conventional obstacles, the pharmaceutical
industry is increasingly innovating by collaborating with and beyond its partners.
Comprehensive collaboration is possible thanks to the availability of digital technologies.
The workers can work and develop new treatments effectively and efficiently. Pfizer, for
instance, has developed a ground breaking cloud-based clinical data platform to collect,
interpret and visualize patient data in clinical tests through trials and medical programs
and to help smart test design, precision medicine, pharmacovigilance and regulatory
enquiries.
3. Sharing data on population studies: Extensive overtime data collected appears to be
wasteful if not analysed. The results of the data should be reported. The combination of
point, mobile and analytical content will be the real transformation in digital healthcare.
4. Ensure IT support: Adequate IT support is required to solve digital marketing problems.
5. Create a new digital marketing organizational structure: appoint a e-marketing
strategy manager, e-marketing product manager, digital marketing committee, etc., to
help boost company digital marketing innovation, and to develop digital strategies.
6. Business partners: Digital strategies involve partnerships with companies that deal with
complimentary disease aspects. For example, companies marketing atrial fibrillation
anticoagulants should partner with medical device firms that identify such patients with
remote cardiac monitoring. It is not difficult to introduce a digital marketing method.
7. Patient and Healthcare Provider services (HCPs): Patient and Healthcare Provider
services (HCPs) are also expected to provide patients with technology-based services that
can support patients with quality monitoring and administration by using more software
on a daily basis. These services can also contribute substantially to new therapies research
and development. To order to support and show outcomes, it also connects partners
across the broader healthcare community. Patient services that are digitally enabled, such
as apps or on-line platforms or educational resources linked to a wider range, should be
used to assist patients and HCPs dealing with health issues.
CONCLUSION:
People today are highly busy and spend the most of their time on android devices, laptops or
digital devices. Digital marketing is important in the pharmaceutical sector, according to the
available research data. Digital commercialization allows the industries to grow rapidly. It
has become a strong marketing cornerstone and has encouraged and made campaign
DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 6
strategies even simpler. Only a handful of digital marketing methods are popular, and the
others are in the process. All kinds of digital marketing are however easy to reach and save a
lot of money, energy, time and effort. These new technologies have been introduced by
pharmaceutical companies in line with the modern digitized world. Nevertheless, the
adoptability of such techniques was limited to blogs, the face book account, the LinkedIn
profile, etc. Although the information is poorly managed and not up to the mark. The same
was also shown in our study.
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DOI : https://dx.doi.org/10.26808/rs.ph.i10v2.01
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Health Care Issue 10, Vol.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2020)
Available online on http://www.rspublication.com/ijphc/index.html ISSN 2249 5738
©2020 RS Publication, rspublicationhouse@gmail.com Page 7
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Digital' has become an important part of the everyday life. All the sectors have been adapting to the digital era at a faster rate. However other than the website, the pharma industry has not quite been able to adopt digital marketing. In this era more pharmaceutical companies utilize social media sites or ecommerce sites as digital marketing platform. This enables online purchase of products by the customers. Some organisations are trying to understand the true value of digital while others are integrating it into the wider marketing strategy. However all the companies cannot sell products online as they manufacture prescription drugs, which cannot be sold online. For example, Pfizer is active and responsive to the customers via social networking platforms. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter were used to communicate with customers. Johnson and Johnson was one of the first companies to launch a YouTube channel. Quantum Pharmaceuticals and The Specials Lab, North East based pharmaceutical companies offer online ordering of special medicines promoting e-commerce and digital marketing.
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