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Digital influencer marketing can get best result for pharma

Phanish Chandra
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The pharmaceutical industry is well aware of the potential of wide range of digital initiatives. Pharmaceutical companies can play as a central role in the digital revolution of healthcare. Let us understand this digital association and the pharmaceutical market size is growing and the returns could make the brand a big success.

Know influencer marketing
Influencer marketing may be relatively new term, but the practice has been around for hundreds of years. Influencer marketing focuses on individuals who can influence the purchasing decision of a brand’s target audience. Marketing influencer also helps brands to achieve credibility, leadership and financial goals. Digital influencer marketing means convincing influential people, bloggers or celebrities with big followings to promote brands on their personal online accounts.

Influencer marketing starts by first identifying your target customer and understanding, who impacts, how they discover, evaluate, decide and buy. It has been observed that customers are twice as likely to switch to a new brand because of an everyday person’s recommendation rather than a celebrity’s endorsement. That is why more and more brands are turning to influencer marketing.

How pharma companies will get benefit from digital marketing
Digital platform is now a significant source of health information and connectivity between providers, prescribers, and patients. Interest in e-health as a channel for the marketing of health-related products and services increasing every day. Doctor knowledge and networking portals are quickly becoming an easy-to-use and cost- effective solution.

Product branding and leadership teams now realize the need to have a digital strategy in place as a part of their larger marketing strategy. Pharmaceutical digital marketing will establish a parallel communication between the company and physician and it will make easy access to patient data.

Pharmaceutical companies occupy a unique position in the market, situated between patients, prescribers and payers, allowing them to gain maximum benefits from a wide range of digital platforms. Good mobile applications are generally taken as the best source of information; hence, a pharmacy app would be an ideal platform to look for new medicines, prices and treatments.

Pharmaceutical industry market size is growing and the returns could make your brand big success when activated correctly. Pharmaceutical industry can participate in and benefit from influencer marketing. Providers have earned credentials and reputations that give them the credibility, expertise, and authority to be natural influencers in healthcare marketing.

A mother influences her family’s healthcare decisions. A cancer survivor’s touching story influences other cancer patients. A patient with a positive hospital experience influences friends, relatives and neighbour. With preliminary research to identify the most effective influencers and to ensure compliance with industry regulations, pharmaceutical companies can expand their marketing strategies and capitalize on the expertise and relationships of others.   

In today’s high-risk healthcare environment, pharma must adapt best practices just like any other business to achieve extraordinary results. Pharmaceutical industry must engage patients, promote profitable services, grow patient populations and communicate effectively, all of which can be accomplished to a certain degree through digital influencer marketing.

Today, the Internet has opened up a wealth of healthcare information for patients. Patients obtained most of their healthcare information from the internet. They are able to research diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes, and to seek information from people living anywhere in the world who may have a common disease or same health related issues. Because of the perception of online anonymity, patients are often more open about their personal health than they would be in face-to-face conversations.

At this moment, millions of shoppers are forming their own opinions online, company’s take this wonderful opportunity in order to promote their products and services. Shoppers are out there asking questions and collecting information through avenues of their own choice. Influencer marketing can be a planned strategy, but it can just as likely happen by chance thanks to social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

YouTube is the most effective platform for influencer marketing as it emulates face-to-face influence, enhances storytelling for sales. YouTube as an influence-marketing platform works really well for products and services that require a little more education and explanation. The impact has been higher reach, stronger sales returns and a video influencer grab by brands.

Influencer marketing gives individuals an end-to-end solution that enables a company is marketing team to deliver on its revenue goals while simultaneously enhancing the relationship. One individual with a large online following can also be a powerful influencer without having accurate knowledge and little or no experience, authority or position.

Following are some important things to be considered when selecting digital influencer marketing:
•  Influencer popularity or number of followers on social network.
•  Examine an influencer’s expertise and the types of social communities these influencers are part of.
•  Observe the typical duration, rate, and level of interactivity around an influencer’s conversations. How long do his or her posts stay alive in social streams?

(Author is CEO of Docplexus based in Pune)


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