The Heart of Pharma Marketing – Humanizing Brands
Patient-centered approach is another beautiful way to humanize brands. Humanized brands prioritize their patient’s needs, preferences, and feedback. You actively listen to your audience and adapt their strategies, accordingly, leading to improved PDX. In this approach, patient engagement is used to drive brand strategies, tactics, and other strategic decisions. The success story of Januvia and Janumet (of Merck Sharpe and Dohme) is because its patient centered activity, the Sparsh Healthline.
Cipla was the first company anywhere in the world to launch a patient-centered activity when it recruited counsellors to demonstrate the actual patients of asthma on how to use inhalers. And now you know why Cipla is such a dominant company in the respiratory disease section.
In the patient-centered marketing efforts, rather than asking the patient to describe how a treatment improves their quality of life (QoL), the patient is asked what a treatment needs to achieve to improve their overall life. If you decide to embrace patient-centricity, you must move from “We know what you need” attitude to “What do we need to achieve to make you feel better?” style. For instance, it could be mingling with ‘patients like me.
The Parkinson’s Club initiated by the makers of Brand Syndopa and made the patients of Parkinson’s disease feel relaxed and comfortable. My father was one of the beneficiaries. Do you know what he said? “Here is a company and a brand which helps me socialize with patients-like me. There are many problems which I cannot tell you Vivek because you may feel more distressed.”
Syndopa almost went on to monopolise the co-careldopa segment. But what’s more, the brand equity of Sun Pharma sky-rocketed amongst the neurologists and had a positive fall-off effect of other brands of Sun Pharma.
In collaboration with the patients or patient support groups, F&D, or R&D your organization should strive for products driven by patient’s needs and wants – through an empathic collaboration.
And finally, be consistent. Make sure your humanizing efforts are consistent across all touchpoints, from your website to your customer support interactions in omnichannel marketing. (Omnichannel marketing refers to your brands’ presence across multiple channels.) Your brand is moving in the right direction by diversifying your approach to doctor-patient interactions. However, omnichannel marketing makes it difficult to maintain a consistent brand.
Each channel may encourage a different style of communication, confusing potential customers when they encounter your brand. Omnichannel marketing creates a cohesive, integrated patient-doctor experience across your brand’s touchpoints, including brick-and-mortar locations when your medical representative meets a doctor in his clinic or hospital. Also includes brand microsites, communication on social media platforms for doctors, CMEs, exhibition stalls during doctor’s conferences and many more.
And do you know which the most important aspect of consistency is?
To give the brand that human touch, you need to be consistent in what you write on the website or microsite and your actions and deeds.
Take the case of Gilead (Gilead does not operate in India). The website says, “Gilead believes the price of medicines should never be a barrier to access, and we work domestically and globally to ensure that patients who need our products are able to obtain them.” (Source: https://www.gilead.com/ Accessed on 7-10-23). What a great ideal! But when it comes to action and deeds, please refer drugs.com (Accessed on 7-10-23). “Sovaldi is expensive. This means a 12-week treatment course of Sovaldi would cost around $84,000 (INR 69,72,000 or BD Taka 86,52,000) and a 24-week course, $168,000 (INR 1,39,44,000 or BD Taka 1,73,04,000). This does not take into account the cost of the other treatment used with Sovaldi, and Sovaldi is always given in combination with other treatments, never alone.” Severe inconsistency! It poorly reflects on Brand Sovaldi, and Brand Gilead! And isn’t this inhuman!
Your medico-marketing messages needs to have consistency whenever and wherever a padocumer encounters your brand. To present a reliable and trustworthy brand image to your prospects, you need to work at unifying your brand message across all channels. A unified voice will also help to humanize your brand. Those who read your medico-marketing messages should feel that a person, not an unknown entity, is speaking to them.
In conclusion, humanizing brands is about forging authentic connections with customers by displaying the human side of your brand and your organization. It involves storytelling, values, engagement, and an approach-centric approach and a consistency not just in omnichannel but in your thoughts, your writings, and your actions and deeds. If you can successfully humanize your brand, you will create trust, loyalty, and lasting relationships, ultimately standing out in the fiercely competitive market. In the era of generative artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and more, where padocumers crave authenticity and connection, humanizing your brand is not just a choice but a necessity for sustainable success.
And do not forget to see how beautifully Titan Eye Plus Smart Glasses has be humanized. Visit https://youtu.be/043aEQXYyZ8?si=0KIP8Lbcz_hc0CrF.