The trends affecting the pharmaceutical industry are well known, well documented and pre-date most of the shifts that are roiling the rest of the healthcare industry. While consumerization demands for greater transparency, regulatory changes and heightened scrutiny are impacting the market. The most powerful force is the dwindling supply of “blockbuster” drugs that funded companies’ success and growth for decades.
Everyone in healthcare is intimately familiar with this “patent cliff,” and while most industry experts expect faster government approvals of new drugs in the coming year, what’s in the pipeline aren’t the “rock star” drugs of the past. Rather, we are looking at new treatments for oncology, generics, rare and orphan diseases, and biologics.
Two key trends emerge for pharma companies:
– More mergers and acquisitions are being pushed through to facilitate access to new pipelines for drug development.
– Fewer resources are available to allocate to marketing, requiring companies to do more with less, and demonstrate a concrete ROI.
It’s easy to address a challenge by throwing money at it, but today pharma companies have to be nimbler and more resourceful about how they spend diminishing budgets. With lower headcounts and smaller budgets, they need to re-examine their marketing approaches for both effectiveness and efficiency. Huge direct-to-consumer campaigns backed by enormous media spends will become more rare, replaced by programs that can demonstrably deliver results through focused efforts. Deborah Radcliffe, healthcare marketing strategist, said: “At the end of the day, all marketers want to drive behavioral change. Yet this is not an easy task in the complex world of pharma. No healthcare consumer wants to need medication. Resistance is ever present throughout the behavioral pathway. As a result, marketing must transform as a series of behavioral ‘nudges.'”
Those who can leverage marketing intelligence, in combination with new ideas, will lead the pack. Marketing ideas of the future will come from many places — social science, user experience, gaming, data analytics, digital products and much more. Marketers will need to focus less on intent than on behavior, less on awareness than on action, less on acquisition only, and more on the complete life cycle. The pressure to deliver returns will increase, making measurability and attribution paramount.
To learn more, visit gyrohuman.com.
Wendy Lurrie – Managing Director, gyro:human
Wendy Lurrie is the managing director of gyro’s healthcare practice gyro:human based in New York. gyro:human is gyro’s newly formed U.S. division dedicated to all aspects of the healthcare industry. Lurrie is a healthcare industry ace who has worked with United Healthcare, Aetna, Eli Lilly and Company, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, to name a few.
She held executive positions at major agencies Draft, DraftFCB and Grey, where her responsibilities included the management and growth of the healthcare portfolios. Lurrie has worked on the client side as a VP of marketing at Travelers as well as served a consultant specializing in marketing strategy.