If you're a healthcare marketer in the pharma industry, you know that creating an effective marketing strategy is essential to success – but what exactly goes into a successful strategy and how do you create one?
Creating an Effective Pharma Marketing Strategy
The following steps can be helpful when creating your pharma marketing strategy:
Define Your Goals
The pharmaceutical industry is a highly competitive marketplace, so it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the goals you want to achieve.The goals you set should be realistic, specific, and time-sensitive.
Goals not only help you track your progress, they can also keep you and your marketing team focused and motivated. Both short and long-term goals should be identified. If you find you’re having difficulty reaching simpler, short-term goals, it’s time to review your current strategies and make changes as necessary before you waste time and resources on something that’s not helping you reach your bottom line.
Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you identify when you’ve reached your goals by providing milestones you can cross off. KPIs include what you want to achieve in terms of sales, traffic, revenue, SEO, and so on.
Understand Your Target Audience
One of the most important steps of any effective marketing strategy is to define and understand your target audience. Creating a buyer persona can help you better understand your target audience and make more informed marketing decisions.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It takes demographic information into account, such as age, income, location, and job title, as well as psychographic information, like interests, values, and lifestyle. Once you have a good understanding of who your customers are, you can start to build out your buyer persona. This persona can be used to inform your marketing decisions, from the content you create to the products you sell.
By taking time to understand your ideal customer, you’ll ensure your marketing team is using the proper channels and messaging to reach the right people.
Analyze the Competition
To create a detailed analysis of your competitors, you’ll need to examine competitor websites, the types of content they have available, and their social media presence.
Is their website easy to navigate?
Is their website optimized for mobile devices?
Is it clear what they’re offering?
What topics have they featured?
What calls to action are they making?
Is their content well written and engaging? If so, what makes it engaging?
What social platforms are they using to speak with their audience?
Where do you find your competitors are lacking? These are excellent opportunities to differentiat your products and separate yourself from the rest. For example, you may have learned in your initial research that target customers have been searching about a new medical technology that relates to your product or service, though your competitors have little to no information on the topic. This would be a great opportunity to develop optimized content around the topic.
Create Your Content Strategy
A content strategy involves planning, creating, scheduling, and delivering content that aligns with your identified goals and audience needs. To achieve this, you should:
Identify & Allocate Resources
Decide on Content Type
Create a Content Calendar
Develop & Distribute Content
Measure Your Results
1. Identify & Allocate Resources
Make sure you have the necessary resources to execute your strategy. Ask yourself:
Do you have any current blogs, videos, or other materials that can be reoptimized or repurposed?
Who is responsible for creating the content?
2. Decide on Content Type
Think about what types of content will resonate best with your target audience. As the backbone of many successful inbound marketing strategies, an educational blog may first spring to mind. However, there are numerous digital and print options to explore and the best one(s) for you are the one(s) preferred by your target audience. They may prefer:
- video marketing
- email newsletters
Regardless of format, the most effective strategy will build out a centralized content hub on your website, which can be repurposed and shared elsewhere.
3. Create a Content Calendar
We all know the adage: "Failing to plan is planning to fail." It's critical to have a system whereby to organize and schedule content production and distribution.
This can be done in a simple calendar or spreadsheet, or through productivity and task management tools. Productivity tools will help you visualize the stage, status, location, and next steps for every piece of content in your plan.
4. Develop & Distribute Content
You’ve done your homework and now it’s time to actually create the content you identified.
To start, find out what’s already out there on your topic and decide how you can add value to your audience. This can be done through a Google Search and/or using analytic tools. Keyword research can help you identify which key terms to use to achieve better SEO and improved search ranking.
While creating content, keep your brand’s personality in mind. Are you going for a professional tone or a more casual, friendly tone? Your brand’s personality consists of the tone and voice of your product, and should be uniform across marketing initiatives, from newsletters and social media posting to e-books and white papers.
Materials can be distributed both digitally and physically, depending on what medium your target audience prefers and where they’re most active.
5. Measure Your Results
Assess the success of your marketing strategy, keeping the KPIs you identified earlier in mind. This can be achieved through analytic tools, such as Google Analytics, to see how your content has been performing and measure social sharing activity.
Through monitoring your progress, you can adjust your marketing strategy as needed, so it always reflects the newest data and trends.
Ready to Create Your Strategy?
Pharmaceutical marketing is a complex process that takes many steps in order to be successful. Achieving the correct tone and creating effective strategies are just two of the many challenges marketers face. Through understanding your target audience and careful planning, you can create a plan that sets your company apart from the competition.