Friday, June 09, 2017

"Hi Doc..."

Date and Time: 7th July, 1982, 4:00 PM EST 
Location: Suite 400, 5th Floor, Memorial Sloan Kettering 

Dr. Allen works as an Oncologist at the famous Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital. Usually, starting his day at 7:30 AM in the morning, having appointment with a number of hopeful patients a day, he rarely gets time to take a break. All his appointments are managed by his office secretary 'Dasie' who has been given only one strict instruction - Not to allow pharmaceutical sales rep in his office. Dr. Allen is a firm believer that he can spend time treating patients rather than meeting pharma sales folks in his office. 

Alas ... a big loss to the pharma industry. A doctor like Dr.Allen cures hundreds of patients a year and being denied access to him costs the company a few thousand dollars a year.... 

This used to be the scenario a few years ago. However, today email marketing has completely changed the landscape. The physicians who are not accessible via the pharma sales rep can easily be marketed using the various digital marketing techniques. Additionally, the new age doctors are very tech savvy. The most commonly being used is emails. 

Emails are preferred by the pharma companies for the following reasons nowadays. 
  1. Enables them to reach a wide audience. Even those MDs who are not accessible using the traditional techniques like rep detailing can easily be reached using the emails.
  2. Very cost effective. The ROI is high and there are a large number of tools available online which can help to design such a campaign.
  3. Faster dissemination of knowledge. The health care industry changes every second with new breakthroughs, scientific research, government regulations etc. The emails help send out communication across the world in a very short amount of time. 
Even though the emails do have a lot of advantages, the open rate among the doctors is at a low. Some of the tactics which can be used by the pharma industries to reach the targeted audience are  - 
  1. Segment the market and design the communication accordingly 
  2. Make the subject line attractive enough to raise anticipation
  3. In the modern digital age, emails should be mobile friendly
  4. Focus on the benefits rather than on the products
  5. Personalize the communication wherever possible
In this digital age, pharma industry can not only reach the right audience but significantly reduce its promotional spend if they use email marketing effectively. With rising R&D cost and pharma industries under constant pressure of cutting drug costs, the email marketing technique can go a long way and has a bright future. 


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