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Being bold: CEO David Ormesher on the key to pharma marketing success in 2014

PM360 - January 2014

Recently, PM360 published its list of “trends, burning issues and keys to success” for 2014 to help pharma marketers stay aware to the changes in their industry and predict which tactics will set them apart.   

The new year has brought new challenges as the healthcare landscape changes, technology further empowers patients and different competition brings new possibilities for innovative ideas. But David Ormesher, CEO of closerlook, inc., believes that the biggest challenge to pharma marketers this year is their own fear that they are not taking enough risks, causing them to remain in a “sea of sameness.”

“There are many eternal forces that will continue to impact our industry over which we have little control,” Ormesher said. “Payers, the FDA, generics. But that’s old news. The biggest cause of sleeplessness this year won’t be the external factors that every brand shares in common. It will be the internal fear that we aren’t being bold enough. That the temptation to repeat past tactics will overcome our secret desire to take risks, show leadership and make a difference.”   

The biggest industry trends in 2014 involve the implementation of digital technology to healthcare, specifically the large sets of data being leveraged to better target healthcare professionals as well as patients. David Rear, President of Advanced Clinical Concepts, noted, “change is best facilitated by data. Our industry has one of the largest data sets available, and it’s growing bigger every day. The increasing ability to identify patient-level diagnostic and prescription data will allow us to identify patients at risk and better target them, even within individual physician practices.” 

Ormesher took this idea a step further when he said, “Who we target, what we say and how we say it must be based on broad empirical data, and that only comes from a fanatical focus on data acquisition and insight. In practical terms, that means capturing data on every single touchpoint a brand has with its market and distilling insight to drive decisions, including value proposition, creative, message and channel choices.”

As expected, data also plays a big role as a key to pharma marketing success in 2014. Pharma marketers can have a successful year if they can learn to turn their data inward, looking at their own company analytics to improve performance, prevent the repetition of mistakes and increase employee engagement. Another tactic to give pharma companies an edge with data involves giving patients their personal and informational data. By making this Big Data accessible, patients can empower themselves in their own care to better understand their disease and how pharma fits in their treatment. More patients “proactively managing” their health means more that are willing to be participants in the healthcare conversation, and engaged in pharma’s messaging.

Together with the changes to the healthcare system and the availability of data, pharma marketing customers are also changing. Adapting with these changes to better understand your customers is a big key to success in the industry. Ormesher echoed this sentiment when he said, “the biggest cause of inertia is the assumption that we know our customers,” he said. “We assume that our qualitative research and historical prescribing behavior give us an adequate basis for our targeting, marketing messages and media mix. It’s not true.

“The solution for marketing insomnia in 2014 won’t be a new technology or a social media initiative. It will be the confidence that only comes from gaining proprietary knowledge into individual customers, and the obsessive commitment to serving them at their unique point of interest and need.”


 
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The drugs, Optistavin, Easovartis and Librylin, and names, results, case studies and specific information, referenced in this advertisement are fictional and were created solely for illustrating the digital marketing capabilities of closerlook, inc. Any resemblance to actual drugs, medications, treatments, persons, living or dead, or to actual events, is purely coincidental. closerlook, inc. does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage or disruption caused by such party’s reliance on the fictitious information contained in this illustration.

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