Building a successful omnichannel strategy in pharma marketing requires finding the right balance among the content channels that reach your audience, from mass media to print and more. And while spending enormous sums on TV and other media channels may help drive some general brand awareness, investing in the point of care can amplify those efforts by connecting brands with target patient audiences at critical moments in their healthcare journey.
In 2021, the top 10 pharma-brand media buyers spent $1.6 billion on TV ads,1 while the pharma industry collectively doled out about $1 billion for print advertising.2 But despite the money being poured into mass media channels, brand awareness among clinically relevant patients is still low.
- Even with 21 billion TV-ad impressions in asthma in 2021,3 nearly one-third (31%) of asthma patients couldn’t recall any brands for their condition by the time they got to the point of care, according to Phreesia survey results collected from more than 5,500 patients in September 2021.4
- And although diabetes brands spent $777 million on TV, print and digital advertising in 2021,5 only 15% of patients could recall all of the leading brands other than metformin in the category, according to a Phreesia survey of more than 4,000 patients checking in for their doctor’s appointments between December 2021 and January 2022.6
With today’s digital innovations, the point of care serves as a strong place to not only continue building brand awareness, but also to find a brand’s most clinically qualified target audience and provide them with content relevant to where they are in their healthcare journey.
“The point of care can be used strategically across the full marketing funnel,” says Natasha Vega, Associate Director, Integrated Media Planning at OMD. “Depending on the tactics selected within the channel, it can support awareness, consideration and conversion goals by reaching highly qualified and hard-to-reach patients right before they see their healthcare provider (HCP).”
Here are three reasons why optimizing media mix and increasing investment in digital point-of-care engagement is vital to your omnichannel strategy.
1. The point of care amplifies the impact of other media channels.
While there are different yet important roles for each touchpoint in an omnichannel strategy, point-of-care marketing helps elevate those efforts to increase target-patient conversions to brand, says Danielle Lynch, Phreesia’s Vice President of Client Experience, Life Sciences.
“All the media you’ve invested in has worked hard to drive awareness and get the right patient to the doctor’s office. Why would you let go of them once they’re at that critical moment right before meeting with their healthcare provider?” Lynch says. “To not include targeted, digital point-of-care marketing is a disservice to all the other efforts within your omnichannel strategy as you miss the opportunity for that one last push while the patient is in a healthcare state of mind.”
Providing patients with relevant resources at the point of care can help drive better health outcomes by empowering them to discuss potential treatments or savings offers with their HCPs. Patients also are more likely to understand how well medications work (30%) when they see the information in their doctor’s office rather than on TV (25%), according to a Phreesia survey taken by more than 7,400 patients checking in for doctors’ appointments between February and March 2022.
2. The point of care reaches clinically relevant patients with the right message at the right time.
Digital technology has changed how patients can be identified and activated at the point of care. While TV, print and other mass-media channels can reach patients at scale, such channels are prone to greater ad waste because of insufficient targeting, lack of relevancy and other inadequacies. Point-of-care digital-engagement tools, however, deliver targeted media based on patient demographics and are tailored to address their respective healthcare needs.
Whether looking to reach a broad demographic, specific diagnosed patient audience or medication prescribed, digital-engagement platforms at the point of care employ actionable data and targeting methods that connect patients with campaigns and resources relevant to their medical needs. Reaching patients while they’re in a healthcare state of mind also can help drive better outcomes: Phreesia survey data shows that ads at the point of care activate more patient-HCP discussions, with 40% of patients asking their doctor about pharma brands after seeing them at the point of care, compared to 27% of patients who had seen ads on TV.
“Point of care helps brands elicit and gain trust with their consumers, largely based on the patient’s existing trust with their HCP,” Vega says. “You can advertise on certain health endemic websites to elicit trust, but it’s important for patients to speak with their doctors and other members of their care team to make medical decisions collectively.”
3. The point of care can generate actionable data insights.
While the phaseout of cookies and the emergence of new ad-tracking privacy restrictions have limited the precision of certain digital-media channels, pharma marketers still can safely collect first-party data through HIPAA-compliant point-of-care platforms that digitally target patients, thereby improving audience quality.
And because of their ability to leverage patient demographics and other data, digital point-of-care platforms can also offer more tailored measurement capabilities than mass-media channels. With these types of insights, marketers can measure their advertising’s impact on outcomes beyond NBRx numbers, analyzing such data as condition awareness and adherence, and generate campaign results more quickly.
“Digital engagement tactics have created more targeting flexibility within the point of care and have allowed marketers to receive more real-time results from campaigns,” Vega says. “With quicker access to these insights, marketers can evaluate what their omnichannel strategy may need from both a short-term and a long-term perspective to then manage or refine their campaigns.”
Learn how Phreesia Life Sciences can help your organization target clinically relevant audiences and activate the right patients right before their medical appointments.