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The 2018 Marketing Playbook


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Our head of digital, Chris Cullmann, alongside our team at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide have developed a playbook for pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing in 2018.

Although not definitive, this playbook points to emerging platforms, the maturing of existing communication mediums, and areas that need your attention to be competitive in a rapidly evolving marketing space.

Published in: Marketing

The 2018 Marketing Playbook

  1. 1. January 2018 Chris Cullmann
  2. 2. WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR: Our team at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide has developed a playbook for pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing in 2018. Although not definitive, this playbook points to emerging platforms, the maturing of existing communication mediums, and areas that need your attention to be competitive in a rapidly evolving marketing space.
  3. 3. CONTENT IS KING AND ENGAGEMENT IS ITS THRONE Although brand-centric messaging and having content about products easily discoverable is critical to patient, caregiver, and physician engagement, brands need to create content that can add value and be worth their time in consuming. Brands are competing on a playing field where their strength and trust from their audience is typically limited to product specifics and safety information. StrategySolution Channels Your brand should be identifying how to add value outside of typical brand safety, efficacy, and dosing information. Think about how to make that information more meaningful, more relevant, and more timely. Create messages and communication that can support product information. Develop content that supports a broader patient and physician journey. Consider behavior-based CRM programs, partner with influencers, and extend communication outside of owned platforms with advocacy- and community-based interactions. CRM, social media, advocacy, patient education, KOLs, and peer-to-peer programs.
  4. 4. HEALTH VIDEO CONTENT Video still represents a huge opportunity for healthcare brands. There are few brands creating content, and fewer that are true authorities for most brand subject matter. YouTube is still the true leader in this space, but there are many more platforms and solutions in paid, earned, and owned media. StrategySolution Channels Create meaningful content that addresses key audience needs. For patients and caregivers, video will be the strongest platform to explain clinical information or telegraph empathetic dialogue for patients. For physicians, clearly presented and engaging videos will galvanize relationships with the brand. Create budgets for video programs that address audience needs. Make them accessible and able to help with health literacy for target populations. Update videos more frequently and produce them appropriately for specific channels and make them easily discoverable. Websites, YouTube, social media, email, point-of-care, partner platforms.
  5. 5. DIGITAL DISRUPTORS ARE AT THE GATES Amazon and CVS are taking action to change the healthcare market in the United States. Healthcare is capturing the attention of not just headline-worthy giants, but from every category of investor and entrepreneur. Issues range from patients and caregivers paying out of pocket—and shopping around—to innovation coming from a new breed of fast-moving competitor. StrategySolution Channels Think differently about your audience and the value your brand is brining to the table. Think faster and take more risks in communication and channels. Where can your brand participate that is both true to the character of your product and is also taking advantage of existing audience behavior? Use data and insights to help drive decision making and make calculated changes to your approach. Identify how you will measure success and how you can use these metrics to make your product “disruption-proof.” Be prepared to make more changes. Leverage your success metrics to help define your road map in innovation. All of them!
  6. 6. DATA IS EVERYWHERE, BUT HOW DO WE USE IT? It seems as though 2017 was the year of big data. As marketers, we are awash in data from our sales, market, rep teams, marketing campaigns, and a myriad of other sources. In what feels to many to be choice paralysis, 2018 is going to be the year for brand leadership to refine their data strategies and focus on key sets of data. StrategySolution Channels Focus on how data can work for you by focusing on insights. What brand leadership is searching for is not more data, but relevant insights to drive their business—the more proprietary, the better. Work on honing a solution that can address your business questions. Modern data solutions should work in your favor, carrying the burden of segmentation, market growth, identifying influencers, and specific needs of the modern brand communicator. All tactics, channels, and campaigns can benefit from and yield data to better inform business decisions.
  7. 7. VOICE INTERFACES Amazon Echo, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant are becoming “at-the-ready” solutions to do everything from managing checkup reminders to answering key healthcare questions. 2018 is going to see broadening popularity for voice as a platform. Both responsive experiences and intervention support are going to see advances with a new generation of popular devices. StrategySolution Channels Identify who your audience is and what their likely utility voice interfaces will be. Providing utility that is valuable and low-friction will yield success. Look for opportunities in your existing patient journey to add whimsy and surprise. Leverage assistant technologies in the home to augment experiences without being intrusive. How can you alert a patient, a caregiver, or align physician instructions with at-home behaviors? The ideal space to make use of an assistant is being “just in time” and helpful. CRM, search, social media, telemedicine, call centers.
  8. 8. “APPS” ARE COMING BACK The solve-all “there’s an app for that” heyday was over along with what was the reprise of every marketing firm addressing the popularity of the iPhone, but apps are going to make a comeback. A new category of application meets mobile (and some desktop) users with extended utility such as alerts, notifications, app- like interfaces, and “deep-linking” to create less friction in the user experience. StrategySolution Channels Look for opportunities to enhance experiences for mobile users in specific areas of focus: does your brand have a calculator, frequently accessed listings, a forum module, or telemedicine approach? These solutions, among many others, can evolve a user searching for information into a valued engagement by a frequent user. Begin building progressive app solutions for high-value content that can play a frequent role or can be updated remotely on the fly. A platform investment combined with strong content, search strategies, or a CRM program can greatly change engagement around key content areas and points of differentiation. Websites, mobile platforms, social media.
  9. 9. THE BOTS ARE COMING TO HEALTHCARE Artificial intelligence in its many, many forms is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. I believe we are passing into the early days of leveraging bots (and the intelligence that drives them) to address communication needs. The early adopters can quickly take a seat of authority—this is the new “mobile” for healthcare communicators StrategySolution Channels Identify where bots can address customer needs and trial a solution. Call centers, customer service interactions, channel monitoring, and even addressing access and clinical issues for patients are ideal junctures in an audience journey to deploy a bot effectively. Minimize risk by testing in environments already deficient and without a strong solution. Identify specific success metrics. Speed to resolution, reduced cost per call, or higher satisfaction in support are excellent metrics aligned for beginning bot-enabled solutions CRM, social media, websites, call centers.