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Digital pharma marketing – the fundamentals

There’s a lot of focus on digital marketing these days. Yet still a fair amount of confusion. So for the sake of clarity, let’s explore some basic ideas – looking at what digital makes possible and what you should be aiming for in your marketing.

The difference between push and pull marketing

To get the full benefits of digital communication it’s important to understand the difference between “push” and “pull” strategies. Here’s the difference:

  • A push communication is what I want you to know
  • A pull communication is understanding what you need to know and then providing that.

So ‘push’ is the traditional form of communication. In fact, it’s what’s being done to you right now.

"It would be much better if you could tell us what you wanted to hear. Then we could provide precisely the information you needed."

The sentences that you’re reading are a best guess about what you’re interested in. We don’t know your knowledge level of digital communication, so we’re starting from at the beginning. It would be much better if you could tell us what you wanted to hear. Then we could provide precisely the information you needed. And if you could tell us, this would become pull communication and you’d have a much better experience!

It’s precisely this problem – lack of customer insight – that pull communication solves. It enables you to talk to your customers individually, letting them direct the conversation to where they need it to go.

Digital technology enables pull marketing in pharma

Pull communication wasn’t possible in a paper world. We simply couldn’t keep Multichannel marketingtrack of what each physician needed to know. Thousands of doctors, each wanting slightly different pieces of information? Forget it! There would be one printed detail aid and that would have to work for everyone. And that’s the way it’s been until information technology advanced enough.

Now everything’s changed. Digital technology enables us to relate to our customers in ways that simply were unimaginable before. Thanks to technology, doctors can now choose which information they are interested in. So during a face-to-face or remote discussion with a company representative for example, medical professionals can actively pull the information they want. This not only removes the annoyance of irrelevant content but also – more positively ­– makes for a better communication.

Technology allows us to record each medical professional’s particular interests as they interact with the systems. So we can return later to provide more relevant information on a topic that they’ve already expressed interest in. And it continues this way – continually developing a better understanding that powers the provision of high value and very relevant information.

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A new relationship with medical professionals

The application of technology is a big deal. It means that we can stop alienating healthcare professionals and instead work at an individual level – responding to each customer’s particular needs.

By continually providing relevant and high-value information, you enable a more effective communication that creates understanding of your product’s benefits. And it raises your reputation with your customers.

But remember to switch from a push to a pull. Simply adding technology doesn’t automatically bring improved communication. For that we need the right tech and the right strategy.

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