Why Patient Marketing Matters
Many of us are familiar with the concept of “Dr. Google.” When someone’s concerned about a health issue, it’s common to search online for potential causes. But do you know what almost 70% of patients do once they’ve been to the doctor?
They go online to ask for opinions regarding their doctor’s advice. Clearly, patient marketing is more important than ever before. To help discuss what the industry needs to be aware of going forward, Frank Dolan sat down with Paul Murasko, Head of Digital Customer Interaction for Ipsen North America.
Frank and Paul’s interview was featured as part of the Life Science Leader Lab.
Inform The Patient, Don’t Try To Sell Them
Patient marketing isn’t, at the end of the day, about selling. Instead, it’s about making sure patients have the information out there to make the best decisions for their health.
Paul Murasko explains that manufacturers should make sure they disseminate “the right education material out there and the right digestible version so people can clearly understand options, understand the condition, and seek the right path forward from a treatment standpoint.”
It’s easy for content to sound promotional and untrustworthy when a pharmaceutical company is talking about its own product. This is why, Paul Murasko explains, your messaging “can’t be even remotely salesy.” This includes the words being used, the imagery, and anything else that could impart a commercial sheen onto your informative content.
To help strengthen the legitimacy of the information you’re disseminating, it’s important to form a connection with patient advocates.
It’s also vital to ensure you’re not forcing people to come to your website to get the information they need. Instead, you want to make sure it’s available on social media. Essentially, you want to put your information where the people are.
Understand Your Disease Space
The same patient marketing strategy won’t work for all diseases. Patients with chronic diseases, for instance, “often know there’s something wrong,” Paul Murasko explains. While the patient needs to start the journey towards recovery, the process of determining what’s wrong isn’t as arduous. Smokers, for example, already understand how their habits could lead to lung disease.
This is a very different experience than what patients with rare diseases experience. It’s vital to note that you’re not trying to diagnose patients, but you are trying to make sure they have the information they need to have a productive discussion with their doctors.
Paul Murasko explains, “15 minutes goes real quick, so the patient needs to go in and quickly focus on why they’re there to get to a specialist. Or, if they go to a specialist, same thing, they need to be able to explain why they’re there.”
This is why the information discussed in the previous section is so important: you’re not trying to sell the patient, you’re trying to empower them to ensure they understand what they need.