Pharma's content marketing

The content is the king - so let's give it respect

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

Everyone knows that the content is the king, in all the existing channels of communication. Content should be interesting, relevant, stops to think, brings value - even this fact we all know.

Today, most of the Pharma's content focuses on the product's capabilities

Did dealing with rigid regulation led to this or could it be otherwise? Can the pharma, as an industry, apply what happens in other industries in terms of content and make the content king?

Where is the gap?

Or alternatively what is this gap "sitting on"?


We interviewed several product managers and asked why most of the Pharma's content relates to product features.

The answers were similar and indicated four main reasons: • Regulation that allows very little space for content. • Belief that repeatly stating the products abilities wil bring about the desired change in doctor's positions at some point. • An assumption that doctors are accustomed to receive scientific materials. • The assumption that doctors want to get information based on articles.


The first reason is an external cause, which is the result of regulation by the Israel Ministry of Health which dictates how to publish medical materials to the general public and requires the examination and approval of marketing materials.

The assumption in some cases is that the MOH will reject or impose difficulties on certain materials.


The other reasons are conclusions or assumptions. A survey conducted in December 2018 among physicians in Israel 1 showed that over 75% of them wanted to receive scientific information from the pharmaceutical company - articles or summaries of articles.

The product managers interviewed indicated that these results correspond to their company's business assumptions. On the face of it, this seems to be the content the doctors want, but the results in the rest of world show otherwise. We know that the opening percentages of mailing, online articles or entry to company sites to consume these materials are very low.

So where is the gap? In order to answer this, we must examine the satisfaction with the content or the format in which it is accessible.


Let's go over it again - doctors want reliable, simple and accessible information

In the studies in which doctors were asked about their preferences for obtaining materials from drug companies, the answers were the same - they wanted reliable, simple and accessible scientific information, and no reference was made to whether the information must be product capabilities or characteristics.


In 2015 EPG health media 2 conducted a survey on the preferences of medical staff regarding content and communication with drug companies. More than 50% of the respondents said they believe there is room to improve the content that is being used by pharmaceutical companies.

The findings indicated a significant gap between the current demand for content types and the supply And the need for medical content that provides a user experience according to the needs or formats specified by the respondents.


We sell a story rather than a product This article or scientific brochure is important, but these are just some of the content that can be produced and more importantly the medical staff, our customers ask, want and expect additional content.

Behind every robe there is a person who seems to be looking for a "story" in life. Because what makes the content “ the king” is to give it real value, interest, relevance, bringing additional angles that makes the reader think, to draw new conclusions or feel a sense to which they are aimed at and ultimately content can increase the involvement and trust of the reader with the company that created it.

Content requires invest in thought and planning . The first and practical step is to stop talking only about the product and its therapeutic abilities and begin presenting additional product values ​​from the worlds that touch the therapeutic field of the product: social economic, social, nursing, tourism and other worlds.



References: 1. Channels and Content Preference Survey, Physicians, EMED and GANBAROO 2. EPG Health Media- PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY: HCP ENGAGEMENT 2015


This post has been translated from Hebrew

Consulting and project management for the healthcare sector.

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