From traditional to digital: the steps towards digital pharma marketing

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Digital pharma marketing is becoming the next frontier for healthcare marketers. The roll in of multiple marketing channels such as edetailing, digital media and web apps have created a new area of interest among marketers seeking optimum top of mind among physicians. However, not much is known about this avenue; let alone how to safely navigate serious pharmaceutical brands in it. Digital marketing is much different from traditional marketing and is not for the faint of heart or the uninitiated. Therefore, when starting out, it is highly recommended that initial pharmaceutical digital marketing be carried out via consultation with the most well versed individuals in this particular area who have navigated the digital front before.


Some of the many challenges that come to the front when embarking on the digital pharma marketing effort. Pharma marketing differs from other commercial marketing ventures in that pharma cannot carry out cookie targeting due to strict regulatory and privacy concerns. Pharma brands are the most sensitive of brands which can get affected by the slightest of wrong placement. On the digital platform, this means the forums where brands are placed must be appropriate in its content. Finally, pharma companies must comply with industry standards and adhere to FDA and Federal Trade Commission while communicating any information to the different stakeholders of the healthcare industry.

This is easier said than done as the advertisement placement challenges make pharma branding difficult. Edetailing has helped by providing optimum and in-depth content for physicians’ eyes only, thereby addressing

regulatory concerns. However, placing information out on the web requires constant vigilance in part of the marketer.

To overcome the challenge, following are some tactics marketers can use to generate useful engagement for pharma brands. However, understanding the different aspects of the new digital pharma marketing is important before embarking on this effort.

  1. Health related content generation: is the first step towards establishing brand credibility. This should be mixed with non-health related content to help generate more traffic and give brand a lift.
  2. Performance media, including SEO: other forms of optimization are a necessary prerequisite for success. Use of products such as
  3. Premium media to engage serious decision makers and influencers based on extensive study and research.

Again, engaging experts before launching your brand in cyberspace may be the best option to prevent any inadvertent outcomes. Proper placement can ensure, protect and even enhance the pharma brand image in the eyes of stakeholders.