Growth Marketing Tips for Pharmaceutical Industry

Written by Burcin Genc

Since the pharmaceutical industry is regulated by governments all over the world with highly strict rules, all activities and initiatives in the field of marketing and communication are also constrained.

Despite all the challenging regulations, the pharmaceutical industry continues to accelerate its rise in the market with each passing day. According to Iqvia's “Global Medical Use in 2019 and Looking to 2023” report, the industry will exceed $1.5 trillion in total market value in 2023 and have a CAGR of between 3% and 6%. Besides, estimates were made before the covid outbreak.

In short, the pharmaceutical industry has great potential in a highly sensitive and niche area. And to ensure growth, a smart communication strategy that stays in the code of ethics has great importance. At this point, unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing maintains valuable opportunities by making accurate targeting with much clearer strategies and planning much more measurable activities. That also provides pharma companies a chance to benefit from the potential and close the gap created by the regulations.

So, let’s talk about the strategic steps that should be followed in order to create a useful roadmap that will lead the pharma industry through the way before diving deeper into great tools of growth marketing.


Build a Relevant Growth Strategy


In today's world, too many companies have digital lenses. However, what we generally observe is that they are all fogged up like glasses on a crowded bus. So just remember that overflowing with data doesn't always bring marketing departments the real answers they need. What you’ll need is to act smart and follow the right path to growth.

Thus, in order to be able to perfectly manage all future communication activities and use digital tools effectively, you need to clarify these areas first:


Define Your Potential Customers

At first glance, the target audience of the pharmaceutical industry may simply seem like only doctors or patients. But, in today's pharma industry and in the digital world, this has become a very old-fashioned point of view. Now every individual has very different health issues waiting to be solved by the pharma industry. You don't even have to be sick to be in need of many drugs. That’s because the solutions that pharmaceutical companies can offer have become endless.

So, following these steps to identify the target audience will surely help:

  1. run an internal check-up of your entire business model, market, workflow processes, and marketing activities covering the 4Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion). When you complete this process, your umbrella brand and different solutions that can address different needs under this brand will become clear.
  2. carry out a competitive analysis and take a closer look at your most challenging competitors in the industry for each brand
  3. complete customer research and collect insights from your current, potential, or even lost customers. Never underestimate the customers you lose and always remember that you can learn a lot from them.


Build Your Growth Funnels

Once you’ve decided who you’re talking to, it’s now time to shape the journey. And growth funnels are the ultimate way we use in setting the stages of a customer journey. These funnels are basically the foundation of your growth marketing strategy which starts with the awareness phase of your customer and ends with conversion. 

So here are the steps you should follow to make the customer journey flawless;



  • At the top of the funnel (TOFU), you should reach out and attract the attention of your customers by providing a benefit according to their needs and level of knowledge. Sometimes they don’t even know that they are in need but the tricky part is that you can create awareness by sharing your knowledge and expertise.
  • In the middle of the funnel (MOFU), you better prioritise your potential customers that are already aware of their problems and needs. You should provide solutions to their specific needs at the right time, at the right channel to trigger their decision-making process and turn them into qualified leads.
  • At the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), you should be focusing on closing the deals with your qualified leads and satisfying already gained customers to turn them into loyal ones and thereby support sustainable growth.


Score Your Leads 

Real, sustainable and long-term growth depends on a comprehensive understanding of your consumers. At this point, the personas you create at the beginning of your growth strategy allow you to identify high-potential customers. By scoring your current and potential customers you can simply prioritise them and develop communication strategies with high ROI. This will be an efficient method for managing both time and resources correctly and optimizing your marketing activities. You can use manual methods or CRM tools like HubSpot to score and generate leads.

Now let's jump into some great growth marketing tactics that will help you bridge the gap created by all the regulations and restrictions in the pharmaceutical industry and ensure sustainable growth.


Growth Marketing Tactics for Pharmaceutical Industry


The main goal in growth marketing is always to create effective marketing activities that allow the company to promote its product, while creating awareness among people, trying to build brand loyalty. Of course, within the ethical rules. In order to manage these activities in the most effective way, it is extremely important to use the growth channels and tactics correctly as well as creating a smart growth strategy. So here are some suggestions for you!


1- Rank High in Search Results with SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) simply allows you to rank high in Google searches and be more visible. And considering that 77% of customers search for medical information online, SEO stands at the cornerstone of any growth marketing strategy.

During the research of a potential customer that may be related to your product, it is extremely valuable to be there and create a resource that perfectly guides and informs the customer in need. That will turn your company into a reliable expert, and your product becomes a hero.

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, your website must be built with the right SEO tactics to beat all competitors. Since the pharmaceutical sector is also a very large industry, even pharmacists trying to have a presence in the digital world can be your competitors at this point. Therefore, SEO in the pharmaceutical industry is an important issue that needs to be handled on its own and managed correctly according to constantly changing search metrics and the positioning of the competitors.

  • To rank high in the search engine and turn every page and content on your website into a valuable product, a few basic tweaks are essential:
  • Informative useful content
  • Optimized titles and title tags
  • Short and compelling meta descriptions
  • Using multimedia

Remember that with SEO, you can position your brand in the busiest spots or the most important nooks of the internet, and create a highly effective showcase that will attract the attention of your customers and trigger their decision mechanisms.


2- Boost Engagement with Social Media

For many industries, social media marketing is used to sell more products and create loyalty. But for pharmaceutical marketing, reaching customers through social media channels has a much more meaningful purpose. Since it is a very niche field and requires expertise, social media is a very effective way to close the knowledge gaps between pharmaceutical companies and the public in the most accurate way

Thus, it would be more appropriate to use social media channels to share awareness-raising posts such as new research results and health-related developments or corporate achievements.

In addition, it would be wise to add multimedia to the posts on channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn because social media users show a higher interest in posts containing photos or videos.

Since social media is a channel open to negative comments and the pharmaceutical industry is an area where disinformation is intense, managing feedback correctly may have higher priority and create challenging issues. However, if you deliver the right moderation to the negative comments with informative content and the know-how you have, it is possible to create a much more positive perception.


3 - Prove Expertise With Content Marketing

Content is the output your company delivers on any channel. It is not enough to look at the content only in terms of the written text. Content can be images, interactive elements, etc. presented with texts. 

Content marketing, on the other hand, is all of the activities done to convey the right outputs about your business to the right audience in the right place through the right channels. It is wise to look at content marketing as a whole, encompassing the stages of producing, designing and publishing information output. All you need is a relevant content marketing plan to accomplish those steps. 

In content marketing, the sky is the limit in creativity. However, it is imperative that pharmaceutical companies produce several offline content formats such as user manuals for consumers, guides for doctors on how to prescribe the product, and Material Safety Data Sheets for both promotional and informational purposes.

They are also important as a strong basic source of information in producing online content. Based on all these technical contents, the following online content can be created to strengthen the corporate website and digital presence:

  • Articles to prove your expertise
  • Blog post to show that you are reliable and up to date 
  • Shareholder reports to prove that you are transparent
  • Infographics to pop up the significant knowledge
  • Research outputs to share your know-how and create awareness

After you have built relevant content, you can strengthen your content strategy by looking for earned media channels to be mentioned in online articles, television interviews or consumer-generated videos, etc. 

Open communication becomes much more important, especially in sectors where regulations and responsibility are intense, such as the pharmaceutical industry. The only way of right communication is to create the right resources and deliver these resources to the users who need them through the right channels. Growth marketing offers a highly transparent form of communication that the pharmaceutical industry needs, every stage of which can be measured and reported.


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