Saturday, June 15, 2024

Healthcare Professionals Want Straight Talk from Pharma Marketing Campaigns

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A recent survey by CMI reveals a complex relationship between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the pharmaceutical industry‘s use of corporate brand marketing. While doctors generally hold drug companies in good favor (61% view them favorably), their opinions on corporate marketing campaigns are far from unanimous.

The pharmaceutical industry has a long history of running corporate campaigns, but the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a surge in efforts to showcase the inner workings of these companies. Big names like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer were among those launching corporate campaigns in 2020. This trend has continued, with AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Moderna, and others joining the fray, some for the first time.

The survey, which polled 108 healthcare professionals in the U.S., suggests these corporate campaigns can have an impact on prescribing decisions. Surprisingly, 55% of doctors admitted that corporate messaging does influence their choices, to some degree. While the majority of this influence is minimal, 17% acknowledged a moderate effect, and a further 3% reported a very influential impact.

Mixed Messages for Pharma: Healthcare Professionals Divided on Marketing’s Impact

The survey also exposes a deep division in doctors’ opinions on brand marketing. While around one-third expressed positive feelings towards it, over a quarter voiced strong disapproval. Notably, a significant portion (around 1 in 14) held very unfavorable views. This skepticism extends to the effectiveness of corporate advertising for patients. More than half of the healthcare professionals surveyed believe these branded ads are confusing and overly broad when it comes to educating the public. However, a surprising counterpoint emerged: over 40% of respondents still see them as a valuable tool for sharing information.

The survey dives deeper, offering insights into what doctors would like to see from pharma marketing. Many comments suggested a preference for campaigns focused on practical matters and clear information, rather than emotional appeals. Danielle Koffer, group client director at CMI, echoed this sentiment in the report.

Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare Professionals Demand Clear Communication: Pharma Marketing Must Prioritize Facts

“Pharmaceutical companies are inherently emotionally charged,” Koffer noted. “Doctors may already be dealing with strong emotions when it comes to these products. For advertising, they simply want the facts for their patients. They want to know if it works, how it works, and how they can access it.”

This survey sheds light on the complexities of communication within the healthcare industry. While doctors may acknowledge the influence of pharma marketing, skepticism and a desire for factual information remain prevalent. Pharmaceutical companies, seeking to build trust and promote their brands, are left with a challenge: how to craft effective marketing that resonates with both doctors and patients, while prioritizing clarity and practicality over emotional manipulation.


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Resource: Fierce Pharma, May 20, 2024

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