Six Communication trends Pharma needs to watch in 2024.

As we approach 2024, the Pharma industry’s focus on developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with healthcare professionals (HCPs) will only intensify.

In this ever-changing landscape, companies are re-embracing F2F strategies and adding virtual and hybrid options to enhance stakeholder experience while adhering to strict regulatory guidelines. The need to find more effective ways to connect with HCPs has never been more crucial.

1. Prioritizing HCP Insights

In 2024, the pharmaceutical industry will prioritize gaining a deeper understanding of HCPs’ needs and behaviours. A recent study by EPG Health highlighted this trend (1), with approximately 60% of pharmaceutical respondents, indicating that HCP insight is a top priority for strategic HCP engagement.

Medical Science Liaisons remain in the lead

Medical science liaisons will continue to play a crucial role in delivering news and updates to healthcare professionals (HCPs), as well as gathering vital information and feedback on establishing and managing the relationship. HCPs value face-to-face or virtual interactions (1) with like-minded MSLs who understand and can discuss the science and data being shared, as well as provide medical, market, and business knowledge and information.

Need for deeper listening

Pharma will continue its journey to gain a deep understanding of the HCP online behaviour, including their usage of digital platforms, preferences, and interactions with digital content. This understanding will help companies tailor and optimize their digital content and strategies to better meet the needs and preferences of this audience.

2. Embracing Digital Solutions and Virtual Care

Enhancing patient experience

The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly leveraging digital solutions and virtual care to enhance the patient experience. Patients now expect to be more actively involved in their healthcare journey. By creating direct-to-customer (DTC) digital experiences and solutions, pharmaceutical companies can strengthen their relationships with patients.

Role of wearables and digital health tracking tools

The adoption of wearables and digital health tracking tools has seen a significant upsurge, reflecting an sped up pre-pandemic trend. These digital tools can help improve patient outcomes by monitoring engagement, adherence, and disease management throughout the treatment course. They can also serve as an additional touchpoint between Pharma and patient.

3. Consumerization of healthcare for HCPs and patients

Today’s consumers–HCPs and patients included-expect a high level of customer experience in their interactions with every industry. This has led to a shift where pharmaceutical companies need to adopt a customer-centric approach to medical communications. In this competitive environment, companies must embrace technology and digital solutions that delight their customers.

Importance of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly crucial in attracting consumers. With approximately 1 billion health-related searches conducted each day, optimizing websites for search engines should be an essential strategy for any businesses looking to reach their target audience in a moment of high engagement and openness to learn more about your product or service. Delivering trusted information at the right time is critical in the patient journey, from a symptom search on Google to a telemedicine video call with a healthcare advisor.

Growth of telemedicine

2023 saw a significant growth in telemedicine, which could be one of the most impactful and long-lasting trends for the pharmaceutical industry. It is critical for pharma to gain a holistic view of their customers and create empowering Telemedicine customer journeys.

4. Leveraging AI for Enhanced Engagement

Digital interactions with healthcare providers and consumers provide a wealth of data that can inform decision-making and allow for personalized messaging and better targeting (3). AI can enhance segmentation beyond primary differentiators, enabling pharma to target healthcare providers based on specific interests and past engagement. It can also offer novel sources of data collection, in the shape of chatbots, dynamic forms and content aggregators.

5. Personalization in Pharma

The development of personalized drugs and therapies, although still in its infancy, will continue to play a vital role for pharma, since customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers a personalized experience (4).

Personalized portals and apps

Embracing personalization can be challenging because of healthcare privacy regulations. However, pharmaceutical companies can capitalize on personalization by creating portals and mobile apps. This empowers patients to decide their healthcare journey and allows marketers to develop personalized content (4), messaging, and experiences for each touchpoint.

Rare Disease Research & Communication

There is an ongoing need for novel medications to cater to patients with rare diseases. Less than 10% of these diseases currently have effective medications targeted towards them, showing a significant gap in medical treatment. For 2024, there is an expected increase in the demand for advancements in clinical research for rare diseases, which include genetic and pediatric diseases like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Alport syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

6. Automated Regulatory Compliance

The pharmaceutical industry faces stringent regulations, making it challenging for pharmaceutical marketers to ensure that their messaging is compliant. Machine learning and automation can help marketers ensure consistent messaging without adding vast amounts of regulatory work. Natural language processing (NLP) can automate mundane tasks (5), increase productivity and efficiency. It also reduces the risk of violating any FDA guidelines. As companies strive to abide by regulatory guidelines while capitalizing on consumer interest in health and well-being, NLP, machine learning, and automation will be the fastest-growing pharma marketing trends in 2024.

The pharmaceutical industry is entering a transformative era in medical communications. By leveraging technology, continuously innovating, and meeting the evolving needs of healthcare professionals and consumers, pharma can forge stronger, more effective relationships.






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