Breakthrough Life Sciences Marketing: 5 Tips for Crafting a Winning Omnichannel Strategy

Omnichannel marketing on a tablet device.

Building lasting relationships with both physicians and consumers is essential to the success of your life sciences marketing strategy. But because your target audiences are fragmented, it can be difficult for your brand to earn the engagement and loyalty that you seek. Launching an omnichannel marketing strategy can help you put the pieces together and forge the relationships your brand needs to flourish.

Once a consumer and their healthcare provider have decided to put their trust in your product and brand, an omnichannel marketing strategy can help you stay relevant and top of mind. This increases the likelihood that a provider will prescribe future products and that consumers who’ve had positive experiences with them may recommend them – and others under your brand – to people they know.

What’s the Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing?

Multichannel and omnichannel marketing strategies are similar. Multichannel marketing sends the same message or content across multiple channels to broaden reach. It’s a channel-centric approach that can be effective and cost-efficient due to its straightforwardness. It usually requires only one call to action and one main piece of content. Many businesses like CVS, Apple, and Vrbo are already engaged in multichannel marketing, sending similar content across print, digital, and environmental channels.

Omnichannel marketing, an extension of multichannel marketing, expands and improves upon that concept in ways that could benefit pharmaceutical marketers. It is a consumer- or physician-centric marketing strategy that usually has one cohesive, overarching goal (like promoting a new medication). However, it targets many audiences and offers multiple conversion paths, giving members of each audience more personalized and positive experiences. Instead of one piece of content and one call to action, unique content is created for each channel to optimize reach and impact. However, content on all channels is coordinated and works together to provide a seamless user experience.

How Omnichannel Marketing Benefits Life Science Brands

One major challenge facing pharmaceutical marketers is how to effectively engage and build loyalty among both healthcare providers who can prescribe their products and people living with the conditions their medications target, who are increasingly informed and active participants in their own healthcare. A multichannel approach that funnels the same content through various channels will connect only with a small segment of each of these populations, resulting in little engagement and few conversions.

Omnichannel marketing is more effective for life sciences. It allows you to target multiple audiences through a coordinated strategy. With more content and engagement options, this approach can connect with multiple populations while still providing personalized experiences, driving more conversions. Omnichannel marketing can also increase brand awareness and recognition in the community by making sure all content consistently represents your company’s brand, which can contribute to future conversions.

As they go on their journey with your brand, your audience – whether they be consumers or healthcare providers – will move forward through a series of interactions with your brand through multiple engaging formats, with each touchpoint building on the one before it. For a potential consumer or healthcare provider, what starts with building awareness of your brand and products can then naturally transition to establishing a belief and trust in your brand and products and, finally, gaining support. You can focus these journeys on specific topics like drug safety, efficacy, or ease of use. When a provider supports your product, they’re likely to recommend it to their patients who could benefit from it. When a consumer supports your product, they’re likely to request it when reviewing treatment options with their provider.

5 Tips for Implementing a Successful Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Adopting an omnichannel pharma marketing plan takes some work, but these steps can help you craft one that’s effective and successful.

1. Analyze Your Data

Analyzing your data should give you more information on what channels various segments of your healthcare provider and consumer audiences use, when these users are most active, and what kind of content they engage with. With this information, you can plan strategic content that will appeal to users and reach them at the right time, on the right channels. Analyzing the data can also help you segment users into groups based on their behaviors, so you can deliver more personalized content, from email campaigns to drug regimens to targeted advertising.

2. Map the User Experience

For each group of users that you want to target, explore your content from their perspective. Navigate all your pharma brand’s marketing channels as users would, from first seeing an ad to post-appointment follow-up communications. Understanding how users perceive your pharmaceutical company and/or your products at every stage of their journey can help you enhance their experience and identify problems. Make sure each link or next funnel stage makes sense for the user based on where they are on their journey. Correct any dead ends, like broken links or pages that don’t give users a clear way to interact or move forward. Each path should lead to a conversion opportunity and offer more information for the user.

Listening and responding to the voice of consumers has become increasingly important in pharmaceutical product development, regulatory approval, and commercialization, and by analyzing data and mapping user experiences, pharma can more quickly adapt to stay relevant.

Each user experience or journey will vary, as the experiences of consumers or healthcare providers who have not yet engaged with your brand will differ from those with established relationships prescribing or using your other products. Every time a provider or consumer engages with your marketing channels, their actions can tell you about their interests, knowledge of your brand or product, and preferences. Apply the data you gather to build more relevant communications with each target audience.

3. Be Consistent

The most effective omnichannel marketing strategies are ones that offer a consistent, cohesive experience for all users across all channels. Discrepancies in information and brand markers like tone and colors can confuse readers or reduce your brand recognition. A consistent experience will also help your audience flow through the marketing funnel more smoothly, leading to more conversions.

4. Repurpose Valuable Content

While you never want to copy and paste your content word for word, take note of the content that drives the most traffic, interactions, and conversions. When you have content that performs well, it means that it’s valuable to your audience and connects with them effectively. Repurpose that content into other formats – like blog posts, direct mail, downloadable guides, or a short thread of informational tweets – to capitalize on its value. Repurposing content saves time and resources while boosting SEO, improving consistency, and gaining more conversions.

5. Use the Right Tools

Automation can be a valuable component in an omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel strategies are most effective when appropriate content is sent at the right time and in the right context, but identifying the right timing, context, and user can be time- and resource-consuming. Omnichannel automation platforms can help integrate your marketing channels so they work together to optimize the user experience, freeing up time and resources to monitor and analyze your campaign’s success.

Take influencer marketing, for example. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were visiting their healthcare providers less and paying attention to social media more than usual, influencer marketing became increasingly important for pharma marketers. Influencer marketing campaigns on platforms like TikTok and Instagram can help pharmaceutical companies reach a wider audience of consumers with certain conditions, bolstered by the influence and credibility of the individuals they follow on these platforms. To be successful with a platform like this, it’s important that pharmaceutical marketers partner with influencers who are well-respected, have an engaged community of followers, and have experience with or a genuine interest in the condition associated with your product. When exploring influencer marketing strategies, it’s also important to clearly understand and adhere to all policies set out in HIPAA privacy laws and guidelines set by organizations like the American Medical Association.

Omnichannel pharmaceutical marketing strategies can help your marketing message cut through the noise of competing brands. By putting your audience at the center of your strategy and creating a cohesive experience across all channels, omnichannel marketing helps you develop more personalized content that connects with more users in each of your audiences. If you’re ready to implement an effective and robust marketing plan to boost engagement, build loyalty, and develop long-term healthcare provider and consumer relationships, reach out to LIGHTSTREAM.