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Nexxus Blog

Overcoming Challenges to Patient Engagement

15 Sep 2015

Are pharmaceutical companies doing all they can to engage patients?

Only 36% of patients, healthcare professionals, caregivers and patient influencers believe they are. That’s according to a study released in May by WEGO Health, a network of more than 100,000 online health influencers.

Pharmaceutical companies have been slow to adapt their marketing to today’s “non-stop” consumer, and they have a huge opportunity to engage this important audience.

What Prevents Pharma From Better Engaging Patients?

It’s not a lack of understanding patients, physicians, providers or payors. Pharma brand marketers spend millions of dollars each year on research to understand their end-users, and to uncover their preferred communications channels.

What is preventing life sciences companies from more effectively engaging patients is a lack of message orchestration. Companies that engage patients successfully not only understand their audience, they develop messages appropriate to each audience, deliver those messages across channels, provide iterative communications, and have largely automated their marketing to achieve effective follow up. The result is the right kind of personalized experience.

A Personalized Experience at All Times and Across All Channels

Patients, physicians and caregivers expect to be engaged by the companies that are providing medicines to them. While they may only seek information when they are sick, they are always seeking information from reputable sources that they know they can trust.

The way forward for pharmaceutical marketers then is to take their knowledge of patients, physicians and providers and better orchestrate the delivery of messages in multiple channels.

Instead of creating a one-size fits all automated series of marketing messages, companies should engage patients using “journeys” to effectively address each patient’s need for engagement at a specific time.

The Way Forward for Pharmaceutical Marketers

The world of the nonstop consumer presents new opportunities for life sciences marketers to engage their patients. A communications journey approach requires understanding your patients and their needs at every step of their journey toward health. It can require rethinking your entire communications approach, from the message each patient needs to hear at what point in their journey, to the specific channel (web, phone, email, mobile and direct mail) the patient prefers.

The WEGO Health survey concluded with the prediction that patient engagement will be more effective in 12 months than it is today. This is the evolution that is expected of pharmaceutical marketers.

Patients are speaking their minds. Are you listening and responding appropriately?

To learn more about creating effective journeys for your customers, download The Healthcare Communications Journeys whitepaper.