Digital has already transformed the pharma and healthcare industry in many ways such as greater levels of transparency, patient communication, and medicine development. In addition, due to its unrivaled cost-effectiveness, digital marketing strategies offer a variety of meaningful ways to connect and treat prospective clients and customers.

In this article, we explore the key trends and tactics that will help marketers in the pharma industry to use digital marketing to promote, engage and grow.

  1. AI-powered assistants and messaging apps
    • Droves of businesses across the globe are using messaging apps including Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to engage with prospects and spark up meaningful dialogues. For the pharma industry, this trend presents a unique opportunity to hold personal conversations with your customers, patients, or partners.
    • With pharma brands like Johnson & Johnson and MedxNote using chatbots as pivotal parts of their marketing and communications strategies, it’s expected that many more industry players will follow suit in the not-so-distant future.
    • By using autonomous machine learning chatbots to improve organization efficiency, conduct key tasks and answer client, patient, or customer queries, pharma brands stand to increase productivity while enhancing their overall customer experience (CX) offerings - something that’s expected to surpass both price and product as the main brand differentiator by the end of 2020.
    • Top tip: Chatbots are incredibly versatile and earn the trust of the public all the time. 37% of Americans would use a chatbot in an emergency.
  2. The blockchain
    • In the digital age, trust and transparency are essential components to success. As the pharma industry becomes more informational, offering a far more direct line of communication between provider and consumer, remaining open and trustworthy is no longer optional, now it’s compulsory.
    • Although this is yet to be explored to its fullest potential, implementing blockchain technology as part of your digital marketing strategy could help promote organizational growth and evolution.
    • Top tip: Remain abreast of the latest blockchain-related trends and advancements by reading related publications regularly.
  3. Value-driven content creation
    • One of the most significant transformations seen by digital’s influence on the pharma industry is the fact that pharmaceutical companies are no longer the sole gatekeepers or providers of the information surrounding their treatments or products.
    • Through online communities, mobile applications, and a wealth of web content, people now have wide access to a range of pharma-based insights. By creating targeted, value-driven branded content that offers prospective or current patients insight into relevant information, you can grow your audience, significantly.
    • Top tip: When building a campaign around a particular product or topic, develop an emotive message that will encourage a wealth of user-generated content, using a well-crafted hashtag as a vessel for social sharing.
  4. Influencers
    • 70% of millennials are influenced by the recommendations of their peers while 90% of 18 to 24-year-olds trust medical information acquired through social media while one-third of U.S adults search online to understand a medical condition.
    • So, there’s a great opportunity for pharma brands that work with respected industry influencers and thought-leaders.
    • Top tip: When working with influencers, make sure you take the time to foster meaningful professional relationships that will benefit your brand on a long-term basis.
  5. Augmented & Virtual Reality
    • By 2022, the consumer VR software market is expected to grow to a worth of $16.3 billion.
    • As VR and AR technology becomes an increasingly integrated part of our everyday lives, pharmaceutical companies can use this immersive technology to break down walls between their business and clients, partners, patients, or consumers.
    • Despite AR and VR adoption in the pharma industry being in its infancy, some companies are already using immersive apps and tactics. These technologies not only place people at the heart of the business but can offer information and care through virtual clinics and product demonstrations.
    • Top tip: When using AR or VR for digital marketing, use it to place your audience at the heart of the narrative, offering a unique opportunity to live and breathe your brand mission, treatment, or product

Final Thoughts

These five digital marketing strategies will help to increase your chances of sustainable pharma industry success.

By adopting the above approaches, you will improve your CX across all touchpoints, thereby offering a superior level of customer and patient care - which, fundamentally, is the primary goal for any top pharmaceutical business.

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