Content Marketing: The best long term strategy for the pharma industry

"Digital marketing is here to stay and now it’s time to use it wisely"

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Radhika Jindal

In my first interview, I explored how digital content is becoming an integral part of the overall marketing strategy for pharmaceutical organisations. More specifically, webinars are an extremely successful channel in driving your audience through consumer journey.

For my second interview, I am taking a deeper look at what other digital strategies pharmaceutical industry leaders are using to achieve their goals. For this, I sat down with Cheryl-Smith Johnson, Marketing Manager at Authentix. a leading global authentication and information services company, assists customers in combating illicit trade and managing the integrity of their global supply chains. Cheryl brings over 15 years of marketing experience, with a particular focus of pharma and healthcare.

Radhika Jindal (RJ): Why is content marketing important for your overall marketing strategy? What do you hope to achieve? 

Cheryl Smith-Johnson (CSJ): Content marketing is the key focus in our overall marketing strategy.

In today’s marketing environment, you must know your audience. It’s not just about demographics anymore, it’s about getting into your audience’s mindset – what are their needs, interests, questions, concerns and challenges?

If you can’t answer these questions, your marketing campaigns will fall flat and produce zero actionable leads for your sales team. 

As the Brand Protection Marketing Manager for Authentix, my goal is to effectively drive interaction through our Account-based Marketing (ABM) strategy. This approach helps us focus on a clearly defined target list with customized content that will deliver qualified leads to our sales team.

RJ: What is the future of content marketing within pharma?  Where do you think the industry is headed? 

CSJ: I believe the future is around adapting an ABM strategy. This strategy seeks to acquire high-value customers and not waste resources on traditional marketing approaches. Implementing this strategy will contribute to sales growth and reduce marketing spend because you are laser focused on your target market. 

The pharma industry will continue to face threats against illicit trade. Authentix sees two of the biggest threats being lack of education and lack of action around protecting one’s brand. Educating brand owners that there are solutions available today that can help them protect their brand integrity. These robust, customized solutions provide best practices on how to best apply, implement and integrate within current supply chains. Once there is a threat to their brand, being able to activate a holistic authentication plan is key. Brand owners need to authenticate their products in the field, in real-time – where and when it matters most.

RJ: What success have you seen with this strategy? And how do you measure it?

CSJ: We are currently implementing our ABM strategy and have already seen success. The intimate interactions with key accounts have been good. Our metrics are focused around engagement – who interacted with your content, how much time did they spend on each piece, and what action did they take after the initial interaction. We’ll continue to define our baseline metrics to continuously improve our strategy.

RJ: You have a lot of experience in marketing in other industries, drawing from your career in marketing - How would you compare it to other industries you have worked in?

CSJ: I previously worked in the healthcare IT industry for seven years and the pharmaceutical industry is similar in respect to extremely long sale cycles and complex purchasing process. The purchasing process has numerous layers - key decision makers and influencers - and reaching these people can be very difficult and time-consuming. This is where an ABM strategy will help penetrate each layer of the purchasing group with content relevant to each job function within that group. No matter what marketing strategy is in place, it needs to target the right audience with the right content.

RJ: How do you think a typically risk-averse and highly regulated industry like pharma is approaching digital marketing? How well developed is content marketing within pharma? Is the market well educated?

CSJ: Digital marketing is here to stay and now it’s time to use it wisely. Incorporating content marketing with SEO will produce better results and tie marketing campaigns together. Always optimize content for multi-channel use.

Pharma marketing content is getting better with the help from organizations like Pharma Logistics IQ. The ability to target at such a defined level is growing but more can be done around targeting specific job functions, not just job titles.

RJ: Do you have any tips for other marketers?

CSJ: I think where things break down is knowing what delivery channels are most effective to your target audience. What forms of digital marketing are they consuming? At what time of day are they consuming information? What are their habits? If you can answer these questions and more, you have a much better chance of reaching your desired audience.

RJ: What are common mistakes or key pitfalls that others should look out for?

CSJ: Don’t produce content just to have more content. You can have numerous pieces of collateral but if it’s not relevant, you’ve just wasted time and resources on meaningless stuff. Quality over quantity should be the focus.

Find the best quality content: Read Pharma IQ's Top 50 Pharmaceutical Blogs and Publications

RJ: How do you maximize investment?

CSJ: Know what works and work it well. And always try new things!

Authentix has a very precise ABM strategy that they use to attract and engage with their target audience. Incorporating digital content in this strategy has rewarded them with success. Pharma Logistics IQ has helped Authentix reach its key goals: reaching their target audience using relevant content below:

To find out how you can run your own content marketing campaign with Pharma IQ contact us here. If you have a digital marketing success story you would like to share with us get in touch here!