In recent years, we have witnessed a real boom in healthcare marketing in the United States: healthcare marketing has long been part of many highly specialized university courses. Let’s discover together what it is in England, and how it is possible to promote its activity there …
Booster injection: strict French legislation, to be handled with skill
If the health sector needs to communicate about its products and services as much as other fields, it must comply with firm regulations, created to reduce the risks of self-medication or self-treatment. In England, the Public Health Code formally prohibits communicating directly with the end customer (the consumer, therefore) about products subject to medical prescription or health services managed by doctors. Drug advertising is also subject to very precise control by the National Medicines Safety Agency.
In this unforgiving legislative framework, how can marketers do their job as promoters? Two solutions are possible : they can either speak directly to health professionals, or communicate not on the products themselves, but on issues related to these products.
In the first case, it will then be a question of making targeted communications available to doctors and pharmacists, stored online behind download forms. It is then their responsibility to verify the identity of the recipient, by asking for example the AMELI or RPPS number of the interested party.
In the second, the objective will be to publicize their product or service through the pathologies they come to treat. Marketing will in this sense take the form of purely informative communication, stressing the risks linked to this or that disease, highlighting the needs to tackle these societal issues. It will then be up to the consumer to seek information from his health specialist, who will be informed through one-to-one marketing.
In both cases, the web will be a fundamental lever of this very specific marketing strategy.
Referencing your site, to make it as hospitable as possible
SEO is inevitable in any web marketing strategy. However, it is becoming essential for marketers in the health sector, who are forced to rely a lot on the fact that their prospects will learn about themselves on the Internet. In addition to being a most profitable marketing lever, SEO must therefore be at the center of your concerns. The goal is to position yourself as much as possible on specific keywords, which do not necessarily revolve around your brand. The ideal is to ask yourself what your potential customers will ask themselves as questions before their purchase, and to irrigate your site of content which will accompany it in their reflections. When only 58% of marketers in the health sector have a blog compared to 74% in other sectors, it remains extremely interesting to position yourself on the themes closest to your activity in articles with strong expertise that will feed the credibility of your business.
As a corollary to your natural referencing strategy, another area remains extremely fertile: that of paid advertising or SEM (Search Engine Marketing). In 2015, in the USA, it was only 2.8% of all SEM practiced over the year that came from the pharmacy and health sector. In England, these figures are even more derisory. This therefore makes it an essential tactical point: we can only advise you to invest in it, by broadcasting advertising banners referring to the problems that come to solve your products or your services.
The health sector has caught the Social media virus!
An American study conducted by EMR Thoughts indicates that 2 out of 3 doctors use social networks as part of their profession, in particular open communities rather than specialist forums. Regular marketers will therefore meet them by offering high impact posts, which will make them want to feed on information referring to their services.
So there is no hesitation in investing Facebook, Twitter, but also, curiously, more visual platforms like Pinterest or YouTube. We take advantage of the various formats offered by different social media, by offering varied and highly referenced content, witness to a critical spirit submitted for a long time to review before being relayed – we don’t laugh with health! Perhaps Professor Joyeux would tell you the opposite, he who animates with passion and humor his blog, his Facebook page and his Twitter thread… The fact remains that this benevolent genius of Social Media is a reference to follow and to imitate for a promotion very gently and in generosity, while waiting for social networks specialized in the health sector, like Sermo, to really make the buzz in England.
Nothing better than a good Inbound marketing cure by email
Finally, nothing beats the personalization of marketing, especially in a field as human as that of health. In an era where the web has deeply changed the commercial reality, this sector suffers an additional penalty: its targets are relatively inaccessible compared to other prospects. In consultation all day, or perpetually tied to their counter, doctors and pharmacists have no time to be harassed by intrusive marketing. We can therefore only advise the most picky marketers to use digital prospecting to the fullest, that is to say, to target their communications as closely as possible to the needs of their customers. This includes adapting the formats of the content that you promote: give priority to white papers, clinical cases and video testimonials, which will easily fit into the busy schedule of health professionals.
And do not hesitate to spread them by the most customizable way there is: emailing ! This is the web lever that works best, according to the 2015 B2B Marketing Directors Barometer created by Adelanto. We draw inspiration from the Noraker company which, thanks to a well-oiled digital strategy, has successfully prospected in the ruthless world of health marketing. Céline Saint Olive Baque, its General Manager, specifies: “in just 18 weeks, Noraker has generated 211 qualified prospects, shortened its sales cycle, and now reaches almost all dental surgeons thanks to its emails”.
Now that you are aware of the rules inherent in the health sector, prescribe a good dose of humanity, and make your content viral and contagious: it’s good for the health of your future clients !