In light of the upcoming Men’s Health Month in June, I thought it relevant to talk about one of the biggest challenges pharma marketers have come to PatientPoint for help with: how to engage men and get them talking about their health. While George Clooney has always been my ideal target, for pharma brands, the challenge is getting their message to men at the most impactful moments when they are willing and ready to act. Those moments are rare.
According to a recent survey, in the last year,
• Almost one-fourth of all men had not seen a doctor
• 1 in 3 men had no regular doctor
• More than half had not gone in for a routine checkup
Further, nearly seven out of 10 men with advanced prostate cancer ignore their symptoms. These statistics are not just shocking, but concerning. That’s why we fully support movements like Men’s Health Month and organizations like the Movember Foundation that speak to men in a way that gets their attention and encourages them to take better control of their health.
These initiatives represent a huge opportunity for pharma brands to be involved in the conversations happening outside of the doctor’s office. But I want to focus on what, I believe (and is in my sweet spot), is an even greater opportunity—inside the doctor’s exam room. It’s here where men’s attention and willingness to engage has peaked; they are in a private space and can be vulnerable about even the most sensitive conditions. They’re attuned to their health, and they’re ready for the right information from their physician and you.
Our presence in the exam room with the PatientPoint urology educational program has shown us the exact type of messaging that resonates with a male audience to get them to speak up. My recommendations:
1. Spark a conversation
While many initiatives are catchy and get men to think about their health, the most important conversation happens inside the physician’s exam room between the man and his doctor. That’s the conversation that leads to action—and prescriptions. Being present in exam room educational materials that men can peruse while waiting for the doctor to enter primes the conversation about to happen. Topics like erectile dysfunction or prostate problems aren’t easy to bring up. Our brochures offer men starter questions and discussion prompts to get the conversations going.
2. Catch his attention
A brand in a plethora of many isn’t going to catch anyone’s eye. Category exclusivity should be a crucial component of your marketing strategy in the exam room to ensure your brand is the only brand the man sees.
3. Tell him what to do
More than half of men say they find great value in information available when deciding what drug to take—so tell him! Offer a discussion guide that men can use to start talking with their doctor, provide calls to action that prompt men to ask the doctor about a specific topic or bring attention to symptoms that may lead to a better, more productive discussion with the doctor, and better health outcomes overall.
Helping enrich that discussion keeps you top of mind at the moment of script and reinforces your brand when men are at home or with their partner reviewing the brochure they took from the exam room: 68% of men strongly agree it’s their responsibility to inform themselves about the medicine their doctor recommends.
There’s no greater opportunity for pharma brands to make an impact on men and drive greater effectiveness than in the exam room. Make sure your brand is the only solution top of mind when men are actually ready to take action about their health and talk to their doctor.
This post originally appeared in DTC Perspectives.