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The Right Time and Right Place for Print

By Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer

As patient centricity continues to become the industry priority, the need to get the right information to the right patients at the right time in the right format is more important than ever—especially for pharma.

Our recent white paper touched on the disconnect patients feel with pharma companies. Today, only 9% of patients say pharma does all it can to help.1 That is, if these patients even know who the pharma companies are: Nearly 40% of patients don’t know any of the companies behind their treatments.2

I’d venture to guess, however, if pharma companies offered these patients the information they needed, in the format they desired, at each point in their healthcare journey, those stats would quickly change. They are for our clients, at least, who are leveraging a variety of our point-of-care solutions.

No marketing campaign is complete today unless it covers a variety of channels—digital, social, mobile and, yes, even print. We know different media will work more effectively for different demographics and different locations and different specialties. That’s why the PatientPoint solution set features the widest range of channels in the POC market; each is meant to maximize the meaningful impact pharma brands can have on patients.

Take, for instance, a 50-year-old man waiting to see his urologist. It’s unlikely he’s willing to grab a brochure on ED in front of others in the waiting room. But he will watch a digital screen displaying a segment on his condition. Once he gets into the exam room, we know he prefers more in-depth printed pieces he can read and refer to later when deciding on treatment.

How to communicate with your target audiences doesn’t need to be an either/or decision between print and digital. Both are perfect complements to each other—and both are necessary to a holistic, satisfactory patient experience. 

That’s why I’m always surprised when I read articles declaring print as a communication of the past. It’s certainly not true in our industry—just ask our clients who are using our print program as part of their multi-channel marketing strategy and seeing great results (as in +12.5% incremental NRx).

Print remains a vital part of the patient experience and an important connecting point to both patients and physicians:

  • More than half of patients rank printed brochures or booklets that give disease or drug information as the most useful communication method3
  • 55% of HCPs say they rely on printed communications when talking with patients over any other form of communication4

Having your brand be a part of trusted materials a physician hands to his or her patients offers a unique level of credibility and implied endorsement. It also shows you’re considering many patients’ personal preferences, which will help relieve some of that disconnect patients are feeling, which I mentioned earlier.

In the end, what matters most is the experience created for patients. A communication strategy that combines a variety of media offering highly relevant, personalized content will ultimately power the greatest effectiveness.

This post originally appeared in DTC Perspectives.

1“Patient Engagement: All Grown Up—Patient Engagement Comes of Age,” 2015
2Ed Miseta, “Patient Survey: Tech Use Up, Pharma Disconnect Remains,” Clinical Leader, 2017
3eyeforpharma/Health Perspectives Group report, 2017
4Marc Iskowitz, “In health education, providers prefer paper: study,” MM&M