“What’s the ultimate call to action?”
This question was raised in a recent meeting, and I thought it a good one to discuss since we’re in the midst of planning season. Many would say the answer depends on the brand’s end goal. For pharma marketers, however, I say the ultimate action that brands need to focus on is getting patients to ask their doctor for a prescription for their treatment.
Script volume is the be-all and end-all measurement of the effectiveness of pharma marketing. Make no mistake: impressions and click-throughs are important metrics and help drive patients to the doctor’s office. But, ultimately, if those patients aren’t asking their doctors about your brand, your marketing efforts haven’t worked to their full potential.
That’s why Point of Care (POC) is so crucial for brand marketers. It’s the only tactic that puts your brand at the point of script, at the exact moments doctors and patients are thinking about and discussing treatment options. From the waiting room, to the exam room, to the back office, and now to beyond the office, thanks to mobile technologies, POC provides a connection point between your brand, the doctor, and patient. And it’s proven to drive desired behavior1:
• 84% of patients who saw an ad at the POC are more likely to discuss the ad with their physician
• 77% are more likely to ask their doctor for a sample
• 68% are more likely to ask a doctor to prescribe a specific product
Many brands already realize the value of POC. Reaching $440 million in 2015, POC ad spend is growing faster than overall DTC advertising2. Zion Market Research’s recent findings indicate that today’s $23 billion POC market will reach $40.5 billion by 2022.
But why do so many brands still find it challenging to choose between their tried-and-true digital tactics and POC? It shouldn’t be one or the other: digital and POC go hand in hand. For you Trekkies out there, I like to make this analogy: POC is the Montgomery Scott to your Captain Kirk. POC takes your digital ad and transports it to the exact locations you want, placing it in front of the exact audience you want, at the exact time they, and you, need them to hear your message—compelling the ultimate action of asking their doctor about your treatment. Then, it gives you clear insight into how that message changed doctors’ prescription-writing behaviors—and how much revenue was generated as a result. It doesn’t get much more impactful than that.
It’s planning season. You’re analyzing the risk versus reward of your tactics to determine a marketing mix that’s going to bring in the biggest buck. Why not include a tactic that delivers direct revenue—guaranteed. Be confident. Invest in POC and know you’re entering 2018 with a clear understanding of the impact your brand will have.
This post originally appeared in DTC Perspectives.
(1) Kantar Media for the Point of Care Communications Council, “Point of Care: Why Care?” 2015/2016
(2) ZS Associates, “Right Place, Right Time: How Health and Wellness Companies Are Capitalizing on the Rapidly Growing Point of Care Communication Channel,” 2014
Linda Ruschau is part of the PatientPoint founding team, bringing 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing and point-of-care expertise to the company. As Chief Client Officer, Linda leads a national sales team in helping brands impact patient-physician dialogue, drive patient engagement and create sustainable success for forward-thinking pharma, OTC and CPG clients.