Jeff Burkel, MICROMASS COMMUNICATIONS

Jun 03, 2009
By Pharmaceutical Executive

Jeff Burkel

CMO | MICROMASS COMMUNICATIONS


Jeff Burkell
Pharma marketers must focus their efforts and resources on changing the behavior of professionals and consumers rather than barraging them with one-way, one-size-fits-all information. Researching what triggers behavior in a target audience and developing effective strategies for addressing those triggers through appropriate channels provides far greater return and economy than general awareness and mass media approaches.

There is tremendous efficiency in integrating marketing communications. Generally, five or six key touch-points exist between the brand and current or potential customers. Many pharma marketers address these touch-points with a host of agencies, using one for professional advertising, another for consumer, another for digital, etc. Too often, they end up investing a tremendous amount of time and money in what ultimately resembles a loose coalition of programs with little consistency of messaging. Integrating communications at all touch-points—either by agency partners working together or by using one agency to drive the integration—results in more effective marketing at less net cost to the brand.

Most DTC advertising is too transaction oriented—and by its very nature comes across as self-serving and insensitive to economic and patient realities. DTC advertising needs to focus more on disease awareness and speak more directly to helping consumers change their understanding and behaviors associated with improving their health outcomes. This seems to be where the FDA and DDMAC are taking regulations—which presents a window of opportunity for a leader to emerge.