Scot Cotherman, Corbett Accel Healthcare Group

June 2, 2008

Evidence-based science will always trump marketing fluff. Companies should invest their resources into developing initiatives that will uncover the science. That's what truly differentiates their products. Marketing campaigns developed around evidence-based science are viewed as more credible, and the companies behind them are perceived as acting more responsibly. Pharma companies should explore tailored, one-to-one communication to introduce brands, enhance compliance, and build loyalties.

Evidence-based science will always trump marketing fluff. Companies should invest their resources into developing initiatives that will uncover the science. That's what truly differentiates their products. Marketing campaigns developed around evidence-based science are viewed as more credible, and the companies behind them are perceived as acting more responsibly. Pharma companies should explore tailored, one-to-one communication to introduce brands, enhance compliance, and build loyalties.

The pressure that pharma is experiencing from regulatory watchdog groups always has been high, but it is now at its peak. It's almost a given that any promotion perceived as disingenuous will trigger a great amount of intervention from these groups. Partly due to Sarbanes-Oxley and partly due to the increasing regulatory pressures and penalties for noncompliance, we are being required by our clients to complete their internal training programs surrounding their codes of ethics.

Some analysts and industry pundits predict the blockbuster's decline. But I have not experienced this. New blockbusters are continually being led to market. One thing we definitely know is that when pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine become mainstream—and we are closer than most people think—agencies will need an effective strategy to reach special patient populations with communication that resonates specifically with them. Portable health records, including personalized DNA analysis and reporting, will significantly advance this area of healthcare. Once this occurs, the tailored, one-to-one communication era will officially begin and the use of interactive, mobile technologies in pharma will skyrocket. With this in mind, agencies and clients must begin their exploration with these technologies now.

I'm astounded at the incredible number of companies that continue to market to physicians as if they are inhuman. Then they wonder why their marketing campaigns don't resonate. Physicians are people too. And they respond to promotional messages as any human would. To be effective, the resulting creative work must be surprising, relevant, and emotional.

The Skinny

Corbett Accel Healthcare Group comprises five business units. It is a member of the Omnicom Group.

Telephone: 312-664-5310

E-mail: marketmovingideas@corbettaccel.com

Web site: corbettaccel.com