Would you be surprised to learn that pharma marketing has something in common with beer? Consider this.
Historically, Budweiser knew how many cases and kegs rolled off its delivery trucks and into specific bars or restaurants. Tracking sales was simply a matter of adding up the totals. Then point-of-sale data came along and the company could track whether it sold more beer by the bottle or draft. Sales and marketing strategies were adjusted to better serve specific markets.
Next, retailers began to link transactions to customer accounts in order to identify similarities and develop buyer profiles. New profiles led to new messages, products, and markets. For Budweiser, each step represented progress toward serving its customers better and increasing sales.
Still, all of these marketing decisions were based on aggregated data, and therefore, required some guesswork. The evolution of pharma data has followed a similar path, but audience identity management is now taking it a step further.
A Brief History of Pharma Data
For years, drug distribution data (DDD) was the gold standard in pharma. If you didn’t understand it, you couldn’t measure the quantity of drugs you sold. But even with it, you didn’t know who was prescribing your drugs or for what conditions.
That changed in the early 1990s, when pharma marketers could first identify a physician and know which prescriptions she was writing. By analyzing aggregated prescription claims data, you could draw some conclusions about therapeutic uses and regional preferences. Marketers used this new information to refine their targeting and to develop sales effectiveness and compensation models.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, digital record-keeping came to the forefront. Electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) made it possible to understand how different drugs were being administered in the real world, including their concomitant therapies and off-label uses. Digital records also allowed pharma marketers to identify trends and deliver branded messages at the moment physicians were making prescribing decisions.
Fast Forward to 2016
Last year, digital pharma marketing encountered the biggest data advance yet. After years of guessing about what prescribers might need right now, pharma marketers finally gained access to real-time data about the online behavior of individual physicians.
Digital audience identification data positively identifies “tagged” prescribers when they visit your website. By analyzing that data, you can understand what pages an individual physician views on your site, how long she stays, and how frequently she visits. You can identify what website she came from and where she goes when she leaves.
Pharma marketers are using this kind of visitor insight to refine website content, email messages, and even subject lines and calls to action. You can integrate email campaigns and events with website initiatives. You can even take steps toward real-time content personalization.
The applications are endless. Ultimately, real-time data about individual website visitors lets you laser-focus your sales and marketing initiatives on the most meaningful HCPs for the greatest ROI.