Bringing Pharmaceutical and Cold Chain Marketing to the Digital Age
The Pharmaceutical and Cold Chain sectors are very different animals but when it comes to many facets of the industries, particularly marketing, there is a lot of cross-over.
Cold Chain Industry expert Barrie Sears of Pro-Tect Thermal explains:
“The major cross over between Pharma and Cold Chain is within the social media framework, with the growing use of LinkedIn, for example, as a tool for marketing, industry profile and recruitment.
Moreover, individuals move from Pharma to Cold Chain focused positions regularly, whether this be with the service provider sector or Pharma industry sector.”
Staying ahead of the game means learning about the innovative digital marketing tools you have at your disposal. Define a clear digital marketing strategy by deciding which channels are most appropriate for your business goals and set realistic targets.
Identifying your audience is always the first hurdle but once you have this pinned down you need to start thinking about your USPs as a company. Why should potential customers and clients choose to deal with you over your competitors? What is it that you offer that others don’t? This then becomes your messaging.
Managing Director of Tower Cold Chain Solutions, Niall Balfour offers his insight on digital strategy:
“Once you have strong brand messaging you need to decide what platforms and tools to use to communicate your company’s words effectively.
The beauty of digital marketing is that you’re able to amplify that message and, if needs be, tweak and change it in real time based on feedback and KPIs you’ve set out for your communication campaigns.
Our industry, although potentially viewed as archaic in some respects is actually one of the most innovative and fast moving out there and there is no reason that marketing should be left behind.”
In the majority of cases, the internet is the destination point for individuals who are researching information. Digital Pharma reported that ‘over a 12 month period, 72% of internet users reported that they looked online for information about health.’ This is a great opportunity for content marketing in the pharmaceutical and cold chain industries.
In B2B marketing it’s easy to forget that you are appealing to a person instead of a company but remember, it’s the personal relationships you create that forge and guild businesses links. This means you should be creating content that you know will appeal to members of staff within companies you’d like to work with, content that makes their life easier or better yet, more excited about their own job.
The production of white papers and thought pieces ensure that when users are searching for information, they are met with your website which increases your brand awareness and authority.
For example, Gsk has a section of their website called Responsibility which houses a variety of different content types which reflect the various facts of the company’s dealings, from health and the environment to recruitment content and CSR.
Historically pharmaceutical and cold chain organisations have relied heavily on traditional PR strategies and tactics to communicate with their clients and customers, including conference sponsorships and third-party advocacy groups.
Although these are still relevant avenues to pursue, they are no longer enough. Writing or guest blogging for destination sites such as Pharma Logistics IQ again builds authority for your staff and your company not to mention brand reach.
Try to target publications your audience is likely to read and again ensure the content you produce is relevant and helpful.
Networking is at the heart of the pharmaceutical and cold chain sectors and conferences, shows and events are some of the best ways to meet new people and create new relationships
With years of experience in the industry, Barrie Sears also weighs in on his thoughts about events::
“For events organisers it is a difficult balance to strike; they and of course the exhibitors and attendees want to get the maximum return on time and investment.
In the past we’ve seen some events get larger but lose focus, trying to incorporate Pharma and Cold Chain interests under one roof does not always work. More focused events are a growing trend, rather than make it a large show for all, events are becoming smaller and more niche.”
Ensure all events are added to your annual digital marketing plan at the beginning of the year, whether you plan to go to them or not. All major events should be covered on your blog or at least some opinions can be shared on your social media platforms if and when new industry news is being shared and discussed, you don’t have to be at the conference to be part of the conversation.
If you do attend or even better, exhibit or speak at an event, ensure you are making the very most of the time you have thereby live-tweeting and posting to any other digital platforms you have to hand. Make sure to use the official event hashtag and follow up on your new leads by linking in with them on LinkedIn or even a friendly tweet.
As well as your efforts whilst in attendance at an industry event, you should also ensure you have an on-going social media strategy in place. Engaging with your audience using social media as part of a B2B marketing strategy is increasingly critical. Some pharmaceuticals such as Eli Lilly and Gsk are making great use of platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Using your social presence you’ll be able to share all of the content you are creating on your own site and any other placements you have created through your digital PR.
You’ll also have means to share any company news instantly while cultivating an audience that raises the profile and esteem of your company in general.
if you need help with any of the above issues or would like to discuss your digital marketing further, get in touch.