Insights with Innovators

Future of Small and Mid-Tier Pharma Marketing

Roundtable Discussion

social media - COVID-19

Summary

In this interview, Mark Bard (Co-Founder of the DHC Group) discusses the future of small and mid-tier pharma marketing with Chris Tuleya (EVP & Managing Director) and Jay de la Cruz (SVP, Media) of Underscore Marketing.

Interview

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“How have small and mid-tier companies reframed their field force in the post Covid era? How is that different than large pharma?”
chris-tuleya

Chris Tuleya

EVP & Managing Director
Underscore Marketing
“We are seeing that small & mid-tier pharma companies have even fewer resources than previously. They were never in a position of having a well staffed field force and Covid has just made that number even smaller, stressing the importance of every dollar spent reaching these audiences.”

Jay de la Cruz

SVP, Media
Underscore Marketing
“At the start of the pandemic, pharma companies had to adapt swiftly to digital formats. The relationship between healthcare professionals (HCPs) and pharma sales reps were altered further with increased substantial demand for virtual meetings. Small and mid-tier companies invested in training for their sales team on virtual solutions. To augment the HCP reach, they increased their non-personal promotions, leveraging third-party platforms to engage and educate their targeted HCPs. Large pharma also had to adopt similar practices. But while large pharma had the budgets to support the adoption, small & mid-tier pharma had to be smarter in their investment strategy.”

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“What long term changes do you see in patient support programs offered by small and mid-tier? Do you see innovations that are not happening in the larger pharma?”

Jay de la Cruz

SVP, Media
Underscore Marketing

Telehealth is here to stay. The pandemic saw a surge in telehealth engagements. While it has leveled out, telehealth usage is still high compared to pre-pandemic. Telehealth has also been an important channel to incorporate patient support program enrollments and sustain support to access therapy.

Proactively connecting with patients instead of reacting will continue to be a long-term strategy. Small and mid-tier pharma companies will invest in the patient community, building out influencer networks and leveraging social as a primary channel.

Continuously improving how they connect with patients. The pandemic increased the need to hyper focus on financial assistance and limit barriers to access. A means to achieve this is through increased investment in developing CRM to maintain contact and listen to their patients.

Small and mid-tier pharma companies will continue to drive innovation in drug therapy development.”

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“It seems smaller and mid-tier were more open to innovative virtual launches the past two years? While one could say – they are more nimble – any other insights why smaller firms were so fast to embrace digital launch?”
chris-tuleya

Chris Tuleya

EVP & Managing Director
Underscore Marketing
“Digital and thinking about every dollar has always been a key to small and mid-tier pharma. Instead of broad targeted media that comes with large pharma budgets, these companies have always been focused on the value of every dollar spent.”

Jay de la Cruz

SVP, Media
Underscore Marketing
“Small and mid-tier pharma companies have always been strategic and smart about their investments. They are not able to invest in a large salesforce or build out multiple NPP programs. They test and learn programs that will help drive their audience engagements. They invest in identifying and understanding their optimal target audience.”

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“While many large pharma have entire groups dedicated to digital health trends like remote monitoring, EMR, and consumer tech, many smaller and mid-tier pharma have been able to innovate and evolve with relevant programs and offerings. How are some of the smaller companies able to keep up with the macro trends – and produce programs – despite the lower head count of their larger counterparts?”
chris-tuleya

Chris Tuleya

EVP & Managing Director
Underscore Marketing
“Smaller companies have to pick and choose what makes sense when investing. Without the deep wallets, they have to consider creative implications and what channels will drive their business forward. While many still have ‘test & learn’ budgets, they need to make more educated guesses on performance.”

Mark Bard

Co-Founder
DHC Group
“What do you see ahead for small and mid-tier pharma over the next decade? Partnerships? Better digital reliance? Better use of data for targeting?” (the crystal ball question)
chris-tuleya

Chris Tuleya

EVP & Managing Director
Underscore Marketing
“Data and targeting will be key for small and mid-tier pharma. Being able to make sound decisions based on data to predict the impact on the business will be what drives their business forward. The outcome and insight from this data will not be a ‘one-size fits all’ but will require creative analysis to determine the right path forward.”

Jay de la Cruz

SVP, Media
Underscore Marketing
“Investment in building out a database that can be used by key stakeholders to make smart and informed decisions. Proactively providing solutions for their HCPs and patients and thus creating a better connection with them, ie., patient support programs, financial support. Small and mid-tier pharma will also start building communities of influencers to further connect with their patient audience.”

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