If, Then: How To Pivot Your Marketing Strategies During COVID-19

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With cancelled conferences, postponed ad schedules and on-hold in-person review meetings, marketing your brand and products during a global pandemic is tough. And if there is one thing that this experience has taught us, it is that there is extreme value in embracing change.  

In this post, we explore some of the key ways Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical companies are pivoting their marketing efforts due to COVID-19 in order to meet the demands of this rapidly-changing climate.

We look to some of the marketing experts in the space to become inspired by their decisions to shift their efforts (and how you can too):

If: Your “normal” process required live meetings, and you’re experiencing heavier rush workload

Many companies have already moved their business practices virtually. But how do you keep the work on track through remote meetings and conflicting calendars when your project used to rely on live meetings? And how do you maintain rush work volume, while running through “normal” work processes and while still maintaining deadlines?

Then: Replace in-person events with online alternatives to keep lines of communication flowing

Move your meetings to virtual. That’s the short answer. Sounds obvious, right? The marketing experts at No Fixed Address are making better use of their stakeholder time by sticking to the same schedules, online. They’re also seeing an improvement in their process by doing so. For example, by planning virtual meeting sessions, they’re allocating time in everyone’s calendars ahead of schedule, as opposed to what used to be a process crammed into a 2-3 day cycle. 

If: You’re used to in-person Medical, Legal, Regulatory reviews and remote reviews are taking up too much manual time

Managing approvals over email can be a nightmare, even while working in the same building in the next room over as your review stakeholder. With the added stress of remote work on your project, many teams are finding it difficult to get through the MLR review process in an effective way—including keeping an audit-trail.

Then: Use smarter remote collaboration tools to track and streamline MLR reviews

From tracking stakeholder feedback, to keeping track of medical claim references by linking to external documents, there are solutions to help your team keep the compliance review process structured. Using a remote collaboration tool like Papercurve allows you to easily send content for approval, maintain due dates and keep your team informed form one centralized dashboard. 

Plus, you can ditch file versioning and the headache of audit-proofing your references. The tool is designed to cross-reference medical claims to uploaded documents. Your fact-checker will thank you later.

If: Your sales team needs creative ways to “visit” clients remotely, especially for product launches

Seeing as sales reps can no longer make in-person client visits, it may be difficult to get time in your client’s calendar to bring them up to speed on what’s new and to deepen the relationship. How do you continue business as usual for new promotional launches?

Then: Find a digital solution for sales to continue business-as-usual 

When faced with the restriction of not being able to make client visits, No Fixed Address needed to find a solution to get new promotional material in the hands of the physicians. The marketing team built out a standardized email template (PAAB approved!) that was developed to translate what used to be printed promo materials. So business continues...as usual.

If: Events were your main source for acquisition and brand marketing strategies

If events were a main channel for your acquisition and brand strategies, you are most definitely feeling the effects on the pandemic. Many events have been postponed and cancelled, forcing industry networks and communities to find alternative ways to connect with physicians and pharmacists. 

Then: Invest in educational content and social forums within the Healthcare community

Investing in educational content or virtual meetings on Healthcare Professional social forums like The Rounds or QID are two practical ways you can connect to your customer and affiliate your brand with what matters most to them during this time.

One source explains that The Rounds is a closed social network for Canadian doctors, a place where they can discuss medical issues among themselves to improve the treatment of patients. A few years ago, the team launched QID, a similar network for pharmacists, which has a global following.

“We historically grow on a month-by-month basis by 75 to100 physicians,” said CEO Tim Rice in an interview Wednesday. “But in the last week, we’ve been averaging 99 new physicians per day. Our pharmacist side has seen a complete explosion because pharmacists simply need more information about what’s happening.” 

The final word: Be positive

During times of crisis, it is easy to feel unproductive, chaotic or even removed from your work. Look to your brand values to help guide yourself, your team and inform your product and messaging for the future. And more importantly, know that this is all a temporary moment in time. 

Embrace change, and stay safe.

Are virtual stakeholder reviews taking up too much of your time? Book a demo with Papercurve to learn how you can remotely manage your compliance reviews—even during a crisis.