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David vs. Goliath: Using Digital to Defy Blockbusters

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to digital marketing.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to digital marketing. By partnering with a smart, agile, and experienced media expert, smaller pharma brands can slingshot their way into gaining a strategic edge over blockbuster competitors. Here’s how…

Slingshot 1: Find and exploit big brand media gaps

Giants are visible from a mile away — and so are their weaknesses. Mature pharma brands and blockbusters wear their extensive digital presence on their sleeve: brand.com, media plans, CRM programs, disease education campaigns, and more.

Winning underdogs partner with an expert who first does detailed due diligence, exposing big brand white spaces that a smaller, smarter budget can fill and even dominate. By tweaking the media mix, a tiny brand can make an enormous impact.

Proven examples include taking advantage of competitor holes. Most blockbusters invest heavily in conversion-friendly websites, yet remain sloppy in search, and slow to the plate in social. Pinpoint targeting gets the attention your brand deserves.

Slingshot 2: Identify and engage under-served patient populations

Goliaths tend to be overly self-confident and take their market share for granted. That often results in large swaths of neglected and ignored patient segments, ripe for a smaller, smarter brand to reach, engage, and convert them.

An expert media team should not only analyze a blockbuster’s assets, but also uncover legacy prescription data patterns to expose unreached patient segments. For instance, patients in particular geographies might have fallen between the cracks.

Digital media is well-suited to geotargeting patients down to the individual ZIP code level, giving smaller brands a powerful opportunity to precisely engage patients otherwise ignored by blockbusters too distracted to care.

Slingshot 3: Explore and leverage compelling differentiators

Goliaths tend to be older and more entrenched, having thrown their weight around for quite some time. Impending loss of exclusivity and lack of new clinical data are enormous disadvantages a more recently launched, nimble David brand can exploit.

Just because a pharma brand is a blockbuster doesn’t mean the drug has the best efficacy or safety profile. Partner with an experienced healthcare media team who understands your clinical differentiators—and any other features setting you apart.

From dosing simplicity to superior managed care status, consider how to best leverage your unique positioning. Perception becomes a compelling reality when you work with those who already consider themselves experts on the subject.

Slingshot 4: Own the HCP conversation

Patients certainly influence prescribing habits—but healthcare professionals remain the decision makers. Giant brands live and die at the hand of HCPs, so David brands ultimately need to win the confidence of physicians to compete with blockbusters.

The point of care is where these HCP decisions are made, leaving an opening for smaller brands working with agile agencies to make their POC mark. Contextual placements within EMR systems bring small brand messaging front and center.

Let’s not forget social media, now viable for HCPs, too. Doximity, the largest social network for US physicians, can give your brand an edge. LinkedIn, packed with amazing new engagement tools, can also help bring down Goliath.

Key Takeaways
Blockbusters might have bigger budgets, but savvy digital media experts know how to give smaller brands an advantage with a smart, strategic spend. Is your media partner empowering you with these slingshots? David beat Goliath before, and will do so again!

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