I recently had the opportunity to attend Digital Pharma East, the largest and most innovative digital marketing event for the life sciences community. There were a lot of insightful conversations across the duration of the conference. Below are 3 of my top takeaways:

#1. Virtual care provides power to the patient

The healthcare industry once lagged behind when it came to adopting digital strategies. Recently, we’ve witnessed it experience a significant evolution. The increased usage of digital technology has provided patients with more control over their own health, resulting in a seismic shift in how information is obtained and disseminated. With more people leveraging technology to manage their health, more providers are making their services available digitally.

The consumerization of healthcare will give more power to the patients, providing them with additional options in who they see and how they are treated. The abundance of options can result in less loyalty, so pharma marketers should focus on relationship building when formulating their brand strategies.

#2. The digitization of healthcare has reshaped the ‘modern physician’

Practicing medicine today has never looked more different. With healthcare providers increasingly utilizing digital technologies in their clinical practices, their needs have evolved. It’s important for pharma brands to identify these needs to reach them with the most relevant recommendations. I had various conversations during the event that centered around the challenges brands encounter when it comes to their marketing efforts. The one that was consistently mentioned was being able to reach the healthcare professional with a message that will resonate.

I learned during one of the presentations that only 10% of healthcare professionals say they want to return to pre-COVID norms for in-person meetings, instead, they have an increased appetite for digital tools and support services. Knowing that virtual visits are here to stay, brands need to not only understand the patient’s needs, but also the physicians.

#3. Messages must be matched to the moment

Every patient’s journey varies and so should their interactions with brands. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to pharma marketing. To ensure a seamless, personalized and authentic interaction, brands need to understand the various moments the patient experiences and match their message to that moment.

From diagnosis to treatment; in-office visits to virtual care, there are many factors that go into defining a patient’s receptivity to a message. Brands should identify when a patient will be most receptive to receiving their message to ensure it makes the greatest impact.

I enjoyed hearing from the many experts and innovators that attended Digital Pharma East. I discussed how Aki’s omnichannel marketing technology can deliver a better advertising experience for both patients and physicians, in addition to increased lift on campaign metrics for pharma marketers. To learn more, download Aki’s pharma one-sheet, or email me directly with any questions.


Emily Sveden, Sr. Account Executive at Aki