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Unlocking the Potential of Push and Pull Marketing Strategies in Pharma Marketing

by Harika Panuganty | Last Updated: September 28, 2023 | 1 min read

In the not-too-distant past, push-and-pull marketing strategies were strictly the domain of logistics and supply chain management professionals. However, somewhere along the way, those terms changed course and became popular terms within marketing circles. And today they can be seen in marketing plans and PowerPoint presentations and everywhere. But what exactly are push and pull marketing strategies, and how can pharmaceutical commercial organizations use them to their advantage?

Simply stated, push marketing refers to ‘pushing’ information about a product or service outwards. When done correctly, push marketing brings recognition to, garners interest in, and creates demand for a product or service. However, if information is being pushed to the wrong audience, your marketing messages will most likely fall flat.

Conversely, pull marketing refers to ‘pulling’ or attracting customers to a product or service. Pull marketing is more efficient because customers are actively seeking products and services. You don't need to work hard to catch their attention, so you save time and resources. When an audience is searching for your particular product or service, all you have to do is beat out the competition.

The Evolution of Pharma Marketing and Push and Pull Pharma Marketing Strategies

Pharma marketing has evolved through the years, moving from traditional push marketing methods to newer pull marketing techniques. This change responds to evolving marketplace dynamics and what consumers prefer, which makes it vital for the enterprise to adopt.

In the beyond, drug companies specifically used push marketing techniques for their marketing. They closely promoted their products to doctors and through commercials. However, the transition to pull marketing strategies indicates a shift toward a greater patient-targeted marketing technique. This approach aims to engage and educate patients, encouraging them to actively seek information and request specific medications from their doctors.

The pharmaceutical industry's advertising and marketing techniques have changed significantly over time. This change is driven by using the availability of clinical records online, giving sufferers extra control over their healthcare decisions, and evolving regulations.

The transformation in push and pull marketing strategies can be attributed to various factors, including the growth of digital marketing, the increasing effect of social media, and the growing need for pharmaceutical companies to build trust with both doctors and patients.

Push and Pull Marketing Strategies in Pharma Marketing

Push and pull marketing strategies in pharma marketing have two distinct approaches. Push marketing involves promoting products to healthcare professionals to generate demand, while pull marketing focuses on creating consumer awareness and interest to drive demand. A balanced combination of both strategies is often essential for a successful pharma marketing campaign.

Push Marketing Strategy in Pharma Marketing:

Push marketing involves proactive efforts by pharmaceutical companies to push their products or services to target audiences. These efforts aim to create awareness and generate demand by reaching out to healthcare professionals, pharmacies, and even patients. For instance, a pharmaceutical company may promote a new medication directly to healthcare providers through educational seminars or by offering free samples to encourage its use.

Pull Marketing Strategy in Pharma Marketing:

Conversely, pull marketing involves drawing audiences in by creating a desire for a product or service. In pharma marketing, this approach may manifest in direct-to-consumer advertising, where patients are informed about a medication and encouraged to ask their doctors for it. Pull strategies leverage patient interest and demand to influence prescribing decisions.

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Examples of Push and Pull Marketing Strategies in Pharma Marketing:

To better grasp these concepts, let's consider two practical examples:

  1. Push Marketing: A pharmaceutical company has introduced a new drug for diabetes management. They are actively reaching out to healthcare professionals.
    Medical conferences, detailed brochures, and face-to-face interactions are used for this outreach. By educating doctors and providing them with compelling information, they aim to drive prescriptions and usage.

  2. Pull Marketing: Another pharma firm invests in a direct-to-consumer advertising campaign on TV and online platforms.
    Their goal is to inform patients. They want to inform patients about a recently developed allergy medication. They aim to encourage patients to discuss this medication with their physicians. Their ultimate objective is to lead to prescriptions.

Advantages of Push Marketing strategy in Pharma marketing

Push marketing strategies continue to hold significance in the ever-evolving landscape of pharma marketing. While the industry has witnessed a surge in digital and consumer-centric approaches, there are specific scenarios where push marketing proves its worth. Understanding the advantages and effective scenarios of push marketing in the pharmaceutical sector is essential for optimizing marketing efforts.

  1. Rapid Product Launches: Pharmaceutical companies often require a rapid introduction of new drugs and medical devices. In such situations, push marketing becomes incredibly valuable.
    It aids in getting these products to the market quickly. Direct engagement with healthcare professionals through seminars, conferences, and detailed product information helps disseminate critical information promptly.

  2. Specialized Medications: Companies use push marketing for medications designed for unique medical conditions. This approach helps them reach healthcare providers who specialize in treating such patients. It ensures that the right audience is well-informed and educated about these drugs.

  3. Regulatory Compliance: Push marketing strategies in pharma marketing can be a compliant approach, especially in regions where strict regulations govern direct-to-consumer advertising. By focusing on healthcare professionals, companies can maintain adherence to regulatory requirements.

  4. High-Complexity Products: Push marketing strategies facilitate in-depth discussions with doctors crucial in treating patients, especially for complex medications with unique mechanisms.

  5. Relationship Building: Connecting with doctors and nurses can help build trust and teamwork in healthcare. And you can do this with push marketing strategies.

In the pharmaceutical industry, push marketing strategies focus on healthcare providers. Sales representatives play a key role in this approach. They used to wait in hospital and clinic hallways, aiming to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs to patients.

This shows how pharma companies use push marketing strategy. They send out lots of messages about their products, hoping to get the attention of potential customers. They might not always think about if the customers are interested or excited

The pharmaceutical industry is going through changes in policies and other issues. As a result, it's moving away from the push model. More focus is now being placed on the pull marketing model. Which is more beneficial for both the healthcare provider and the pharmaceutical company.

Here are the reasons why:

Less Intrusive Nature of Pull Marketing Strategies in Pharma Marketing:

doctor on video call

Healthcare providers dislike unexpected sales visits. These visits disrupt their schedules and make them less willing to endorse products. In today's pull marketing era, technology enables healthcare professionals to find information from pharmaceutical companies at their convenience.

Additionally, healthcare professionals can contact pharmaceutical sales representatives. They do so when a product or service appeals to their practice and patients. This contact happens at a time that's convenient for them.

Optimizing the Sales Process with Pull Marketing Strategies:

The pull marketing strategy changes how drugs are purchased and distributed. It's not just about sales reps and healthcare providers anymore. Pull marketing focuses on attracting individuals and healthcare providers to the pharma company. This approach makes sales quicker and more cost-effective.

Because drug companies cannot directly sell to patients, they must rely on doctors to prescribe their medication to patients. However, they can still market it to individuals – who in turn request a specific drug from their doctor.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Push and Pull Pharma Marketing Strategies.

In the highly regulated and competitive landscape of pharma marketing, understanding the efficacy of push and pull marketing strategies in pharma marketing is paramount for success. Companies employ a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the impact and efficiency of these marketing approaches.

Push and Pull Marketing Strategy: The Two Pillars of Pharma Marketing

Push marketing strategies involve proactively reaching out to healthcare professionals. while pull strategies capitalize on consumer demand to generate interest in a product. To determine the return on investment (ROI) for these distinct approaches, a tailored set of KPIs is essential.

Evaluating Push Marketing Campaigns

For push marketing strategies, companies primarily focus on KPIs as mentioned below

  • Cost per physician reached.
  • Sales generated through detailing and visits.
  • The volume of prescriptions is influenced by their efforts.

These metrics provide a comprehensive view of how push marketing impacts the bottom line.

Assessing Pull Marketing Strategy as a Success

In contrast, pull marketing strategies rely on a different set of KPIs. Which includes customer inquiries, product inquiries, and online engagement metrics. These indicators help companies gauge the effectiveness of their efforts in generating consumer interest and demand.

Tailoring Evaluation Methods

Changing how you measure things is important. Drug companies need to adjust how they measure success for different advertising campaigns. By keeping an eye on what works and making it better.

Marketers can spend their money wisely and stay ahead in the changing drug industry. This detailed analysis helps companies make good choices in drug advertising.

The Internet's Natural Alignment with Pull Pharma Marketing Strategies

Online pull marketing strategies involve targeted advertisements that use previous search engine queries for targeted search ads. Search engine optimization and smart analytics are other examples. These strategies enable pharmaceutical companies to customize their messages using specific keywords.

They aim to reach potential patients who may inquire with their healthcare provider about a particular treatment. Subsequently, the healthcare provider can contact the pharma company for drug samples or additional information.

Unlocking Consumer Insights through Pull Marketing: A Glimpse into the World of Pull Pharma Marketing

Targeted marketing, is a type of marketing where companies tailor their approach to suit the preferences of the customer. It helps these companies understand their customers better and provide products and information that the customers want.

Customer insight is like a treasure for pharma companies. With this information, they can talk to their customers in a way that feels just right for them. By using advanced technology like AI and machine learning, companies can even predict what their customers want.

In this way, pharma companies can provide them with the perfect information they need. This makes the customer experience much better and more personalized.

What lies ahead for Push and Pull Marketing Strategies in Pharma Marketing?

The pharma industry will always need salespeople. However, their role as the single point of contact for influencing healthcare providers is changing. More and more companies are focusing on pull marketing strategies to attract individuals to their products. This approach reduces costs and increases the efficiency of the pharma sales staff.

The Internet and powerful tools like AI and machine learning, make it easier for companies to personalize marketing for patients and healthcare professionals. This helps pharmaceutical firms attract more customers to their target group. As technology and customer behavior prediction improves, this type of marketing will become even more popular.

P360: Your Comprehensive Solution for Push and Pull Marketing Needs!

P360 powers life sciences companies with scalable, ROI-focused advanced technology solutions, helping you get the most out of your push and pull strategies.

For example, our Swittons smart devices help facilitate remote physician engagement with the simple click of a button. This enables on-demand engagement between pharma sales reps and healthcare providers.

In addition, our AI-powered sales enablement platform BirdzAI generates better leads by providing deep insights regarding sales forecasting, churn prediction, brand propensity analysis, next-best action insights, and more. The comprehensive pharmaceutical analytics and data management suite provides users with critical insights at a single glance, increasing productivity and data quality.