Marketing is immersive, and so is the digital healthcare space. The overlap allows all the biggest and brightest minds in the life science space to connect, share, and redefine what the digital health world looks like today and tomorrow.
Bracken Senior Partner Jen Yip brings over two decades’ experience in pharmaceutical, biotech, and healthcare marketing, and of strategic engagements within the healthcare space.
Like healthcare marketing itself, Jen contains multitudes—alongside her storied career, this Brooklynite serves as a yoga instructor at a cat café and is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Jen’s expertise in healthcare communications and pharmaceutical marketing gave us an inside scoop of the overlap between the life science and marketing industries. In this post, we’ve distilled Jen’s savvy expertise into three essentials for understanding the future of healthcare marketing.
Modernized Marketing for the Digital World
With the digitization of the healthcare space, the necessity for a modernized marketing strategy is at an all-time high. From the propensity for artificial intelligence to telehealth providers to the streamlining of the paperwork process in physical doctor’s appointments, there are thousands of technological advancements being made in the healthcare industry.
But the marketing around digital healthcare is beginning to follow suit. By recognizing their target audiences and beginning to market the correct services, products, or medication, the digital healthcare industry needs its marketing to perform on that same level, and at that same speed.
As Jen says, “Solving bits and pieces of this [catch-up] is going to take a lot of time. For example, if you're talking about digital innovation in pharma, in clinical trials, it’s on the horizon—but far away. So, it's going to take a lot of patience, and a lot of players. But I kind of like that challenge.”
It’s All About Connection
Targeting the correct demographic and their subsequent buyer’s journey is the fundamental foundation of successful marketing. If the messaging is unclear, your product or service won’t gain the necessary traction because it’s not being marketed to the correct consumer demographic. But this is even more crucial in the digital healthcare industry, because the pharmaceutical division isn’t just about medicinal sales—it’s about ensuring the correct medication gets into the correct consumer’s hands.
In the same vein, marketing isn’t merely about selling—it’s about connection. Jen says, “If you say marketing, people in pharma immediately think of the commercial side of the business. If we’re selling drugs, we're talking about targeting patients, or participants for clinical, or raising awareness [for a certain condition] or connecting with potential participants or patients. The word ‘marketing’ is interpreted differently, depending on which part of the industry or organization you’re in, but most often, they think social media.” Connection is crucial—especially when that connection is between pharma and patients, or, in the broader view, between technology and humanity.
And marketing is not limited to social media—even if that’s what most people are currently frequenting in the digital space. In connection with the pharmaceutical industry, it’s also about advertising the correct message to connect with the right group of people for a clinical trial, a study, or a testimony.
On the other side of the industry is this truth: pharma isn’t solely about pushing product. In this new landscape, connecting patients—or potential patients—with the right treatment is even more essential. Without marketing serving as that crucial connection, pharma can be viewed as the enemy. Furthermore, people can slip through the cracks—aware of a treatment or medication from which they might benefit.
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In a modernized, technologically sound workforce, artificial intelligence (AI) is paramount across the board. In the world of life sciences, the addition of AI is a nuanced, multilayered topic.
With content development, AI can be perceived as causing a disruption in human connection. Marketing cannot solely be accomplished by utilizing AI because it completely bypasses the vital relationship between the company and the customers.
In healthcare, however, AI can be utilized to enhance those connections. When researching potential candidates for clinical trials, for example, AI can pull demographic information and synthesize it into palatable information. In this sense, AI is doing the legwork so that the healthcare professionals can forge forward in their drug development or clinical trial and make a difference.
Jen offers her own experience and wisdom on how technology such as AI will continue to shape the future for clinical trials: “The FDA, and the European version, the EMA, are starting to address bettering diversity and inclusion metrics, and clinical trials are going to have to involve technology. Technology is going to have to probably be brought in, [like] utilizing AI to find more participant targets. I think these problems that aren’t necessarily going to be solved without a modern solution.”
Utilizing modern technologies like AI as a resource instead of a band-aid will help forge new regulations and standards for the betterment of the clinical trial process—by continuing to put the “care” in healthcare. Whether it’s through the integration of AI or targeted buyer-specific advertising, one thing’s for sure: the future of digital healthcare is already here. It’s in our collective hands.