Direct Success, Inc. is a privately held company. As owner, president and CEO, Lawrence McDaniel believes that quality work and consistent customer service are the keys to keeping clients satisfied. The company started in 1995 and has grown steadily now occupying more than 60,000 square feet of office and warehouse space. She has worked in the Direct Marketing and the Pharmaceutical Industry for two decades. With a Bachelor of Music and Masters in Marketing from Miami University in Ohio, she has learned to use her creative and analytical training to meet client's needs.
As she prepares to speak at the marcus evans PharmaMarketing Summit 2011 (in Hollywood, Florida, May 4-6), Lawrence McDaniel discusses what is missing in pharma marketing, and why mixing communication methods and strategies would reap better results.
Why is traditional pharmaceutical product marketing not working?Look at the reality: pharma companies are decreasing the number of reps in the field. Fewer reps translates to fewer physicians being seen by the reps. In addition, many physicians limit the number of rep presentations due to decreasing profits in the practice and the need to see more patients in the day to make up some of the profits.
Alternative channels of communication and education that were once tactics for white space areas must now become strategies that support the decreased rep forces. Every drug and patient support program needs exposure or they fail. To get exposure, pharma companies have to look at every available source of communication but, in a planned manner. You will see some pharma companies understanding the need for alternative channels but they miss the point by not using appropriate analysis in making the decisions.
What does the medical community respond to?
There is no one thing that works across the board. We are an industry rich in data. It is now time to use the data for analysis that allows an organized, planned matrix of strategies.
DSI has enjoyed long relationships with our clients. Therefore we have years of data. We look at results based on specialty, the message, the offer, time of year for the communication, vehicle delivering the message and of course, results.
What the pharmaceutical industry needs to address is what works for each audience. Look at results vs. what is the new sexy way to get a message out. Sometimes the answer is actually obvious, when you look at past results in comparison to the marketing, sales and financial goals.
How can social media be better utilized in this industry?
We have spent a few months monitoring how pharmaceutical manufacturers are using social media, and think they have done so poorly until now. Being on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites has, in my opinion, been more for ego purposes rather than true marketing or educational purposes.
The use of social media is still truly evolving and none of us is exactly sure how we are going to use this new vehicle to the benefit of the industry or patient population. There are various ways of getting your message heard, and social media holds a lot of promise in educating patients and getting them more involved in their healthcare.
I believe some companies view social media as the new sexy answer to everything. While social media should be part of the matrix, it is not the answer.