If it’s all about omnichannel, how come only half of pharma marketers are doing it?

Share This:

Omnichannel is definitely on every marketer’s mind. In fact, it is such an important topic a simple Google search will yield over 73 million results. It is THE hot marketing topic. And, you don’t have to look far in our popular culture to see great examples in action. Think about the summer of Barbie. A toy doll. A movie. An Airbnb rental. A pop up shop inside Harrod’s in London. A renamed Heinz Barbie-cue sauce. And on and on. A terrific consumer example of brand owning the omnichannel landscape.

But here in pharma-land, independent consulting firms doing marketing mix modeling estimate that only about half of pharma brands are employing an omnichannel campaign. Why is that? At Digital Pharma East in Philadelphia in September, I had the pleasure of hosting a panel featuring three strong marketing voices: Fleur Lee (Senior Director Marketing, Eisai), Obaid Siddiqui (Senior Marketing Manager, Moderna), and Laurence Richards (President, Cult Health Advertising).

First, it is fair for a marketer to ask, “is omnichannel even right for my brand?” What if your brand is a therapy for an ultrarare disease? Certainly, broadcast linear tv may not be a good choice. But, that simplistically paints with the broad brush that implies omnichannel MUST be the use of ALL channels. Perhaps the better way to think about it is using all appropriate channels and having a consistent message and voice. It is more about the unified, consistent approach than a check the box on every tactical surface.

Second, it is fair for a marketer to ask, “how important is the big campaign idea and where do I go from there?” Well, it IS important to have a big campaign idea (think the legendary Lilly launch “Depression Hurts. Prozac can help.”) The big idea matters. A lot. But then, it becomes how the marketer and agency can chapterize that story so the content is appropriate for the different tactical surfaces. What is right for your 60 second spot on tv is not the exact same execution as what you create for Tik Tok, nor for your field sales rep – but the brand promise and story need to be woven of the same fabric.

Omnichannel is not going away. And pharma marketers are right to dig in, ask questions of their agencies, and to deliver our own “summer of Barbie” for our brands.

Dave Paragamian

David Paragamian


Health Monitor Network