Digital Marketing for Pharma…Opportunities and Challenges

Feb 20, 2020 / by admin / in: Blog

, Digital Marketing for Pharma…Opportunities and Challenges

With digital marketing being essential for every brand in the world to reach out to people, pharmaceutical companies have also considered using social media and search engines to make people aware of their services and products. Here are some details about the opportunities we can be missing and challenges to making digital marketing a part of the pharma industry.

Important Statistics:

Healthcare and pharmaceutical industry digital advertising spending in the united states has increased from $1.2 billion in 2011 to 3.14 billion in 2019.

Among the European countries, Germany was the market leader with over 5.6 billion euros in self-medication sales in 2016. This was followed by Poland at 2.6 billion euros. The European country with the lowest share of market sales in the self-medication market was Lithuania at 52.48 million euros. 

What Makes Digital Marketing Perfect for The Healthcare And Pharmaceutical Industry


Having many sources of information about a drug has no longer made pharmaceutical companies the sole provider for information. This can cause the right information to be lost among the tons of available sources. Pharmaceutical companies need to gain the audience’s trust and provide information in a creative way to make the right information accessible and clear. 

Direct communication with patients

Now pharmaceutical brands are not obliged to communicate via HCPs, as digital marketing facilitates direct communication with patients via messages and content that’s pre-approved from governmental health authorities.

24/7 help

Being on social media has made it more accessible for patients to inquire about a medication or a healthcare service. Since people having a good social media experience are more likely to recommend the product to others, being present and by their side will work to the brands’ advantage. This is important because now, many pharmaceutical products contain the same active ingredients or their alternatives, which has made competition between them.


Each drug is compatible with a group of people. For instance, a drug that is made for joint pain is more likely to be used by elderly people, while a gel for teething pain will be needed by parents which in turn, determines what social platform, and what type of copy and language to use.

Digital marketing is still new to some therapeutic areas, so brands can be the first and solo player in such areas.

Challenges That Face Pharmaceutical Companies to Market Stuff Online

Getting approvals from governmental health authorities

Each country has its regulations for how pharmaceutical companies communicate with the public. For example, the Saudi FDA (SFDA) has published guidelines for both online and on-ground patient communication and Australia has its TGA (Therapeutic Good administration) and so forth.

Fast response is important

Customers expect brands to reply within less than one hour and not more than 24 hours by the maximum.

Pharmacovigilance reporting

In case of an adverse event, that must be done within 24 hours from getting a notification.

Product technical complaints

If any patient experienced any issue with pharmaceutical products for example change of color or odor or maybe leakage from a syrup bottle…etc.

Crisis management: how to deal with crises that might appear

Gaining trust

Due to the information available everywhere, people have got more educated than ever about their health. They no longer take the information as it is. Pharmaceutical companies need to collaborate with specialized digital marketing agencies to gain the patients’ trust and come back to always learn more. 

Using the right content

Whether it’s explainer videos, infographics or blog posts. Content needs to be simple enough for patients to understand and still provide the information they need. 

Using the right Keywords

Due to the restrictions that were made for content to be published, keywords can keep rejected to make sure all the data is true and transparent.

Read: The Best Digital Agency for Pharmaceutical Companies 

A Guide to Market Pharmaceutical Products


Search engine optimization (SEO) helps brands rank on the first page which gains more trust by web users. Pharmaceutical companies can benefit from that by optimizing each page including titles, meta descriptions, and relevant keywords. Secondly, getting backlinks from trusted sources, blog posts to increase authority. 

Content Marketing for Pharmaceutical Products

Content marketing is one of the most digital marketing services that can bring conversions, build an audience and captivate people’s attention.

Selling pharmaceutical products is difficult due to the complexity of the information. If this information is delivered in a simple and a customer-oriented way, it’ll make it easier to sell that product.

Social Media Marketing for The Pharmaceutical Industry

This task might not be so easy due to the regulations that have been made in this industry. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most that have limits and regulations when marketing their products. However, brands can make the best use of social media by publishing regular educational content, explainer videos, general content and expand the audience. 


Pay per click is so tricky since selecting the right keywords is not easy due to the restrictions that are made on medications. That’s why it’s best to work with a digital agency specialized for pharma. Some ads can be targeted for patients while others can be targeted for healthcare professionals. All of this needs to be considered when running paid ads. 

Read: 4 Digital Marketing Strategies Used in The Pharma Industry

Do you have an amazing story to tell us about marketing pharmaceutical brands online? 

Share your thoughts in the comments or connect with us if you want to launch an amazing digital marketing campaign!!


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