PM360 & InCrowd: Top Marketing Techniques to Reach Global Audiences

September 22, 2017

Our VP of Marketing, Meghan Oates-Zalesky, shared her expertise in PM360’s September issue about the most effective marketing techniques to reach global audiences. PM360 asked 10 experts about the major hurdles facing global pharma marketing brands, and featured Meg’s thoughts on dealing with direct-to-consumer (DTC) restrictions abroad.

Here is what Meg told PM360:

Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) ads in the U.S. have become a $5 billion cottage industry since the FDA updated its guidelines in the late 90s. Though DTC ads have increased awareness, they’ve also increased the number of patient questions being asked. Physicians estimate in a recent InCrowd study ( that patients ask three times as many questions now compared to five years ago due to DTC ads.

In the U.S., navigating regulations makes it more difficult for marketers to create compelling and effective DTC ads to engage target audiences. While very few countries allow DTC advertising, with the U.S. and New Zealand permitting DTC ads for prescription medications and Brazil allowing them for non-prescription drugs, it would not be surprising for U.S. marketers to operate with caution in their awareness efforts abroad.

Understanding where patients seek information is important for global marketers when their reach is restricted. An InCrowd study shows that U.S. patients reported they would look to manufacturers’ product sites, among others, for information.

Forty-seven percent of patients say they prefer to receive medical information from their doctors, while a third check online options such as Google/online search, WHO, NIH, and other medical information sites, including manufacturer websites. Though advertising through these channels isn’t an option in most global markets, manufacturer websites are areas in which marketers can make their message clear and communicate relevant details about the medication.

When communicating on a manufacturer’s site, considerations that daunt U.S. restrictions provide good guidance to ensure consumers understand the critical elements of the medication: Indication, side effects, etc. Other key learnings from U.S. DTC regulations are the improvements upon regulated ads that all consumers need: Appropriate reading level, simple message, and relatable images of people.

Read the full PM360 article, “Top Marketing Techniques to Reach the Global Audience of Today and Tomorrow.”

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