I heard the term ‘Phygital Marketing’ for the first time from the marketing head of a client of mine in July 2017.
Out of curiosity, I asked him: “What is Phygital Marketing?” He responded: “Phygital is blending digital experiences with physical ones. Phygital is a charming marriage of the physical and digital worlds.”
Boy! Did I like it?
At around this time I was on “Law 13—Invest in Digital Marketing” of my book “HOW TO GET DOCTORS ADDICTED TO YOUR BRAND: 13 UNSHAKABLE LAWS OF PHARMA BRANDING”. I edited it to “Law 13—Invest in Phygital Marketing”.
Come March 2020, and that’s when the digital revolution in the Indian pharmaceutical setup began. I realized Phygital marketing will be the future! You can even launch a new product phygitally and make it a mega brand.
And then I did some deep thinking and evolved the 7 steps to launch a new Healthcare brand. And that’s what I want to share.
The 7 Steps for Phygital Launching
Step 1 – Start with segmentation
Market segmentation is a key process in any marketing strategy. With the advent of the Phygital Era, Needs-Based Segmentation is a novel approach that helps you to get to the hearts and the minds of the doctors.
Benefit Segmentation, should answer the question: “What is in your brand for the patient?”
But a great way for immediate success is to segment the innovators and early adapters. Social listening on your microsite or on “doctor only” platforms like Docplexus will help you identify the right doctors through the Innovation Adoption Lifecycle segmentation.
Step 2 – Write the Brand Plan
Simon Sinek says – Start with the Brand’s Why. The secret behind the success lies in the “why” and should be embedded in the brand plan. Your brand plan should address three questions:
-Why does your brand exist?
-Why should the patient care for your brand?
-How does your brand help in better patient outcomes?
The 21st Brand Plan must include patient centricity.
Strategy execution using the fair process must be embedded.
Step 3 – Teaser campaigns
Phygital teaser campaigns can create a mystique around a new healthcare product. Often cryptic promo material is handed over by sales executives to create a buzz around a new product. But today, podcasts, customized email campaigns, or “doctor only” online platforms like Docplexus are powerful mediums to launch teaser campaigns and complement the efforts of your healthcare marketers.
Podcasting, though still in its nascent stages in India, has immense potential in healthcare marketing and is a cost-effective tactic to build an audience.
Step 4 – Craft your Digital Strategy
AIDA (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action) is the 1898 model to enhance the quality of interaction between a pharma rep and a doctor. But it has lost relevance in the Phygital age. The AIDA sales funnel is extinct.
The new AIDA is RES; it stands for Relevance – Engagement – Success. RES is the key to a successful phygital strategy.
Step 5 – Have a digital marketing framework in place
A simple way to organize is to remember the acronym POEM.
P is the paid media and includes platforms like advertisements on Facebook, Google, Linkedin, or Twitter. The demand-side platform automates the process of buying advertisement space
O is owned media and includes your:
-Customized Microsites on a platform like Docplexus
-Social Media pages
If you are not sure whether to go for a website or a microsite, then read here.
E is earned media. It is the digital-age term for word-of-mouth advertising. It is a powerful way to promote your brand. It encourages organic discussions about your brand and eggs on your prescribers to talk about your brand.
Which is the best? A combination complements each other.
Step 6 – Build an interactive Microsite
To clinically engage HCPs, it is important to customize your communication as much as possible, removing all the promotional and salesy flavors from your brand content. The better way to achieve this is to leverage unbiased, “doctors only” online platforms like Docplexus and host your brand content on a dedicated microsite (in a non-promotional and clinically credible manner, the way HCPs prefer) to:
– Build top-of-mind brand recall
– Easily accessing HCPs in remote areas
– Reduce your dependency on offline marketing channels and field force
– Post customized, evidence-based content in HCP-friendly formats
– Stoke clinically credible conversations around your products/brands
– Encourage brand adoption among HCPs
– Meaningfully connect with key influencers in medicine.
Step 7 – Monitor and control to measure the outcome.
The key steps to measure the progress of your new launch is through continuous feedback, monitoring, and controls. The Sales Force Automation Tools increase simplicity, efficiency, and visibility. Using SFA you get a complete view of every interaction between the medical representative and the doctor. You can lead and track any ongoing or upcoming exchanges. You can also craft local strategies and tactics. And above all, you can remain in touch with the field 24X7, even without making physical calls.
Integrate patient centricity in Stage 7. Understand the patient journey – The patient’s interactivity with the healthcare system, as described in the diagram below.
The patient journey is not just limited to prescribing treatments and monitoring the effects. It’s a holistic approach to understand the patient’s experience at all stages in the journey and the delight or the emotional pain he gets in the continuum of care.
To conclude, the final destination should be a better patient outcome. This is what Patient-Centric Marketing is all about – a Phygital Marketing strategy. And that’s the reason why Phygital is the most effective way to launch new pharma products in the 21st Century.
Prof. Vivek Hattangadi is one of the most prominent voices in the pharmaceutical industry. Having experience of 46 years, he has been the SBU Head of two divisions of a multinational pharmaceutical company. His focus is on developing the skills of the young healthcare brand managers and the frontline sales managers who are the future building blocks of the industry. He is a perpetual learner and has been mentored by legends like Late Prof. Chitta Mitra and Late Prof. Tarun Gupta.
He has been a consistent advocate of Docplexus, in how we clinically enrich the community of HCPs and collaborate with our business partners across these 7 steps.
If you are interested in our solutions for your next healthcare product launch, feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org