DTC Marketing Gets ARF Hearing

Lost in the plethora of reports released last week at the Advertising Research Foundation event in New York were some innovative views on pharmaceutical advertising. Those were led by a new agency created by Grey Healthcare to address the division.

Brand Edge, according to director Cindy Machles, is a relatively new division of Grey that has been developing campaigns based on developing “brand character” for pharmaceutical products. Brand character according to Machles, is the sum total of a clearly defined product, positioning and personality. That equation needs to add up to an emotional connection for the prospective customer.

Reaching that prospective customer was another hot topic at ARF. A report presented by Rosetta Marketing Strategies says that the business should consider a return to segment marketing, which has proved disappointing so far. According to Rosetta’s Kurt Holstein, media planners need to set a goal of isolating target segment for pharmaceutical clients by using direct of the Internet to identify needs, attitudes and behaviors of patients. Previous use of a medication should not be a driving factor in media planning.

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Holstein pointed out that consumer behavior and patient behavior should be viewed differently by media planners. For example, taking a vitamin everyday is less specific consumer behavior that a patient’s behavior of “I always take my blood pressure in the morning.” Each behavior offers different media opportunities.

“Tailor positioning and communication messages to be compelling to the belief structure of the target segment,” he said. “Aim all CRM campaigns and media plans against the target segment.”

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