Marketing of the medical industry can be confusing and seductive.
Many marketers and agencies use a consumer branding model when promoting healthcare brands. Consumer goods are marketed as a celebration of the buying process. “The world must know about this new thing I bought!”
This is how fancy beverages, smartphones and cars are marketed.
Healthcare products are intended as a protection of self. You don’t want to get sick or deal with unpleasant and embarrassing side effects. Some healthcare products are promoted as a celebration of freedom from the mucus monster or a love of a laxative. That doesn’t really match the treatment patients want.
People want relief that’s discreet, responsible and professional. Curiously, brands don’t always trust customers to follow medical advice for diet and exercise to help treat a condition. Sometimes, the active agent in the drug is so high, that the patient can lie about giving up cheeseburgers and working out three times a week but still have apparent improvement. The dosage may be too high for a patient who actually does more than just take the drug to improve the condition.
Most information physicians get about drugs is from manufacturers. They get clinical studies and marketing pieces to inform them about new products. The doctors don’t personally use the brands unless they have those conditions. Marketing appeals to how the doctors can promote their own personal brand of care to patients. Some drugs are marketed to fit into the progressive practice. Others appeal to the practice that is trusted and dependable.
Patients should seek a reputable third-party source for information on drugs of interest. Web MD and Mayo Clinic give comparisons and drug facts. Associations who treat specific conditions may also have information in their online communities.
Listen as healthcare branding expert Vince Parry joins Dr. Holly Lucille to explain how marketing influences your drug choices.