Every healthcare agency knows how to translate HTML code into a headline, a happy patient, and a block of safety warnings. A savvy agency moves beyond this basic skill set to become a strategic thinker. But only a handful of the most insightful agencies understand that the real business of medical communications is creating opportunity—for clients, for brands, for healthcare professionals, and for patients.
Where is opportunity to be found? In healthcare marketing, opportunity is most typically born when a new product pops out of the pipeline and finds its way into the hospital, clinic, and physician’s office. But (for good reason) those who practice medicine tend to be conservative by nature and in no hurry to rethink their clinical behaviors. So, no matter how compelling a product is in the mind of its developer, successful adoption is unlikely to occur by simply putting it on the market. To affect clinical behavior, one needs to provide a fresh set of eyes through which the physician can view a scenario he or she has seen perhaps hundreds or even thousands of times before. The opportunity, in other words, is not simply found, it must be created.
Exploring the science
Abraxis Oncology, an emerging pharma company, enlisted K&F to educate target audiences about and speed market acceptance of their novel nanoparticle delivery system. Contact us to discuss our Branded Science™ approach in more detail.
One credible approach to transforming natural physician skepticism into opportunity is to look to the pivotal technologies, physiologic mechanisms, or scientific concepts that distinguish a therapeutic product from its competitors. Science-based ideas appeal to physicians because medicine itself is science based. And exploring these ideas in an intelligent way communicates respect for the occupation and for the level of training and critical thinking healthcare professionals bring to the table.
Talking to doctors about key scientific concepts, though, involves more than just illustrating a mechanism of action. It is a strategic and disciplined process that starts with an insight—for example, an unmet (or even unrecognized) medical need, an advance in treatment, an outmoded attitude or belief, or even a novel hypothesis that has yet to attain general acceptance—and works to bring it into sharper focus. The aim is not to pressure or mislead, but to stimulate critical thinking, re-evaluation, and dialogue—to motivate rather than manipulate.
Packaging the science
The scientific ideas used to engage one’s constituents, of course, are not chosen at random. Any marketers worth their salt seek meaningful and credible points of difference for their brands. Equally important, science is not meant to be digested raw. It needs thoughtful interpretation and refinement. It must be packaged into a form that’s accessible, compelling, and distinctive. In other words, it must be “branded” in such a way that it becomes an inextricable and proprietary link to the product it describes and works to increase the real and perceived value of that product in the mind of the target customer.
Leveraging the science
In experienced hands, Branded Science™ can play a critical role in translating differentiating product attributes into lasting behavioral change that accelerates adoption. It can be especially useful under certain circumstances—for example, in addressing the following objectives:
- To introduce a novel approach to managing a disease or a new use for an
- To raise awareness of a medical need—whether established or as yet unrecognized
- To define a credible reason to believe in, and anticipate, an agent still in
- To strengthen a product’s value proposition, especially when it is novel or
- To sharpen appreciation of a product’s differentiating features, or “ownable space,” in the marketplace
Whatever stage of the product lifecycle—prelaunch, launch, or postlaunch—communications techniques that leverage differentiating scientific concepts to effectively engage the medical community are key components of a smart marketing campaign. Can science be branded and sold? It can—and it should.
Review our Case Studies to see how we have put Branded Science™, a Kane & FInkel proprietary communications platform to work for a collection of our clients.