October 12, 2021

Is Pharma Advertising Turning Off Pharma Audiences?

Two women looking at sheet of paper

In the past, pharma has provided recognition, support, and relief for chronic disease patients via disease awareness websites, doctor discussion guides, advocacy work, and more, but is that enough? What can we do differently to support and connect with chronic disease communities that are increasingly representing themselves as heroes, rather than victims?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of Americans have a chronic disease, and 40% are living with two or more. As healthcare marketers, our work is frequently the only mass representation of chronic conditions in advertising. We don’t just speak to these communities … we speak for them; yet, according to a survey of 500+ patients conducted recently by Intouch Group, only one-third of people with chronic illnesses think pharma understands what it’s like to live with their condition.

In an October 14 session at DTC National-Boston, Intouch Group SVP, managing director and head of strategy John Kenny, leads a masterclass on how pharma brands can improve communication with and about people who have chronic diseases. The session will look at survey results, including how most patients do not believe that pharma “gets” what it is like to live with their condition and that only a small minority believe that pharma advertising authentically portrays their condition. Pharma needs to shift away from traditional approaches to testing work and start tracking how the conversation around chronic illnesses is changing in social media and popular culture. Prevent your work from looking increasingly out of touch and failing to connect effectively.

By looking at chronic disease communities through the lens of popular culture, pharma marketers can understand how better to create authentic, transparent, and inspiring moments that emotionally connect with their audiences. The way we think about chronic conditions and disability has fundamentally changed, and how we talk about them must also. Put simply, we must strive for authenticity, and be more brave in its pursuit.

If you weren’t able to register for the event, which takes place Oct 12-14, 2021, check out this space for a recap next week! Or reach out directly to John Kenny for more information today.