In this edition of MEASURING EFFECTIVENESS, AME Grand Jury member Parrus Doshi, Strategic Planning Director for McCann Health London shares his industry insights and strategic perspective on measuring the effectiveness of pharma, health, and wellness marketing in a COVID-19 era.
As we stagger and stumble our way towards spring, we reflect on the last 12 months and the seismic shift that has occurred in virtually all aspects of our lives. Whilst our sanity, spirit and resolve has being tested, for those of us working in marketing and advertising, the last year has had us riding the peaks and troughs of consumer interest, working even harder to help brands to earn a meaningful role in people’s lives.
While sectors like travel and hospitality have had to significantly cut marketing budgets, pharma, health and wellness has continued to grow with an increased spend in 2020. A variety of factors have played into this, not least a captive market: a relentless and unwavered interest, demand and investment from consumers into their wellbeing. For instance, the way we view our own health and the importance we place on protecting it has been reshaped and redefined. There is a greater focus on sharing the responsibility for caring for the most vulnerable in society. There is a reinstatement of trust in physicians as the health experts and a shift in the delivery of care. The reality is that few things could have rivalled the ability of COVID-19 to have catalysed and accelerated the transformation of healthcare.
However, this has also brought about its own challenges. For physicians, COVID-19 has exposed the best and the worst of the profession, testing their physical and emotional resilience. Fear and anxiety in the face of the unknown has been delicately balanced with a sense of purpose, duty and compassion. Outside of COVID-19, over the last 12 months physicians have been forced to make tough decisions on how they are treating patients, what they have had to prioritise and how they have had to manage all manner of COVID and non-COVID related conditions. For the pharma, health and wellness sector, the last 12 months have impacted how businesses and brands have had to interact with physicians. Less time, less attention and less dependency on the typical channels of engagement have created a new value exchange: how can industry better support physicians and help build back towards “normal”. Agencies who work with brands in this sector have been busy working with those clients to find new ways to earn that space of meaning in the lives and the health of customers and consumers. No easy task given so many conditions and health requirements have had to fight for a space of relevance at a time where they are not top of mind for physicians. Our job to capture the attention of physicians has meant that the strategic work has had to be sharper, and the creative work has had to work harder.
So, when our efforts have had to stretch further, why does the success of our work remain so “hidden”? Why should we be happy to stop short of demonstrating and celebrating whether our work worked against the stated ambition objectives?
We have had the pleasure of working with New York Festivals AME Awards, an advertising and marketing effectiveness awards that honour the most innovative campaigns that triumph in both creativity and effectiveness, to create new categories that focus on Pharma, Health and Wellness sectors (Products and Services) as well as the most common channels of engagement over the last 12 months (promotional materials, conferences and digital devices (Best Use of Medium). Demonstrating the effectiveness of our work and celebrating its success has never been more important. So, whether it is that virtual congress stand, that best-in-class e-detail aid or indeed that creative campaign that shaped beliefs and drove a change in behaviour, the great work that has gone on in this sector deserves recognition.
If there was ever a year to enter, this would be it. We’re excited to see where the benchmark is.