Originally Published by Intouch Group

Throughout the year 2020, pharma marketers were forced to explore new strategies in order to keep up with the many evolving trends. Pharma marketers have quickly learned how to adapt to these trends and are prepared to take on new opportunities in 2021.

Five trends that will shape the pharma marketing industry in 2021 include media and tech, location independence, relationships despite digital congestion, questioning systems and doubt in institutions, and feelings around trust and wellness.

Trend #1: Media and Tech: Facilitating Communication

With people becoming more engaged in their own health, technology in healthcare is quickly evolving. Tools that help people track their health, including apps, wearables, and patient portals will be used more than ever in 2021.

The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning will also increase in 2021 and is expected to become an $8 billion industry by 2022. This technology enables new tools to provide a deeper level of personalization in healthcare.

When it comes to media, internet-enabled TV devices such as smart TVs, gaming consoles, sticks, and boxes provide viewers with over-the-top, and on-demand content. This allows advertisers to carefully segment their TV audiences and serve different ads as an efficient way to connect with viewers.

Trend #2: Location Independence: Virtual Virtuosity

Due to the pandemic, the healthcare industry has gone almost completely virtual Patient visits with HCPs, meetings between HCPs and sales reps, and healthcare conferences have all had to endure the virtual shift.

Throughout 2020, the use of telehealth and remote monitoring has also drastically increased and may continue to be popular tools used between patients and HCPs in the year 2021.

Trend #3: Relationships Despite Digital Congestion

While Zoom calls and virtual meetings have been the norm for the past year, people are still longing for comfort and to build strong relationships. The pharmaceutical industry is making it a high priority to be transparent with their audience and help their patients feel as comfortable as possible while getting the care they need.

Many pharmaceutical companies are currently working on making sure their patients are comfortable by offering information, tools, and education to both patients and HCPs.

Trend #4: Questioning the Systems: Doubt in Institutions

With patients being skeptical of “the other side,” it has been a challenge for the pharma industry to build relationships and communicate useful information to the public. For example, people mistrust the efficiency and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

In order to regain their trust, policymakers, public-health professionals, and HCPs need to help provide communities with accurate information about the vaccine.

Trend #5: Trust and Wellness: What We Believe and How We Feel

As we already know, trust is important when building a brand… but it’s important to maintain trust now more than ever. When it comes to the government, social media, safety, and people’s everyday lives, trust has been lost in almost every way within the last year.

By acknowledging today’s reality, companies have been greatly focused on fulfilling the needs of their employees and customers. While being faced with new challenges and opportunities within our industry, organizations have also been collaborating with each other more than ever before to enable better success for brands and employees.

“While brands have always depended upon being dependable, assuring trust more explicitly is what we need to do today.” – Intouch Group

2020 has taught us that the pharma marketing industry will continue to grow and quickly adapt to the new challenges that are faced in 2021. When it comes to gaining back trust, the industry plans on being more informative, transparent, and more personalized. This will open new opportunities for pharma marketers and enable better success in this upcoming year.