Social media and digital technology are providing new opportunities for pharma marketers to make a fundamental difference and potentially save thousands of lives by facilitating direct interaction with patients and care partners.

The way life-science companies communicate and market to key stakeholder groups has undergone significant change. Multichannel marketing has historically been focussed on a single, siloed approach to communication, but today’s environment sees most targeted audiences choosing to navigate between many touchpoints. 

The approach now is to put the target stakeholder group at the centre of the strategy, making an omnichannel for effective engagement. In terms of patient consumers and their care partners, it is essential that marketers understand the channels that are most engaging and how they resonate with specific patient populations. Having tangible analytics from campaigns measures the level of success in supporting patient consumer access to therapy – and this is probably the most rewarding part of marketing in this new age.

Pharma is only just beginning to scratch the surface of digital as a means of communicating and interacting with patients. There have been investments in electronic health records (EHR) data, to enhance messaging, while artificial intelligence (AI), and the use of voice assistants and chatbots, has made interactions more efficient and engaging. Social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, and the development of virtual patient communities are being used to support recruitment into branded registration and post-approval clinical trials. By interacting with patients and care partners directly, pharma is now able to develop targeted strategies that can be tactically driven, by employing digital technologies. 

ICON's creative and digital teams have developed comprehensive communication campaigns for many brands, including unique EHR-focussed solutions. For more information on this topic, please contact us.


This blog is an edited version of “The modern marketing maze” which appeared in the July/August 2019 edition of PharmaTimes. To view the full article, please visit