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Pharma Marketing Forum took place in Philadelphia on February 25-26th. Kimberly Abbasi, VP and Account Group Supervisor, from Create NYC, an Ashfield company, part of UDG Healthcare plc attended.

The two-day event focused on Pharmaceutical marketing, with a heavy emphasis on digital initiatives and creating trust with patients by focusing on the patient. The event discussed current topics such as having access to more data than ever and how marketers need to be more authentic and respectful in their marketing efforts.

Day 1

The first day of this event covered themes such as the privilege of health data and the need for strategic thinking around using this data. Cozi Namer, Marketing Manager for Google AI Healthcare suggested that there must be more consideration of the consumer’s mindset and whether the consumer is in the right mindset to receive this offer? Respecting this could lead to a healthier relationship and instill trust.

“SPAM emails are becoming the equivalent of door to door initiatives of the 1960’s” – Cozi Namer, Marketing Manager, Google AI Healthcare.

Another main theme of this day was the shift of pharma marketing from the initial focus being on the HCP to now focusing on the patient. This adapted communication provides a purpose to healthcare messages, as well as boosting the consideration of moving away from the traditional website to platforms that patients would be active on to enable better engagement such as social media.

“Our North Star vision should be to use data appropriately to deliver the right message at the right time. We should move from a linear journey to a more fluid journey.” – Yael Jones, Director, Patient Digital Experience GSK.

Following this there was a focus on increasing patient engagement through social listening and the value of seeing patients unmet needs, raw emotions all in real time to really understand the patient- the good, the bad and the ugly. Social media would facilitate this insight and the use of social listening to identify potential gaps in messages would help for future planning.



Day 2

Having been immersed in information over the first day of the conference, the second day was extremely exciting covering equally content-rich topics such as the use of virtual reality in pharma.

A great case study was shown of EXCEDRIN which used virtual reality in a global campaign to allow caregivers to feel what it is like to have a migraine. The thought behind this is that this use of technology can change the behavior of the caregiver to adapt their care following first-hand VR experience.

A key takeaway from this is using technology to tell a story, something which has been used throughout the healthcare communications space by Ashfield Digital & Creative in their campaigns around telling meaningful stories, view more here.

Another area of interest was looking at developing a global launch strategy and analyzing the crucial six months right after launch which can indicate the long-term success of a brand.

Lastly, the importance of planning a ‘launch roadmap’ to secure the right resources at the right time, activities and timelines which are detailed and continually monitor the progress.

Overall, this was a very forward-thinking and informative event with a lot of value surrounding direct to patient messaging, building up consumer trust, the value of VR in healthcare communications and planning a global launch strategy. All of these elements and more our attendee, Kimberly Abbasi, can bring back to Ashfield Healthcare Communications to continue our excellent communications. We look forward to next year!

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