Giving your pharma launch the creative edge

By Admin
Written by Cheryl Clarke With increasing restrictions and levels of healthcare compliance which have to be met when marketing products to the pharmaceu...

Written by Cheryl Clarke

With increasing restrictions and levels of healthcare compliance which have to be met when marketing products to the pharmaceutical industry, organisations are left to come up with more inventive, creative and engaging events if they want to promote new innovations to the market.

These events have to meet with all necessary guidelines and also reiterate the key messages of the products on offer, ensuring that the benefits to the end user are retained. As the founder and Director of evential, an events-based business which specialises in the pharmaceutical sector, I explain how this can be achieved with good technical innovations and a creative imagination.

We work with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and although it goes without saying that we are thrilled to be in a position to engage with these brands, it also throws up a number of challenges - how do you make each event different? What will make this particular launch stand out from the crowd? How will we meet with the clients brief yet still conform to compliance? How do we engage the audience?

We have found that over the years launching a product to the pharmaceutical market has changed irreversibly. With increased restrictions being introduced with regards to promotional giveaways, we find that we need to provide our clients with new and innovative marketing methods when it comes to launching new products. As it was once accepted, and in some cases expected, that you would simply put together a bag of free promotional gifts, now you have to create and rely on a dialogue which gets across the messages about that product.

Engaging with the audience is absolutely essential and using the staging creatively to set the scene and bring the product messages to life makes for an impactful event. We are developing more creative solutions for our clients, injecting theatre to the launch of products and showcasing first-hand how a new product will impact on the patient.

As an example we worked with Johnson & Johnson to launch a new product to 300 internal delegates from 30 countries throughout Europe during a two day event.  Not only did we have to find a suitable central-European location and manage a healthcare compliant finale dinner but also engage with a multilingual audience.

The first task was ensuring that the technology was in place to allow us to provide delegates with iTouch, which could be used to translate the conference notes into any language chosen. These would also be used to facilitate social media feeds and instant chat, allowing delegates to connect with one another, raise points about the product and ask relevant questions.

The iTouch acted as an interactive element of the event, enabling delegates to ask questions about the product, which were then posted on a live feed allowing the presenters to address them. Without WIFI access this would have been impossible and had a real impact on the event and the experience that delegates received.

The next part of the brief was logistically simpler but required a creative edge; how would we showcase a product to a mixed audience leaving them with the positive messages about the product; ultimately that it improves the life of the patient?

We produced a bespoke staging set which captured the colour and shape of the brand logo and marketing concepts and commissioned a team of actors to bring to life how the disease impacts on the life of the patient.  Not only was the audience captivated but they were able to share the experience with colleagues in their respective countries. The idea was cutting edge for a pharmaceutical launch and was met with very positive feedback.

 Due to the ever-changing environment of healthcare compliance more inventive ideas have to be considered and put forward. As a business we are excited by this change and feel that it will have a positive impact on the pharmaceutical events that delegates attend. Greater levels of creativity will have to be considered and new ways of engaging with the audience will be essential to the successful launch of products.

The fundamental event requirements to a product launch for the pharmaceutical sector remain the same; accessible destination and venue, project management and logistics, quality speakers and strong branding are all imperative. In addition we now have to consider theatre, impact, retention of the message and above all new innovations and creativity. It will be very interesting to see how leading small, medium and large pharmaceutical brands embrace this and start to push the boundaries in order to get their products noticed.

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