As the pharmaceutical industry continues to grow, many pharma marketers are struggling to make their brand stand out. With so much noise, it’s easy to fall to the wayside if you’re not optimizing your marketing efforts and differentiating your products. From compliance to conferences, check out some common mistakes pharmaceutical marketers are making and how to avoid them. 

1. You’re starting too late.

Just because you can’t start marketing until you get the green light from the FDA doesn’t mean you should neglect it until then. It’s a big mistake to wait until the last minute to choose an agency partner, get your website developed and map out your campaigns. By pushing these tasks off, you’ll miss out on valuable marketing time once your drug does go to market. 

To avoid this mishap, map out a strategy ahead of time and put all systems in place to start marketing the moment your drug goes to market. All you should need to do when the time comes is push a few buttons to set everything live. By planning early, you’ll save yourself the mad dash later and ensure you don’t miss out on any marketing opportunities in the early stages. 

2. You’re not ADA compliant.

1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have some form of disability. It’s your responsibility, as a marketer, to ensure your pharma company’s digital presence accounts for these individuals. By providing websites with elements such as optimized contrast, appropriate meta-tagging and clear navigation, you’ll ensure everyone can easily engage with your digital channels.

Furthermore, failing to comply with ADA guidelines is against the law. There were over 2,500 federal website accessibility lawsuits in 2018, nearly triple that of 2017. New York, Florida and Massachusetts were among the leading states for these lawsuits. Ensure your company is protected by following ADA compliance guidelines across all digital channels.

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3. You’re Ad Shy.

It can be intimidating to create ads for pharma products with such tight regulations in place. The result is often watered-down ads that play it safe, or worse – no ads at all. 

While it can be tempting to go the safe route and follow the status quo, we encourage you to get familiar with the advertising guidelines and restrictions surrounding your products, then forge your own path. By knowing the limits in which you can operate, you’ll give yourself the freedom to get creative and avoid blending in with the crowd.

4. You’re Deleting Negative Comments.

If you’ve been deleting negative comments on your brand’s digital channels, stop it. right. now. A negative comment, though not ideal, can be your brand’s moment to shine.

Deleting negative comments doesn’t solve a problem. In fact, it can often make the commenter angrier and more apt to complain about your brand. Instead, use these moments as a learning experience. Escalate genuine concerns to the appropriate team members and refine your social listening skills. You should also respond publicly to negative comments to show current and potential customers that your brand cares about patients and physicians alike. By assuaging these issues, rather than neglecting them, you’ll build brand trust and brand loyalty.

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5. You’re Skimping on Conferences.

According to World Pharma Today, physicians receive up to 2,800 contacts per year, which is about one every work hour. It can be incredibly difficult to stand out in such a crowded marketplace. By meeting physicians in person, at events and conferences, you have a better chance of making a deeper connection and being remembered. It’s much different hearing about a medicine from a real, live human being than it is receiving an email about it.

Additionally, attending conferences can give you a better understanding of your position in the industry. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your competition, as well as how to differentiate your products in order to stand out.


While the pharma industry is one of the most robust when it comes to marketing, even the most seasoned marketers can make these common mistakes. From starting sooner to attending conferences, there are simple shifts you can make today to improve your marketing results for tomorrow. 

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