In pharma, there’s a natural move from functional to a more nuanced and multidimensional messaging for mainstream drugs. Including intangible emotional components – if done well – can significantly improve compliance and adherence. So, it’s important to proactively include these intangible benefits in your communications strategy from the beginning.

Our experts, Mike Mabey and Scott Garrison, shared how to manage the move along the functional-emotional continuum and map this balance with PM360 magazine.

Emotional vs. Scientific Claims: Which is better for increasing brand loyalty?

“When marketers are preparing for a new product launch, they must focus almost exclusively on efficacy, safety profile and other functional and scientific reasons to prescribe their new product. But within a few years they will need to evolve that communications strategy to include emotional, lifestyle and inspirational benefits.

Initially, sales are driven by physicians deciding to prescribe the product, and those physicians often desire concrete evidence for why they should prescribe a new drug. Of course, payers also want to see strong evidence of why they should pay for the new drug being prescribed. Some specialty drugs, for instance those for treating cancer, never move beyond this construct.

But for more mainstream drugs, the communications strategy eventually moves along the continuum from one-dimensional, purely functional messaging aimed at healthcare professionals (HCPs) toward multidimensional messaging aimed at HCPs and patients, while at the same time becoming more nuanced in presenting benefits.

Multidimensional messaging includes more intangible aspects of the product benefit package and incorporates more emotional, lifestyle and patient-centric components. In other words, communications become more consumer-oriented…”