On tap for pharma marketing in 2020? Caregivers, podcasts and, of course, more digital

McAfee has released its Threat Predictions Report for 2019 (Image powerofforever / iStockPhoto)
What's up for pharma marketing in 2020? Digital and more digital, along with demographic and spending shifts. (powerofforever/iStockPhoto)

Ten years ago, The New York Times and NPR both ran articles lamenting the proliferation of drug advertising. And on the cusp of a new decade, little has changed in that regard. Legislators and physician groups both want to rein it in as pharma and tech companies look to grow it.

Yet many other things have changed in the past decade of pharma marketing. The rise of social media channels, the growing sophistication of digital ads and targeting, mobile health apps and voice-enabled and smart devices have all helped shift the pharma industry from traditional TV and print push messaging to modern—and, more and more often, online—engagements with patients and physicians.

While we’re not going to attempt to look ahead to the entire next decade—although it’s a solid bet that back-and-forth, yes-or-no drug advertising debates will continue through 2029—we did put together some emerging trends for 2020.

Digital figures prominently, along with emerging podcast and audio platforms and caregiver demographics, when it comes to the issues pharma marketers have already turned attention to and will continue to watch next year.

Although we didn’t include it in our predictions (again) this year, politics will remain a force in pharma marketing. The Department of Health and Human Services versus pharma advertisers and the Association of National Advertisers court trial over the issue of requiring drug prices in TV ads looms next year, as do ongoing efforts to abolish pharma ad tax deductions.

In this issue, FiercePharmaMarketing looks back at the emerging issues of 2019 with an eye to what will keep trending in 2020. 

— Beth Snyder Bulik (email | Twitter