Outcome-based healthcare needs outcome-based marketing

Pharma can no longer put off the inevitable when it comes to outcome-based models in healthcare. In 2016, drugmakers will begin to engage more not only when it comes to pricing models, but also when it comes to marketing.

But what is outcome-based marketing? In mainstream marketing, it usually refers to linking ad campaigns to quantifiable results. Did the ads or marketing draw more customers or an increase in web traffic? And pharma companies are largely already doing that. We're taking a broader view of the outcome model for our FiercePharmaMarketing predictions and looking for outcome marketing that aligns with outcome pricing models. That is, creating advertising, promotions and lifestyle tool communications that clearly relay to patients, caregivers, doctors and healthcare providers exactly what they get for their money.

For instance, FiercePharma recently reported on Amgen's ($AMGN) exclusive deals with Harvard Pilgrim and CVS Health ($CVS) for cholesterol med Repatha. They're pay-for-performance setups that allow for upfront discounts and future rebates if the drug doesn't perform up to agreed-upon standards.

Along with payment deals, we're also looking at services that, with the increased use of patient-monitoring devices and more data partnerships, will allow pharma to have much closer relationships--or at least more targeted communications--with individual patients.

Creative adherence solutions such as mobile apps prescribed by physicians or sponsored patient communities, and active tweet chats on social media are examples that have already begun to emerge. Many conditions that require diet or behavior management along with drugs for treatment now come with apps, such as Pfizer's ($PFE) Chantix quit-smoking app and support program and Roche's ($RHHBY) diabetes management app that goes hand-in-hand with its Accu-Chek devices.

In social media marketing, also in the diabetes arena, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has partnered with leading diabetes advocates for a series of Twitter chats at #ChatActChange, and Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Boehringer Ingelheim have also partnered for tweet chats tagged #Talkt2D.

While widespread changes may take years to play out, we think that with some drugmakers already on board, this year could be a bellwether for even more transparent and direct communications, along with the chance for more and better customer connections.