What Does 2019 Hold For Pharma Marketing?

Issue 11 2018

"What Does 2019 Hold For Pharma Marketing?"

As we round off and reflect on 2018, we all can’t help think a little further afield and what 2019 might bring in terms of trends, ‘must haves’ and ‘next big things’ in terms of pharmaceutical marketing essentials. But let’s start by taking a look at what this year has taught us.


It seems this rule is never really lost. We crave it, work hard for it and, in a market that is saturated with messages, we must achieve simplicity if our message is to be remembered. The principle of ‘keeping things simple’ has never been more salient than today and often it’s a ‘feeling’ or personality that’s remembered rather than a fact or figure. If your brand or product has the right simple core meaning, it’s a big step in making it remembered.

Relevant Technology:

Generally speaking, pharma marketing sets a serious tone. The products and brands we market ultimately need to be trusted and this takes respect from the marketing teams. Our messages change lives and are important. We are not selling something as simple as soft drink or fashion… we are dealing with life changing treatments. What we market, on the most part, are treatments with years of science, testing, research, formulation, data and proof behind them, so we need to respect that when we communicate. Our communications – and the media, digital platforms and sales technology we use – should never be viewed as ‘gimmicky’. So when utilising technology, the trend has been toward simple, easy and authentic platforms that clearly state the data – otherwise our discerning audience will dismiss the messaging. We believe these trends will remain long into 2019.

So what’s new for 2019?

We have noticed an increasing connection with disease advocacy and patient support groups with pharmaceutical marketing teams. Depending on the therapy area, there is a growing desire for patients to fully understand their condition and therefore seek the support of like individuals. We believe this trend will continue to grow for two key reasons:

1: Access:

Social networking and access to a wide range of information is strong. No longer do patients simply get ‘diagnosed’ for one condition. We are heading rapidly toward holistic outcomes – and potentially awareness of multiple options. So patient advocacy groups often look beyond ‘treatments’ – the drugs themselves – and assist patients and families/carers with a plethora of information that is genuine and unbiased, to help them in ways they may not have thought about (eg: psychological impacts, patient mentoring, etc).

2: Authenticity:

People crave authenticity and genuine emotion. We believe this is a great sign for our industry as the human side of our message has too long been ignored in favour of presenting cold, hard facts and clinical data. Recently we were asked by a global company to help bring more emotion into the sales force messaging, because research had shown that the HCP’s had become dulled to the constant, predictable sales deliver that was fact-based. Whatever trends 2019 holds for the industry, there is only one thing we know will hold true. That companies that strike the perfect balance of science and emotion, will find success in their marketing endeavours.


We are always interested in hearing from great people dedicated to making a career in pharmaceutical communications. If you’re ready to make a positive impact with Bastion Brands, get in touch today.