As India’s lock-down is steadily lifted to revive the economy, several pharmaceutical firms have given instructions to their sales and marketing teams asking them to resume work in non-containment areas. We have all heard of the poor food delivery boys who contracted the infection as they transported food from home to home. Health officials travel to the most dangerous areas on earth, known as hospitals. These are, ironically, where diseases propagate the fastest. It is also uncertain at this time whether, given the possibility of infections, physicians and hospital management would authorize patient representatives to visit their clinics or hospitals. This is where online tools come into picture. So medico marketing is going virtual in many of the medical associations to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

With the exponential growth in the use of online resources such as video calls, health care applications , social media, messaging networks and more, the pharmaceutical industry has gradually embraced a virtual world over the past few years. Still, due to the pandemic, dependency just continues to expand on this new virtual reality. Online networks and interactive channels have been adopted by many pharmaceutical firms to exchange crucial details, such as the outcomes of clinical trials, as well as to improve online meetings.Doctors and medical practitioners have traditionally appeared to engage with pharmaceutical firms through a single channel, the sales representatives. Medico marketing is going virtual due to COVID-19, traditional methods are changing. Medico marketing would also benefit from an expanded digital strategy with this increased use of digital platforms. In reality, digital touch-points today offer more opportunities for connectivity and other advantages, such as content accessibility, less time-consuming interactions, and being able to fit more comfortably into a busy schedule.

What may be the greatest question mark of all medical conferences is linked to marketing activities. The global meeting circuit where pharmaceutical marketers disclose information, talk about pre-launch drugs and start delivering marketing materials directly to doctors, industry analysts and others is stopped in its tracks, without any sign of when it could resume. For example, through the FCB Health Network, agencies are supporting pharma and healthcare customers with remote product launches, launch meetings, rep detailing, POAs, photo shoots, ad boards, which were once live events, now to be done remotely and seamlessly.

There are infinite and much less constrained possibilities than traditional activities, tools and conversations. The content offered can be customised and targeted to different markets by using online tools, making for a much better chance of achieving the intended target audience. The new trend is virtual medical marketing and it is here to stay.