The ‘New Normal’ for Marketers

‘The New Normal’ is a hot topic these days. Digital marketers, advertising giants, businesses, brands and just about everyone are speaking of the ‘new normal’, and for a good reason! The ‘new normal’ refers to the conditions and post-pandemic climate that await us all. Consumer habits and patterns have been redefined overnight in a bid to meet a new economy, market conditions as well as the general future. According to the latest social media report tackling the impact of COVID-19 by Social Bakers, users are now ‘looking to the digital world to keep them feeling connected, updated, and entertained’ thus changing the marketing landscape as we know it.

Surviving the ‘new normal’ means adapting quickly. Are you ready to weather the storm ahead?

TNN for Pharma:

The pharmaceutical industry has seen a plethora of peaks and troughs over the years. However, the core philosophy of pharma marketing has been predominantly conveyed through tried and tested ‘channels’. These ‘channels’ can refer to healthcare professionals, heads of practices, distributors or even the industry regulators as well as various direct and indirect lobbyists.

Did you know?

According to a Pew Research study, 90% of people aged 18-24 trust medical information on social media.

Over the years, consumers and patients have been increasingly relying on digital media for their educational ‘fix’. From medical information, product reviews, and more, the internet is the go-to resource for almost anything and pharma is no exception to this trend. With COVID-19, we are seeing digital becoming the new norm for most industries; thus, with this in mind, the time has come for big pharma companies to embrace digital transformation with open arms.

Social chatter on Malaysian pharma brands:

Have you ever wondered what people are saying online about your industry?

Our team analysed key social sentiments of cause-based pharma pages as well as direct comments found on Malaysian pharma pages. The results were very interesting and helped us understand more about online consumer behaviour.

Sentiments regarding: “how to get support if they have symptoms”, “how to get vaccinated” and “treatments” topped the chart together with direct disease based questions.

Certain users even commended and expressed appreciation by thanking social media pages that shared insightful information that helped generate awareness, encourage learning and open dialogue regarding stigmatised issues.

Deciphering the intent of your Target Audience:

Analysing search queries and sentiment data helps indicate your target audience’s main interests and habits. Our data has revealed to us that pharmaceutical-related queries tend to seek information. A keyword analysis conducted between August-November 2019 to December-March 2020 highlights comparative results regarding disease-related searches. Check out the graph and table below for a visual representation of this information.

*Keep in mind that this data is specifically mined from Malaysian audiences.

Keeping this information in mind, the main question marketers need to ask is: how have search trends changed in regards to the pandemic?

From this data, we can glean that users began to search for online consultation options increasingly post 2019. Additionally, queries regarding medicine deliveries and nearest pharmacies increased exponentially post 2019. On the other hand, our detailed keyword analysis indicated that searches for 24-hour pharmacies and appointment apps reduced from late 2019 to early 2020. Using this information, pharma companies can tackle marketing efforts in a more consumer-focused manner. Understanding the newly emerging needs and patterns of consumer behaviour will allow marketers to focus on digital content. Opening necessary channels of communication through social media and online platforms will allow consumers to form a bond with the brand as they begin to feel as if their needs are being met despite the lack of ‘real world’ contact. Cause-based marketing, for example, effectively humanises big pharma.

Cause-based marketing:

Due to stringent regulations within the pharmaceutical industry that prohibits direct marketing in relation to pharmaceutical products, Malaysian pharma companies have to approach marketing differently. The Malaysian government has strict guidelines when it comes to the advertising of medicines and medicinal products to the general public and in it details product marketing rules and regulations. From prohibiting certain claims for certain diseases to advising on marketing intention, the guideline is extensively detailed and should be strictly adhered to at all times. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly; any information conveyed should be thoroughly fact-checked, be free from bias and have the intention of clarity at its core.

This is where a ‘cause-based’ marketing approach comes into play.

A trend has
developed within the

organisations now stand
behind the disease they
represent in an effort to
raise awareness.

The industry’s wide access
to resources, expansive
networks and expertise
allow big pharma
companies to drive social

“Focus on educating people on your cause rather than selling a product.

Other emerging trends:

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can take your marketing efforts to an entirely new level. There are many ways in which pharmaceutical companies can benefit from AR and VR technology to market their products, but the main benefit appears to be providing educational resources, in a more engaging and innovative manner. By leveraging immersive technology as a means to educate patients and physicians alike, information is presented to users and HCP’s in a more interactive and arguably more exciting way. Heavy, difficult to understand medical information, symptoms, treatments can all be presented in an easy to digest manner. From special social media filters to virtual symptom experiences and explainer videos, AR and VR technology is a unique way to cultivate brand loyalty through awareness.

Digital collaborations:

A digital collaboration refers to a framework that sees pharmaceutical companies partner with key third parties in an effort to create relevant content that drives more discussions and opens conversations on a brand or a common cause as opposed to having a single view in marketing communications.


Why is it important to work with influencers?

  • For one thing, the heavily regulated pharma industry is one of the most difficult industries for a digital marketer.
  • Influencers help solve a unique problem faced by pharma companies by opening and fostering dialogue with their followers, thereby helping raise awareness for certain issues.

From approaching taboo-conversations and reducing rampant stigmatisation of certain healthcare issues to providing information and directing followers to credible, trustworthy resources, there are many benefits to using influencers. Especially since many young people have now turned to social media for their daily information ‘fix’.

  • Pharma companies have pursued leaders in the healthcare industry to form partnerships that organically promote interest in healthcare issues and its supporting brand.
  • This garners a sense of authenticity that is essential in online influencer marketing. By using doctors to fitness experts, dieticians to other emerging influencers, accessing public consumers is easier than ever.

3 Ways to Effectively Connect with Pharma Influencers

Video Content

Educating patients and information
seekers through video
and testimonials have proven to
provide great engagements
and results.

Paid Social Campaigns

Social media advertising, be it
IG stories or social media
posts, offers the ability to
target key pharmaceutical
audiences. This helps raise
influencer awareness
regarding your cause. Reaching
out to them in the future will
be much easier as a result.

Industry Events

Webinar collaboration,
interactive live streams
on social media and
tweet jams are a great way
to attract influencer attention

TNN’s conclusive takeaway:

To conclude our content surrounding pharmaceutical marketing, we’ve come up with a strategy that focuses on three pillars. The trends associated with the ‘new normal’ are here to stay, meaning that adaptation is key for survival and digital marketing is definitely the way forward.

Check out the strategy we recommend below!

2020Conversion Strategy POSITIVITY CONVERSATION POSITIVITY CONVERSIONS ToneContentCreativeSocial War RoomGeo FocusedInternational MarketsSearch Heavy WhatsappMessengerForumsDigital CollaborationChatbots


Conversion Strategy

  • Tone
  • Content
  • Creative
  • Social

  • Whatsapp
  • Messenger
  • Forums
  • Digital Collaboration
  • Chatbots

  • War Room
  • Geo Focused
  • International Markets
  • Search Heavy

Have no fear, Momentro is here!

Momentro is a conversion marketing specialist that focuses on growth hacking techniques for global brands. We are here to help brands and businesses overcome the current crisis and merge stronger than ever before. We are thrilled to announce that we are planning to create a series of content hubs that will help marketers in various verticals get their ‘new normal’ marketing fix. Titled TNN (The New Normal), these content hubs will include deep down vertical-specific insights from various sectors helping you deliver measurable business outcomes.

How did we get the data?

All data in this report was collected using our own proprietary sentiment analyser that sifted through more than 50,000 sentiments in Malaysia. We also used publicly available search query data from Google and referenced more data from the ‘State of Social Media Report: The Impact of COVID-19’ by Social Bakers.