The Ultimate Guide to Patient Marketing and Communications

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Healthcare, Life Sciences

Doctor using patient marketing to promote drugs for a respiratory issue

The Ultimate Guide to Patient Marketing and Communications

The industry of biotech marketing is evolving as consumers are becoming more informed and want direct contact with those providing drugs, treatments, and other healthcare products instead of going through providers. Have you changed your marketing techniques to reach this new category of patient customers, or are your hospital and patient marketing strategies the same?

Learn how to use data and digital marketing to increase customer engagement and reach a more significant market with your products through direct-to-patient marketing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Patient marketing requires a customer-centric approach to offering individual solutions.
  • Your patients are looking for in-depth educational materials to make informed decisions.
  • Customer data is essential for personalized and informative marketing strategies.

What Is Patient Marketing in Biotech and Life Science?

Patient marketing and communications are your online and offline interactions with potential customers that generate interest in your brand and products while addressing potential concerns.

Traditionally, marketing in biotech and life sciences is directed towards hospitals and health facilities that work with patients. However, patients today are coming directly to pharma and other biotech industries for information and treatment options, creating a need for patient marketing strategies in addition to your B2B efforts.

Biotech can use the same channels other industries have seen success in to reach customers, including:

  • SEO blog posts
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Live or virtual events
  • Print marketing
  • Paid ads
  • Social media marketing

How Is Patient Marketing Different from B2B Marketing?

Your current marketing techniques are B2B strategies that work with doctors and healthcare personnel. These marketing materials are written at a higher level, using industry-specific terminology. Healthcare workers are also working with a tighter schedule, which gives you a short timeframe for pitching new products.

A new world of creative options is available when marketing directly to the patient. They are also more accessible. For instance, consumers spend 2 hours and 45 minutes a day on social media. In addition, the average person spends nearly 4.5 hours on their mobile devices.


The average time spent on mobile devices in the U.S. in 2022 is 4 hours 29 minutes
Image source: eMarketer


Social media, personal customer interactions, and creative marketing strategies work well with patient marketing and communications efforts because consumers have the time and ability to access that content.

Importance of Data in Patient Marketing

Patient marketing is built on data. Data will tell you who your ideal customer is, what they need, and how successful your marketing efforts are. Your customer data will help you understand how your customers behave and what marketing strategies will be most effective.

For instance, patient experience is a top priority for most customers. A positive experience means they received the care they needed, those they interacted with were knowledgeable and kind, their options were personalized, and they received solutions for their issues.

Providing a positive experience starts with understanding your customer. You can get valuable insights from a patient’s health records, surveys, interactions with customer service, or third-party data sources, which you collect in your healthcare data management system. However, not all data collection is accessible because of data privacy and security. Always understand and follow current regulations to ensure your marketing research and data collection don’t breach any privacy laws and are stored securely to avoid data breaches.

Once you build a strategy from data, you can maximize your return because you will also have quantitative metrics for measuring the success of your efforts, such as improved patient outcomes or increased patient engagement.


Healthcare spent $9 billion in digital advertising but wasted 26% of their budgets on ineffective strategies
Image source: Deloitte


4 Ways to Improve Your Patient Marketing and Communications

Use the patient data you collect to build strategies using these four patient marketing and communications tips.


Video: 5 Marketing Tips to Supercharge Your Healthcare Business


1. Shift from a Patient to Customer Mentality

With patient marketing, you must first view your potential customers as a person before seeing them as a patient. If you only view them as patients, you are distancing yourself from them. Instead, you can think of them as consumers, making your communications more personal and relational than transactional.

Treating consumers as customers instead of patients also broadens your marketing strategies. A patient refers only to those receiving active medical care. However, not all your customers are patients. Some of your products and treatments help people improve other areas of their life, like developing healthy eating habits or regular exercise.

You can interact with patients as customers by using patient journey mapping to focus on their complete customer journey. Create marketing materials for every step, from prevention to building healthy habits after recovery.

2. Personalize Your Marketing and Communications Efforts

A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective for today’s patients. Instead, create several ideal customer profiles that cover the demographics, history, budget, and other relevant information about your customers.

These profiles help you personalize your marketing efforts for individuals with specific barriers. For instance, a parent needing treatment for their active child with asthma will connect to different marketing communications than an elderly retiree with the same medical condition.

Researching common questions customers ask online gives you an idea of what topics you should address in your marketing communications.

3. Focus on Customer Value

You are selling more than just drugs and treatment options. You are selling benefits. If you want patients to respond to your marketing materials, explain how their life would improve because of your product.

For example, you might market a new drug to customers by emphasizing how they can find relief at half the cost of other treatments. In that example, you are selling the affordability of pharmaceutical care instead of just the drug.

Some other examples of value you can offer include:

  • Affordable pricing
  • Positive patient outcomes
  • Improved patient experiences
  • Improved quality of life

Many biotech companies are also exploring social selling, which promotes the positive impact of treatment on society instead of only focusing on individual outcomes. Social marketing addresses your medicine or product’s social, cultural, economic, and ethical implications.

4. Explore New Marketing Channels

Social media and other less traditional marketing channels in biotech are essential for a successful patient-centric marketing approach. For example, nearly five percent of online searches are for health questions. Additionally, 94% of patients consult online reviews when considering providers.

Consider expanding your marketing strategies to increase your reach and improve your online reviews. For instance, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are three of the most popular social media platforms. Sharing customer stories, answering questions, and educating your audience on healthy living through these platforms are effective ways to build trust with your customers and introduce them to your solutions.

Content marketing is growing rapidly in popularity, even in the healthcare industry. For example, about 409 million consumers read over 20 billion blog pages each month. Companies that use blogging to bring customers to their website see 97% more links, which increases their reach. A customer-centric blog on your biotech website that uses SEO and quality content will attract more patients and build trust in your patient communications.

Find Your Patient Engagement Solutions

Start collecting and using patient data to improve your marketing and communications efforts. Our Coperor One Patient platform unifies your patient view and keeps data secure to help you improve the patient experience.

Contact us to learn more about our patient engagement solutions.



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