For companies operating in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, the pressure to grow and build their online presence is escalating. The need to realign their marketing initiatives to better meet the needs of the consumer is at an all-time high.
In these ever-changing landscapes, laws and regulations have become increasingly volatile. According to a study by Ernst & Young, the number one compliance risk facing companies within such industries as life sciences is Sales & Marketing. This contributes to the growing need of creating properly designed websites, engaging social media content and personalized initiatives to drive digital conversions and a greater, diverse market. All of these avenues of communication must adhere to countless federal laws, regulations, network and industry guidelines.
In today’s digital age when consumers want information as quickly as possible, how can you make sure your online communication strategy is effective in spite of all of this regulation that seems to disrupt traditional marketing practices?
When it comes to making informed decisions, consumers want more than just words on a page. They want to read about patient experiences, hear personal accounts and gather the most specific information as possible. With HIPAA regulations and other privacy requirements established by the FDA, gone are the days where consumers can read patient testimonials that dive into such precise content. Instead, communicating messages to consumers by offering situation-based and solution-oriented advice and guidance can create a relational appeal. Though no identifying information can be given, these scenarios still allow consumers to be well-informed and keep companies from breaching any privacy policies. Not only do healthcare, life sciences and pharmaceutical companies have overarching laws to follow, but many must also follow branding guidelines that are placed upon networks as a whole. Even when serving as a separate entity—for instance, a medical office in a stand-alone facility that is part of a larger network—all rules still apply. It is crucial that marketing and sales teams are committed to staying up-to-date and informed on all network and industry guidelines to ensure each company is successfully speaking to their specific target audiences.
Another pivotal piece of effective online communications for a scientific company is successfully capturing, managing, and transmitting private records and data. Websites that contain premade templates where information can simply be placed offer little to no protection or security, which can result in more than just lost time, money and resources. Engaging in conversations on social media platforms and discussing particulars or private information can leave you open to risk. Short-changing the security measurements of your online presence is absolutely not an option as the value of the information at risk to be stolen or compromised is tremendous and the repercussions of failing to comply can be debilitating. Exposure to sensitive or proprietary information as a result of data breaches is no longer a rare occurrence. It is an active threat and companies need not only to be aware of the dangers, but proactive in protecting invaluable information.
If your company must remain compliant with network, industry and federal regulations, you simply cannot afford to make marketing mistakes or sales slip-ups when it comes to online communications, positioning and privacy. When you’re looking for a marketing partner, take time to gauge their bandwidth on compliance for your industry, make sure they’re committed to staying ahead of industry curves and that they understand the necessary steps to mitigate risk. Choose a marketing partner that will deliver a more tech-savvy digital marketing strategy to better serve consumers while protecting your company’s best interests and highest values.