February 16, 2023

Connecting with Customers on a Human Level: The Role of Emotions and Humanity in Pharmaceutical Marketing


Connecting with Customers on a Human Level: The Role of Emotions and Humanity in Pharmaceutical Marketing

Love, loss, and everything in between — the desire to connect sits at the heart of every interaction we have in the pharmaceutical industry.

Despite being one of the most heavily-regulated sectors on the planet, with strict rules and regulations governing how companies can market their products, the pharmaceutical industry is also filled with incredible emotions. That’s why emotions and humanity have come to play such a significant role in pharmaceutical marketing today.

In an industry that is often seen as cold and clinical, showing humanity is essential in establishing a connection with patients. Emotions help to create a sense of empathy and understanding, which can be critical in building trust and loyalty.

Researchers have written surprisingly little about the role that humanity and emotions play in healthcare decision-making, and the research that is available primarily focuses on psychologists who conceptualize emotional influences. However, one study published in the Journal of Medical Marketing found that emotions play a crucial role in patient decision-making when it comes to healthcare products and services. The study showed that patients are more likely to engage with healthcare companies that communicate on an emotional level — that emotions are a significant factor in developing trust.

Why Focus on Humanity in Web Design?

Humanity plays a crucial role in creating an engaging and accessible online experience for patients seeking healthcare information.

How a website is designed can have a significant impact on patients, healthcare professionals, and caregivers. Understanding that most patients will not have a strong understanding of medical jargon, it’s important to ensure that all information provided on pharmaceutical websites is written in plain language. This can mean using simple, everyday words and avoiding technical terms, as well as providing definitions for any medical terms that are used.

Another important aspect of humanity in web design is something we call accessible design. Accessible design includes making sure websites are easy to navigate, with clear and intuitive layouts, and that all information is presented in a format that’s easy to read. High-contrast colors and large font sizes are an important part of accessible web design, which is why you’ll notice these features on the websites of most major pharma brands.

Patients with disabilities should have easy access to all digital channels. One of the ways we can do this is by providing alternative text for images and including keyboard navigation.

Storytelling as a Sales Tool

Humanity in web design in the pharmaceutical industry requires a level of empathy and understanding towards patients and caregivers. One of the ways we can show that empathy is through storytelling.

Showing empathy through storytelling is a way of connecting with patients and caregivers, and building brand loyalty. In a 2016 study by the Temkin Group, researchers found that when individuals have a positive emotional association with a brand, they are 8.4x more likely to trust the company and 6.6x more likely to forgive the brand’s mistakes.

By sharing stories of patients who have benefited from a particular drug or treatment, pharmaceutical companies can create an emotional connection with their audience. These stories help to humanize the industry, showing that there are real people behind the products and services being offered.

The best pharmaceutical marketing campaigns and websites use storytelling and patient testimonials to create an emotional connection with the audience. By sharing the experiences of real patients, these campaigns can humanize the pharmaceutical industry, making it more relatable and less clinical. Stories can help to explain how a drug or treatment works, what benefits it can provide, and what potential side effects or risks there may be. Telling these stories from the perspective of real patients gives the audience a better understanding of the impact that a particular drug or treatment can have on their lives.

Emotions in Pharma Branding

Successful branding requires more than just a great logo or tagline; it needs to evoke a specific feeling in the consumer. Emotion can be the driving force behind a patient or caregiver’s decision to choose one medication over another. Emotions can also influence how people perceive and engage with a brand. A pharma brand that’s associated with feelings of comfort, safety, and security will likely resonate more with customers than one that evokes negative emotions like fear or anxiety.

Visual identity plays a big role here, as well. A pharmaceutical company’s visual identity can evoke specific emotions in patients. For example, the color blue is often associated with trust and reliability, while red is associated with excitement and passion. Pharmaceutical brands should use these color associations in their logos, packaging, and marketing materials to create an emotional connection to the people most likely to be using their drugs or prescribing their drugs to others.

Most pharmaceutical companies today are investing heavily in creating brands that are associated with trust, reliability, and care. These emotional connections can be particularly powerful in healthcare, where patients are often vulnerable and seeking reassurance and support.

Humanity in web design is an important consideration for pharmaceutical companies when it comes to creating an effective online presence. By using clear language, accessible design, and an empathetic approach, pharma brands can ensure that patients, healthcare professionals, and caregivers have the information they need to make informed decisions about their health.

As a full-service digital marketing agency, EsperienzaRx knows the importance all the pieces of a brand’s digital ecosystem working together