Scientific publications form an integral part of pharmaceutical marketing strategies. They are a powerful tool to build brand and product awareness and are a valuable source of credible information in the scientific community. The peer review process lends credibility to manuscripts that can then generate interest and discussion among providers. Talks and congress posters are also a valuable source for starting conversations and educating providers on new drugs or indications.
The start of a new year is a great time to take stock and create a publication plan for the upcoming year. While putting a publication strategy into place can seem intimidating at first, with the knowledge of the steps involved (and a good medical communications agency by your side) it will soon become an indispensable part of your marketing strategy.
- Step 1: Gap analysis
To create a plan, you must first understand the current landscape. A thorough literature review will give you a good idea of what has been published in the past and help to identify market needs and opportunities to position your data. Both quantitative and qualitative searches can be helpful. A quantitative approach will show you how many manuscripts/abstracts have been published every year, the types of manuscripts (pre-clinical, clinical, review, expert opinion), and how many publications have focused on specific topics. A qualitative approach will helps identify which journals to target.
- Step 2: Data analysis
Depending on where your product is in the pipeline, you will likely be able to do multiple publications and talks throughout the year. Now is the time to take stock of what data you have available and where it can fill in the gaps identified in step one. If you are seeking approval for a new drug and your publications are just beginning, you can publish everything from pre-clinical through the latest clinical trial data. If you are a bit earlier in the process or are seeking a new indication for a drug, then review and expert opinion articles can help focus the discussion.
- Step 3: Implementation strategy
Once you have identified the market opportunities and the data available, it’s time to begin identifying specific journals and congresses so you can reach your target audience. Consider who the information needs to be communicated to and how much data there is.You may want to create a poster for a first-quarter conference and then build it out to a full manuscript later in the year.
It’s also important to identify the key internal and external contributors and key opinion leaders who will take part in the publications and talks. Don’t forget to factor in fees to the budget, including travel, congresses, submission, and outside medical writers’ fees.
- Step 4: Create your timeline
Once everything is in place, create a timeline for the year to help keep the team on track and let everyone know which goal to focus on next. This can also help you to see if you might need some help from outside resources such as medical communication agencies to accomplish your marketing plan.