Tell the story to healthcare professionals and let them figure out the rest.
Episode 2

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Hello readers! Thank you for thoughtfully engaging with the first episode of this post.

Let’s rewind a moment.

In the first episode of our series about pharma campaign management, we introduced what we call: scheduled message management.

Remember, we think campaign management just like a TV series divided into seasons with episodes that makes one season. If you missed our first episode, check it out here.

What we explained is that to ensure HCPs’ retention of key messages throughout a marketing campaign we need to repeat them several times, one key message at a time applying the space repetition principle. In order to do that we introduced the scheduled message management that allows you to plan your key messages repetitions across a marketing cycle for instance. Just like an episode of a TV series across a season.

If we would like to use effectively this approach, we need to address one concern: how to repeat the same key message each time during a defined period without annoying my audience?

What makes a TV series captivating episode after episode throughout a season?


Storytelling works as a communication strategy tool to convey a message. TV series make us understand the importance of storytelling.


That’s again just neurosciences!

Our brains love stories. Many experiments showed that stories engage several parts of our brain and that’s how you achieve ultimate engagement from your audience.

What sticks in our mind are the facts and details that are wrapped in a story. Which is what we want the HCP to experience as opposed to processing simple facts that he will certainly forget. 

So, storytelling incorporated with scheduled message management is what will definitely boost our chances to reach the objective of HCP’s retention.

“Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.” – Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow, The Storytelling Edge.

Let’s claim our first scheduled key message that we want to repeat during a defined period of time is efficacy.
Showing a graph pointing out the efficacy of a product or a molecule may have its effect for a second on HCPs’ minds, but it may be wiped out their mind once moving to the next slide if it is not wrapped in a compelling story.

“Storytelling is the mother of all ‘pull’ marketing strategies. It encourages dialogue, engagement and interaction among equals – an exchange of meaning between people. Yet many companies and brands are still relentlessly pushing messages out, hoping that with enough repetition, something will stick.” – Bill Baker, principal of BB&Co Strategic Storytelling.

Storytelling brings dynamics to the content.

Cramming facts doesn’t work, even at a higher repetition frequency.

In 5 points, why storytelling matters in pharma content strategy?

1. Allows to reach beyond the facts

2. Gives the audience a live wire that drives better message retention

3. Drives better engagement

(it plays a role in the selling process)

4. Encourages active recall

(re-accessing retained information e.g. when prescribing a product)

5. Build trust through positive experience

How to proceed?

Let’s be honest, conveying the same message isn’t easy as we cannot often have new information regarding a product, e.g. a brand-new efficacy study can’t be made overnight. So, storytelling isn’t just about finding new content or facts to present and convey the same key message but also wrap what you already have in different ways.

And that’s how you are most likely to tell your story yet conveying the exact same message preventing HCP’s irritation.

Give a story that HCPs and their patients can relate to. A coherent story they can replay just like an episode of one’s favorite TV series.

Think about who do you envision is going to read / listen to your story and feel compelled to share it. It actually starts with the content strategy where you define HCPs’ personas you would like to reach.

A simple way to start is to put HCPs and their patients as characters of your story i.e. link each key message to benefits for HCPs or their patients. 

Here are concrete examples to deliver content in different ways for a given HCP profile – yet communicating the exact same key message.

BIG NO: putting everything into one long complex story.

1. Start with a situation / conflict. End with a believable resolution.

Challenges a patient or the HCP is facing.

2. Use patients’ testimonial / patients' cases

The brand message is communicated from the audience’s perspective and become part of a patient’s own story. Give them a voice.

3. Navigate throughout the patient journey

Going through various points or stages (e.g. pre-diagnosis, diagnosis etc.).

4. Make a focus on the disease

5. Use Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)

The crossroad between scientific evidence, HCPs’ clinical practice, and patient preferences.

6. Assess HCPs' perceptions about the product

To summarize:

The schedule, the running order in which key messages are placed during a marketing cycle has an important impact on the possibilities of telling a story to achieve a marketing objective in the framework of a TV series: while each episodes are the “building blocks” of the whole message, the schedule (ranking of the messages) is the “architecture”, giving structure and meaning to “blocks”, leading to retention and so engagement.

As long as you have something to say and know how and whom to say it, it can easily fill in several calls with one thematic message that captures the HCP attention and keeps them engaged over time. TV series do this; by crafting a coherent and complete structure they deliver a powerful and captivating story.

Credit: Netflix.

The famous filmmaker, Steven Spielberg once said: “The most amazing thing for me is that every single person who sees a movie, not necessarily one of my movies, brings a whole set of unique experiences, but through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time.”

This quote tells us that if we thoroughly plan the message throughout the movie i.e. the presentation in our case – and bring that to life with good storytelling, we can reach the audience to whom we are delivering the same message, similarly.

Concretely, what does it mean? We just covered storytelling, what is missing?

Last but not least: the narrative.

It is part of the 3 essential content marketing strategy principles to make your campaign management a lot more effective.

  1. Scheduled message management
  2. Storytelling
  3. Narrative

We will cover this last principle into our third and final episode of this series.

Stay tuned!

If you’d like to learn more about how to enhance your campaign management in digital Pharma marketing, feel free to reach out to us at contact[at]


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