Marketing, while certainly a form of science, is not medicine. So why do so many Brand teams allow physicians to decide what they should be saying about their brands? Let’s be real here. We all know doctors are not marketers. Yet, as an industry we often ask them to be—laying out dozens of discrete messages before them, for example, and feverishly tallying up their votes, so we can be sure we’re communicating the right things in the right order.
The fundamental flaw in this approach is that at the end of day, physicians are just human beings and as such, they base their decisions on reality and not potential reality. It is really just simple human nature. Opinions are grounded in what is and not what can be. This approach to message development is especially scary for products in development that may have something new to say. Physicians can quickly discard messages that don’t align with today’s reality. Simply, we don’t know what we want until its been shown to us.
The next time you’re looking to develop or tighten up your messaging, adopt a more strategic approach. Generate a few distinct communication platforms for your brand and let your target physicians react to them. This way, you can be sure that the marketing course for your brand is being set by genuine marketers and not just docs who play one for the day. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this just applies to physician messaging testing!