The Power of Podcasting: Amplifying Biopharmaceutical Companies' Reach and Impact

The Power of Podcasting: Amplifying Biopharmaceutical Companies' Reach and Impact
The Power of Podcasting: Amplifying Biopharmaceutical Companies' Reach and Impact

In the rapidly evolving world of biotechnology, staying informed about new discoveries, cutting-edge methods, and groundbreaking medical and bioscience advancements is crucial for both professionals and the general public. Biopharmaceutical companies have the unique opportunity to not only contribute to this knowledge-sharing but also strengthen their brand presence and credibility as thought leaders through branded podcasts. We’ll detail the brand and marketing benefits accruing to creators of biopharmaceutical podcasts, as well as highlight some successful examples from the industry – covering topics including new biotechnologies, diagnostic techniques, medical discoveries, and even the relationship between life science innovation and broader societal issues.

Any exploration of branded podcast should start with the primary soul-searching question: “Why create a podcast”? In others, “What business benefits are we shooting for?” The good news is that there are many to choose from:

Building Brand Authority and Expertise

By producing a branded podcast, biopharmaceutical companies position themselves as thought leaders and subject matter experts in their field. Sharing in-depth insights on new biotechnologies, diagnostic techniques, and medical discoveries helps establish credibility and authority, leading to increased trust from both medical professionals and potential customers. As a result, the company gains a competitive edge, solidifying its status as an industry leader.

Take the example of diagnostic tools. Say your company has developed technology for treating a rare disease. There are many stakeholders involved through the journey of an afflicted patient: the general practitioner, the disease specialists, medical providers in related disciplines, and even hospital administration. Chronicling the journey from the patient's perspective will result in a powerful and memorable story in which valuable lessons can be learned. These lessons translate into increased credibility and brand awareness.  

Humanizing the Brand

Through podcasts, biopharmaceutical companies can humanize their brand, fostering a more personal and relatable connection with listeners. Podcast hosts can invite industry experts, scientists, researchers, and even patients to share their lived experiences, making the podcast content emotionally engaging. Such an approach helps break down the barrier between corporations and individuals, making the brand more approachable and trustworthy.

One great example is Novartis’ PsO in the Know podcast. The company chose the singer Cyndi Lauper as the podcast host, who interviews patients suffering from psoriasis, many of them who are well-known celebrities. One episode she talks with Olympic swimmer Dara Torres about how the stress brought on by the disease affects their respective performances. Torres recounts how she felt during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, fearing that any minute she could be beset by an outbreak. The dialog continues into more general life issues as both host and guest talk about the challenges and opportunities they faced as their careers evolved as they aged. The episode is emotionally powerful and puts a human face on Novartis brand.

Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Engagement with Targeted Market Segments

Consistent podcast content builds a loyal community of listeners who face common and unique challenges through the power of storytelling, particularly if the content is focused on specific market segments. In a number of podcasts, the content is not even focused on specific pharmaceutics or therapies; the focus is on broader personal or societal challenges.

One particularly effective podcast is Roche’s Voices for Women’s Health series. The content encompasses the differences in experiences women face in disease prevention and diagnosis. A scan of the Episode topics reveals a broad scope of topics – from healthcare gaps in Nigeria to the economics of women’s healthcare and the inequities that they face. One episode chronicles the journey of a Peruvian woman diagnosed with leukemia who ultimately became an advocate for change in women’s healthcare. Stories like these bond current and potential patients to the Roche brand in a way that traditional marketing vehicles cannot.

For podcasts like these, we see the potential for encouraging two-way communication by posting episodes to social media channels, as listeners can provide feedback, ask questions, and participate in discussions. This interaction strengthens the bond between the company and its audience, resulting in increased customer retention and brand loyalty.

Be Perceived as a Technology Leader

A successful biopharmaceutical podcast can position a brand as a premier technology leader in the healthcare and life sciences space. The best podcasts don’t tout a company’s specific products or technologies, but rather highlight both internal and external experts, and the topics aren’t dry recitations of facts and figures, but stories that enlighten and entertain.  

As a best practice case, we like the Johnson and Johnson’s Innovation Podcast. To peruse the topic list is to take a journey across a vast landscape of intriguing technologies, like artificial intelligence, apps that teach kids languages, and innovations that hijack fat cells. The series does a great job of summarizing healthcare technologies coming out of specific places, from Boston to Australia. One episode features J&J’s Head of Research and Development for their medical device companies, during which he discusses his career and the outlook for the industry.

Podcasting in this space is not without its challenges. There is one minefield you’ll likely need to navigate, and that’s compliance. Content must be developed that doesn’t make specific claims of clinical results, or venture into the perilous territory of advertising that would require extensive disclaimers. Early involvement of the legal/compliance department will enable the nascent podcaster to head off any issues at the pass.

The Bottom Line:  Podcasting Can Enliven Your Branding and Industry Leadership Efforts

In the ever-changing landscape of biotechnology and life sciences, podcasts offer biopharmaceutical companies an exceptional platform to share knowledge, showcase expertise, and connect with a broader audience. By capitalizing on the power of podcasting, these companies can significantly enhance brand awareness, expand their customer base, and foster lasting relationships with their audiences. As podcasting continues to grow as a powerful medium, biopharmaceutical companies must seize this opportunity to shape their industry's narrative and make a meaningful impact in the world of healthcare.

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