Providing a Model for Advertising in Digital Marketing in the Pharmaceutical Industry in the Post-COVID Era

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Business Management-Marketing, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Science and Research Unit, Islamic Azad University.

2 Ph.D. student of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Unit, Tehran, Iran.

3 , Associate Professor of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Unit, Tehran, Iran.

4 , Assistant Professor of Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Department of Management and Accounting, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.


During the spread of COVID-19, pharmaceutical businesses experienced fundamental changes in their usual sales and organization. These changes forced the active businesses in the industry to review the common methods of information and advertising, and highlighted the necessity of using digital advertising in product marketing. The paradigm shift has made many of the common models in digital advertising ineffective, and on the other hand, created the need to develop a model based on internal requirements which is suitable for the post-COVID era. The research was conducted with the Grounded Theory Approach and based on the review of the research literature along with the analysis of opinions of drug industry experts and digital advertising experts as well. The data was collected using the interview protocol and its validity and reliability were confirmed. This research has recognized that the realization of digital advertising in the post-COVID era requires the existence of preconditions. Digital advertising includes constructs of content production, message personalization, message presentation, digital media, physical advertising tools, validation of reference groups, payments, message type, media management, event creation, audience segmentation strategy, digital marketing knowledge management, competitive analysis and target audience management. These lead to the expected results under the influence of contextual and intervening factors and using practical strategies.


Main Subjects

Abduelmula, R. A., Enas, Z. E., Israa, N. S., Nesreen, M. A., & Warda, M. I. (2018). Perception of Over the Counter Drug Advertising among Pharmacists in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Arch Phar &Pharmacol Res, 1(1).
Ahmed, R. R., Streimikiene, D., Berchtold, G., Vveinhardt, J., Channar, Z. A., & Soomro, R. H. (2019). Effectiveness of online digital media advertising as a strategic tool for building brand sustainability: Evidence from FMCGs and services sectors of Pakistan. Sustainability, 11(12), 3436.
Alavi, Seyyed Hadi.(2008), Review of Farabi Pharmaceutical Company’s Marketing Plans, Scientific Research, Farabi Pharmaceutical Company, Isfahan, 2009
Alalwan,A, Abdallah,(2018), Investigating the impact of social media advertising features on customer purchase intention. International Journal of Information Management 42 (2018) 65-77
Alamsyah, D. P., Ratnapuri, C. I., Aryanto, R., & Othman, N. A. (2021). Digital marketing: Implementation of digital advertising preference to support brand awareness. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 20(2S), 1-11.
Alarsali, N., & Aghaei, I. (2022). Effective Determinants of Consumer Buying Decision on OTC Medications: Digital Marketing, Brand Experience, and Reference Groups. BOHR International Journal of Computer Science, 1(1), 56-67.
Aniefiok, O. A., Emem, A. S., & Udoka, M. O. (2022). DRUG ADVERTISING AND PURCHASE BEHAVIOUR OF RESIDENTS OF UYO METROPOLIS. A STUDY OF THE RETAIL PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY. European Journal of Marketing and Mangement Sciences, 5(1).
Ariffin, S. K., Aun, T. L., &Salamzadeh, Y. (2018). How personal beliefs influence consumer attitude towards online advertising in Malaysia: To trust or not to trust?. Global Business & Management Research, 10(1).
Bakr, Y., Tolba, A., &Meshreki, H. (2019). Drivers of SMS advertising acceptance: a mixed-methods approach. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.
Bahrainizadeh, Manijeh; Pourdehghan, Adel. (2014). Presenting a model to investigate the influence of factors related to marketing/media communication on the adoption of mobile advertising. Business Management, Volume 7, Number 3, Autumn 2014.
Bambale, A. J. a. (2014). Research methodological techniques as a model for quantitative studies in Social Sciences. British Journal of Economics, Management & Trade, 4(6), 862-879.
Blazevic, J., Christensen, C., & Eriksson, T. (2015). Empowerment as a tool for increasing followers contribution and dedication:-A qualitative study about what motivates followers. In.
Chaffey, D., & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2019). Digital marketing (7th ed). Pearson uk.
Chin, W. W. (1998). Commentary: Issues and opinion on structural equation modeling.
Dan, T. (2020). 3 things marketers can do to accelerate digital marketing transformation - Think with google
Desai, V. (2019). Digital marketing: A review. International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, 5(5), 196-200.
Dhara, P.; Pankaj, K.; Ketan, S.(2016). Digital pharmaceutical marketing: A review. Res. J. Pharm. Technol. 2016, 9, 108-112.
Dodoo, N.A. and Wu, L. (2019) ‘Exploring the anteceding impact of personalised social media advertising on online impulse buying tendency’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp.73-95.
Donthu, N & Gustafsson, A. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 on business and research. Journal of business research, 117, p.284.
Ekberg, A., & Sjöberg, P. (2015). Technology Roadmappingfor Manufacturing.
French, M. L. (2008). Improving sustainability through effective reuse of product returns: minimizing waste in a batch blending process environment. Journal of cleaner production, 16(15), 1679-1687.
Gaber, H. R., Wright, L. T., & Kooli, K. (2019). Consumer attitudes towards Instagram advertisements in Egypt: The role of the perceived advertising value and personalization. Cogent Business & Management, 6(1), 1618431.
Gilmore, A., Gallagher, D., & Henry, S. (2007). E‐marketing and SMEs: operational lessons for the future. European Business Review, 19(3), 234-247.
Gomes, A. M. (2019). Recession Impact onGlobal Marketing Performance. Available at SSRN 3336261.
Gordon, B. R., Jerath, K., Katona, Z., Narayanan, S., Shin, J., & Wilbur, K. C. (2021). Inefficiencies in digital advertising markets. Journal of Marketing, 85(1), 7-25.
Goulding, C. (2000). Grounded Theory Methodology and Consumer Behaviour, Procedures, Practice and Pitfalls. Advances in consumer research, 27(1).
Grbic, M., Stimac Grbic, D., Stimac, L., & Sostar, Z. (2019). Digital marketing in healthcare. European Journal of Public Health.2019. 29(Supplement_4),411-412.
Habes,M.Alghizzawi,M. Ali,S. SalihAlnaser,A and Salloum,S (2020), The Relation among Marketing ads, via Digital Media and mitigate (COVID-19) pandemic in Jordan, International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, Vol. 29, No. 7, (2020), pp. 12326 - 12348
Hargarter, A. (2018). Best practice for managing conduct risk in South African banks. North-West University,
Hussain, R., Ferdous, A.S. and Mort, G.S. (2018), “Impact of web banner advertising frequency on attitude”, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 380-399
Islam, R., & Sayeed Akhter, M. (2022). Narrative Inquiry, Phenomenology, and Grounded Theory in Qualitative Research. In Principles of Social Research Methodology (pp. 101-115): Springer.
Jalilian, Hossein; Ebrahimi, Abdul Hamid; Mahmoudian, Omid, (2017), the effect of electronic word-of-mouth advertising on consumer purchase intention through customer-based brand equity among students (case study: Dell laptop products), Business Management, Volume 4, Number 4, winter of 1391.
Jalalpour, Sayeda Siddiqa, Nadi, Frank (2013). Pharmaceutical research and development in developing countries, case study: India. Technology Growth Quarterly, Year 11 No. 43, 40-48.
Jain, T. K. (2019). From Marketing to Digital Marketing: The Evergreen Profession for Executives. Available at SSRN 3318178.
JENSEN, M.B., (2006). Characteristics of B2B adoption and planning of online marketing communications. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 14(4), pp. 357-368.
JENSEN, M.B., (2008). Online marketing communication potential: priorities in Danish firms and advertising agencies. European Journal of Marketing, 42(3/4), pp. 502-525.
Karlsdóttir, K. (2014). Plant a Seed, Grow a City: An analysis of power, discourse and knowledge related to urban trees in Reykjavík. In.
Karimi Alawijeh, Mohammad Reza; Bakshi, Mohammad. (2016). Identifying effective people in advertising recommendations in online social networks (case study: Instagram network of Digikala company). Information Technology Management, Volume 9, Number 3, Autumn 2016.
Karimi Alawijeh, Mohammad Reza; Ahmadi, Sheida. (2013). The effect of the design quality of news websites on loyalty and electronic recommendation advertising (case study: Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran). Information Technology Management, Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 2013.
Kawęcki, N. (2022). The challenges of digital marketing of food products towards the behavior of young consumers. NowoczesneSystemyZarządzania, 17(2), 47-58.
Khazzaka, M. (2019). Pharmaceutical marketing strategies’ influence on physicians’ prescribing pattern in Lebanon: Ethics, gifts, and samples. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 1-12.
Khodapanah,Massoud (2014). Estimation of economic corruption index in Iran by fuzzy method and investigation of its relationship with underground economy using Hsiao’s causality test. Quantitative Economics Quarterly (former Economic Reviews). Volume 12. Number 3. Autumn 2014. Pages 1-25
Lee, H., & Cho, C. H. (2020). Digital advertising: present and future prospects. International Journal of Advertising, 39(3), 332-341.
Matz,M,.P,. (2021). Online VS. Offline shopping, impact of Covid-19 on the digitalization process in Austria. Vienna, 22nd of January 2021
Meher, B. R., Balan, S., &Pugazhentni, E. (2018). Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Over the Counter Drugs among Dispensers Working in the Retail Pharmacies of a South Indian City-A Cross-sectional Questionnaire Based Study. Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research, 12(1).
Mekawie, N., & Hany, A. (2019). Understanding the factors driving consumers’ purchase intention of over the counter medications using social media advertising in Egypt:(A Facebook advertising application for cold and Flu products). Procedia Computer Science, 164, 698-705.
Memisoglu, M. (2017). Marketing communications for over-the-counter drugs and non-pharmaceutical products: the professionals’ perspective. International JournalofHealthcareManagement..
Morimoto, M. (2020). OTC drug advertising in Japan: the role of need for cognition and celebrity endorser credibility. Health marketing quarterly, 37(2), 108-123.
Moss, S., Prosser, H., Costello, H., Simpson, N., Patel, P., Rowe, S., . . . Hatton, C. (1998). Reliability and validity of the PAS‐ADD Checklist for detecting psychiatric disorders in adults with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 42(2), 173-183.
Mukhopadhyay,A.Vinayaka,R.(2021). “A Smart-Contract-Based Blockchain for aHealthcare IoT Network,” International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, Vol.11,No.3,59-74.
Muna, I. (2023). The Influence of Advertisement and Financial Capability on Purchase Intention. Journal of Islamic Economics and Philanthropy, 6(1), 70-83.
Nwagbara, G., &Agbasimelo, C. I. (2022). Online Video Advertising of Anti-Malarial Drugs and Consumer Purchase Decision in Anambra State. JOURNAL OF EMERGING TRENDS IN MANAGEMENT SCIENCES AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, 4(1), 143-163.
Parsons, A., Zeisser, M., & Waitman, R. (1998). Organizing today for the digital marketing of tomorrow. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 12(1), 31-46.
Radlińska, I., Kemicer-Chmielewska, E., Kożybska, M., Flaga-Gieruszyńska, K., &Karkiewicz, B. (2022). Over-the-counter (OTC) drug advertising: informative or harmful?-analysis based on Polish research. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 26(13), 4798-4808.
Rahmah, L. S., Nurazizah, W. S., Ramadhina, N. F., Zulfiah, Y., & Fatimah, V. A. (2023). The Meaning Context In The Fast Food Advertisement: Pragmatics Study: 10.2478/bjlp-2023-00000228. Baltic Journal of Law & Politics, 16(3), 3051-3061.
Rusta, Alireza. (1401). The role of marketing innovation and creative advertising in the purchase intention of Digikala customers. Innovation and creativity in human sciences, 10th volume, number 4, Spring 2014, pp. 75-110.
Scholes, J. (2020). The practice of grounded theory: An interpretivist perspective. In Critical Qualitative Health Research (pp. 71-90): Routledge.
Schuitmaker, C., & Thomas, P. (2016). Managing the corporate traveller. Afr J Hosp, Tour Leis, 5(4), 1-19.
Shidai, Alireza, Ayvazi Heshmat, Ali Asghar; Sanavi fard, Rasoul. (2022). Investigating the impact of personalizing ads for online users to buy in the modern society (a case study of the Instagram social network). Iranian Political Sociology Monthly 5.6 (2022)
Stevens-Rapazzini, C. (2013). Underutilized mental health services: A grounded theory studyexamining African American perspectives. Capella University,
Tannoury, M., & Attieh, Z. (2017). The influence of emerging markets on the pharmaceutical industry. Current therapeutic research, 86, 19-22.
Tyrawski, J.; DeAndrea, D.C. (2015).Pharmaceutical companies and their drugs on social media: A content analysis of drug information on popular social media sites. J. Med. Internet Res. 2015, 17, e130
Vapiwala, F. (2020). Digital Marketing-A Saviour for Businesses in Times of a Pandemic. International Journal of Research in Engineering, Science and Management, 3(9), 159-161
Wiese, M., Martínez-Climent, C., &Botella-Carrubi, D. (2020). A framework for Facebook advertising effectiveness: A behavioral perspective. Journal of Business Research, 109, 76-87.
Yavari, Shima; Sabri, Seyyed Mahmoud. (2016). The effect of advertising message content on the purchase intention of employees of Tehran Municipality, Development and Transformation Management Quarterly, (Special Issue), 219-226.
Zareie, Azim; Dehghani Sultan, Mehdi; Farsizadeh, Hossein; Gholamzadeh, Rasul. (2014), Investigating the impact of the perception of the creativity of advertising SMS on the attitude and reaction of consumers, Business Management,Volume 7, Number 4, Winter 2014