The ketamine industry has exploded since M.Ad first helped a handful of psychiatrists and MD’s develop profitable IV ketamine infusion centers about 5 years ago. There has been so much growth and so many new ketamine developments that we thought we would take a moment to summarize some of what we’ve learned at each stage from a marketing perspective.
M.Ad adheres to a rigorous, data-driven approach to marketing. The foundation of our success is based on careful data analysis above all else. Once we have parsed the analytics, we then refine client sales funnels to ensure that downstream strategies are met and leads are converted. Our analysis and recommendations are also used to inform upstream marketing strategies for long-term success.
A Look at The Origin of Ketamine for Treating Psychiatric Conditions
Depression, especially major depressive disorders (MDD) and treatment-resistant depression are widespread. 2020 was an immensely challenging year for almost everyone, and sadly the impact of depression was even more pronounced than during “normal” times. One highly encouraging treatment—the drug Ketamine—has gained significant momentum in recent years. M.Ad has been on the frontlines of marketing and advertising ketamine treatment since its infancy when it was little understood. Research has borne out the benefits from Ketamine and licensed and qualified practitioners are increasingly using it for severely depressed patients with remarkably good results.
From Marketing IV Ketamine to Esketamine and Psychadelic Treatments
About 5 years ago, marketing and advertising ketamine treatment for the treatment of MDD and TRD posed a significant challenge. Consumers didn’t understand Ketamine as a safe and effective treatment option and there was stigma surrounding the off-label treatment. Over-the-years, substantial progress has been made in educating the public and advancing research so ketamine is now a vindicated and highly sought-after treatment. Not only that, ketamine research and treatment success has led to a spate of new modalities that is bringing treatment-resistant depression under control for many patients.
Traditional IV Ketamine has been used since the 1970s, initially as an anesthetic and more recently for major depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD and suicidal ideation. From a marketing perspective, reaching audiences who were indicating that their depression was chronic, severe, and persistant brought through candidates who were both interested and a good fit for the treatment. As ketamine is an off-label treatment when used to treat psychiatric disorders, it was often a cash-pay service that was not covered by insurance. Although this would typically be unattractive to searchers, we found MD’s who wrote content about their approach to treatment and why they believed in the potential of ketamine to help decrease the number of medications patients were on long-term were well recieved.
Another variant of Ketamine treatment is IM Ketamine that administers the drug through injections. IM Ketamine can be used to address a variety of mental health conditions like depression and OCD, along with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. From a marketing perspective, we were able to broaden the audiences we were targeting with each new indication IM Ketamine could be applicable to.
We were seeing search volume for the next modality about 6 months prior to it hitting the market: Eskatamine. Esketamine is a powerful form of the drug that has shown to provide relief from major depression within a matter of hours which can be administered as a nasal spray. Spravato, developed by Janssen, is a prescription nasal spray that can be used along with antidepressant medications to help patients with MDD and suicidal ideation. Esketamine has recently been approved by the FDA for treating major depression. While we initially feared the shift from marketing ‘Ketamine’ to ‘Esketamine’ would pose a problem, the market had been appropriately primed by Janssen that we found people were searching, almost frantically, for the promising ‘depression nose spray’ that they had heard about. Although by the time the details surrounding the treatment were released, it was a hard sell because it was quite a bit more expensive than the IV option. Ironically, we found that Janssen’s work to promote their esketamine product, increased awareness and interest-in IV Ketamine.
All the buzz about ketamine and the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 has stimulated the creation of other forms of the drug that can be administered both in-office or at-home, including ketamine lozenges (troches) and rapid dissolve tablets. These extended release tablets can be used to offset rare potential side effects from Ketamine like increased blood pressure. We are now 1 year into the global pandemic and telepsychiatry has been adopted by patients who are eager to continue treatment from home. These at-home ketamine products which are often paired with psychotherapy and group therapy sessions which, again, made them applicable to broader audiences when it came time to craft marketing strategies to promote them. The shift into at-home and virtual mental healthcare has been so smooth that many providers are certain patients will choose to continue opting for virtual, at-home care even after the pandemic ends.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy combines traditional talk therapy with the drug to potentially prolong its benefits. Research continues to divulge Ketamine’s versatility for treating depression and myriad other mental health disorders.
The Versatility of Ketamine is a Big Selling Point
It is incredible to look back at the progress the interventional psychiatry industry has made over the past few years. The data that M.Ad has poured over during this evolution makes it clear that the versatility of ketamine as one of the main reasons its appealing to both providers and patients. As ketamine can be combined with other psychiatric medications and treatments including TMS, TBS, group therapy, psychotherapy and more it is a welcome additional treatment offering in psychiatric practices that are willing to undergo the necessary lisencing and certification. The amount of research now being done into psychadelic treatments in general is profound and will no doubt expand the audiences we’re able to market treatments to even further.
M.Ad provides expert, data-driven guidance when it comes to selecting the right advertising channels for lead generation and new patient conversion. On the marekting front, we have been well-positioned during the growth of the Ketamine industry and are proud of the growth we have been able to help dozens of clients across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom acheive.