In pharma marketing, it’s critical that your brand observe the hard-and-fast rules governing how product information is presented, but that doesn’t mean your content has to be dull, ugly or confusing. It is possible to make visually appealing, meaningful and engaging content for your users … but how? What does good, rule-abiding design look like?

Here, Mike Hartman, chief creative officer at Intouch, spotlights six pharma companies that are doing it right. An edited version of this article appeared recently in MM&M, but you can read the original, unedited piece below.

Branded product websites can have it rough. Like between safety and a hard place. Corporate sites have become a great spot to stretch out and strut your stuff. Fly your flag. Show off who you really are. And while there’s no shortage of great information out there, the experiences do range. Maybe because we’ve gotten caught up in making better mousetraps and forgotten about the cheese? The craft. The content. In the end, it’s not the things we create but the experiences we bring to life that build value, gain trust and earn loyalty. So check out a few of these mice-magnets.


With color-coded content tiles, this organized, cross-seller-of-a-platform doesn’t feel like a pharmaceutical company. It just has a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff and some of it happens to include product information. Mega menus with “hot topics” previews prevent you from going too far down a rabbit hole, and sharing is well integrated across content aggregated from other properties.


It’s all about the stories. With edge-to-edge patient imagery and a left-rail navigation for desktop, BMS is driving its “Life & Science Magazine” publishing model combined with user experience that employs a something-for-everyone approach. The roles-based information architecture is intuitive, getting you where you need to be.


“We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it.” And I believe it. Because there are lots of looping videos with people doing things together. Blades and transparency add visual interest while a hamburger menu reveals the big kahuna of megas for a take-your-pick list. Curated art from “people affected by the illnesses and diseases we are committed to treating and preventing,” is not to be missed.


What a monster. And I mean that in a good way. Expansive and useful, it’s a bit of a celebration. At times, it’s like running around inside a sprawling infographic. Super visual, with rich imagery, animations and videos, there is a sense of science, urgency and global emotion coming through.


With a homepage featuring an event-posting recap, the most current updates and a Twitter feed at the bottom, the newsroom vibe is strong. Almost like a blog. To save real estate, there’s another hamburger with all the fixings. Be happy it’s not a kebab. Just dig in and you’ll be elbow deep in articles, dashboards, data, tagged content and related links.


Looking good, clean design. Feeling good, user experience. It’s so great when something behaves exactly the way you think it will. Links and headlines that take you places. Flat, crisp, a careful balance of imagery and language for easy digestion. Extra points for affordances that improve shareability, as well as true localization.