Social channels represent an unprecedented marketing opportunity to build and foster customer relationships with existing customers and new audiences, resulting in both increased advocacy and ultimately ROI. The few forward-looking pharma companies, such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, UCB and Johnson & Johnson, are dipping their toes in social media to proactively engage in healthcare conversations and encourage users to join open discussions.
Marketers tell us moms make the healthcare decisions at home, and this is true at my house. I make our doctor appointments, visit the pharmacy, and shape our diet because I buy the groceries. I am the consumer health marketers want to reach, so marketers listen up: I'm going to tell you exactly how to reach me, the modern working mom.
I brainstormed this while pushing my son to day care: he gets a stroller ride and I get a workout. Then I talked through it with my mom on speakerphone while driving to work. You've heard it before, but ...
Finding patients to participate in clinical research studies is hard, but sometimes convincing them to stay in the study is even more challenging. Patient retention for clinical research is critical to the drug development process. Participants are free to drop out at any point in the study and, consequently, many do.
Today it's all about mobile. People are doing everything on their mobile devices -- emailing, texting, listening to music, taking pictures, watching videos, banking, checking the weather -- keeping track of all kinds of things. Our devices have become an extension of our lives; they're like our command center for managing just about everything. It's only natural that healthcare should be added to the list.
Working in healthcare can feel less than sexy at times. When it comes to digital, CPG brands get to have all the fun. Old Spice and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese are lighting up the social and viral highways, while healthcare brands (more often than not) stick to their professional, authoritative knitting. The fact is, there is more than one way to be successful in social media, and it all starts with establishing key objectives.
Remember 1994? The World Series was cancelled because of a players strike. Not only was there no World Series, the World Wide Web was in its infancy. At that time, pharmaceutical marketers enjoyed a near monopoly on product information. And sales representatives had unfettered access to physicians.
Congrats! You've decided to embark on a pharmaceutical social media odyssey. It will be a rewarding endeavor. You've done everything right up until this point: focused on the Return on Health of the patient, set your pharma social media strategy, outlined a crisis communications plan and put a listening strategy in place as a building block to true engagement. You are ready to go.
I'm a fairly big sports fan. I used to be a sportswriter in another life, and today I still watch a lot of sports on TV. So much so that it crowds out other viewing choices. So when I write this, understand that I'm hitting my forehead at the same time, and thinking, "Duh, why didn't I think about this earlier?" Of course, I only hit my forehead once since it makes typing difficult.
An aging population, the explosion of healthcare costs, the growing deficit of healthcare professionals, unhealthy lifestyles for some but higher consumer emphasis on health and wellness for others ... these are just some of the trends we're seeing that put pressure on our healthcare system. The healthcare industry must tackle these challenges, led either by itself or by its consumers, in order to prepare for the future.