Can pharma marketers justify social media?

business_applications_of_social_media_the_coming_change_in_social_media_id47077031_size485According to IMS “with average per-product returns constrained by tighter payer controls, and higher commercialization expenses, over $35 billion of cost reduction is needed through 2017 in order for large pharmaceutical manufacturers to maintain their current levels of research and development activities as well as their operating margin levels.   Our survey respondents also confirm an expectation of continued cost reductions, with 45% of executives indicating cuts of more than 10% are planned over three years.”  So how is pharma supposed to invest in digital and social media?

The biggest challenge in implementing social media, for CPG companies, is understanding the resources needed to successfully implement a social media marketing program.  It’s not inexpensive.

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If cuts are going to come within pharma, where do YOU think they are going to come from?   DTC marketing could be on the hot list and at a minimum DTC marketers are going to have to justify their budgets again and again.  This leads to another question..can pharma marketers justify the resources for social media against other proven tactics?

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Of course to say no across all disease conditions and products would be a mistake.  The MS community, for example, is very engaged online and looking for answers but other conditions or products may not warrant a social media marketing initiative by biopharma, especially if it’s not done with the necessary resources to ensure success and measure results.

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