Hats off to Boehringer. Great presentation. These were just some of the Tweets from another digital pharma conference where “the industry circle” gets together to congratulate one another on the strides they have made. The problem is that while the industry is taking baby steps CPG marketers are finally coming to the realization that it takes a lot of effort and knowledge to market to today’s time stressed consumer. While some get up and present at conferences consumers and patients are finding pharma marketing irrelevant.
It took me over 2 months to convince a healthcare client to covert their site for use with mobile devices and to share content with payers to give them a competitor advantage. The deck I have has gone through over more than a dozen changes and been wordsmithed to death. Finally at the last meeting one of the senior executives asked “this seems like a no brainer. Why are we tossing this around?”. The answer lies in the very nature of most pharma organizations to spread decision making through many people and groups.
Now I follow marketing and brands all the time because I love marketing. I don’t think I can ever remember where a pharma campaign created buzz outside the small world of pharma marketers and agency people who are trying to get more money and clients. If I had been presenting my first slide would have been a simple phrase “What in the hell are you doing?” Too much of the same stuff is bing recycled under the guise that “we are a regulated industry”.
John Mack has tried to promote innovation via his social media pioneer awards but frankly I’m not sure that anyone wants to have a social relationship with a pharma company.
I urge pharma & biotech executives to seek out, recruit and hire people who are going to challenge the status quo on behalf of patients rather than just trying to fit in to ensure good reviews. Only when they seek out these people will pharma marketing catch up to other industries in terms of their overall marketing.