Attention pharma marketers!

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY: Digital marketing, at least doing it right, costs money and is not less expensive than offline marketing.  If you take shortcuts and let the budget limit what you should and need to do online you’re diminishing all your marketing efforts.

After four months of research that uncovered a LOT of opportunities for improving a brand’s digital marketing the bad news was delivered that they don’t have the budget to implement the plan.  After we heard the bad news the interactive agency head told me that they are probably going to walk away from the biopharma company as the revised budget isn’t even enough “to do a half-assed job”.


I understand the pressures that pharma companies are up against but digital marketing is too damn important to cut at a time when patients are consumers of healthcare.  The VP who attended our meeting said that he didn’t realize “that digital marketing was so expensive”.  Sigh…

Digital marketing, if done right, can cost money.  There is research, wireframes, creative and usability testing, but too many marketers still think it shouldn’t cost a lot of money to “just build a website” and thus the problem. Lack of budget is probably the biggest frustration of pharma digital marketers and a key reason why so many of them leave.


I was lucky to have the dollars needed to create an award winning website that ranked number one in ROI.  I couldn’t have done it without having the resources which I guess are becoming harder to come by.

There is so much opportunity within pharma digital marketing, but I’m not sure it will ever be realized. Steve Jobs once said, and I am paraphrasing, that it was better to spend money when sales were flat or down because it’s an investment in the company.  Too bad not enough pharma organizations realize that.