QUICK READ: The MedAd News Manny Awards were last night. Congratulations to the winners, but the bar has been set higher if pharma is to really demonstrate they care about patients. Award winners should see their awards as a head nod and understand they have a LOT more work to do.
I’m not much for pharma trade magazine awards. Too much self-promotional politics in involved but still it’s great to be recognized. Who I won awards I used it as an incentive to work harder towards a raised bar. Agencies should see the same thing.
The politics of working with a major pharma company can be a difficult challenge. There is still much to emphasis on doing things that deliver sales rather than helping patients. Just when you think you have broken through, pharma marketing, people rotate, leave, or get promoted, and the process is pushed back three or four steps.
Patients are finally returning to their doctors, and some DTC people really believe they will go to their doctor and ask for an Rx. That’s not going to happen—too much noise between awareness and asking for an Rx that DTC marketers ignore, blaming FTC marketing guidelines.
I’m surprised that an agency hasn’t developed an app to monitor social media posts around certain keywords for pharma. DTC marketers need to better understand what’s being said about their product on social media as people tend to trust each other more than pharma company ads and websites.
The other change that agencies need to push is the idea that product websites are alive. Getting a website up and running is only a tiny part of a digital strategy. A content strategy is needed, and pharma needs to be a credible stop for health information on living with chronic conditions.
Finally, using TV for small patient populations isn’t logical. You can get better results through online targeting without fraud if you have a good agency. TV is great for mass awareness, but the money can be better spent online for smaller patient populations.
Again, congratulations to Manny award winners. Set the bar higher and keep on keeping on!