Deploying a global eMarketing strategy for pharma

QUICK READ: Digital marketing is probably the most important strategy for any brand. Although DTC is not permitted in most countries outside the U.S. a global online marketing strategy is essential. With a CMS and content OUS websites can be launched easily and effectively.

When I was tasked with developing a global website strategy for a leading biotech company the Director I was working with had doubts. “I’m not sure it can be done, ” he told me, but that lit a fire under me to make it happen.

The first step was to document the hosting environments of each country and determine if there were any dedicated emarketing people who could work on website updates.

The results weren’t good. OUS countries seldom had any emarketing help and the hosting environments were often different. However, in reviewing metrics for our US website, we were able to show that a lot of traffic was coming from countries in Europe. This communicated that there was a need for an OUS digital strategy.

The solution

I worked closely with the US IT department to verify and qualify different content management systems. We settled on WordPress but it was modified to ensure it met our security requirements.

The global template was chosen by the global brand team so we could not focus on content. We chose a wide selection of images and uploaded them into the media library. Content was written by an agency and translated into French, German, Italian and Polish. We even had the people in the OUS affiliates review the content to ensure there were no mistakes, Content was uploaded to the site as different pages.

Once we were done, we held a meeting in Cologne, Germany to go over how to build and launch sites in each country. The hosting would be done in the US but each country had its own domain.

Building a website wasn’t complicated at all. Once we showed them we held a work session and each person could get a hands on experience on building their websites. They would chose the content and images and when they hit publish it would show up on a secure server for review.

There were some bumps such as ensuring the image files were country friendly but overall it went very smoothly. Everytime we added new content to the files a global email would go out to the person responsible so they could determine if they wanted to add it their websites.

Much to my surprise we started receiving great feedback from OUS General Managers and asking for more. It’s a great feeling to succeed when the challenges seem overwhelming.

Now would be a great time for pharma to decide exactly what a global emarketing strategy looks like and alogn influencers within the organization.

Throwing money at digital is not the answer. Use this time to communicate the importance of an aligned digital strategy beyond paid media.