Digital Pharma ignores the crisis within the industry

MY THOUGHTS: While the pharma industry is in a crisis of trust and reputation the Digital Pharma conference carries on like they haven’t a care in the world with presentations from vendors who want to sell DTC marketers on their products. Houston, we have a problem.

The people presenting at Digital Pharma East seem to follow the saying “ignorance is bliss”. While the public’s view of pharma has sunk to new lows they are carrying on and presenting like everything is beautiful and bright. Did anyone ever think to ask “what effect is the crisis in reputation having on our digital marketing?”

Instead we have the Child Consumer Digital person from Lilly giving a presentation while Lilly’s executives contribute to Mitch McConnell and Lilly’s generic insulin project falls flat on its face because of poor implementation.

Then there was the blatant promotional presentation from Patient Point. Do people really believe this stuff? The for example their point about patient testimonials and discount coupons for Rx drugs. How in the hell do they know why patients are there and what videos to serve not to mention that a lot of doctor’s offices are now blocking smartphone use in waiting rooms. Then there is the stat about people watching in office TV screens. I have been so bored at doctor’s offices that I sometimes read year old magazines!

Then there is this “Myth debunked: patients are not using their mobile phones in the doctor’s waiting room. More than 50% are watching the patient edu screen”. What? Not from what I’ve seen. P L E A S E!

Now back to the crisis within our industry. You can point fingers all you want but the fact remains that the crisis in confidence DOES affect our digital marketing. What we should be concentrating on “what can WE do as digital marketers to get closer to online health seekers?”.

Then there is the “trust” factor of digital agencies. Ad agencies face growing pressure from clients and publishers alike as Facebook, Google, and emerging platforms gobble up an increasing share of digital ad spend. And according to a new survey, trust in agencies has never been lower.

Nearly 70% of marketers have updated their media buying contracts since a bombshell 2016 Association of National Advertisers report confirmed the widespread use of illegal rebates and other dubious financial practices among agencies like hiding click fraud.

Media companies don’t trust agencies, agencies don’t trust marketers, and marketers don’t trust themselves.

Let’s be honest. Digital Pharma East is a money maker for the sponsor. People who present are patting themselves on the back so they can add a bullett point on their year end reviews. I would have hoped the conference would have addressed the crisis bit it seems it’s better to ignore than acknowledge.