Pharma brand teams need a dedicated eMarketing person

  • Digital healthcare marketing is too important to use a “digital marketing group”.
  • An embedded eMarketing person can gain understandings about your market and how best to reach them.
  • They can also manage the agency to ensure that the metrics they provide are meaningful.

I’ve been working with a small biotech company on the launch marketing for a new product as their eMarketing person.  I have been part of the team for almost a year and have gained great insights into their market and its HCP and patient markets.  Based on this I can recommend the best interactive strategies along with key measurement criteria.  I am also acting as a liaison between the company and their interactive media agency so I can focus on key metrics that matter vs. just raw clicks.  I feel like I know the brand because of the great research the brand team has done.  Too often, however, this doesn’t happen.

Most pharma companies work with an in house eMarketing group and it’s not uncommon to have a eMarketing person working on two or three brands at the same time.  This is a huge mistake.  Only someone who is part of the brand team and can take in all the research can really understand which interactive strategies will meet the brand objectives.

DTC marketers should be pushing agencies to provide metrics that clearly show their strategy is working.  A high click rate, for example, doesn’t mean much if your bounce rate is 88%.

Some pharma companies want agencies to take on this role, but I would argue that is not enough.  I made sure, in my career, that I attended every bit of research that was presented.  I was able to ask questions and schedule one on one meetings to better understand  the brand and its key messages.  What, I believe, made me a great eMarketing person is that I had a marketing background.  I could approach the brand as a customer and ask “what’s in it for me?”.

People are turning, more and more, to the Internet for health information.  Pharma can’t afford to “just put up a website”.  They need an interactive strategy that is fluent and relevant.  Only an internal team member can ensure that your dollars are well spent.