If there one thing that you should take away from the ePharma conferences it’s that there is a hell of a lot of work to do when it comes to eMarketing in health care. Sure, some companies are blazing new trails but for others without clear roads to follow they are staying put. The good news is that there a lot of opportunity to really make a difference in patients’ lives and reach them with health and medical information to help them make better and informed treatment options.
When I look at the current state of pharma marketing I see a lot of doors waiting to be opened. Granted, it’s not going to be easy with so many budget cuts looming within pharma, but for those of us who are willing to go work for the patients we represent it’s a challenge that we are ready to tackle.
Here are the key challenges that we need to overcome to take pharma eMarketing up a couple of notches:
(1) Websites are not meant to “done” and over – We can’t just get a website up and leave it for months on end without any updates. If we want our brands to be important to our target audience, we need to be the “go to” destination when they have questions around the health condition or medication. Especially challenging is getting breaking news on the site quickly while patients still have questions, not weeks later when they have answered their questions somewhere else.
(2) Social media is more than Facebook – Online communities offer pharma a great opportunity to bring people together around the brand and don’t tell me it can’t be done because of regulatory issues. If I was able to do it over 10 years ago with Sarafem.com it can be done today. The truth is the conversations around health and treatments are happening and if you’re not in them you’re loosing a great opportunity, but you can’t be there to sell you have to listen and talk as a person not a marketer.
(3) Metrics need to be analyzed and changes implemented – How many pharma marketers know what the bounce rate if for their websites ? How about the bounce rate via specific key words? You should have a clear understanding of how people are thinking about your product by looking at paths thru the site and always optimize your site over and over to get it right.
If you can’t do it in house than hire a great agency like Greater Than One of Intouch Solutions but make them your strategic partner not just a vendor. If you need to be reminded of the importance just ask one of your patients how important the internet is to help them fight and overcome their health problem.