There are a lot of defeatists when it comes to DTC marketing exploring new opportunities. My last post on why drug companies need online communities was met with “we can’t” and reasons why it won’t work but that is not an acceptable answer. Stop saying “we can’t” and start asking “what’s best for our audience?”
Online communities are not meant to be instant chat rooms. People will access online communities at different times not all at once. The purpose of an online community is to “openly share information” with other people who want to know “what, how and why” when it comes to healthcare treatments. Yes, there are potential barriers but you can overcome them. Here’s how..
(1) Adverse Events – A research study not to long ago found that less than 0.3% of people post adverse events online. However since drug companies have to be ready to report adverse events the person monitoring the online community can easily contact the person to get information to report an adverse event.
(2) Open community ? – Even the sports boards that I post to have moderators who amend or delete posts by trolls. No post should go live in the community without first being checked to comply with FDA guidelines. I did it with Sarafem while at Lilly and yes it took a lot of work but it drove business and consumer needs.
(3) Is it needed ? I’m not saying that every health category needs an online community I am saying that there maybe an opportunity for people to share information between themselves using your brand to bring them together.
If DTC marketing is to evolve people need to stop thinking of ways it can’t be done and start looking at ways it should be done.