eyeforpharma's 3rd annual eCommunication and Online Marketing Conference

eyeforpharmaChallenges and opportunities for today's pharmaceutical e-marketers abound. From social networking tools and advanced physician portals to streaming video and closed loop strategies, the opportunities to open new communication channels with patients, physicians and other key stakeholders are limited only by a marketer's imagination and determination.

Mark DiPaulo, global head of IT strategy for Novartis, says that as the push for a new commercial model intensifies, pharma companies are looking to "e" more seriously than ever in the past. Social networking is one of the hottest new marketing topics both within and beyond pharma. Len Starnes, head of global digital sales and marketing for Schering, says over the next few years, the biggest external impact will be seen on pharma's interactions with patients, followed closely by the influence on the industry's online relationship with doctors. But Starnes says social media also is poised to drive significant change internally in pharmaceutical organizations as they strive for productivity and efficiency gains.

As with many other technology adoption curves, however, the pharma industry is lagging, Starnes says. "Compared to telecommunications, retail and high tech, for instance, we are trailing - just like with Web 1.0," Starnes notes. "A lot of companies are investing in Web 2.0 to improve internal productivity, but also in customer facing activities. Pharma needs to catch up."

Even within the industry, geographies are poised to learn from each other, says Mark Bard, president of Manhattan Research. With a global perspective, he says, US teams can benefit from European best practices, even on how to effectively build websites or engage with physicians and invite them to interact with online content. And European pharmas are learning from mistakes already made by their US counterparts in areas like e-detailing, he says.

Shifting focus
US advertising budgets are seeing some changes, Bard says. While total direct to consumer advertising spend is flat, Bard says television advertising spend is down, print is flat or slightly up and online spending is up with a lot of room to grow. Bard predicts that in the next five years in the US at least some of the online budget currently spent targeting consumers will shift toward doctors. One area that has been underutilized, Bard says, is email.

"Healthcare has underutilized e-mail compared to most other industries," he explains. "Actually the number of people opting in to receive this kind of communication has doubled over the past couple of years. On the physician side, most companies are not emailing physicians and it's probably one of the biggest missed opportunities we see."

Bard says most physicians are completely willing to get emails from pharma companies, but pharma hasn't recognized that yet and simply isn't doing it.

Search also is still overlooked by many companies. Companies think they need more content or fresher content, Bard says, but fail to consider that most people find their web page through search - something in which they currently put little of their effort.

Kathleen Oneial, a former vice president of marketing channels at Novartis and Merck, says video advertising and streaming is another emerging opportunity for pharma.

"It's a wonderful format for consumers and physicians and now that we have such widely available broadband, video will become a big part of how we communicate," she predicts. "We've seen the profound impact of YouTube and others. Video will become an important tool for marketers and we'll need agencies that have this capability."

Onieal says the impact with physicians will be interesting. "We're just beginning to use video approaches with them, but I can see eCME done by video in a much more ubiquitous way," she says. The drawback of video advertising is the increased production costs. But Onieal costs can be reduced down by carefully considering how digital assets are stored and used.

Closing the loop
Another hot topic in pharma e-marketing is closed loop marketing. "No matter where you are, as we look at e-channels to contact customers, the question is how do you pull it all together," says Kevin Dolgin, a senior principal with IMS and a professor of marketing at the University of Paris. "All of this is generating enormous amounts of information and the most efficient marketers in the future are going to be those who can gather and continuously refine their segmentation approach and ways to contact individual customers. That effectively is closed loop."

In fact, Dolgin says that in academic circles talk of segmentation is giving way to "particle" marketing, which is dealing with individuals rather than segments. "The only way to do that is closed loop marketing - where you end up with as many segments as individuals," he says.

And he's quick to point out that marketing to individuals is not just for the US market where direct to consumer advertising is allowed. "It can be done in Europe," Dolgin says. "There are more barriers, but those innovative and dedicated enough to do it have greater competitive advantage.

He believes sales reps can really drive closed loop marketing forward. "You have to show them that it’s adding value, though," Dolgin stresses. "You have to look at the whole e-marketing approach to see how you can provide value for customers. In Europe, you have to show that to clear regulatory hurdles anyway and that could be something the US could learn from."

Clearly e-marketing approaches will have a key role in any new commercial sales model adopted by the industry. The possibilities are endless.

Mark Bard, Len Starnes and Kathleen oNieal will all be speaking at eyeforpharma's 3rd annual eCommunication and Online Marketing Conference on 23-24th October in Boston. For more information visit www.eyeforpharma.com/ecomm2008.

About the 3rd annual eCommunication and Online Marketing Conference
eyeforpharma has secured its full speaker faculty including leading executives from Novo Nordisk, Bayer Schering, Wyeth, Shire, Abbott, Genzyme, Merck, Nobel Biocare, Genentech, Sermo, Aptilon Health, Big Klick, Allscripts, Closerlook, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, Shire, Merck, Daiichi Sankyo, ...

The full detailed brochure is available to download now at http://www.eyeforpharma.com/pceu2008/brochure.shtml

The two day event taking place October 23-24 2008, Boston, comprises presentation sessions, panel sessions, roundtables, workshops, a networking evening and an exhibition hall. Some of the topics to be explored at the Summit are:

  • Resource Allocation and Multi-Channel Integration
  • Physician Relationship Marketing and eDetailing
  • Talking with your patients through Web 2.0 and New Media
  • Search Engine Optimization and PPC Marketing
  • Web Analytics and eMeasurements across channels

More information can be found here www.eyeforpharma.com/ecomm2008.

Most Popular Now

Lilly will supply an additional 150,000 doses of b…

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced a modified purchase agreement with the U.S. government to supply an additional 150,000 doses of bebtelovimab for approximately...

Bayer to sell men's health product Nebido™ to Grün…

Bayer and Grünenthal have entered into a definitive agreement regarding the sale of Bayer's men's health product Nebido™ (testosterone undecanoate), for a purchase price ...

Pfizer and BioNTech complete submission to Europea…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced they have completed a submission to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for an Omicron-adapted biva...

The fourth COVID-19 vaccine reduces the risk of de…

A new study by Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Health, has found that the fourth COVID-19 vaccin...

Vaccine protection against COVID-19 short-lived, b…

Since COVID-19 vaccines first became available to protect against infection and severe illness, there has been much uncertainty about how long the protection lasts, and w...

AstraZeneca to acquire TeneoTwo and its clinical-s…

AstraZeneca announced an agreement to acquire TeneoTwo, Inc. (TeneoTwo)i, including its Phase I clinical-stage CD19/CD3 T-cell engager, TNB-486, currently under evaluatio...

Demonstration of a potent, universal coronavirus m…

The SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 has killed 6.3 million people worldwide since 2019, painfully highlighting the vulnerability of humanity to novel coronaviruses. Re...

Research shows investigational drug fosters nerve …

Scientists from the University of Birmingham have shown that a brain-penetrating candidate drug currently in development as a cancer therapy can foster regeneration of da...

NIH launches clinical trial of mRNA Nipah virus va…

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has launched an early-stage clinical trial evaluating an inv...

Anti-inflammatory compound shows potential in trea…

An anti-inflammatory compound may have the potential to treat systemic inflammation and brain injury in patients with severe COVID-19 and significantly reduce their chanc...

Vaccine-induced immune response to omicron wanes s…

Although COVID-19 booster vaccinations in adults elicit high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, antibody levels decrease substan...

SARS-CoV-2 hijacks nanotubes between neurons to in…

COVID-19 often leads to neurological symptoms, such as a loss of taste or smell, or cognitive impairments (including memory loss and concentration difficulties), both dur...