There is enormous potential for digital marketing for pharmaceutical companies. Proper exploitation of the social media can take pharmaceutical companies to their market in a more pinpointed and accurate manner than traditional marketing.
Gone are the initial days of reluctance on the part of pharmaceutical companies to embrace social media as a powerful marketing medium. That was in the past, when the concept of social media was new, and regulations in the pharmaceutical industry had yet to catch up with explosive pace at which the social media grew.
More and more pharmaceutical companies are on the social media
Today, one is likely to see any pharmaceutical company worth its name being active on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to interact with its customers. Changes brought about by digital marketing in the pharmaceutical industry have seen companies like Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer being among the several majors associated with YouTube lately for creating and promoting their image. This is a result of the realization that social media can, far from being unconducive to the industry, can be quite amiable to it.
- In a study in late 2014, the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that leading pharmaceutical companies spend up to a quarter of their marketing budgets on the social media
- The study pointed out that the social media were as powerful and effective as EHRs and mobile applications as marketing tools, signaling a new dynamic for digital marketing in the pharmaceutical industry.
Social media as a key differentiator
The defining area in which the social media can be different and more effective than traditional marketing tactics for pharmaceutical companies is this: earlier methods such as trade conferences, promotions, gifting doctors for prescribing a company’s brands were effective, but were carried out outside the healthcare setting and in isolation of the patient. The reach and intervention of the social media has made digital marketing for pharmaceutical companies so much more effective that they can get right into the arena of treatment and be of assistance with valuable inputs and suggestions.