Survey Finds Pharma Marketers Poised to Embrace Digital

  |  December 29, 2008   |  Comments

Respondents admit limited understanding of digital marketing, but the're still testing videos, podcasts and other innovative tactics.

The pharmaceutical industry is behind the curve in many areas of digital marketing, but it is likely to make a significant leap ahead in the coming year. That is the conclusion of "Digital Marketing in Pharma", a new survey from MarketBridge, in conjunction with Pharmaceutical Executive magazine.

The Bethesda, MD-based sales and marketing consulting firm found nearly 45 percent of the pharmaceutical executives it surveyed felt they need to understand digital marketing better and that more than one-third believed that they are not appropriately organized to take advantage of digital marketing opportunities. Half of respondents spend less than 10 percent of their marketing budget on digital, with most of the spending going into their own Web sites and "Web 1.0" tools. And even though their investments in digital have been slim to date and in familiar channels, those surveyed said they are concerned about their ability to prove the return on investment for any digital marketing strategy they implement.

So where's the hope? MarketBridge executives R. Scott Gillum and David Johnson believe that, compared with the equally regulated and risk averse financial services industry, the pharmaceutical industry is further along in its acceptance of digital marketing. They point to pharma's usage of physician-education videos and podcasts, and to the survey's findings that pharma planned to invest heavily in digital marketing in the coming year: Seventy-two percent of the respondents said they would be investing more. Some of that spending may now be tempered by the recession, and be a shift of resources from other marketing vehicles rather than incremental spending, but Johnson is optimistic. "These investments will lay the groundwork for future solutions," he says.

Partha Krishnamurthy, director of the University of Houston's Institute for Health Care Marketing, concedes that big pharma faces big risks in embracing Web 2.0 because these tools let consumers shape the brand message and the consumers with the most negative experience can be the loudest voices.

"Can companies contact all the people who have had experience with a product and ask them to contribute content in exchange for money-off coupons?" he muses. "By opening up dialogue to all consumers, you are giving equal opportunity to all views."

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...