A Prognosis for Healthcare Digital Advertising

April 10th, 2014 by

Some Background

More often than not, our team members‘ inboxes are flooded with newsletters and other subscriptions as a way to remain in the proverbial industry loop. This information gives us the ability to spot trends and generally provide more informed recommendations for the businesses with which we work. Some of the DMG crew subscribes to information about the pharmaceutical and life science industry (which is convenient, considering we have custom solutions specifically for those folks). Chief among these resources is PM360, which recently featured these articles in its publication:

This week, we’re going to offer our input among these articles, one by one. Feel free to click the links above, read each article, and come back for our thoughts.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Getting and Analyzing Big Data: How Pharma and Med Device Marketers Benefit

If you’re fully subscribed to the hot topic of big data, that means you’re talking about information from online advertising, traditional marketing, patients, electronic medical records (EMR), caregivers, medical devices, vendors, and healthcare professionals (HCP). Certainly there’s no question that pharma marketers can benefit from big data or any “real” data. But let’s be realistic. In most cases, “big data” is subject to interpretation. Everyone seems to be talking about “crunching” this information to make it usable, but no one’s talking about how it’s acquired or, more importantly, how to analyze it and derive action from it. Getting valid data and analyzing it within a specific context (such as among certain target audience segments) is a missed opportunity and a neglected part of the larger analytical picture.

Can We Define Digital That Delivers?

We talk about design and creation, placement and targeting, and measuring for success, but so rarely do we discuss this success in the context of a high-level business goal. It seems we’re more concerned with “delivering success,” but we miss opportunities to test, optimize, and determine why a digital tactic delivered a desired result. I think all of the comments in this piece are valid, but to continue delivering in this manner, we need to examine not only the “why,” but what individual tactics or channels contributed to the goal behavior (via a measurement tactic like attribution modeling, for example).

Social Media Gone Bad: How Lack of Engagement Can Ruin Your Business

Hospital Patient

Data, tactics, and campaigns mean nothing if your patients aren’t satisfied. Photo credit: tizwas01

The purpose of social media is to share, communicate, and engage with people. And that includes patients, caregivers, and HCPs. In our experience, people with medical conditions have a strong sense of community among themselves and want to protect each other. They’re going to talk and share their experiences, but the question is: “Are you listening and engaging in the conversation?” Pharmaceutical companies have ad agencies, compliance, the FDA, and other regulatory issues to contend with. You would think companies would have guidelines and internal procedures to address issues when they arise (notice we didn’t say “if” there). If you’re not engaging, you’re not communicating with the same people for which you spent millions to develop your products and services. Without that communication, you’re at a disadvantage to make you products and services better to the people that matter most.

And Now, To Sum Everything Up

A dissatisfied patient can certainly ruin your business, but only if you let their concerns go unanswered by not listening or communicating with them. Gaining valid data and analyzing it will help to a degree, but the data needs to be tied to action to have the greatest impact. And finally, you can only give your brand(s) a true prognosis when you listen to your patients, analyze the available information, optimize digital tactics to yield favorable behaviors, and understand why it all worked to inform future initiatives.

What’s your take on the current state of pharma marketing? Let us know in the comments!

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