What Will Facebook Lite Mean To Pharma and Marketers?

Just when the broader consumer population is beginning to get comfortable using Facebook, and Marketers are continuing to build out their brand’s Facebook page(s), Facebook Lite launches in the US and India.  (Techcrunch)

Facebook Lite is a faster, slimed-down, simpler way for people to keep in touch with friends…and looks to be moving a step closer to the simpleness of Twitter’s offering…

Originally intended to be used in countries where high speed Internet connections are sparse or non-existent, Facebook realized there’s a real desire among many of its users to have a smaller, simpler, more elegant, version of the service.  Continue reading

Pharma and Social Media: What Role Should Personas Play?

Last Thursday, I attended Business Development Institute’s Social Communications & Healthcare Conference. There were a number of good presentations for Pharma social media. One that stood out was the folksy talk given by Pfizer’s VP/Worldwide Communications Ray Kerins. Ray ingratiated the group by acknowledging that Pfizer still has a long way to go, but promised to listen and try to get it right… Or listen to Rick Wion, VP of Interactive media at GolinHarris, co-creators of McNeil’s two ADHD social media sites, speak about how to work within the regulatory environment.  Jonathan Richman also presented Healthcare and Social Media: Know the Rules.  And for conference takeaways, read Sally Church’s Pharma Strategy blog The Challenge of Social Media in Pharma as well as Steve Woodruff’s Impactivity Blog Pharma and Social Media Progress!.  Or follow the many tweets at #BDIContinue reading

How Social Are Healthcare Consumers with their Information?

PEW Internet and California HealthCare Foundation have recently issued a new report called The Social Life Of Healthcare Information: Americans’ Pursuit of Healthcare Information Takes Place Within a Widening Network of Online and Offline Sources (June 2009). While much of the study is confirmatory, there are nuggets for pharma and healthcare marketers to consider:

  • The Internet continues to be a growing source of healthcare information –61% of US adults look online for healthcare information vs. 25% in 2000.–Further, mobile access draws people into conversations about health as much as online tools enable research. Wireless connections are associated with deeper engagement in social media and information exchange. And mobile access is on the rise.
  • American adults continue to turn to traditional sources of health information, even as many of them deepen their engagement with the online world. —  Experts remain vital to the health-search and decision-making process.
    • 86% of all adults ask a health professional, such as a doctor.
    • 68% of all adults ask a friend or family member.
    • 57% of all adults use the Internet.
    • 54% use books or other printed reference material.
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How Many Customers Would Bring You Soup If They Knew You Were Sick?

Soup metric…is the number of people in your social network that you know would bring you

soup if they knew you were sick and/or get your back in any other real friend way – to help you feel better OR help your career.

flickr.com/photos/Daniel Greene

In her blog, Tara Hunt writes: “There is a misconception that there is some sort of delineation between your close-knit friends and those who are in your business network. I believe this is the result of extending the concept of bonded and bridged social ties that was first distinguished by Robert Putnum and more recently extended and discussed in business concepts by people like Ronald Burt. Though I see value in both building close (bonded) ties with people while extending the reach of your network and expanding your loose (bridged) ties, I am perplexed by the notion of dismissing the power of those connections closest to you.  Continue reading

Marketing At Its Best: Creating A World With More Birthdays…

The American Cancer Society just kicked off a new integrated campaign with the objective of better educating and communicating its mission to increase relevance and garner more support.  The new $15 million rebranding campaign kicked off April 21 according to PR Week

The new campaign positions ACS as “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” and seeks to showcase that each birthday of a cancer survivor is a sign of progress and proof that more birthdays are possible…

A World with LESS CANCER is a world with MORE BIRTHDAYS

“This world is not just a dream. Eleven million cancer survivors will celebrate birthdays this year. That’s a sign of progress, proof that a world with more birthdays is possible. Together we’ll stay well, get well, find cures and fight back.”

As part of the campaign, ACS simplified the organization’s offerings into four categories: stay well (prevention and early detection), get well (24-hour call center and clinical trial support), find cures (investment it makes in the science and research) and fighting back(the work it does in the public policy area).

The campaign is unique for ACS because it targets female health care decision makers 35-64 years old (vs. previous campaigns aimed at people in their 50’s) reflecting the growth of health prevention into the mainstream.

ACS asks people to visit www.morebirthdays.com to learn how you can make the ACS the official sponsor of your birthday and learn more about ACS. They’ve also partnered with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to “reinvent” the birthday cake…The CIA is currently gathering recipes with a nutritional focus that will be judged by a celebrity panel in the coming months.

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Twitter reaches 9.3 Million Visitors…Pharma Marketers Beware!

Twitter seems to be everywhere, a national rage, bolstered by the media and such heavy weights as Obama and Oprah leading the charge…

The latest numbers released by ComScore are astounding–In one month’s time, Twitter jumped 131%, growing 5 million  visitors to reach 9.3 million US visitors in March…

But what does this incredible growth mean for marketers today?

Assuming that Twitter is here to stay– and not a fad– what skills should every marketer hone to be most successful in the Twittersphere?  Continue reading

The Use of Email as Part of DTC Marketing…

These days, with so much talk about Social Media, its easy to forget about the use of email to spur action.  A recent study by Epsilon titled  A Prescription for Customer Engagement:  An Inside Look at Email Marketing in the Pharmaceutical Industry provides some reasons not to forgo emails as part of an integrated DTC campaign.

Considering ‘my new favorite’ acronym E.V.E. or Expected Visitor Experience, which Jonathan Richmond defines as ‘the set of activities and functions that an average user would expect to find and use on a specific digital platform’, it’s interesting that unlike many social media platforms being used right now, when it comes to email, Pharma can and often delivers on consumers expectations ‘to get coupons and learn about new and existing products’.  Continue reading

Pharmaceutical Companies are beginning to Twitter…

While Twitter is exploding with popularity and growth, most pharma companies are taking a cautious approach with social media and Twitter… after all, how do you fit in fair balance within the 140 character construct?

Boehringer Ingelheim seems to have made the bold decision to take part in Twitter online conversations and communities, and blaze a trail for pharma in the new media.

While other pharma companies have a presence on Twitter, so far BI is unique in achieving at least some conversational, and interactive blog-like style –and not just using it as a one-way PR feed.

The company began using Twitter in November 2008, led by its director of global corporate communications, John Pugh. According to Pharmafocus, “Boehringer has incorporated Twitter into its wider communications strategy and is using the site regularly to engage with its stakeholders.  Along with posting press releases, Pugh uses Twitter to recommend other web-based information about disease areas, as well as articles he thinks followers might find interesting.”  Continue reading

Building on Janet Lee Johnson’s 5 Phases of Social Media Marketing

The other day, long time social media expert and blogger (and the person who has taught me a thing or two in this area…) Janet Lee Johnson wrote an excellent blog outlining the 5 Phases of Social Media Marketing.

Janet’s blog begins by referencing the February BusinessWeek article Dubunking 6 Social Media Myths, echoes that social media programs aren’t free, and outlines the five phases she uses to develop and define a social media marketing effort for her clients.

While pharma is clamoring to jump into web 2.0  and social media marketing, though often using only the ‘safe’ social media programs given their regulatory concerns, it looks like many are jumping in with assorted tactics or ‘one-offs’ and not necessarily taking a strategic, holistic or 360 view…

There is much pharma and others could gain from stepping back and taking a more strategic and rigorous view before jumping into social media…

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