Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#ePharma West: Social Media Driver's Ed Overview

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Social Media Driver's Ed Cliff Notes
John Mack, Pharma Marketing News, President VIRSCI @PharmaGuy
Wendy Blackburn, EVP, Intouch Solutions
Laura Ngyuyen, Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy, Intouch Solutions

A few of the Highlights in the History of Pharma and Social Media from Mack:
July 2008: First Pharma Facebook Page: ADHD Moms
April 2009: FDA sends 14 Warning Letters
June 2009: UCB Embraces Adverse Events on Sponsored Discussion Board
September 2009: FDA Announces Public Hearing on Social Media
November 2009: FDA Hosts Public Hearing on Social Media
August 2010: Roche publicly discloses Social Media Guidelines (See them here)
February 2011: Astra Zeneca hosts first live chat on Twitter with #rxSave
July 2011: First hack of a Pharma Facebook Page (Pfizer)

Intouch Solutions then shared some advice on focus points for building a social media campaign:

Sample goals for your social media campaign:

  • Learn more about target audience and their needs
  • Gain insights in order to improve products and services
  • Improve relationships with target audience
  • Improve relationships with target audience
  • Improve compliance.

What should you do before you dip into the social media pool?

  • Learn first
  • Define the objectives and strategies
  • Ask where your audience is and what your company is passionate about.
  • Identify tactics that provide value
  • Engage
  • Measures of success

Every company should have emergency reaction plans in addition to transition flow plans in order to keep the voices and tones of the communication plans the same. This allows a company to be prepared to react to emergency situations. Who owns your online presence when you’re tweeting on behalf of a company? What happens if they move to another company?

#ePharma West: Regulation and Innovation

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What does Pharma Want form DDMAC?
Peter Pitts, President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest

The only way to credibly engage with influencers is to have critical information for them to say. What Pharma has to say must be to the public's benefit. This train of thought is lacking in health care. Pharma does not realize their own network value. Their goal should be to advance the public health, which can be done through active lively and regular participation. Pitts suggests that it’s not the responsible thing to not participate in social media, because that is where the public is. It’s not comfortable for people because it’s not a pay world, it’s a play world.

Social Media’s Golden rule is Transparency. If you don’t challenge the [Social Media] path at all, no one will know where you want to go. The FDA hasn’t released guidance, but does it really matter? A regulatory holy grail will only lead to disappointment and frustration.

Would a rolling guidance for Social Media be the best way to have guidance? Are expectations from the FDA and Pharma the same? Interactivity needs to be turned on at Phrama. The networks must be elastic to best operate.

Points often overlooked

  1. There is a difference between online advertising and social media. Google Ads aren’t social media, it’s paid advertising.
  2. There is a different between social media platforms and social media content. If the content is not compliant in other areas than the social media platform isn’t the problem.
  3. The fear of adverse event discovery is dangerous and misguided. We need to embrace the fact that adverse event experiences can be seen.
  4. The fear of User Generated Content is real, but there are many solutions from moderation to corporate responses to educate.
  5. Who is responsible for what on social media? No single company can be responsible for everyplace something is said on the Internet. If you advertise on a webpage, you are not responsible for the content of that webpage.

Whatever you do, just make sure what you do advances the health of the public. As long as you can answer “Yes,” you are ok.

Reach, Engage and Personalize -- Rebranding an Industry Online
Christian Clymer – Deputy Vice President, Public Affairs, PhRMA
David All – Chief Executive Officer, David All Group

PhRMA set out to re-design the PhRMA webpage. So they sat down with their readers to figure out what they wanted.

Blog: The Catalyst
They began by re-designing, and made their page structure flexible to create an easy conversation. They built Pharma’s first blog, The Catalyst. They wanted to deliver the appropriate content in a timely. They try to make things tiny, smart, funny and insightful. They have a core group of authors who have industry knowledge and can bring human light into the traditional Pharma Content.

Facebook: PhRMA
This is where the bread and butter of their conversation takes place. It’s built around their New Medicine Series. They introduced a study every month via Facebook that details all of the medicines that are in development for a particular disease. Many fear that conversation will be nasty, but for unexpected comments, many times the community will moderate the conversation via dialogue.

Twitter: @PhRMA
This is where the news appears first, but a community factor has appeared where they can engage with each other.

All of these tools appear on their webpage. The “Tweet Lounge” functions as an aggregate where they show the conversation, but they also feature the most engaging conversations on both the blog and Facebook

General Tips:

  • A great way to think about the value of space is to start by designing for a mobile, the add content as the web page gets bigger and bigger. They were the first trade association in the world to have a mobile device. When users discover that a webpage is available mobily, then people will begin to come to your webpage
  • Reputations are constantly under attach, so tiny attention to detail such as passwords and monitoring webpage. Look beyond what tools are available now and to where they’re going, such as Google Push. What’s next is being as relevant as possible in the place where the people are. Using real communicators who have an understanding of the information is key to this.

#ePharma West: How can networks affect your behavior?

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Connected: The Power of Social Networks on Life Sciences and Health
Dr. James Fowler, Author, University of California at San Diego

When studying networks, Dr. Fowler noted that as humans, people have always had friends and family members, and our evolution has been because of the webs weaved and created with other friends and families in society. To be able to understand how information and behavior spreads, he has taken a bird’s eye view to understand how connections work and spread together.

He started identifying networks by asking the following questions about friends:
- Who do you discuss important matters with?
- Who do you spend your free time with?

By identifying the interconnectivity of friends, it is easy to track the social behavior of social groups. If there is a person who is connected to people in lots of different groups, the flow of information is greater due to the strong connections. The humans/groups that are the most dynamic are the ones that spend time with multiple groups. If you can place people in social space, you can often locate them in physical space due to connections. You can then see how your health correlates with the health of people you’re connected and who their friends are connected to. This is due to the influence networks have on each other.  Through is studies, he has also found that there is a distinct degrees of influence that affect for three degrees of friendships, effectively spreading behaviors and attitudes three degrees.

Dr. Fowler examined this theory in hospitals, specifically dealing with the cost of care at hospitals.  Network revealed that the doctors working there can predict the cost to the patient. They could identify types of doctors and see the specialties in the networks. Hospitals with specialists at the center of the hospitals of the networks, the costs of care is higher than if primary physicians are at the center of the networks.

How Hologic is Talking to Mobile Moms
Amanda Powers, Senior Partner, Greater Than One
Jackie Lewis, Product Manager, Hologic

Greater than One research shows that the most downloaded apps by categories are: games, shopping, weather, and health.  When looking to build their mobile strategy, Hologic identified that pregnant woman, their target audience on mobile was goal oriented, their activity is linear and focused, and it’s they looked up information that was personal to them.

After building their mobile site, they found that the majority of the traffic driven to the webpage was from paid search and email marketing.  They structured their mobile page’s look and feel to mirror their webpage to connect the brand webpage with the mobile site. Since the launch in May, Hologic has seen around 1800 visits a week, many of them were a result of their digital promotion efforts.  In order to keep up the momentum, they also plan to continue to update the content on the webpage to encourage returns.

Keys a company should consider for mobile strategy:

  • Be where your consumers are
  • Create a focused site that meets the needs of your consumers
  • Communicate to customers in their language
  • Keep everyone on the mobile team updated in the building process
  • Don’t build something your customers don’t care about
  • Balance your mobile and media budget

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#ePharma West: Video, Apps, and iPads. Oh My! What platform connects with your audience?

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Driving Growth Through Unbranded Programs and New Health Media 2.0
Tina Sampath, Associate Director of eMaketing and Patient Marketing, Gilead Sciences
Sean Moloney, Owner, Dramatic Health

Speak from the Heart Program

At the beginning of Dramatic Health an Gilead Sciences' campaign, they hypothesized that there was a sizable dissatisfied segment of chronic angina population that can be targeted and mobilized to increase patients involvement and prompt changes in appropriate treatment.

To start, they had to conduct market research to and assess the population they were working with. They asked these questions:
Were are the gaps?
What are the related therapies doing?
What are the “Must Haves”?

When researching the patient population, they found three segments in the disease state: The burdened patient (the one who feels their state is out of control), the optimistic group and the distrustful group (they don’t trust the physician or Pharma Industry). It was critical that Dramatic Health figure out how to communicate to the different type of patients. The videos turned into a true center point of their campaign. They were able to bring powerful conversation about by profiling three different types of patients suffering from the disease.

After creating the videos, the spread awareness by promotion of the videos print ads, newsletters, a YouTube Channel and In Banner Video. In producing the videos, they put conflicts and challenges of the patients at the focus of the video then resolve the problems. They connected with the patients to understand all of the relationships the patients have then express those through the video, creating a greater influence for those watching.

One of the reasons they found this video a success was that 69% of doctors who have their aginia checklist end use their product. They also won the Webby for best disease education website.

The iPad Revolution: How the iPad is Changing Everything for Physicians, Sales Force and Patients
Olivier Zitoun, CEO & Founder, EVEO

There are over 8,000 healthcare apps, and 14% of the SmartPhone users use health apps.

There have been 25,000 million iPads sold. 83% of tablet access to the web comes from Apple. 70% Users are using their tablet while watching TV, 57% are using it in bed. Access points are very different from using a PC. 30% of iPad users are over 45. There are more iPad users over 65 than iPhone users.

Is it enough to ensure that your webpage uses on an iPad?  Applications should be tested with the end users when creating them.  By sharing the learnings, Pharma can accelerate the power that can be harnessed from the device.

Breaking through Barriers Online
Jennifer Willey, Industry Practice Head, Health & CPG, AOL
Brian Monahan, EVP, Managing Partner, IPG Media Lab

Jennifer Willey encourages the audience of marketers to invest in content. After you have content, how do you syndicate it to the largest possible audience for patient education? Television and print are easy, but now, how do we reach our audience through digital?

The evolution of delivering a complicated message in the digital environment to sharing the voice of the brand, it’s key to thread all of the efforts together. AOL has changed their format to better reach their consumers an engage with their brands. AOL is leveraging the technology after acquiring the Huffington Post to understand and change their webpages to connect with their consumers. How do you capture great content and put it in the path the consumer is already consuming it?

Evolution of Digital Branding

To explore how consumers are observing and consuming webpages, IPG Media uses these tools to understand webpage consumption:
-High tracking monitor that could decode facial expressions and a bracelet that track the heart rate.
-Survey work
-Creative tests

Through these efforts, they found that as an ad gets bigger and as the content is more engaging, it gets more attention. Appropriate context improves attention. Target ads receive more attention from someone who is predisposed to viewing them. The better placed the ad, the more likely the watcher is likely to watch the ad and be content with it. Most companies do not even realize the powerful content they are already in possession of. They just have not pushed it to the right places on websites. Instead of focusing on how many people reach the content, you could see how the people are engaging with the content.

#ePharma West: Connecting with your patient population

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What We Learned – A Case Study on Going Mobile
Rand Lien, President, Toolhouse

Mobile is still the a matter that hasn't been addressed by many companies, including Pharma. Of the 12 brand website managers in the room, only three have mobile websites. A webpage can't simply be scrapped and translated into a mobile webpage. It has to be changed to fit the small screen site, while giving the concise required content that will satisfy both the users and the FDA.

Toolhouse and Novonordisk created a mobile site the day the day the drug was approved by the FDA. In the first five weeks, 30% of traffic to the webpage was mobile. Had that mobile page not been ready, they would not have been able to capture those users. In a simple mobile format, they create a sign-up for more information. The success rate was just as high as the desktop version.

Eight Lessons from Toolhouse on Mobile:
  1. Choose the right mobile partner. Novonardisk chose to go with a specialist, someone how understood the landscape, someone familiar with the capabilities of mobile were just a few of the reasons.
  2. Have a clear breakdown of roles as to who was responsible for different tasks
  3. Test to make sure your mobile webpage is compatible and renders well with all mobile devices
  4. Building anything with flash today is questionable – most everything be done in HTML.
  5. Clean code results in great search engine optimization.
  6. A mobile webpage makes it easier to make changes and updates compared to Apps
  7. Apps are great opportunities to connect with a consumer when they’re offline
  8. What Apps are not: Promotional, Easy to Maintain, Budget Friendly

Social Media: “I Like That”
Moderator: Bob Brooks, Vice President, WEGO Health
Panelists: Manny Hernandez, Diabetes Hands Foundation
Jamie Inman M.A. LMFT, StayInThePink.Org
Sharon Dotson, Genentech

Video is beginning to play a much larger role in communicating with patients. Jamie Inman found her two battle with breast cancer difficult in part because of the lack of information was available. She’s chosen to be an educator in the field. She runs the webpage One of her favorite patient advocate webpages is WTF? (Where’s the Funding?). She also mentioned Better to know C, which is leverages Slideshare and YouTube with a balance of entertainment and information.

Manny Hernandez operates dhf. The website is focused on connecting those with diabetes and spreading awareness of the condition. Last year, dhf partnered with Roche to spread awareness on World Diabetes Day through the Big Blue Test campaign. To gain viral speed, Roche donated $0.75 for the first 100,000 views. Their target was to reach a broader audience, and this allowed them to. They saw 2000 people participate in the big blue test. They are partnering with Roche again on November 14 for World Diabetes Day.

Sharon Dotson of Genentech enjoys the Why Insulin? interactive channels. They found real patients for to share their stories and the sleek interaction of the page and the video clips. All of the embedded videos are YouTube videos, so they have a consistent player to keep a great trace on the number of the videos watched.

Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis was created by sanofi aventis and is a forum for conversation around the topic.  sanofi aventis clearly states in the Facebok group that the forum is a discussion about the illness, not the treatments they have to offer for the condition.  They are working on an iPad App.

So what are the take aways from the panelists pertaining to Pharma and Health Activists?

  • Inman shares the acronym Personal (purpose, earn the right, resonate, serve, occupy, neighbor, authentic, loyalty) need to be a part of every campaign.
  • Hernandez encourages companies to pay attention, listen and offer value to the community.
  • Dotson hopes that the companies will look for unmet needs for online patient communities. Companies should act as an observers and see what people are doing their natural surroundings. If there is an unmet need, create a community but nurture and feed content constantly into the community.

#ePharma West: Analytics. When, where and how?

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Measuring Digital Marketing Toward Supporting Patient Adherence & Consumer Education
Peter Frishauf, Non-executive Chairman of the Board, Crossix Solutions Inc
Jeremy Mittler, Analytics Services Director, Crossix Solutions Inc

Crossix Solutions Inc helps match patient/consumer data to prescription data to help link effective medicine. This company innovates for Pharma in the digital space with patient adherence. Three out of four patients aren’t adherent which results in 125,000 deaths a year. Over $310 billion dollars a year is the cost of non-adherence. Digital is playing an increasing role in improving adherence. How can you measure that your adherence campaigns are successful?

Reaching Existing Patients:
  • Direct to Consumer efforts leads to 51% existing patients responding. 
  • Digital is another way to reach patients. Data from any websites and the visitors can be linked to their prescription data. Only 9% of Cymbalta visotors to webpage are existing patients. As for Albify, only 4% of visitors are patients.

Benefits from patient adherence programs:
In a one year time frame, you can see the value of one script per person per brand. The really simple guide for an adherence program is to spend less than the value of a script per person.  When considering the goal of an adherence program, unless there isn't measurement success cannot be measured. It is critical to monitor how different avenues drive success rates to prescription adherence.

Financing Online Projects: Making the Case for Digital Dollars
Moderator: Jonathan Richman, Possible Worldwide
Panelists: Sue Niedrich of Lundbeck
John Viera of Daiichi Sankyo

How do you increase your digital dollars?

  • - Have a vision and know the cost of your digital marketing plan ahead of time
  • - Be ready for a budget to open towards the end of the year.
  • - Find a senior vice president level who will be willing to try new innovative things.
  • - Don’t underestimate the value of an advisory board

Viera: It is critical to prove the case for digital dollars. Margin values should be supplied for current efforts. There is no awards system in Pharma for innovation, so it is an uphill battle. It can be hard to get progressive digital champions in Pharma. Brand teams need to think about digital marketing through strategic questioning through the brand planning time. Also look at how this integrates to the sales force.

Can digital marketing challenge the brand team around traditional marketing efforts and then leveraging it with digital marketing tactics?

Niedrich: In rare diseases, the representatives have iPads. They now prefer not to use the print. Once the sales force sees the potential they don’t want anything else to market with. iPad allows for video and visual treatment. In order for a doctor to remember, something has to be left behind, so an iPad application cannot work alone.

Will the marketing team eventually completely integrate into the marketing team?
There are benefits to integration, but a centralized eMarketing strategy given to a brand team and the marketers never really adopted it. It will all eventually revolve around who is responsible to execute the initiative. Unless thre is a person who can execute the digital efforts, there will be pushback. Daiichi Sankyo has a digital marketing acceleration program to train their marketers to work digitally as well.

#ePharma West: Technology and the Future of Care

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Opening Address at ePharma Summit West
Bob Harrell, Director of Integrated Marketing, Shire Pharmaceuticals

Exponential Technologies partnered with IT technologies are following an exponential trend. They work together to further advance each other.

The Five Types:
1. Info Tech: Chip capacity has exponentially increased in price performance and sized since the 1960s.
2. Robots/Artificial Intelligence: Extends our capabilities with intelligence built in.
3. 3D Printing: Printing physical objects, a game changer in manufacturing.
4. Nanotechnology
5. Genomics: Genome sequencing has been exponentially increasing in capability while exponential decreasing in time and cost. Personal DNA sequencing is on the way, becoming available to the public.

Accelerating Technologies and Our Radical Future
Daniel Kraft, MD Chair of Medicine Track and Future Med Program, Singularity University

Personal habits of individuals in the United States results is the majority of the cost of the healthcare, a slithery problem is the lack of focus on healthy behaviors. This results in a healthcare format that is focused on reimbursement based medicine.

Technology is becoming better, cheaper, smaller, faster, growing exponentially in its capabilities. A great example of this is the progression digital imaging is undergoing. The data coming out of these technology is also multiplying. Simulation has been translated into reality at Stanford University, allowing future surgeons to operate on critical situations before they see a patient with one. In the United States, we’re behind the rest of the world, only 20% of our charts are digital.

Pharma is moving away from the blockbuster drug and towards the right drug for the right person at the right time is getting closer to reality with the decreasing cost of the ability to sequence genomes faster and cheaper. All of this results in too much information. Pharma is left how to figure out the exponential amounts of information that is coming out of the increased technology information capture.

With stem cells, there is infinite possibilities in re-programming the stem cells. 3D organs are a possibility in the future.

Paging Doctor PC: Your Search Results are In
Jonathan Richman, Director of Social Media, Possible Worldwide

What can we do in order to reach the future of medical?
Richman’s vision of the future: Identify Pandemics before they happen, Identify diseases that can be prevented and vaccinate to prevent them, Identify existing drugs that work better for several individuals, Predictive medicine (like for a heart attack)

Healthcare spending in the United States is inefficient. This will prevent a lot of those things for happening in the future. Humans know how the human bodies work, but are often completely educated on how the medications actually work. Doctors use medical records, usually paper, scattered throughout every doctor you’ve ever visited. If they were digital, doctors could better diagnose and prescribe medicine that works for your body. In preventable deaths, 45% are from the choices people make.

The only way that people will willingly change their behaviors is to make the lessen the pain of their current processes.

We need to change the notion of healthcare privacy. Sharing medical privacy can actually increase the knowledge doctors have to better treat the patient and have positive benefits.
  1. Your computer/mobile device can be the next wonder drug.
  2. All of the data from a body can help them make better choices.
  3. Concepts of healthcare privacy will change overtime for the better.

Monday, July 25, 2011

#ePharma West: Measuring ROI and the Opportunities Tablets Provide

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Mix/Channel Optimization: Integrating your Resources to Enhance Productivity
Scott Wearley, Manager, Relationship Marketing, Daiichi Sankyo

Wearley found that oftentimes the wrong resources sales reps were provided went unutilized or the resources are reaching the wrong person. The effectiveness of the individual sales campaigns, as a result, goes down. Management of the resources we currently have are not optimal. Do the samples go to the right physicians?

Sit down with the sales representatives and look at the data from sales to determine what is the best approach to reaching the physicians they are working with. Digital promotions that are increasing thanks to the iPad offer a great complement to their work face-to-face sales relationships. Digital promotion does not need to destroy a representative’s process. After they have their two minute in-person meeting, this offers a supplementary way to inform the doctors about the new products they could use and increases retention.

Without cross channel integration across all of the sales platforms in respect to promotion, some end users are going to feel alienated due to the fact that they change profiles without changing others.

It’s easy to target who you want to reach each time more effectively – look at how they respond to the last communication - digital or physical - and build the profile from there.

Financing & ROI - Measuring Results: What is this Going to Cost and What is it Worth?
Bonnie Southcott, Senior Producer, ToolHouse
Kevin Stock, Senior Technology Architect, ToolHouse

When measuring ROI, it’s important to know what you want to measure. With Apps, measurement is different and often a challenge because users expect privacy.   One way to work around this is to track web traffic from the App to your webpage, which can demonstrate usage of the App over time.  Install rates are also another way to track how popular your apps are used.

Another key to demonstrate effectiveness, both digitally and across marketing channels is to code the efforts across different channels, not just digital media.

However, it is key to keep in mind the best analytics are specific to your situation and show that what you want to do is successful.

Closing Remarks
Shawn O’Hagen, Daiichi Sankyo

Tablets are bringing on new behavior and new spaces for Pharma to consider. Physicians are using them, so what’s the next step to effectively using them? Daiichi Sankyo is rolling out iPads across their sales force. They’ve created committees in the company that focus on mobile innovation. They have proven ROI on the iPad, which speaks to customer and sales rep experience. To measure this, Daiichi Sankyo looked at signature capture. They saved money from signature capture by deploying the iPad and thus proved the ROI of giving their sales force iPads. Through the right platforms, sales reps can engage the physicians and increase their engagement and recognition.

This concludes ePharma Summit West's eMarkting University!  Congratulations to all those who graduated, including those who followed us on the Web!

#ePharma West: What are you doing? To App or to Mobilize.

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Successfully Implementing Your Mobile Initiative
Kevin Stock, Senior Technology Architect, Toolhouse

Three Keys To Mobile Development:

Mobile Sites
There are thousands of browsers running on mobile phones. How does a company work with this?  Every company should tackle it.  Companies need to build mobile sites that can be supported by more than just the iPhone.   It is important to know that web browsers on the mobiles are frequently more powerful and dynamic than those on their desktops.

Mobile Apps
When creating an App, don’t reinvent the wheel when you go to build your mobile app.  Users are more likely to use something they are comfortable with.  Meet the users expectations and build the apps so that they work on and offline.

Testing & Support
Users do not use emulators set it a variety of perfect situations. They use their devices on the go, with changing Internet signals, varying battery levels, etc. Apps should be built with real world user performance in mind.

Molding Your Mobile Strategy 
Bonnie Southcott, Senior Producer, Toolhouse

The adoption of SmartPhones and iPads is driving mobile strategy. 81% of Physicians own a SmartPhone. Every company has a mobile website whether or not it has been optimized for SmartPhones because users are finding them through search. iPhone and iPod Touch adoption rates are growing faster than AOL and Netscape servers when they were first launched, which is an incredible growth rate. Those with iPhones only spend 45% of their time using them as telephones, meaning the rest of the time, they are frequently browsing the Internet.  .

Mobile marketing needs to be at the top of all marketers minds. It’s any technology that allows marketers to connect to the Internet on the go. There are over 60 different browsers that run on those phones.  Mobile surfing takes place on the go.  The answers via your webpage can reach your audience on the go. Desktop has never allowed this to happen.

Physicians want to use platforms that are easy and work – this is why 79% of them use Apple. It is a platform that is reliable and stable in the mobile field.

Best in Class Mobile Development and Engagement Analytics and Live Time Mobile Intervention
Jeannette Brandofino, President, Brandofino Communications

Mobile for Pharma is the best thing that has ever happened because it allows constant contact. Patient reminders and communication is possible, physicians will use mobile devices in order to start ePrescribing. Brandofino believes may people fear going mobile. There are 300 million phones in the United States. In the US, 1/3 of the SmartPhones are owned by those who do not have computers at home. Mobile allows for data capture. Marketers cannot predict what mobile devices people are going to use, but the information has to be available on all phones.

The important part of mobile is where it’s going. Content choice is often what most marketers spend their time one.

Physicians and consumers are driving the mobile business. Only 1% of users visit your webpage and sign up. What could the possibilities be if more than 1% sign up? With the analytics we can capture on user behavior, webpages can begin to be personalized.

After an afternoon full of mobile, we are left with one question: Are you going to build a mobile site or an app for your consumers?

#ePharma West: eMarketing University: All About Search

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Search & Video: Tips for Increasing Visibility on the Web and enhancing the User Experience
Lisa Duncan, Senior Account Executive, Google

Focus on Google Search:
The key to having high success on Google with search is relevancy.  As an ad becomes more relevant and more people click through, the cost per click actually goes down because Google charges less for these successful ads. Google Search Rank should be 1-3 in order to get syndication on the Google Partner traffic to appear on sites other than Google.

When starting an ad campaign, marketers should think about why they want people to go to your webpage. Traffic and page views are not great goals but look at activities as to what they could do on the site, like signing up for a newsletter. People are searching now with longer queries than ever before, which when buying Google ad words can allow it to become more targeted and appear to the right people.

How many keywords should a Pharma ad campaign have? The keyword list should span the patient pathway – their experiences through the process of the condition including symptoms, conditions, and treatments are a great place to start. More keywords provide more consumer insight. Also, the landing page is key. If patients are searching for “allergy symptoms” don’t send them to the homepage, send them to your page that has information about allergy symptoms.

Best Practices for Google:

  • Be there when people are searching
  • Make you ad stand out
  • Focus on relevancy
  • Extend your reach through syndication

Focus on YouTube
YouTube is the #2 search engine.  In order to reach people online, a company has to be where they are searching.  People are searching for video content directly through YouTube. There are over 48 hours of video uploaded each minute. There are as many users over the age of 50 as there are under the age of 18.

How does a company get people to watch a video on YouTube?
It's similar to Google: Promoted Videos.  Promoted videos appear at the top of search results, within partner videos, and occasionally on the homepage.  Due to the volume of traffic to the YouTube homepage, this could  increase the number of views by the 1000s per day. Though YouTube’s stats you can discover how people are finding your videos – through email, search engines and terms, etc. You can also see the demographics (1/2 of all YouTube users are registered and logged in at any time).  Take advantage of all of the different functions to share content: channels, paid search, favorited videos and more.

Best Practices  for YouTube:

  • Always be there when people are searching
  • Favorite relevant content (provide more information while they are on your channel)
  • Reward Channel Visitors
  • Push Media

#ePharma Summit West: eMarketing University: What digital tools do you have?

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Landscape Overview: What Tools are in Your Backpack?
Shawn O'Hagen, Daiichi Sankyo Inc

This morning we kicked of the eMarketing University by examining what tools we have an what we need for successful digital marketing.

Healthcare professionals are at an increasing rate are finding healthcare online. Mobile technology is also a growing sector for doctors and patients. Sales forces are downsizing, but digital techniques allow companies to still reach doctors.

What is really needed for digital marketing? By default, all companies should have a digital presence, but the companies should understand where their market ads are. The two key things needed: Web page and banner ads. Start today collecting your patients and physicians email. It is the quickest way to communicate with them. O’Hagen believes social media is more of a want than a need for digital marketing, but hard to leverage and regulation is still fuzzy.

Relationship marketing is looking at multichannel marketing (all the channels that a physician or patient would look at), identifying all the touch points that brings them together and identifies the behavioral changes.

Important questions to ask when considering the digital process:
  • Where is the product in its life cycle?
  • What are the brand’s priorities?
  • Who are the target customers?
  • What is the brand position/messaging?
  • What have we learned from past programs? Can programs be scaled if successful?

The Digital Process:
Analyze, test, measure, learn, scale

Where are the physicians going on the web? Why are they going there? Are you giving them the tools to make them come to your webpage? Where are the 3rd party opportunities that can you drive awareness?

Designing your eMarketing Strategy: Understanding Ad Networks and Questions to Ask Your Agency
Ben Lei, Genentech

Companies are moving to a world where marketing and e-marketing are blurred.  Don’t assume agency can do good digital work, because digital is still new.  Bring in people with expertise to evaluate companies and their skills sets, and have an insider in your company with e-expertise is in charge of the project who also cultivate relationships with agencies you trust. Companies should not focus solely on social media presence, expand beyond this single platform to mobile, paid ads and more options. 

Even though a company’s sole focus should not be on social media, listening to the chatter on the channels is key.  Know how they work and sign up for the platforms to fully understand them.  Evaluate the potential opportunities so that you do know how to utilize the right channels once DDMAC releases the guidelines.

When utilizing webpages,  page views, cost-per-clicks and visitors shouldn’t be the sole measurement.  Engagement is a key factor.  Remember the basics in digital marketing, including paid search and search engine optimization.  It is key to have full control where your ads appear, as the keywords could be picked up for other searches.  Mobile devices are changing the way people are looking at webpages.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Draft Guidance Released for Medical Mobile Apps

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While Pharma is still waiting on DDMAC to release guidelines on what should and shouldn't be done in social media marketing, the FDA has released guidance on medical mobile apps. It primarily focuses on augmented regulated medical devices and turning mobile devices into medical devices. The goal of the guidance is to protect patient information and addresses the functionality of the devices. According to MM&M, guidance is missing on medical books turned into digital formats.

"The use of mobile medical apps on smart phones and tablets is revolutionizing healthcare delivery," said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement. "Our draft approach calls for oversight of only those mobile medical apps that present the greatest risk to patients when they don't work as intended."

ePharma West will help you sift through the guidance and prepare you for new regulation for social media. There are only 5 days left to register. Visit the ePharma West Webpage to download the brochure and register. And be sure to mention XP1656BLOG to save an additional 10%.

Do you think this release means we will see social media guidance shortly?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Google Health is Being Shut Down

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According to its blog, Google is shutting down the “Google Health” personal health records project due to slow adoption.

The Internet/IT Healthcare space is littered with successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies (Steve Case, Google, etc…) who have underestimated the complexities of healthcare as well as and their potential impact on the market.

These are very smart people. I give them all credit for trying to come in a fix a system that is radically broken due to years of turf building and erecting barriers to entry by a wide array of players.

It’s a shame our industry has a history of chewing up and spitting out highly charged and successful innovators, rather than capitalizing on their talents. The innovations and changes these entrepreneurs develop represent progressive evolutionary thinking. In any other industry or environment this is how progress gets made.

Like it or not, due to the failure of market forces, it will be government who forces the “break up” of the status quo in healthcare, and it will happen when the pain is simply to great to continue on the current path. Incremental change and improvement would be less painful, but whether change is incremental or sweeping – it is coming.

A related article: Health care service provided by Google comes to premature end 

R.J. Lewis has served the pharmaceutical industry for his entire career. He is the Founder & current CEO of e-Healthcare Solutions (EHS), the first vertical Internet advertising network in healthcare, which he started in 1999. Today, e-Healthcare Solutions is a Premium Advertising Network serving both advertisers and publishers in the digital healthcare marketplace. EHS exclusively represents the advertising, sponsorship, email, and mobile opportunities of more than 400 quality digital publishers in the pharmaceutical/healthcare vertical. The Network delivers high-value exposures and engagement for marketers with their target audiences across the many niches of the healthcare marketplace. e-Healthcare Solutions delivers proven results for both advertisers and publishers.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cant Wait for the FDA? Look to Health Activists

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By Amanda Dolan, WEGO Health

Without the Internet guidance of the FDA, some healthcare companies are stalling online communication efforts. But they can begin to participate – all they need to do is look to Health Activists, health social media’s most active online users, to guide them in the right direction. Every day online health leaders achieve a level of online communication that healthcare companies would be smart to follow, or at the very least, take inspiration from. Health Activists are refining the online space and have the experience to give the guidance the FDA isn’t ready or able to delve into creating. While the FDA may be backing away a bit, saying they aren’t ready to guide healthcare companies into the social space – Health Activists wait with arms and invitations open. According to ongoing WEGO Health research, Health Activists want healthcare companies to join in social media. 97% of Health Activists said they wanted company involvement.

As Health Activist Ellen Schnakenberg said, “Companies are largely missing from the supportive, real-life conversations going on in health discussion groups, on social networks, and such… I’ve been at this long enough to know they have regulations that get in the way, but everyone would benefit if [companies] could be at the table with us…” There are challenges that companies face by foraying into the social space, but rather than backing away – edge forward! There are folks on the other side ready to listen to regulatory challenges, fears, and respond to any and all honest interaction.
WEGO Health’s white paper “Social Media Won’t Wait,” outlines clear ways for companies and Health Activists to educate each other and wade in to this regulatory gray area together.

Here are some tips for healthcare companies on how to engage with Health Activists in the social media realm:
  • Share regulatory barriers and encourage conversation about advocacy for new regulation
  • Engage where Health Activists and users are – but be clear about your boundaries
  • Listen to those who reach out and seek the participation of healthcare companies
  • Ask for help on interacting better. Don’t assume you know the online space and what patients want online. Ask patients and Health Activists – they will tell you exactly what they want and need
  • Be upfront about difficulties. Health Activists want to learn from you and will respect you for it. As Health Activist Jenna Visscher offers, “It may be difficult for health care companies to tap into this unique relationship but the health care companies who find a way will see the reward of a happy and loyal patient consumer.”
  • Share the inside scoop on the regulatory and FDA process – educate. You have an inside perspective that many online users do not – by speaking up about it – you will gain Health Activist allies who will support your mission and disseminate the information you offer!
  • See more about what Health Activists want and consider their thoughts when strategizing – check out WEGO Health’s white paper Social Media Can’t Wait for details, graphs, and more quotes on this topic.

All of these reasons and more are why WEGO Health Vice President Bob Brooks and Health Activists Manny Hernandez and Jamie Inman have such a valuable perspective to offer at the upcoming ePharma West event. During their panel they will delve into these topics and get specific about how pharmaceutical and healthcare companies can look to Health Activist for help in the social media space. WEGO Health is excited to bring the Health Activist perspective to this important conversation and look forward to an engaging discussion!

To learn more about Health Activism and WEGO Health’s community please visit the WEGO Health blog at or contact Amanda at

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Announcing the ePharma Summit West Tweetup!

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Are you attending ePharma Summit West July 25-27, 2011?  We're announcing our ePharma Summit West tweetup taking place Monday, June 25, 2011 from 5:15PM-6:15PM.  This is a way to meet and connect with others attending the conference as well as network with those in the area who are local to the Santa Clara area who'd like to join us to discuss the latest topics and trends in the ePharma space. So whether you're just finishing a day at ePharma West, or local to the Santa Clara area and love all things digital Pharma and healthcare marketing, we invite you to come out and mingle with the ePharma Summit!

Place: Evolution Café & Bar; Hyatt Regency Santa Clara
Date: Monday, July 25, 2011
Time: 5:15-6:15PM

This event is open to attendees and non-attendees of ePharma Summit West. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jennifer Pereira at

It's not too late to join us in Santa Clara! Collaborate with your peers on multichannel integration, sales force initiatives, patient adherence and much more. Visit the webpage to check out our industry keynotes and presentations. Register now and save an additional 10% off of the current when you mention XP1656BLOG.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Google Hand Holding Brings Pharma to YouTube

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As Facebook prepares to force pharma marketers to include comments on most pages, Google is actively courting the highly-regulated industry. Working directly with extremely risk-averse drug makers, the company developed a new YouTube feature for them that also can be applied for other marketers. For AstraZeneca's Medimmune, the change was the difference between having a YouTube channel and scrapping the project all together.

When creating a YouTube channel to educate people about flu vaccines and its FluMist product, Medimmune became concerned that a common feature on YouTube could be problematic from a regulatory perspective. Specifically, marketers and regulatory affairs execs at the company worried that videos appearing in the "Suggestions" column on video watch pages could include content Medimmune was not comfortable associating with their own messages.

Google responded to YouTube content adjacency concerns by developing the "Safe Watch" feature which allows channel owners with ten or more videos to control what videos show up on watch pages. The Safe Watch function is "absolutely something that others can use as well," said Amy Cowan, head of industry, health at Google. The firm also suggests they disable video embedding to lessen sharing of their videos outside their own controlled YouTube environments.

Google has coddled pharma companies in other ways, too, holding special conferences for them, and developing a white paper outlining strategies for using YouTube in their marketing efforts.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to determine official guidelines for pharma brands operating in digital media, so pharma marketers tend to be extremely cautious in determining how to use things like online video, advertising, and social media.

Hear from Lisa Duncan, Senior Account Executive at Google and learn how your company can increase your brand’s visibility safely through search and video outlets. ePharma Summit West is your summer event for digital marketing updates in the life sciences industry. Learn best practices for SEO, video, social media and more in 2 days packed with sessions led by the best minds in the industry. Save 10% when you register using the code XP1656BLOG.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Are You Ready for Impending Guidelines on Social Media from the FDA?

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Are you prepared for the regulatory changes coming the digital marketing universe? Thomas Abrams, Director of DDMAC and previous speaker at the ePharma Summit has recently announced that they are closing in on regulation for social media. The digital marketing universe could change dramatically in the coming weeks and we've got the tools to help you adapt.

ePharma Summit West brings together the best speakers from around the country to discuss the most important topics in digital marketing including mobile trends, best practices, patient engagement, sales force integration, physician interaction and of course regulatory. We give you all of this while providing you with hours of networking to meet new contacts and discuss the future of the industry.

Download the brochure here.

In addition, collaborate with your peers on multichannel integration, sales force initiatives, patient adherence and much more. Visit the webpage to check out our industry keynotes and presentations. Register now and save an additional 10% off of the current when you mention XP1656BLOG.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

GSK Changes Sales Rep Payment Structure

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The American healthcare system is changing: focusing on higher care, lowering costs and better outcomes. GSK has made a commitment to follow this, and on July 1, GlaxoSmithKline changed the way they pay their representatives to reflect that. Instead of focusing on just the number of products sold, MM&M reported that the representatives will also be compensated according to their selling competency and evaluations by their customers.

Deirdre Connelly, the North American president for pharmaceuticals, stated about the change, “The US healthcare marketplace is changing significantly in response to demand by patients, healthcare providers and payers for higher quality care, lower costs and better health outcomes. Physicians have been telling us they want to see fewer sales professionals, and those they do see need to provide greater value in helping improve patient health. In response, we are changing the way we sell our medicines and vaccines in order to deliver the value our customers demand, in a transparent way, with integrity and respect for the patient.”

The new structure and insight into physician desires will surely change the future of the pharmaceutical sales rep and how they access physicians. Naturally, the best way to accommodate both parties would be through a mix of digital and traditional methods with a greater emphasis on digital as time goes by. Is your sales force ready to change with the times and reach their market by any means necessary? Learn the latest tools, tricks and trends at ePharma Summit West. We have multiple sessions on sales force enhancement and new technologies which will save your company time and money while increasing success rates. Save 10% when you register using the code XP1656BLOG.

Do you think there will ever be a transition to a fully digital sales force?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

DDMAC Director says Social Media Guidelines Coming Soon

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Tom Abrams, director of FDA’s Division (soon to be Office) of Drug Marketing, Advertising & Communications (DDMAC), said that publishing social media guidelines for industry is the division’s “highest priority,” and that the document will be “published as soon as it’s vetted.”
Abram’s comments, made during a panel this morning at the Drug Information Association’s (DIA) annual meeting in Chicago, prompted audience members to probe Abrams, and his CBER colleague Lisa Stockbridge, branch chief of the Advertising and Promotional Labeling Branch, about specific policies governing online promotion. One audience member wondered whether unbranded, educational campaigns online could link to branded sites, or if that kind of activity would generate an enforcement letter. Abrams responded that his own question, in that instance, would be, “Why are you linking to a brand site?” if a campaign is designed specifically to educate about a disease, as opposed to a branded campaign designed to sell a product. When pressed, he said an educational or awareness campaign – which isn’t required to present risk information, since no drug is being promoted – linking to a brand site would “have to be considered on a case by case basis.” Industry has been browbeating DDMAC about issuing social media guidelines for years.
ePharma West is your place for all things regulatory in digital marketing for the pharma industry. With presentations from DDMAC insiders as well as dozens of sessions on best practices, case studies and future trends, you'll be sure to come away with all you need to compose a successful digital marketing campaign.
Happy 4th of July! As a present, save 25% off of our standard rates this week only when you mention the code XP1656JULY. That's a savings of up to $524. Only 3 weeks left - register today.

Original article written by: Ben Comer, Senior Editor, Pharmaceutical Executive magazineThe original article can be found here.