Friday, September 28, 2012

In the world of social media, where’s the privacy button?

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A recent study regarding how chronically ill teenagers spend their time shows that although teens spend a significant amount of time online, they're still conscious about their privacy. Most teenagers want the chance to leave their health problems behind them when they sign onto social media sites, so confidentiality is key. Because social media is growing rapidly, the way in which patients and healthcare providers communicate will also begin to change. However, healthcare providers are urged to be conscious of both media and illness. For instance, not recommending they 'like' or 'retweet' something that is connected with their illness will benefit the patients privacy in the end.

All 20 participants agreed that they never felt their privacy was compromised while using Facebook. Only one reported that they felt targeted advertisements were a result of their personal information. In the beginning of the week we mentioned that datalogix recently partnered with Facebook to track what users actually purchase after seeing the ad on Facebook. This means that Facebook will have a record of everything they purchase from both grocery stores and pharmacies. Where will this leave people who want to sign into Facebook without feeling that the world knows the status of their health? Would you feel that this is a breach of trust?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Facebook Partners with Datalogix

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Facebook has teamed up with datalogix, a data company that is able to determine how effective the ads are by tracking what audience the actually purchases. Compiling this data will help companies see if their ads are working based on their in store sales.  

To avoid user backlash, facebook has established a way to protect your privacy.  Your profile will be anonymous, and in place of the real name of your profile there will be a hash. Users may also opt-out of the tracking system by accessing the datalogix website. Do you facebook will eventual suggest products and brands for you to like based on the data from your purchases?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy iPhone 5 Day!

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Leading up to ePharma Summit 2013, conference director Sarah Gordon will give an inside look at what is going on behind the scenes. The event is currently in production, but you can sign up to receive the latest updates here.

After seeing so many people in line at the Apple store in Grand Central, I thought I would share some mobile stats:
  • 26% of consumers use mobile phones for health. (Manhattan Research, 2011) 
  • 81% of physicians are expected to own a smartphone by 2012 (Manhattan Research, 2011)
  • Smartphone users spends 2/3 of their mobile time on apps (Nielson, 2011) 
  • Over half of physicians are already accessing the mobile web more than 5x/day in their practices, but only 4% of pharma websites are mobile friendly. (Morgan Stanley, 2010, Manhattan Research, 2011)
  • 72% of physicians own a smart phone, and 95% use their smartphone to download medical information. (Manhattan Research, 2010)
Of course, we'll cover mobile at ePharma on March 4-6 in NYC. Are there any must-have mobile case studies that we should include on the agenda?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Would you like to guest blog from the ePharma Summit 2013?

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That’s right, we’re offering a few exclusive all-access complimentary passes to the ePharma Summit – March 4-6, 2013 in New York City and you could attend the conference – on us ($3,000+ value). We’re looking for experienced bloggers who are well-versed in viral Pharma marketing to begin blogging now and also at this year’s event. In return for your posts, you’ll be able to attend educational sessions and training seminars delivered by industry thought-leaders and Pharma professionals through in-depth case studies featuring the industry experts from leading pharmaceutical companies including sanofi-aventis, Pfizer, Eli Lilly & Company as well as digital experts such as Google/YouTube and Wired Magazine.

To apply to be a guest blogger, simply send your name, title, company, and a link to your blog if you have one to Jennifer Pereira . We will review the submissions and contact all winners directly with more details. This opportunity doesn’t come often and we encourage you to apply and join us in New York City.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Boehringer Ingelheim Releases Syrum

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After much hesitation, many pharmaceutical companies are finally beginning to use social media outlets to connect with their consumers. Boehringer Ingelheim recently launched the beta version for their Facebook game, "Syrum". The company hopes that it will help educate, entertain, and gain more Facebook followers.  

Is this just the beginning of combining both pharma and gaming? How do you think their audience will respond?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Create powerful and innovative digital marketing campaigns with ePharma Summit Latin America

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ePharma Summit Latin America brings together case studies from companies such as Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, who are leading the digital marketing revolution in the region to provide insight, knowledge and expertise to optimize entry in the fast-evolving world of digital marketing

Gain actionable knowledge you can use right away:
  • Establish digital marketing guidelines within your organization for company-wide adoption
  • Understand how to organize your brands in the digital space, to build a long-term digital strategy
  • Learn how to apply SEO and SEM strategies to optimize digital success
  • Gain insights into how to use ZMOT and ROI metrics to maximize your brand's impact
  • Use closed loop marketing to continually adapt your digital marketing campaigns
  • Create online physician communities to improve market penetration

Download the agenda to find out how Latin American companies are standing up to these challenges.

As a reader of this blog, register today and save an additional 10% off the current rate when you mention code XP1716BLOG. If you have any questions about this year’s event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pharma keeping a close eye on Latin America

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When it comes to Latin America, the last thing that comes to mind for many is, pharmaceuticals, but that may change very soon. Recently opportunities for Pharma, as well as other industries are continuing to grow in Latin American countries. Latin America is accessible and affordable, and proving to be prominent for  both sales and research.  According to a summary, Latin America’s Pharma sector continues to grow annually, their mortality rates are better, and due to the vast treatment for non-communicable diseases, medical care is necessary.

Here are a few reasons why Latin America should be considered:
Which industries do you think could benefit the most?  Want to learn more about the Pharma opportunities in Latin America? ePharma Summit Latin America is a global brand extension of our ePharma Summit events in the USA - the world's largest and longest running digital marketing event for the life sciences industry. Now we're bringing a tailored version of the ePharma Summit to companies focused on the Latin American market.  It will take place November 29-30, 2012 in Cancun Mexico.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Healthcare may be late to social media, but how can they make up time?

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Healthcare brands, both in the United States and Latin America still haven't received much guidance when it comes to digitally marketing their brands online.  However, their consumers are online.  Healthcare content, however, is readily available to the consumer.  So what are a few tips Patricia Redsicker at Radian 6 offers for Pharma to use this content to better engage their customers?
  1. 1. Create value for your consumers. Many times in healthcare we see a one way conversation. But share valuable information your customers are looking for by giving them content that is relevant to them.
  2. Redsicker points out that patients often spend hours waiting in doctors offices and other places waiting on their physicians. Pharma can make an attempt to provide the information that consumers are looking for online - even possibly mobile accessible to cut down on time.
  3. Build trust.  Physicians and Pharma companies can start by saving valuable time on the web.  They can display fewer ads on their webpages and sharing some of their content at no cost to the consumer.
  4. Always send the same message.  With consistency in messaging, consumers should be receiving the same type of message whether they're browsing a website or in a doctors office.
  5. Information should also appear to fit the customers' needs proving itself relevant. Content should be beneficial to the reader, not about another topics in the industry.
  6. Frequency is also key.  Consumers should be able to gain access to the information at the times they feel is important.  Use tools to allowed your content to be accessed on the schedule your consumers want to see it.
At ePharma Summit Latin America this November,  Rick Gove, Head of Industry for Healthcare, at Google will be on hand to share the research findings in the behavior habits of the Latin American market.  Topics such as advertising nuances when targeting Hispanics, search habits, digital penetration, and Pharma content consumption will all be covered.  For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us in Cancun, register today and mention code P1716BLOG to save 10% off the current rate.

What do you believe is the key to content marketing?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Production for ePharma Summit 2013 is well underway

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Leading up to ePharma Summit 2013, conference director Sarah Gordon will give an inside look at what is going on behind the scenes. The event is currently in production, but you can sign up to receive the latest updates here.

Over the past month, I've had research calls and in-person meetings with more than 50 of your peers: some of which have attended ePharma, some have spoken at ePharma, and some didn't even know what ePharma is. Most people had positive feedback, some had not-so-positive feedback, but EVERYONE offered me insight into what matters most to the pharma marketing industry. One of my favorite parts of being a conference producer is getting to translate all of your feedback into a tangible program that attracts the high level speakers ePharma is known for. Although I'm not quite ready to show all of my cards I can tell you that the theme for this year's event is Marketing in a Digital World. We've also added more content on brand planning, more content for Canada, more perspectives and more timely information (think Healthcare Reform). If you're interested in getting involved with the program, feel free to email me at Also, follow me at @sarahpharma for #FF on speaker confirmations, program developments and some random musings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ePharma Summit Latin America Program released!

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Statistics show that digital marketing is growing at an exponential rate in Latin America - the pharma market is worth more than $60 billion a year and growing at a double digit rate. The digital adoption trends over the past few years are dramatically changing the way you market your products. Successful digital marketing strategy is crucial to stay ahead of this industry transformation.

ePharma Summit Latin America is a global brand extension of our ePharma Summit events in the USA - the world's largest and longest running digital marketing event for the life sciences industry. Now we're bringing a tailored version of the ePharma Summit to companies focused on the Latin American market.  It will take place November 29-30, 2012 in Cancun Mexico.

Visionaries and industry leaders convene to provide case studies and expert insight into the fast-growing world of digital marketing in Latin America:

  • Identify the best social media outlets for your campaign; Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, product websites and other channels
  • Understand how to use ROI and ZMOT metrics
  • Build a long-term, customer-centric approach digital marketing strategy
  • Use closed loop marketing to continually adapt your marketing campaigns
  • Optimize your digital marketing with a regionalized strategy
  • Utilize social media to create effective and compliant patient disease awareness communities

Manage regulatory guideline impact on your digital strategies in the Mexican pharmaceutical market.

As reader of the ePharma Summit blog, when you register you'll save an additional 10% off the current rate when you mention code XP1716BLOG. If you have any questions about this year’s event, feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pharma Is About To Have a Google Problem

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Today's guest post comes from at closerlook, inc. He blogs at and pretty much lives on Twitter (@digital_pharma) if you'd like to reach out.

If you're reading this post, there’s a good chance it’s because someone mentioned it on Twitter, Tumblr, Quora, Facebook, on another blog. And if you are aware of these kinds of social tools, you're probably already aware of measurement tools like Klout and Kred (I assume Kwality and Kwant are just around the korner). Even if you don't check your Klout score, you’re aware that someone who has a high score is indicated to have a larger and more robust network than someone with a low score.

Yay! So what? Well, what if there was a tool that measured not just the value of a network, but that also determined the value of content depending on the scores of those who wrote it or read it? For example, when someone with a low-scoring network (a "nobody," to use more earthy language) writes a post, it would sink to the bottom of the rankings, unknown and unloved, because that person hasn’t built a robust network for themselves. However, when a higher-ranking person (a "mover and shaker") writes something, many people comment on it and share it. Why? Because being a part of such a high-profile post confers some status on the commenters and sharers. Perhaps even enough to nudge their scores higher.

This new measurement tool concept isn't fantasy, this is something that is about to happen. And it represents a serious shift in the marketing landscape for pharma.

Part of what Google Plus is doing is allowing all authors, bloggers, commenters, posters, commentators and social-network “talking heads” to collect their total body of work in one spot. This spot, called a G+ profile, allows Google to figure out who's writing the best content and give that person a score (much like how PageRank scores web pages based on their connectivity to other pages).

Very soon, Google will start adding a person’s G+ score to its complicated search algorithm as a means to weigh the value of that person’s page. Thus, the page by a "nobody" will move way down in the search rankings compared to one by a “power networker.” In fact, Google's intention is to place a higher value on pages written by authors it can find on G+.

Can you see where this is going? Can you see how someone who has a solid network of fans and friends, who writes a lot and engages in a lot of online conversation, has more clout with Google than a faceless, authorless corporate page? Suddenly, Google has opened the door to someone who doesn't work for your brand to rank very highly in a Google search on your brand. Your brand's top search results are no longer guaranteed to be your page, wikipedia and the NIH. Someone who’s very motivated and connected will have a very good shot at making the top ten (or five!) of your Google search results. And there’s no guarantee the content they’ll be generating about your brand will be positive, or even accurate.

This search-scoring approach is called Google Authorship. It aligns with how Google sees the web. It wants an internet filled with hand-written content, built by people, not corporations. It wants more personal perspectives and fewer "talking points," because it believes that's how we create more authentic content for the world.

How serious is Google about all of this? Well, if it knows that you wrote a post, it will attach your name and picture to that post within its search rankings. That kind of visibility shows where Google is trying to take its idea of authorship. However, if you attach authorship to a company, Google will reject it. For example, if you try to attach authorship to your corporate page, where the avatar is a logo, it won't show up. Google is using facial recognition software to verify that a "person" is being attributed as author.

Right or wrong, Google is a serious part of your marketing plan, and any change it makes is something you need to consider.

But how? In an industry where comma placements involve protracted Medical, Regulatory and Legal discussions, how can we let "regular people" talk about our brand? The fear of AE reporting alone is enough to make a mortal pharma marketer quiver in terror.

Well, one idea is to personalize your brand. Much in the same way Steve Jobs was the face of Apple and Howard Schultz is the face of Starbucks, you can designate someone in your company to be the “face” of the brand. Sadly, the second that person leaves, you're in trouble.

Another idea is to build a G+ page for your brand, and select the caretaker of that page to be the face of the brand. Should they leave, someone else can simply take over the account.

You can ignore Google authorship at your peril, or you can see this development as the sea-change that motivates your brand to get serious about social communication. After all, what's more social than having a “brand face” that people can engage with? The time of playing ostrich is over, folks.

The time to finally figure out how to get our brands engaging socially is now.

Thanks to Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media for doing the legwork on Google Authorship.