20 October 2009

Online Marketing Context to Bio-Pharma Industry

The direct to consumer Bio-Pharma marketing landscape was much straight forward ten years ago. This day’s consumer shift to new online media and technology, especially for health and pharmaceutical information, is transforming the game. And while they are plenty of examples of innovative digital campaigns in Bio-Pharma (Lifestyle medication-Bio equipments), the reality is that Bio-Pharma marketing is struggling to keep up with the media preferences of today's high tech consumer.

There’s a learning curve associated with the evolution of an online marketing model, and Bio-Pharma marketers have the added challenge of complying with strict regulatory guidelines and managing public and media scrutiny of DTC Online advertising. Key Factors Pushing new media to the forefront of Online Bio-Pharma Marketing. The emerging media mix and consumer’s access trend to them is changing rapidly, they have more option for obtaining news entertainment and information through available media mix.

The Digitalization has been changing marketing landscape since 2002, online health information seeking has more than doubled since 2002 and online Bio-Pharma information seeking has more than tripled in the same time period and the online Bio-Pharma resources consumers find are impacting the healthcare decisions they are making for themselves and their families.

Bio-Pharma marketers are catching on to the trends, but there's a long way to go before brand media closes the gap between where consumers are and where budgets are going, only a small fraction of overall pharmaceutical advertising spend is currently allocated to online campaigns. But as we’re seeing with our clients, consumer trends are prompting marketers to put more weight behind digital strategies.

Shifting focus to niche therapies:

As the Bio-Pharma industry shifts its focus from blockbuster drugs to niche therapies, different online marketing strategies come into play. While mass media campaigns were successful in raising awareness of conditions of interest to a broad base of individuals, promoting niche drugs requires precision targeting and fostering one to one relationships with patients. Traditional broadcast media doesn't necessarily fit in well with this approach, but strategies around online social media, search marketing, behavioral targeted advertising, video podcasting and the like can help marketers target better defined audiences and engage with them on a more personal level. Example: The new “diet” pill Alli. Alli is a milder formulation that has been made to be purchased over the counter, launched by GSK. The online marketing campaign of alli is well known to pharmaIndustry.