Pharma Execs Are Still Pondering Digital Strategy: How to Measure Effectiveness?

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

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Pharma Still Questions Digital Effectiveness

Recent market research suggests that many pharmaceutical marketing executives are still on the sidelines and working on their digital game plan. While marketing planners in other industries have quickly jumped into online channels, pharma has been comparatively slow to embrace the digital revolution.

The findings from Digital Marketing in Pharma say that about half of pharmaceutical executives surveyed spend less than 10 percent of their marketing budget on digital, and most of that on their own websites.

With nearly everyone working in healthcare marketing and communications now hip-deep in online and social media, the primary reason cited for pharma’s resistance to digital is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to draft guidelines for pharma digital marketing.

It’s clear that digital media is pervasive. The estimated population of Internet users is close to 2 billion as of this past June, with 77.4 percent of the population in the US and 58.4 percent of the population in Europe utilizing the Web.

It’s an audience that’s too big to neglect, and pharma’s commitment to digital channels is not in doubt in the long term. But opportunity is not the same as digital effectiveness, according to findings published by EPG Health Media. The report, Pharma Digital Effectiveness, concludes that one of the key barriers to a more rapid adoption of digital is the ability to monitor and demonstrate effectiveness. The report suggests that, in spite of the slow start, pharma’s investment in digital marketing is likely to grow significantly over the next year with tracking and measuring systems in place.

Read more about pharmaceutical marketing and advertising here.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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