Written by Richard Marcil on April 11, 2014
in Customer Experience, Digital Marketing, Healthcare Marketing

I was at a presentation on corporate board governance this morning, and there were striking similarities to pharma. The topic was the impact of social media on boards and directors of Canadian companies. Overall, less than a third of directors considered themselves very knowledgeable about social media as it related to the businesses they managed.  Which is probably how many of us, health marketers, feel.

The challenge is that consumers are well, well ahead of us. Take a look at comScore’s Canadian Digital Future in Focus 2014. Canadians continue to be among the most highly digital consumers worldwide.  They search, consume digital ads, watch “TV” on the web, are increasingly mobile centric and of course are hyper social. They’re not waiting for brands to catch up, irrespective of regulatory constraints and challenges. They just expect.

This is in fact the topic of a new research piece from Accenture, titled Great Expectations: Why Pharma Companies Can’t Ignore Patient Services. In short, the report confirms what Ariad’s DTPC research shows: while PatientConsumers have become quite sophisticated in accessing all types of information, they often struggle to find the right content about their condition and its treatment: before, at, and post-diagnosis.  In fact, Dr. Google seems to be the “go-to” HCP.

Accenture found that “patients are open to industry contact just when they are about to start taking a medication. The information patients are willing to engage with at this stage include basics like where to find the medication, navigating if the medication is the right choice for them, financial assistance programs, and product information.”  And patients are also willing to play: “64% of polled patients said they were willing to trade personal information to get free, relevant content.”

This spells opportunity for health marketers and brands, from patient attraction to patient starts to ongoing support & adherence. In most every other facet of people’s lives, these needs are being addressed, so their expectations of our brands are high.  Very high.

So let’s meet the need…

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