era of influence

era of influence

Pandemic lockdowns have pushed drug companies into a whole new era of social engagement.

In November 2009, the FDA held a public hearing of field questions, comments, and concerns from key stakeholders regarding guidance on FDA-regulated medicinal products including prescription drugs for both humans and animals, prescription biologics, and medical devices. The pharmaceutical sector, healthcare professionals (HCPs), consumers, patient groups, Internet vendors, advertising agencies, and others have engaged to address the use of the Internet and social media. With the creation of moving goal posts1 As the landscape is constantly evolving and innovating, the rulebook has always been meant to be a work in progress.

Years later, the dominant theme that has persisted throughout much of 2020 and 2021 has been the acceleration of digital and virtualization through the stress and physical isolation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, people started interacting almost completely, spending a significant amount of time on all their devices. Despite being a highly regulated industry investing a staggering amount of money in research and development, total drug ad spending exceeded $6.58 billion in 2020, according to Kantar-metered media. And while spending on television advertising is still king, spending on digital advertising grew 43%, mostly on out-of-home expense and print.

When COVID first took hold in public perception in March 2020, Google was receiving 1 billion health-related searches per day, or 70,000 searches per minute,2 Incredible Search Engine Marketing (SEM) opportunity, and that’s no secret. Search engine marketing makes up the lion’s share of digital drug spending due to its inherent ability to provide a timely connection to curious and curious patients/consumers, as well as healthcare providers and other stakeholders. Yet social media is an extension of that thirst for answers and discussions, a fertile digital landscape that includes all players and stakeholders: digital opinion leaders (DOLs), micro and mega influencers, patients, and perhaps most of all, HCPs.

media strategy

In 2014, a survey of more than 4,000 physicians conducted by QuantiaMD on social media found that more than 90% of physicians use some form of social media. This number has definitely gone up in terms of professional use with most doctors using media on their phones; It is much more convenient, since you can search or interact on the break or during a layover at any place. If you visit Twitter today and search for a specific disease condition, you will find healthcare physicians with a variety of specialties having scientific exchanges with other healthcare physicians as well as conversations with patients/clients and other users.

Healthcare providers also use Facebook and Twitter to monitor and collect valuable patient insights. They want to know what their patients care about, how to prepare for questions and manage interactions for better results. Climbing the ladder, insights from the social conversations of health care providers inform the pharmaceutical company’s marketing strategy; More specifically, how exactly to deliver value in terms of content and when to access them. Sales teams need any advantage to grab the attention of healthcare providers in hopes of getting them to adopt a particular product, become outspoken advocates, or at least gain another interaction with the healthcare provider. With the bulk of drug sales team interactions shifting to relevant and timely digital communications for these healthcare providers, it cannot be overstated.

So where will the conversation be in 2022? Where should pharmaceutical companies look to help guide their sales and marketing strategies? Pharmacist Executive I reached out to Vanessa Melendez, Social Strategist at CDM Princeton, to get some ideas. “In 2021, healthcare providers switched from simple behaviors like sharing whatever kind of high-profile conference experiences were their favorite to holding debriefing sessions by tweeting to followers and inviting them to join the conversations on social platforms like Clubhouse,” she says. “And these conversations weren’t scripted KOL/DOL conversations; they were unaffected. I expect to see something similar in 2022, but the big question will be Clubhouse versus Twitter Spaces, or more growth in podcasts, or something else entirely. What is clear is That we’re most likely looking at real, no-frills conversations.” Some new tools, like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, are still in beta for many people. Media facilitates real-time audio chambers that allow passive listening and active audience participation. They provide a much-needed break away from video, while providing the gratification of a podcast/radio, Twitter-like personality, and a congressional feel all in one. But the goal is one and the same for drug stakeholders: a real conversation.

Influencer Marketing and Authenticity

In the past year, there has been an uproar about the word authenticity and how it relates to the brand’s success. In the September issue, Pharm Exec Books on Biohaven’s Nurtec® ODT. Biohaven has taken a multi-faceted approach—it has used every little-known but trustworthy college-age woman named Ellie as a patient advocate, but has also enlisted top influencers like Khloe Kardashian and Whoopi Goldberg for peer-to-peer counseling and representation. With 204 million followers on Instagram, Kardashian’s reach and influence is clear, but even in her case, there’s a stamp of authenticity — her issues with migraines are well documented. keeping up with the Kardashians. I tried Nurtec® ODT, had a strong reaction, and became an evangelist for the drug. Vlad Couric, CEO of Biohaven . said: Pharm Exec“It’s the patient’s story. We’re committed to following up on and telling the patient’s story in an authentic way. That’s what we’re going for.” And the results speak for themselves – according to a recent Biohaven update, Nurtec® ODT has a 57% share of the calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) market in the US against the largest competitor Ubrelvy’s share of 43%. While there are certainly rules (and pitfalls) for using social media influencers, it can be an incredibly effective tool. And it all really comes down to relevance. If they are not original or “original” as Couric states, it is safe to say they are irrelevant to the vast majority of consumers.

Telling your story – 15 seconds or 30 minutes?

Even in such a highly regulated environment, there are still ways to tell a story—via unbranded campaigns and communications. Just like influencer marketing, the goal is to gain attention, educate people about a specific disease condition or treatment process, remove stigma if any, get them to take action – check more, contact the suicide/depression hotline, go to the doctor, ask specific medication, etc. Over the past year, we’ve seen some great examples of approaches, both long and short. No more than two minutes has been the base video for a long time, but different lengths come home, from 15 seconds to 45 minutes. Even the platforms were adjusting their lengths to try to find the right place. Melendez of CDM Princeton stated, “As a content creator, you are looking to engage a certain audience with certain expectations. Who do you want to see? Look at where your target audience is spending their time. With patients and caregivers, talk about the disease state and make it more relevant based on where you are. You want to use this content in. “Now This” has been an amazing success on TikTok taking the form of longer cuts and making fun points in the one to three minute range.” Customizing the length and style of your content for different platforms is a great strategy to use, especially if you’ve I took a great deal of photos on a particular topic. People use TikTok for short and casual entertainment and information, not hyper-produced videos.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 30- to 45-minute recording were long, polished videos created by Johnson & Johnson titled “The Road to a Vaccine” and “Eureka Moments.” These products, which were published on YouTube and LinkedIn, impressively brought together many experts and stakeholders to tell a much-needed story about health for the concerned population. People who truly address people to illuminate important health topics, processes, and key moments have proven to be highly effective and have been praised for their impact.

Moving forward to 2022, the collective hope is that we come out of the COVID pandemic to find a much-improved “natural,” and it will be interesting to see if digital trends are embraced, developed further, or find a way back to support. Job.

Fran Polaro He is Senior Editor at Pharm Exec. It can be accessed at



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