Saturday, 21 April 2012

Social Media Marketing-Panel Discussions-Pharma Industry-Mobile Search

Musings from DTC National 2011

Didn’t attend DTC Perspectives’ big DTC National conference in Boston this year?
No worries. I spent three days there last week (my first time). Several of us tweeted the highlights using hashtag #DTCN2011, so you can view all the tweets by searching the hashtag on Twitter. You can still view the conference agenda online.
I tweeted. A lot. But one can only say so much in 140 characters or less. So beyond the tweets, I wanted to provide a more in-depth review. Below is the first in a series of blog posts with key observations by day:
DTC National: Day One
Day one of the conference kicked off with a small pre-conference workshop in the morning. Pharma folks gathered for a series of small panel discussions, moderated by Bob Ehrlich, on the following topics:
- Optimizing The Brand Web Site
- The Use of Search
- Advertising on the Web/mobile
- Direct Mail and Direct Response
I was surprised there wasn’t a social media panel, but perhaps everyone’s sick of talking about that for now. How much more can we say about FDA still not delivering guidance anyway?
The panels were lively and informative, focusing in depth on these areas more than – as I learned in later days – the main conference itself. The audience asked questions and there were healthy discussions. I always like the smaller group settings better at these things. A few highlights:
• I laughed during the “Optimizing the Brand Web Site” session when conference chairman and moderator Bob Ehrlich asked the panel to stop talking about mobile (because there was a separate upcoming panel on mobile). What was left unsaid was that the Web and mobile are so intertwined that the two cannot be separated. I saw a tweet last week rom the iStrategy conference (source unknown) that over 50% of Web activity occurs on a mobile device! But wait … I’m not supposed to be talking about mobile here … so moving on …
• I spoke on the panel on which I thought was going to be about online and mobile media – “Advertising on the Web/mobile” - but which turned out to be all about mobile. We talked about optimizing sites and the plethora of healthcare apps available today. And we all agreed that there is a lot more for pharma to be doing in this channel. It struck me, too, that there’s so much more to mobile than just apps or mobile sites … there’s mobile media, mobile search, and optimizing emails for mobile viewing. At what point will pharma pay attention to these on a regular basis? I fear we’re a long ways off.
• I particularly enjoyed the “Use of Search” panel where Yahoo!, Google, and Bing representatives (among others) all gathered to discuss character limitations and potential implications of coming DDMAC guidance. To their credit, they were certainly mindful of the issues the industry faces. And the question was asked … who says there have to be character limitations? Not FDA .... Google, Yahoo! and Bing decide! I was pleased to see so many search reps at the conference and their industry’s openness to working with the pharma industry's – shall we call them – "special circumstances."
• The multicultural panel was hosted by several multicultural marketing agencies who made the very valid case for pharma to be reaching out to minorities, especially in relevant conditions such as diabetes and hypertension that disproportionally affect African-Americans and Hispanics. I have the hunch multicultural marketing is to pharma now as social media marketing was to pharma a few years ago: Marketers have an inkling they need to be doing it, but they don’t know much about it so they avoid it altogether.
While Bob’s panel moderation style came across a bit condescending - as if he didn’t believe people went on the Web or used mobile phones to do anything but talk - it also provided healthy perspective. We in the marketing and digital worlds drink our own Kool-Aid every day. Bob’s right – some of the consumers we’re trying to reach are read more..

No comments:

Post a Comment