Digital Marketing by Pharma Continues 
Posted by Carlos on Jun 25, 2012

While we were all burning shoe leather at BIO2012 this week, the good folks at eMarketer published an interesting article on digital marketing by pharma:

Digital advertising spending by the US healthcare and pharmaceutical industry will hit $1.58 billion in 2012 and rise to $2.48 billion by 2016. But even as marketers move larger percentages of their budgets online, expiring patents and regulatory challenges will conspire to temper spending growth.

While the industry continues to move from blockbuster to niche markets, there is a  corresponding need to shift the marketing tactics and spending.
This is especially critical for the dozens of mini-pharma companies who are out there marketing and selling niche products, branded generics, and other non-blockbusters that big pharma ignores.
(As an aside, we experienced an amusing incident at BIO, where an executive from a Spanish specialty pharma company introduced us to a mini-pharma company in Mississippi that we’d never heard of).
The article points out that big pharma is “rooted in old ways of doing things.” And this is consistent with our observations (witness, for example, the number of large, expensive booths at BIO2012).
We think pharma will have no choice but to continue to move its marketing towards the digital environment. Expensive sales reps with nice suits, samples, and smiles will continue to give way to eMarketers with expertise in SEO, YouTube, autoresponder sequences, and other digital tools that serve consumer markets quite well.
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