See You Later, We've Gone Digital

An interesting article on CQ.com, the Congressional Quarterly, about Pharma marketing going digital. First, I think it's fascinating the CQ is talking about this. A sign that the times are a changing. Change could take a couple of different permutations. Either tightening regulations against DTC and/or a greater emphasis on measurable digital activities. I think it will likely be a little of both given the pro-business and subsequent lax regulations that marked the Bush Administration, but also the tsunami known as interactive marketing is an immovable force. I love to read articles about more investment going online. I've been advocating and talking about this for literally years dating back to 2001. Yes, 8 years. It has been the slowest moving "trend" I have ever seen in a particular industry.

The issue for the lag with most Rx/Dx organizations is simply that it takes time for eduction, knowledge and understanding to make its way to marketing decision makers desks. So until you have a pioneer and other pioneers in other organizations willing to take risks or be given the latitude to take risks you're going to have bland, proven, middling ROI marketing campaigns. Turn on the 6:00 news and you can see this everyday in action across a broad spectrum of drugs.

What is needed to turn the corner? It very well may be the current recession we're in. When budgets tighten, pressure increases and you're forced to deliver results with static or reduced investments, online begins to make a lot more sense. Or at least people are more open to new things. Be more targeted? Online. Need to have better measurement? Online. Want to be a part of the conversation? Online. Need to show how you're cutting edge? Online.

So the irony of all of this is that interactive will continue to grow, likely at reduced rates relative to forecasts made before the recession, but it will continue to grow and not because it is the most widely available marketing channel where you can target, measure and provide the best experience for a potential customer, but because it's cheaper to execute when times are tough.

That's my take, what's yours?

I've touched on this in the past here.

| www.jlefevere.com |


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