Andrew Spong (@andrewspong) writes:
'By dint of the sheer weight of evidence that has accrued over the past three years alone, Boehringer Ingelheim may reasonably be identified as the pharma company that sets the pace for the industry in digital environments.
However, this is not because of Boehringer’s having led the way on facebook with regard to its handling of comments, nor its conversational disposition on Twitter, nor its experiments in the gamification of clinical research, nor the way it used social to raise awareness around atrial fibrillation, nor its experiments with outré humour.
It is not even because later this week Boehringer will become the first pharma company to launch a game which has been designed first and foremost to be fun and perhaps convey some indirect benefits, rather than a vehicle built for the primary purpose of delivering a direct message:
[Syrum] wasn’t built with a view to being an educational platform or anything like that. It’s very much a game which is meant to be engaging and entertaining to play. In the same way that Farmville doesn’t just appeal to people who like farms, Syrum isn’t just for people who like the pharmaceutical industry. It’s for anyone to play. John Pugh, Director of Digital, Boehringer Ingelheim
In the last instance, Boehringer merits recognition as the digital leader in the pharma industry not because of what it has achieved, but because of what its activities say about the cultural evolution that has taken place within the company. Boehringer’s every action speaks of its commitment to embodying what ‘being innovative’ means. Not its just giving lip-service to innovation. Not its hoping to be seen to be innovative whilst doing little of real merit. Not spending its time considering which ride to take next on the platform carousel.
The course that Boehringer has steered over the past three years marks it out as a company that aspires to being a leading company in digital environments, not just the leading pharma company in digital.'
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