Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Patients - The Ultimate in "Influencer Marketing" for Pharmaceuticals!

Patients - The Ultimate in "Influencer Marketing" for Pharmaceuticals! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Influencer Marketing – now there’s a term that wasn’t around “back in the day” when many were just starting out. So, what exactly is Influencer Marketing?

 

As seen on Huffington Post, Influencer Marketing “is simply the action of promoting and selling products or services through people (influencers) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.” That is, indeed, a very simplistic way of putting it. But, while the term “Influencer Marketing” is relatively new, the concept is not and has been evolving with the times.

 

Turning specifically to influencer marketing for pharmaceuticals, let’s narrow the focus to how healthcare and pharmaceutical companies partner with Patient Influencers. In his article, Perspectives on Influencer Marketing in Healthcare, Matt Breese explains that “patients are, by nature, influencers. A mother influences her family’s healthcare decisions. A cancer survivor’s poignant story influences other cancer patients. A patient with a positive hospital experience influences friends and neighbors.”

 

Patient Influencers do often play a role in the decision-making process of fellow patients. You might ask why someone would trust a fellow patient over a representative of the healthcare or pharmaceutical industry.

 

Fast forward to today’s Influencers and you’ll see a much different face. Specifically, in healthcare, Influencers today are often “regular people.” They’re not celebrities in the traditional sense of the word; however, in some cases, they are considered rock stars within the healthcare community.

 

Some are directly affected by a disease or are being treated with a specific product for an ailment, while others have gained so much knowledge about a condition area that they have risen to the level of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

 

The common thread is that all have an ever-increasing community of followers who value their opinion.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Five Rules of ‘Influencer Marketing’ for Pharma”; http://sco.lt/7GZFmT 
  • “Another Buzzword: ‘Influencer Marketing.’ Does It Pass the Authenticity Smell Test?”; http://sco.lt/7FpJwH 
  • “Digital Opinion Influencers/Leaders: A Disruptive Trend in Physician Marketing?”; http://sco.lt/5gv1BR 
  • “Transparency is Good in Theory, But Not in Practice”; http://sco.lt/6qCqTR 
  • “Novartis Respects the Patient Perspective and Pays for It Too! But Is It Absolutely Transparent?”; http://sco.lt/7kZg1J 
  • “Survey: Should Pharma Hire Online ‘Patient Opinion Leaders’?”; http://sco.lt/9MVFYH 
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Another Buzzword: "Influencer Marketing." Does It Pass the "Authenticity" Smell Test?

Another Buzzword: "Influencer Marketing." Does It Pass the "Authenticity" Smell Test? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

With it’s massive growth, proliferation on difficult-to-control social media platforms, and the oftentimes contradictory language from influencer marketers themselves, influencer marketing has become something of a wild west—something that, if influencers and marketers aren’t careful, could end up hurting the longterm prospects of the industry as a whole.

 

The practice is another form of native advertising, except it relies on social media influencers rather than in-house advertorial. Native advertising on publisher sites has come under fire for sometimes deceiving and confusing readers. Our 2015 study, showed that 48 percent of respondents felt deceived by native advertising.

 

So far, influencer marketing has escaped much of the same criticism.

 

In December, the FTC finally released an updated version of guidelines for native advertising, asking publishers to include a variation of “Ad,” “Advertisement,” “Paid Advertisement,” or “Sponsored Advertising Content” in the beginning of an article or video. Most framed the guidelines as an attempt to reign in native advertising on digital publications. (The FTC’s use of “native advertising” as an umbrella term for any sort of promotional material that’s not a traditional ad probably didn’t help.)

 

In a Digiday article, Todd Krizelman, co-founder and CEO of MediaRadar, an ad data firm, estimated that only 30 percent of publishers were in compliance with the rules and that 26 percent do not disclose at all.

 

But few considered the ramifications of the new guidelines on influencer marketing, which is subject to the same rules.

 

“They are looking for very explicit call-outs,” Krizelman said. “They want to see the words ‘This is an ad’ or ‘Paid advertisement.’ They do not want to see things like, ‘Presented by.’ Today, if Kim Kardashian is posting [an ad], she may just post it. No one would know if she was paid or not paid.”

 

“The FTC and other regulatory authorities are very concerned about influencer and native advertising,” said Andrew Lustigman, an attorney at Olshan Frome Wolosky who specializes in advertising and marketing. “Because the message is now coming from a third party, regulators want to make sure that consumers know that there is business relationship between the parties so that they can evaluate the message with that in mind.”

 

Unfortunately, this is anything but standard practice.

 

When you browse influencer marketing best practices, “trust” and “authenticity,” are two words that constantly appear. A February 2016 study by eMarketer suggested that influencer marketing has become more popular, in part, because of young people’s trust in social media stars, who they tend to see as more authentic than a brand or an advertisement.

 

“The key word that I’m coming back to in everything I talk about with influencers is authenticity,” said Todd Cameron, head of content and strategy at influencer marketing software company TapInfluence.

 

Trustworthy influencer marketing is only possible when social influencers disclose, boldly and proudly, that what they’re doing is a paid advertisement. If the brand or the influencer try to hide this fact, they risk undermining consumer trust for both parties.

 

Even if influencers and marketers continue to deceive consumers, there’s little doubt that more regulation—and better clarified regulation—from the FTC is coming.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I've docmented many cases where pharma uses celebrities to market its products. But when social media is involved, other influencers -- e.g., patient bloggers -- are also employed. For more on that read "Transparency is Good in Theory, But Not in Practice"; http://bit.ly/bloggertransparency 

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Friilance's curator insight, May 6, 2016 3:47 PM

Another Buzzword: "Influencer Marketing." Does It Pass the "Authenticity" Smell Test?

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Five Rules of "Influencer Marketing" for Pharma

Five Rules of "Influencer Marketing" for Pharma | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

HCPs, patients, trusted non-profit groups, and the occasional celebrity endorser all have one thing in common: they can impact healthcare decisions. The candid opinions of other people have long been able to influence how people assess their own options. When trusted figures express their views on a product or service, customers take notice. This phenomenon, often called word-of-mouth advertising, is now being taken to a larger scale through influencer marketing. As this marketing tool grows in popularity, should pharma consider using influencer marketing?

 

Stakeholders are online. Patients and researchers are increasingly using mobile technologies, the internet, and social media to address healthcare needs. Online patient communities have become a valuable source of support, recommendations, and medical information, for both patients and caregivers. Results from a 2015 survey by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics estimated that 75% of internet users go online to research treatment options and side-effects. The survey also showed that 42% of Internet users visit social media sites to learn about healthcare issues, while 25% admitted that they have discussed a health issue online.

 

Five things [rules] to remember when embarking on influencer marketing are:

 

  1. Match the right influencer with the right community.
  2. Empower your influencers.
  3. More followers does not mean more influence.
  4. Keep the conversation authentic.
  5. Ensure compliance with regulations.

 

Ethical considerations

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool, but most influencers in healthcare go beyond endorsing a product or attesting to its efficacy. Armed with potentially life-altering recommendations, healthcare influencers possess a greater responsibility to their target communities. Consequently, firms and influencers alike must ensure transparency in all these engagements. If a key opinion leader is appearing at a webinar with the support of a company, this needs to be declared before the event. Similarly, if a patient is sharing their experience as part of a firm’s communication plan, this must be made known to the intended audience. Furthermore, any high-profile personality that tweets about medical products or services must inform followers of the sponsored nature of the tweet.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Another Buzzword: ‘Influencer Marketing.’ Does It Pass the Authenticity Smell Test?”; http://sco.lt/7FpJwH
  • “Digital Opinion Influencers/Leaders: A Disruptive Trend in Physician Marketing?”; http://sco.lt/5gv1BR
  • “Transparency is Good in Theory, But Not in Practice”; http://sco.lt/6qCqTR
  • “Novartis Respects the Patient Perspective and Pays for It Too! But Is It Absolutely Transparent?”; http://sco.lt/7kZg1J
  • “Survey: Should Pharma Hire Online ‘Patient Opinion Leaders’?”; http://sco.lt/9MVFYH
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