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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Pharma’s “Content Marketing” is Content Run Amok, Says Founder of Content Marketing Institute

Pharma’s “Content Marketing” is Content Run Amok, Says Founder of Content Marketing Institute | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

More than half — 58% — of the pharma/biotech industry is spending more than $50 million in content development every year, but much of that content is not connected to a solid objective, which means money and time are being wasted. In a recent Accenture study, only 11% of pharma/biotech marketers reported they have a clear content management strategy and only 9% feel their organization has clear marketing objectives, but 93% report the volume of digital content and assets they manage is higher today than it was two years ago.


“The fact that the industry is investing heavily in a lot of content without a strategy makes us believe companies are not investing wisely,” says Jamie Antis, managing director, Accenture Life Sciences, Intelligent Marketing Services at Accenture. Especially since the report shows that 97% of respondents within pharma said they spent more time managing the operational details of content today than actually focusing on its alignment to the overall marketing strategy. “This number is significantly higher for the pharma industry than for some of the other industries that we have polled,” Ms. Antis says.


Many pharma marketers are perhaps mistakenly thinking that if they have content up on a website or a video connected to a tweet that they are using content marketing methods. However, if the content does not drive or change the consumer behavior, it has no value to the marketer and possibly not even the consumer.


“Right now content marketing is considered copy, and it’s not copy,” says Ritesh Patel, chief digital officer at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide.


“It’s not called a copy writing strategy. It’s a content marketing strategy and should live within the overall marketing strategy. There are lots of marketers who still don’t understand the difference between a content strategy and a copy strategy.”


All too often, marketers will create online copy and focus only on search engine optimization and that is only one small part of content marketing. Mr. Patel often hears: “It’s a website, so write the copy and make sure it’s tagged for SEO.” This is not a content marketing strategy, he adds.


Joe Pulizzi, founder and executive director of the Content Marketing Institute, defines a content marketing strategy as the creation of valuable, relevant, compelling information published on a consistent basis that helps build a relationship with a consumer and follows that consumer throughout his or her buyer’s journey.


The proliferation of digital channels that provide easy access and practically no production or publication costs along with more and more consumers looking for information online has greatly reduced the former barriers to print publishing, making it almost too easy to post content.


“We think because we can publish, we should, and we publish content all over the place and most of it doesn’t work,” Mr. Pulizzi says. “It’s content run amok.”


Further Reading:

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DTC Marketers Should Embrace Content Marketing, Says Expert

DTC Marketers Should Embrace Content Marketing, Says Expert | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

"If DTC marketers want their websites to be the "go to" source for health information they need to ensure that they have the latest health information," says Rich Meyer

With the health information overload on the Web I am puzzled why most DTC marketers don’t have a content strategy for their product websites? Most websites are rarely optimized for content and dead pages and it seems the battle is just getting the website up and running.  Frankly, that’s not enough today.  Pharma needs to do a better job with marketing content that matters to THEIR website visitors.

News feeds, for a variety of health conditions, are available at very low cost and most can be customized to omit certain stories that the FDA might view as an endorsement.  If that’s too much of a challenge there is always the possibility of integrating it into an unbranded site.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Also read "Curation vs. Content Marketing: Which is Best for Pharma Marketers?";  Arsalan Arif, Publisher of ENDPOINTS, talks about the benefits versus the drawbacks of content curation versus content marketing for pharmaceutical marketers in a social media world.

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Mad Men, as opposed to Med Men, "Don't need no stinkin' FDA!"

Mad Men, as opposed to Med Men, "Don't need no stinkin' FDA!" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

In the September 2014 issue of MM&M, I came across what these days is referred to as "content marketing," but what MM&M calls "ViewPoint." I'm referring to the piece -- you can't call it an article -- titled "Medical marketing needs mainstream Mad Men" written by John Barker (find it here). At least I'm pretty sure it's content marketing, because you can never be sure when it's labeled something else. More on that later in this post.

The premise of the piece can be summed up in the last sentence: "Going forward, staying competitive in the ACA marketplace may mean asking more Mad Men to be Med Men." That is, the pharmaceutical industry should hire agencies -- such as Barker, which is Barker's agency -- that "don't know the difference between the FDA and FDR. But they know branding."

Yeah, that's going to go over big with pharma brand teams, which these days are figuring out how to be more "patient-centric" while staying compliant with FDA regulations.

Barker's logic is that somehow the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is forcing pharma marketers to "shape authentic and trusting relationships with their customers, moving beyond traditional selling points to generate emotional resonance with the target audience, not unlike Apple, Pepsi or Nike."

Let's leave ACA out of this for now and just consider branding versus customer relationship, aka "patient-centricity."

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Gilead's Fake Sovaldi Content Marketing Ploy

Gilead's Fake Sovaldi Content Marketing Ploy | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
Pharma Guy's insight:

I subscribed to receive e-mail messages from "Your SOVALDI Team" which is really Gilead. I don't have Hep C, but Gilead doesn't know that.

Today, I received the message "Why should you consider treatment" from my Sovaldi team. I was surprised to see a link to an "arcticle" as shown in the screen grab above.

I expected to be taken to a real article discussing Hep C and treatment with Sovaldi. This, I thought, was an example of "Content Marketing," which relies on useful, unbiased information, perhaps from an independent 3rd-party, to get readers to visit your website or see an associated ad for you product. 

Unfortunately, the link in the Gilead e-mail (i.e., from "In this article") brought me directly to a branded Sovaldi web page that looks just like any other site. It wasn't an "article" at all!

Oh well. I'm a fake patient, so I guess I deserve a fake content marketing ploy.

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Slideshare: What Is The State Of Healthcare Content Marketing?

80% of respondents to the Pew survey reported going online for answers to their health questions. 94% of patients say brand reputations is crucial in selecting…

Via COUCH Medcomms
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Hot Flash Bogus Science: When Hot Flashes Aren't Treated, It Costs the Economy $Millions

Hot Flash Bogus Science: When Hot Flashes Aren't Treated, It Costs the Economy $Millions | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Women who experience hot flashes and let them go untreated may be costing the economy hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a recent study published online in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.

The study looked at health insurance records of more than 500,000 women who worked for Fortune 500 companies between 1999 and 2011. Out of the total sampling, about half of the women experienced vasomotor symptoms, also known as hot flashes, while the other half did not have hot flashes.

The study’s authors looked at the women’s records over a 12-month period. Within the 12 months, the women who had hot flashes had 1.5 million more health care visits than the women without hot flashes.

“The main takeaway is that untreated hot flashes results in a significantly higher frequency of patient visits,” said Dr. Philip Sarrel, a co-author of the study and professor emeritus of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine.

Pharma Guy's insight:

This is an example of "content marketing" at its worst! Note that there are several ads for a hot flash treatment are scattered on the page where this is reported..

And the science behind it is completely bogus. While the abstract mentions the mean age of the hot flash group (56), it does not say anything about the age of the control group. This leads me to believe that the control group were women of a much younger age. Thus, the hot flash group may be visiting doctor more often due to other medical problems unrelated with hot flashes that come with age. 


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