How Pharma Marketers Can Counteract Being Caught Up in the “Fake News” Invasion | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

There's no question that fake news influenced the recent presidential election and continues to mold public opinion. While fake news has always been around, social media has made fake news arguably more powerful than mainstream (i.e. truth-based) media.


Today, millions of people believe "facts" that are demonstrably false. While one could get cynical about this sad state of affairs (e.g. "there's a sucker born every minute"), it turns out that people believe fake news for the best of reasons: they trust their friends.


According to a new study of nearly 1,500 Americans conducted by Media Insight Project and cited in New York magazine:


"people who see an article from a trusted sharer, but one written by an unknown media source, have much more trust in the information than people who see the same article from a reputable media source shared by a person they do not trust."


For marketers, this is hugely important because prospects and customer generally do not trust marketers, salespeople or corporations. Therefore, any marketing claims you make--even fact-based ones--will be unconvincing compared to whatever word-of-mouth is floating around.


Rather than trying to muster facts or exhibit enthusiasm, marketers must now:


  • Make it easier for existing customer to share positive experiences.
  • Do quick damage control when negative reviews crop up.


The lesson of fake news for marketers is that you can't depend upon advertising and traditional media to mold public opinion about your brand. Instead, you must work get your customers to share the positive truths about your company. Meanwhile make sure, as far as possible, that "fake news" about your company dies on the social media vine.


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