Monday, January 10, 2011

The Facebook Audience: Can Pharma Maximize Its Potential?

Like everyone else, we're intrigued about the science of Facebook marketing. Dan Zarella (Dan suggested in this PowerPoint presentation that pharma Facebook pages are some of the least liked pages. Why is that?

Source: Hubspot 101 Marketing Charts-Graphs-
Science of Facebook-Slide 61

While this information could be dismissed as ho-hum, we think you should pay attention to the important points about social media. We believe Facebook represents 67% of the "bell curve" that is your market. Our assertion is that if pharma publishes Facebook pages for its products, disease states or its patient tools, the content must meet the needs of this audience -- and currently it doesn't.  But can it really meet those needs?  

Looking at the rest of this presentation, we see that much of the Facebook audience is looking for interaction with others. What facebookers tend to value is more entertainment-oriented sites. So the next question about this social medium is: Should pharma even be in this space?  While many in e-marketing groups want to answer that question, our point of view is yes, but only if they are willing to create an interactive relationship with Facebook "friends" on the "friends' " terms. Building interactive games and apps that help facebookers learn or interact, is the key.  If not, they shouldn't waste their time, because the price of entry is steep.

It is this concept we believe industry marketers need to grasp. For years, the industry has been able to buy a seat at any table it chooses, but the game is changing!  In the past, industry would change the rules and today people are choosing not to let industry play in their game.

So what are we suggesting here?  Industry leaders need to change their expectations and must realize they may not be able to call the shots. But data show, like in Facebook, if you believe this is your target market, there is opportunity to market your products -- just realize the game is not set up to meet industry's needs.

So what is your next step?  Ask us -- we have some ideas.

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