There are not just evolutions in the consumer marketing landscape, but there is also a transformation within as the mind-set of our industry changes. See what Buddy Scalera has to say about this revolution in the conclusion of our three-part series about the eDTC Revolution Conference.
(Don’t miss additional post-conference highlights – including the DTC Hall of Fame – in the Winter issue of DTC Perspectives Magazine.)
YOU SAY YOU WANT AN (eDTC) REVOLUTION
By Buddy Scalera
Everyone attends for a different reason. Some of us go for inspiration, others for unique ideas. But at the end of a business conference, you want to feel like you’ve spent your time wisely.
Looking back, eDTC Revolution offered not just inspiration, but also real, actionable marketing insights. The kind that you bring back to the office and share with enthusiasm, direction, and more than just a few good ideas. You literally can’t wait for Monday.
The conference – which included some of the most exciting personalities I’ve ever seen at a pharmaceutical event – delivered a message that the industry needed to hear. Specifically that tomorrow’s marketing is here today. And non-pharma industry thought leaders like Jamie Turner and Dr. Kevin Pho let us know that we can no longer just “watch and wait.” We must be part of this digital revolution.
As I look back at my notes, the margins are no longer stuffed with percentages, charts, and other analytics “proof.” We know people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds are online. People may not be using digital tools and channels in the same way, but they are certainly using them to manage their health.
Got a great stat? We love stats. But as an industry, we appear to have accepted that consumers are getting their health information in digital channels. They watch videos on YouTube, click links on Facebook, download eBooks from the Apple Store, and install apps to their smartphones.
Nobody at eDTC was asking for more stats. They were asking for examples. They wanted information about reaching the consumer with the right message at the right time on multiple channels. No percentage signs or graphs… just smart, measureable, pharma-appropriate marketing.
As an industry, we have a huge responsibility to our patients and physicians. We must get the message right because people’s health is at stake. As a result, we are usually a few years behind with our marketing and messaging, since we have to ensure that our message is delivered in an accurate, fair, and consistent way. This year, it felt like we were finally catching up.
Watching Michelle Tucker demonstrate how eBooks will be used in consumer health compliance made sense in terms of messaging and targeting. She may have presented stats on eBook uptake, but it wouldn’t have mattered. What mattered was that pharma was finding an appropriate way to deliver health content in an emerging technology channel. Nobody questioned if consumers were using these devices or demanded statistical proof – they just looked at the iPad on their lap and knew that delivering marketing messages through eBooks made sense!
Presenters like Leigh Householder, Dr. Kevin Pho, and Jamie Turner reminded us that marketing is not a boring, static industry. Patients are communicating in real time via gamification, apps, and social networks… and we are actively participating in those channels. We’re not sitting on the sidelines with analysis paralysis, wondering if we can participate. We’re designing channel-agnostic messages that help consumers participate in their treatments.
Digital channels are evolving rapidly and enabling marketers to optimize every aspect of their messaging. The eDTC Revolution conference showcased how smart pharma marketers are reaching consumers with relevant, motivating health messages. And how our industry has evolved past the “prove-it-to-me” phase and directly into the “let’s do it” marketing approach.
This year, it wasn’t people talking about doing things… it was literally about showing things that they did. And that’s a real revolution.
Buddy Scalera was one of the presenters at the eDTC Revolution Conference. He is a strategic thought leader in new media technologies with 16 years of digital content and market research experience. He has written and spoken extensively about interactive content, web technologies and multimedia. At Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Buddy oversees the digital Content Strategy and Market Research services at Ogilvy CommonHealth Interactive Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @MarketingBuddy, read his blog, Words + Pictures = Web, and watch his on-site interview with Mike Spitz of Pixels and Pills.