Social Engagement in Healthcare Marketing

As the world has gotten more closely connected via social platforms over the last 7 years, one market has stayed outside the conversation. Healthcare.

There is a deep-rooted fear of consumer engagement on the part of the pharmaceutical companies. I would argue that there’s no more important sector than pharma when it comes to finding ways to engage with those who use their products. Certainly, there are concerns that some people will have negative thoughts or experiences about medications, but honestly, isn't that the truth with any product? In fact, Miracle Whip took advantage of that truth and executed a campaign pitting it’s advocates against it’s critics in open conversation about the product and just one month after the launch of the campaign, organic search was up 300%. Although that may not translate directly to sales, you do engage the conversation and anytime you have people talking about your product, they’re thinking about it. And that’s what advertising is meant to do, because eventually that dialog leads to sales.

There’s no way to force someone to buy your product, but if you can engage them by having a conversation about the product’s successes and failures in a transparent way, it cultivates trust between the company and consumers.

Pharma needs to get social.

Miracle Whip certainly isn’t a PARP inhibitor used in combating cancer, but I would argue that the PARP inhibitor is in a better position, from a social standpoint, to capitalize on the conversation. People spend countless hours researching solutions online while their loved one who’s going through treatment lies in a hospital bed. These caretakers are impassioned and optimistic as they scour the Internet for new ideas, treatments and solutions. This is a perfect time and place for drug makers to engage and converse with consumers about their products, to learn how they might fit into a treatment plan, and, if they don’t, where they can look for more answers.

It’s an opportunity for a collaborative conversation to help fight for the health of humanity.

If not now, when?

Long story short, both agencies and medical brands need to work together to find ways for brands to reach out and converse with the universe of doctors and patients in an open, transparent and optimistic way. Until pharma marketing finds its voice in the social landscape, medical advertising will continue to operate in somewhat of a vacuum, missing out on a huge forum that could help advance research and increase revenue while fighting against disease.


ANDY BENSON

VP, Associate Director of Art

Artist. Thinker. Doer.