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Digital: Those who make an effort to adapt are the most likely to succeed

Published date: 
10/10/2011

Last year we spoke about digital marketing becoming an ‘immersive experience’ and the challenge that our clients face in responding to the evolving behaviours of their target customers. The ability to predict viable emerging technologies and identify their potential impact is an essential measure of a focused marketing strategy. It is essential to our clients that we are familiar with current trends and understand how to leverage the opportunities they present as part of an integrated strategy. Over the last twelve months it’s become clear that those who make an effort to adapt are the most likely to succeed. 

The use of social media tools has steadily increased and provides obvious benefits to Pharma. Sites such as http://www.facebook.com/psoriasis360 show that patients are prepared to reveal the most intimate details of their personal health, if it will improve their healthcare. The willingness by patients to put such data online has surprised many and has come about far more easily than any of us could have predicted.

Healthcare professionals and patients want information quickly. They are looking for trusted sources that are current and accurate. Our challenge is to avoid these searches being lost in the huge mass of accumulated medical information online.  We are uniquely positioned to work with patient groups to provide a better service, experience and engagement. Many discussions are already taking place, and it’s to the industry’s credit that this conversation has become more educated, which ultimately is in everybody’s interest. 

Where the smart money is…

Immersive and better informed conversation continues to develop. But of course our clients need to make things happen; they want marketing strategies that deliver. Browser-based content now accounts for less than a quarter of all internet traffic, and it is losing further share to “Apps” including iTunes, LOVEFiLM and Skype. For many, “surfing” the web is a distant memory, and whilst we are connected all day, every day, we now spend increasingly small amounts of time in a web browser. Websites are certainly still important, but we need to follow user trends and provide a diverse selection of activities to meet the broad spectrum of customer needs.

Predictions estimate that with the current growth of the mobile web, combined with the accelerated growth of smart phones and mobile specific sites, the mobile web will reach more than one half of the consumers on the wired web.* By 2013 smart phone sales will overtake PC sales. And by 2015 the users accessing the Internet from mobiles will exceed PCs. *The Nielsen Company

Importantly for pharma, 56% of iPhone owners and 22% of smart phone owners* say they get their news via their phone and rate their mobile as the best way to keep up-to-date. Smart phones can be used as a diagnosis tool or as a reference directory, and provide real value to HCPs. Patients and carers can access communities, keep diaries, or review support material. It has been suggested that the Wii can help with Parkinson’s... the uses for mobile technology go on. * www.weareapps.com/app_facts.html

How do we create and release an App? My tips... 

Experience tells us that central to everything should be an idea and a real need. What does the target healthcare professional do every day? It may not support your brand, but it may create the platform for further conversations. Think about the task that can be streamlined, the items that are a chore and can be simplified. How can you help? 

Don’t try and fool users: don’t use gimmicks as smart phone users are inherently savvy. They will use Google for search, BBC for news and Amazon for books, if they want a game they will download Angry Birds. You should be sure to provide a tool that is of genuine value - great for being great. It is important to deliver the right content to the right user, take your time and don’t force content and features onto a recipient. 

Having downloaded an App it is essential that the user is quickly engaged; they see the value and are rewarded for their effort. The user experience is essential: 30 million Apps are downloaded every day*, but not many make it.

*http://appadvice.com/appnn/2011/01/number-apps-downloaded-day-reaches-30-million

Not for one moment do we believe mobile Apps provide a broad solution. Apps will not replace print and the web but will act as a complement to the existing channels. Frequently they will provide us with the data to influence a more encompassing campaign. After that, we resort to things we have always relied on: talent, ideas and enthusiasm. 

At Creative Lynx we couldn’t do what we do without passion. Expertise is accumulated over time, whereas enthusiasm comes naturally and from the heart. The idea of marrying passion with experience is one of our key messages, and why our clients’ brands succeed so well. 

By Dave Hunt, Digital Director - Creative Lynx Ltd

Dave can be contacted at dave.hunt@creativelynx.co.uk or see our profile here

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