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Pharma execs expect to increase use of doctor-focused social media

Study also highlights enthusiasm for digital marketing channels like mobile, e-detailing and SEO

Pharmaceutical executives in Europe and the US expect to spend more of their future budgets on digital marketing channels like mobile, e-detailing and SEO, according to a new survey.

Booz & Co questioned more than 150 senior industry executives and found that while enthusiasm for product and disease websites, long a mainstay of pharma's digital marketing efforts, remained high, newer channels were likely to be more popular.

Doctor-focused social media was highlighted by the largest group of respondents, nearly 60 per cent, as an area where projected budget allocations would increase.

There were similarly dramatic trends for spending on mobile technologies (which 55 per cent of respondents expect to increase); e-detailing (52 per cent); and search engine optimisation (49 per cent), followed by product and disease websites (48 per cent).

At the same time nearly 40 per cent of the executives questioned said they planned to cut back on print advertising.

The survey also found that many, but by no means all, respondents expected sales force time for their primary product to decrease over the next two years.

A drop in sales force activity was expected by 43 per cent of those questioned and on average they foresee a 31 per cent decrease in sales force time.

Meanwhile 26 per cent of people thought sales force time would increase, with an average lift of 58 per cent, and a similar proportion – 32 per cent – expect no change.

But, as Booz notes, products slated for an increase in sales force time had – predictably – a longer mean patent life remaining than those expects to lose sales force time.

Booz, working with National Analysts Worldwide, surveyed 156 senior pharma industry executives from Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Italy and the US late last year.

Respondents mostly had responsibility for a product portfolio or specific brand and with influence or responsibility for sales and marketing decisions.

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of respondents (24 per cent) strongly agreed that pharma's business model was broken and needs significant repair, while fewer than 10 per cent believe it is not broken, when questioned towards the end of last year.

23rd March 2012

From: Marketing

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