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Pharma's social media priorities for 2014

Digital Futures 2014 survey finds high expectations for online HCP networks

Digital Futures 2014 pharma marketing survey  

Online networks for healthcare professionals are expected to be an industry priority in social media this year, according to a new survey.

The Digital Futures 2014 survey, conducted by PMLiVE publisher PMGroup in association with Havas Lynx, saw online HCP networks voted the most valuable social media channel by respondents.

The online survey of nearly 250 people working in, and for, the pharma industry saw this result mirrored when it came to the social media channel respondents thought would be most important for their company in 2014.

In both cases healthcare professional networks beat open social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, all of which have been the focus of significant pharma interest.

But online physician networks have seen continuous and significant growth in recent years and lately there has been expansion among existing players like the M3 Group, whose networks includes Doctors.net.uk, and new entrants such as Cegedim Relationship Management's Docnet.

Meanwhile, the Digital Futures 2014 survey found that blogging, always a more select activity for pharma, nevertheless was still considered a core social media activity, and a top five priority for pharma in 2014.

What social media channel will you find most valuable?
1. Healthcare professional networks
2. Twitter
3. LinkedIn
4. Facebook
5. Blogging

Less important to the respondents of our survey were YouTube or Vimeo, though, as Roche's engaging Drawn To Science series shows, pharma videos can sometimes rise above industry view rates that often remain low.

Then below YouTube in the estimation of our respondents were visually-inclined networks like Pinterest and Instagram.

What social media channel will be most important for your company?
1. Healthcare professional networks
2. Twitter
3. LinkedIn
4. Blogging
5. Facebook

In addition to being ranked the top industry social media channel, online healthcare professional networks were also placed highly when it came to the digital marketing tools people would like to make more use of this year.

And I'll look at what the Digital Futures survey said about the industry's digital marketing priorities later this week.

Digital Futures 2014 survey

The survey was hosted online at PMLiVE.com and ran for one month from December 4, 2013. During this time it attracted 236 respondents, among them executives from companies such as AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi and Teva.

Just under half (48.5 per cent) of respondents came from the pharma, biotech or medical devices sectors, with the rest mainly split evenly between consultancies and agencies. By region, 46 per cent of repondents were located in the UK, with strong representation from Europe (29 per cent), the US (9 per cent) and Asia (8 per cent).

The survey attracted a comparable split between those in senior management (19 per cent), marketing (23 per cent), and digital and communications (both 17 per cent). Nearly half of respondents had global responsibilities, with local or regional responsibilities each claimed by just over a quarter of respondents.

Full coverage of the survey, and related analysis, can be found in the Digital Futures section of the Digital Handbook

21st January 2014

From: Marketing

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