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Proving value will be the key to pharma's digital future

Bayer's Fabio Piva talks about using digital tools

Pharma's use of digital technology is on the increase, with spending up 20 per cent between 2010 and 2011, as companies look to it to provide a more cost-effective use of resources.

But more than other more traditional channels the myriad of approaches that fall under the 'digital' banner tend to face hard questions when it comes to things like return on investment (ROI).

Bayer Healthcare's Fabio Piva will be amongst the panel members at Eyeforpharma's e-marketing and mobile conference in Barcelona at the end of this month.

For Piva, the crucial question that marketers today face is how to be able to make sense of the uncertainty around the use of digital and prove the value of the technology.

“I see a big question mark over how well pharma can use digital,” he told PMLiVE. There is no question about the need to develop strategies that make use of digital, because everybody sees the fact it can increase efficiency and decrease cost.”

“The real struggle is about how to provide real added-value beyond the hype and novelty and the fact that everybody seems to run in this direction.”

Piva, who is global brand lead – men's healthcare at Bayer HealthCare, has overseen the pharma company's erectile dysfunction drug Levitra (vardenafil) and its testosterone brands since 2007.

It's important, he notes, to be able to have a genuine dialogue, which brings with it its own challenges.

“Whatever you do must be a longer term commitment, you have to continue with the activity and be there for a longer time than you would with traditional media or classic advertising.”

His advice for those in pharma thinking about digital campaigns: “Ask yourself twice what the value is in the exchange you are providing. When will you be useful for your target audience?

“Because in the current order, if you forget to be relevant … you will be forgotten after five minutes.”

Fabio Piva is global brand lead – men's healthcare at Bayer HealthCare. He will be amongst the panel members at Eyeforpharma's e-marketing and mobile conference, which takes place in Barcelona on March 27-28, 2012.

14th March 2012

From: Marketing

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