Will social media work to connect with patients?

Share this article:
Remember what happened with websites in the 1990s? It seemed as if corporate marketing went from “Exactly how do they work?” to “Wow, we gotta have one,” overnight. Perhaps the same thing is happening today with regard to the hot topic in marketing, social media.

By my count, almost every brand marketer is under pressure to use the social media channel as part of a marketing strategy. Everyone is “buzzing” about Web 2.0 and customer engagement and no one wants to be left out. 

How does your company decide what to do? Here are three principles worth consideration:

Start with the basics—Brands should not have a Facebook strategy, a Twitter strategy or even a Social Media strategy per se. Instead, they should have a clear, well-articulated marketing strategy which might include any of these tactics to deliver the right message to the right target at the right time in the right way. (Yes, Marketing 101 still rules no matter how many people are watching more YouTube than NBC or CBS.)

Focus on your audience—Social media audiences do not go to social media sites to be hyped, pitched, prodded or promotized (yes, that's a made-up word). They go to connect—with friends, with acquaintances, with topics that interest them. The way to their hearts and wallets (eventually) has to be based on appealing to their individual interests. Luckily for pharma marketers, health is a huge interest. And remember, people over the age of 55 are a fast-growing group in social media.

Patients do the talking—When Hologic created the Voices of MammoSite social media campaign, we figuratively handed the microphone to our volunteers. They talked to recently diagnosed breast cancer patients all across the country, sharing experiences, answering questions, spreading hope. We engaged with them around a topic which galvanized them to action: making sure that women everywhere know their options in breast cancer therapy.
They spoke more eloquently, and more credibly, than the best corporate marketer you could name. And they spoke directly to those women who most needed to learn about MammoSite therapy.

Social media isn't mass media: it's “we, the media.” 

Marketing will never be the same again and it's time to decide how to engage, change and get involved.

Mary Pietrowski is director of marketing at Hologic, Inc.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Features

Headliner: Ipsen head leads continental charge

Headliner: Ipsen head leads continental charge

"When I look at the business, I actually see patients in my mind. I don't see numbers."

Read the complete October 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete October 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the October 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.

Predicting your pink slip

Predicting your pink slip

Any time a firm needs to save money, high-salaried executives are targets