Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Live from the ePharma Summit: Q&A Panel Discussion Tuesday AM

Q: How do we market to social media without creating an ad?

John Fish "Its not about controlling the social media spheres, its giving the correct information so that they can start the conversation."

Bob Lord, "Excellent Ads, provide brand principals and post creative briefs on the web and let nearly 8,000 people to create the ad and place it in the sphere. The conversation around the big brands are what makes social media valuable--its about the dialogue. Its getting information to you about the brand. To go from brand perception to brand reality."

Nancy Phelan, "We're struggling with the commercial model. We look at social media and it helps to have a discussion about what we know and what we don't know. If we can work within a model--even if we don't completely understand it, it starts the discussion about social media. It gets to competencies and process. We're starting to make progress but we haven't figured it out."

Nan Forte, "When we get out of this room, when we get interrupted its rude. The same with social media, we can't disrupt the conversation. Its complicated when we talk about patient views and perceptions of brand. You have to challenge the model of ads to consumers on social media."

Q: Are there lessons that we've learned from 10 years ago with social media?

Paul Ivans: "You have to care deeply about social media, really care. Its baby steps. My belief is that everyone in this room doesn't feel like we've hit it in social media. Its one of the few things we can do...but everyone is trying to figure this out. We have to stick with it. One lesson we can learn is to get the medical, legal and regulatory people to understand social media. Take them to a place where the conversation is going on... have them experience what's going on."

Nancy Phelan: "Its helpful if you start talking to the medical/legal people about what they are interested in...not pharma. Interest them in something that is meaningful to them and migrate them from what they are interested in to how they can use social media. Not starting them on your brand."

Nan Forte: "People support what they helped to create."

Q: Are those conversations going to happen online, regardless of how involved we're in with the conversations with brand? What are three different ways that you've evolved with learning about social networking.

Bob Lord: "Start in the listening mode and as you feel comfortable, then eventually get into a real active mode where you're actually leading the conversation. You have to put the real resources behind this and actually start listening. Understand the buzz..when you get the math, you can put a plan into place. Until you do that...you can't do anything. You may decide to be a participant the whole time...but you should ramp up, think about the commercial model. How do I make it better?"

John Fish: "Its easier to do with physicians than with consumers. You can tap into those social networking. Its easier to get docs and key opinion leaders to start and engage. If you're going to lead, you have to demonstrate value. If you're gonna follow, at least do it right."

Kathleen Oniel: "Pharma isn't really set up to do this. PR people are the only ones who have expertise in social media--with pharma. (This happened by default as the public brought the converstaion to Pharma). We're in the middle of it, its halted by organizational mishandling."

Paul Ivans: "When social media is approached not by the marketing team but by a larger group of people--then you have a chance to move your organization forward."

Q: Having tough time prioritizing social media, can you provide some strategies that we can use?

Nancy Phelan: "Time is a precious commodity. No one has the perfect way to get things reviewed. If you can get someone in legal and medical to be a champion, then you can move forward. If you can find someone in a functional area, you can have some success. Celebrate the small steps and learn from them."

John Fish: "Establish processes with individuals who are really strong in social media and an expert on your brand. Everyone has dirty laundry."

Q: How do we scale digital marketing with strategy and organization?

John Fish: "Its more politics than process. If you are a global company, you would be wasting your money unless you have solid connections. You have to have IT at the table as soon as you can. You cannot effectively operate on a global scale w/o IT."

Nancy Phelan: "If you're talking about a specific brand, then global but if you're talking about products, then local."

Kathleen Onieal: "Because of DTC and DTP in Europe and the rest of the world, its difficult to implement. What we're figuring out is looking at relationship marketing with physicians. Shared content--but it came out of Europe. Focus on Physicians, focus on content and partner, not compete with Europe."

John Fish: "You have to really force and drive the efficiencies with your content and branding."

Paul Ivans: "You aren't the police. Don't force people to use the same website across the globe. If it can help them get to the goal, then help them."

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