PM Society Digital Works30.04.2015
On April 28, we joined our colleagues from across the industry for the PM Society’s Digital Works 2015 event. The event was aimed at highlighting successful digital campaigns that allowed Pharma companies to better engage with HCPs and Patients. With a series of presentations from Pharma marketers and their communications agency counterparts, the afternoon featured campaigns run by AbbVie, NovoNordisk, Novartis, BMJ, TalkHealth and World Hepatitis Day.
The campaigns were each well thought through and well-executed, and some of the success factors and challenges they described echoed with our experience conducting campaign research with our clients, namely:
- Digital, and medically approved. Nearly every speaker mentioned the challenges of executing engaging digital campaigns that are compliant with medical approval. It’s well documented that engaging digital campaigns need to have new, exciting and interactive content, and many of the speakers described the how getting content approved by medical teams required significant attention and planning. Sophie Kennedy from AbbVie actually said one of their secrets to success was setting up her ZINC job bags right from the beginning. The faster pace of digital media means that the campaigns need to be planned and approved for several months in advance in order to keep the content regularly updated, but all compliant.
- Planning for syndication and sharing of content. The beauty of the digital age is that it allows customers to have access to events and information that are geographically remote from themselves. It seems like a simple point but a number of the successful campaigns showcased at the event were simply aimed at sharing more widely the outputs from in-person congresses, speakers and meetings in a format that can be accessed in the audience’s own time. This was an important reminder for the times when teams are excited about ‘doing a digital campaign’ or ‘making an app’ that the process doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel or involve the creation of completely new messages to engage customers and provide them with a valuable knowledge resource; a first step can be looking at existing ‘local’ resources and making these available digitally.
- The importance of the right source. Although the focus of the event was on the use of the digital platforms to communicate messages, each of the speakers paid homage to the importance of having credible communicators; whether that’s KOLs, Celebrities (world hepatitis day worked with comedian Stephen Fry), or patients themselves, it is clear that even when promoting message on a digital platform they still needed to be from ‘someone’ to really have an impact on the audience.
- Choosing the right platform. We know from our communications work that not all platforms are created equal and a number of the campaigns showcased at the event learned this lesson the hard way- choosing the platform based on what it could offer them rather than considering what would be most accessible or relevant for their audience. This underlines the importance of understanding customers’ media use patterns and locations to match your deliverable with existing customer behaviour
Overall the event offered valuable insight in to some successful campaigns and some additional considerations as we continue to support in helping our clients develop more diverse digital campaigns. To hear more about the event or what we do in communications research, please don’t hesitate to get in touch