Executives in the pharmaceutical industry still appear to be grappling with their digital marketing efforts. To date, businesses in this industry allocate less than 10% of marketing expenditures to digital activities. A recently issued report from EPG Health Media points to 2 major problems in the digital realm for pharmaceutical marketers: Regulations and lack of expertise. The report focused on how the lack of expertise is holding back progress in digital marketing by pharmaceutical firms.
Currently, about 43% pharmaceutical executives have a poor understanding of the brand’s digital presence. There’s a relatively small pool of executives, 14%, who call themselves expert or good on the topic. Researchers trace the reason for this problem to the industry’s general “failure to track digital activities”. About 51% of companies fall into the ‘limited or very limited’ categories when it comes to tracking how well their digital activities are doing.
Chris Cooper, Managing Director at EPG Health Media, sees this ongoing situation as an industry-wide problem. “If pharma is to overcome the barriers to improvement of its online activity, it must ensure that future budgets are allocated not just for the creation and support of digital activities, but also to ensure that those same activities are monitored effectively.”
The study also revealed that pharma companies are outsourcing their digital efforts. At least 78% of these companies do try to review the efforts being made on their behalf. However, analysts call these reviews insufficient and encourage pharma executives to pay more attention to these reviews and to adjust strategies to improve effectiveness of their digital marketing investments.[Source: Study Highlights Lack of Digital Marketing Effectiveness within Pharma. EPG Health Media. November. 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2010]