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Pharmaceuticals forecast switch to SEO and social media

A new survey has identified a definite intention among senior pharmaceutical executives to switch an increasing proportion of their marketing expenditure to ‘new’ digital media outlets, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), social media and mobile networks.

The survey, by major US consultancy firm Booz & Co, in association with respected international market research company National Analysts Worldwide, involved the questioning of 156 executives operating within pharmaceuticals companies in the UK, France, Spain, Germany and the US.

By far the most popular area singled out for future marketing expenditure was social media specifically aimed at the doctor community, with almost 60% confirming they intended to raise the amount spent in engaging with visitors to these sites.

At the same time, 55% of respondents said they anticipated there to be a future increase in expenditure on mobile marketing, whilst 49% believed that SEO would also warrant increased marketing investment by their organisations.

Two new technology areas specific to the pharmaceutical and medical industries were also highlighted by the survey as likely to benefit from future increased marketing funds.

These were eDetailing (whereby pharmaceutical sales reps target doctors online rather than via the traditional on-premises sales appointments), accounting for 52% of respondents, and the inclusion of promotional material on specialist websites dealing with specific diseases or product categories, accounting for 48% of those questioned.

In contrast, the survey identified a decidedly negative attitude among respondents towards more traditional media, with almost 40% of those questioned saying they wanted to reduce their outlay on advertising in print media.

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