1st eMarketing Summit in Canada
November from Cecile Hustin, VP/Strategic Planning
As soon as I had registered to attend Canada’s first Pharma eMarketing summit last August, I was eagerly waiting to hear the best and brightest digital minds share with us their experiences and insights into the ever-changing digital universe. Of course, I also expected to hear some echoes of the frustrations that we had experienced with the challenge of delivering great interactive programs in a highly regulated environment.
But what I did not expect to hear was whining from presenting agencies, so little real sharing, and so much blatant self-promotion.
The true excitement at the summit came from a member of our regulatory body and, more importantly, from all the clients who delivered their presentations with a refreshing blend of openness, pragmatism, and enthusiasm.
Here are the most interesting talks I heard at the summit:
- Nicole Bellam from ASC shared quite an entertaining example of a DTCA and a DTCI campaign. While respecting the regulatory guidelines, it made use of all the social marketing vehicles that you would expect to see in a well-planned DTC campaign.
- Danny Shenkman from Lilly told us about how the revamp of the Lilly Interactive website had helped create more interactions with registered physicians.
- Christian Roy from Pfizer shared how they had openly cooperated with Novartis to get Pfizer social media ready and expressed his openness to sharing it in turn with other companies.
- Claudio Battaglin from Bayer showed us how launching a product without a sales force could be a profitable proposition for a pharmaceutical company.
So, kudos to these presenters who inspired us to try and learn from every small step we take. As for the whiners, they were reminded by some presenters to reflect on the demise of the recent MS watch website by TEVA and to direct their energy on either fighting for legislative renewal or becoming creative within the current regulatory framework and stop targeting PAAB and ASC as if they were the “villains”.
The digital age offers many applications in pharma. Some are more obvious then others and the opportunity of social media is possibly the biggest digital challenge of all. It is for each of us to decide how to use it within the regulatory limits without losing track of our business goals. So let’s get out there, be courageous, share, and learn from each other’s experiences and grow stronger as an industry.
If you are interested in discussing anything that was presented at the summit, it will be my pleasure. Please get in touch Cecile.email@example.com.