As pharmaceutical marketing continues to evolve, drug companies are devoting more resources to digital platforms, such as social media and advertising through mobile devices. This has translated into an expansion in the number of full-time employees dedicated to digital marketing, as revealed by a new report compiled by management analysis firm Cutting Edge Information.
According to the study, titled "Pharmaceutical Digital Marketing and Social Media," the top 10 of 33 drug companies had an average of more than 23 full-time employees who worked on digital strategies. One business even had a team of 37 full-time workers. Nearly one-half of the average digital team is made of a combination of programmers and design personnel.
However, other data revealed that about one-third of businesses surveyed had only one full-time employee working on digital marketing.
Overall, 58 percent of respondents had teams designated for managing promotional electronic strategies.
"The data reveal a clear trend of the pharmaceutical industry's marketing shifting into digital channels and away from some of the more traditional marketing channels," said Ryan McGuire, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "A number of companies already invest a great deal of staffing and budget resources into [electronic marketing]."
These trends are reflective of the increasingly prominent role of the internet in promoting business. According to Hubspot, 78 percent of internet users research products online. Furthermore, when it comes to social media, 67 percent of business-to-business and 41 percent of business-to-consumer companies attracted a customer through Facebook.
According to the study from Cutting Edge Information, social media is best used as an outlet for listening to customers. The challenge of this activity is that it does not have traditional returns on investment.
However, the measure of success for other digital platforms may entail variables such as time spent on a website, traffic for websites and clickthroughs for internet advertising.