Frost & Sullivan released a report that suggested about half of medical device manufacturers have tapped into social media's potential as a marketing tool, as reported by PMLiVE. Such trends may have implications for the future of marketing for medical devices.
This conclusion is based on a survey of 170 industry executives from the U.S. and Europe. Results indicated that employees of device manufacturers demonstrated frequent use of personal social media to interact with colleagues. Furthermore, about one-third of respondents said that they used social media to research opinions about their company, or to study their competitors. One-half of the executives felt that social media would play a larger role within their company in the next year.
According to the report, the most common benefit of social media cited by the study participants was as a low-investment
marketing tool. For example, companies may use social media to initiate online collaborations with healthcare providers.
These findings seem to follow overall trends in social media. According to eMarketer, 66 percent of American internet users are on social networking sites.
Meanwhile, 67 percent of business-to-customer companies and 41 percent of business-to-business companies acquired a customer through Facebook, according to Hubspot. Furthermore, 64 percent of Facebook users have become "fans" of at least one company.
The ubiquity of social networking sites is also reflected in other findings from the Frost & Sullivan report on medical device companies. Despite the fact that one-half of study participants had policies restricting access to social media, a large number of employees were still using these sites.
Blocking access to social media on company computers won't be effective, according to the report, because employees may still use their mobile devices.
"[There is] no possible way to censor social media, so there is a need to train marketing/public relations [professionals on] how to react when discussions in social media become out of control and/or how to overcome social media disasters," the authors said, quoted by PMLiVE.