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24 June 2021

Digital communication in Pharma: can companies take action to spread correct information about people’s health? Spoiler alert: they can.

How does digital make all the difference when helping pharmaceutical companies break down communication barriers?

Comunicazione digitale nel Pharma

Pharmaceutical companies are going through a transformation process that has brought with it a new way of working and some interesting opportunities, opening the doors to technological innovations and new digital channels. Of course, this challenge also affects Marketing and Communication departments, as being online has become essential for all those who want to take care of the image, but also reputation, of their brand. However, how do these opportunities develop and what are the obstacles that companies have to face today?

“Don’t believe everything on the Internet!”

True story, though in part. We all tend to look for information online every day (especially when it comes to our health), and this demonstrates the twofold nature of the Internet. If, on the one hand, it allows learning more about a specific subject – a positive aspect indeed – on the other hand, we often risk running into “false myths” or reading incorrect information that could lead us to make mistakes and damage our own health. This is the “task” of pharmaceutical companies nowadays i.e. to leverage the potential of digital channels and, through a pull-marketing strategy that creates empathy, communicate and deal with sensitive issues, establishing a relationship of trust with its users.

Is this utopia? Not at all. To date, many companies are moving in this direction to raise awareness and spread messages, counteracting daily misinformation phenomena. For example, in one of our recent podcasts we discussed with Dr. Sanna – Business Excellence & Marketing Director of Gedeon Richter – about “Il Momento Giusto” (i.e. “The right moment”). Il Momento Giusto is an international campaign for young women on the subject of fertility, its preservation and in particular on oocytes freezing as a way to increase the chances of conception “when you’re ready”. Thanks to a multi-channel digital strategy, Gedeon Richter contributed to create awareness in the target audience and in many women who may not have been aware of this opportunity for their future.

Why do Pharma companies need to be Social to date?

Digital communication in Pharma

We have already mentioned that today all digital channels offer enormous opportunities in terms of growth of brand familiarity. However, we should specifically focus on Social Networks, as by nature they contain within them Communities, groups of people who can be profiled and clustered. Of course, this is a big chance for pharmaceutical companies to send their audience relevant and suitable communications (in line with the Ministry of Health’s directives on advertising). To do so, however, (and not to risk alienating their public) they need to analyse in depth the different languages used on social networks and to manage their community correctly. In this way, pharma companies can have a personalised dialogue with their target audience, switching their communication paradigm from one-to-many to one-to-one.

What if Influencers promoted messages of awareness and correct information for people’s health?

Digital communication in Pharma

Short disclaimer: the objective of this blog post is not to divulge best practices on what Influencers should or should not communicate, but simply to analyse the potential of the communicative power of a public figure.

Well yes, because we can essentially consider influencers as public figures who have the chance to share their experiences and thoughts with their followers potentially any moment of their day. And when the number of their followers begin to get dizzying, we should not close our eyes and pretend that influencers do not have an impact in our society.

With this abstract in mind, let’s now try and imagine Influencers using social media to share an experience about health, thereby raising awareness among listeners. Would it surprise you to know that this is already happening today? During the podcast I mentioned above, we also had Giorgia Soleri, professional model and Influencer, as our guest. She told us how she uses her Instagram channel to share the long journey that led her to the diagnosis of vulvodynia and the current treatment she is undergoing. Thanks to her testimony, many people could not only be aware of this disease, but also recognize themselves in her story and give a name to their pain.

To conclude, we can state that digital and everything that comes with it can really make a difference in helping pharmaceutical companies break down communication barriers and bring them closer to their audience, for a truly customer-centric approach.

Elisa Valentino – Social Media Manager

Digital communication in Pharma
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