Why pharma should stop worrying about Web 2.0

Now there’s a thing. 

Shouldn’t you worry about Web 2.0, when that means all your customers are talking and gossiping and complaining about your brand/company, without anyone listening/checking/correcting them?  What’s going on?   Aren’t all the experts telling us that reputations are built and destroyed in these places and we should be paying $£€millions for a Social Media Strategy? 

Well, my point is this: Web 1.0 is still there and is probably more important right now if your target audience is physicians.     

Remember, the read-only Web?  The look-for-information-and-if-the-brand-is-doing-its-job-right-you’ll-find-it-Web? 

Google your brand/clinical trial/therapy area.  Now Google it in each of your major country markets…What do you see?     

  • An out-of-date Wikipedia page?
  • An ad/page from an alternative therapist telling you you don’t need your brand?
  • An ad/page from a Law firm offering to help you sue your company?
  • A competitor’s ad?

What should you see?

Your (local language) home page, giving useful information and services about your medicine for each audience or stakeholder, perhaps?   

If doctors, payers, patients, providers, journalists or anyone else wants to know about clinical trials or drug therapies, what do you think they do?  

That’s right, 90%+ of them Google it.  That’s it.   And if they don’t get good service from you at this point – at this “request for information” interaction, what do you think they think of you? 

In FMCG terms, if you’re not in the top 10 (some would say the top 3), you’re not “on the shelf”.  Why should I buy your product if you can’t be bothered to put it on the shelf? 

The healthcare professionals we speak to (mainly specialists) say that they are at the “dabbling” stage in social media but boy, do they want information to be on hand when they need it.  Almost every one of them says – “I just want a one-stop shop where I can go and find out all I need to know about the therapy area or drug I’m interested in”.  Pharma has that content, and we should provide it.  Simple. 

Here’s a non-pharma example.  I Googled “budget accommodation near Heathrow” and this was the top sponsored link: 

Cheap Hotel In Heathrow
Quality Budget Hotel In Heathrow From Only £19.   Book Online Now

Click through and enter “Heathrow” (not sure why I had to do that), and I get: 

Travelodge3 clicks later (no use of the back button or need to use a site menu or map) and I’m at “Complete Booking”.  Total elapsed time: 23 seconds. 

The Travelodge team have mapped the likely customer journey, and figured out how to get from Google search to satisfied customer as fast as possible.  



A near-perfect online service.  Do I recommend the Travelodge product?  Of course. 

Do it.  It’s easy – just get your brand/therapy area content online:   

  • Map the customer journey, figure out what your customers want and how to give it to them on a good old-fashioned website.
  • Deliver high quality, engaging, informative, relevant, interactive content and services.
  • Optimise the site for search engines.
  • Promote it to your target audience.
  • Keep it up-to-date.  THIS is your primary “conversation” with your customers.  This is the conversation you have when they have come to visit you – be polite, get it right, give them what they want and need right here before you go out to meet them in social networks or anywhere else.  If you do a good job of it, they’ll come back and visit again and be your friend. 

  Then we can talk about Web 2.0.

Congleton Town Councillor for the Women's Equality Party. CEO of Kanga Health Ltd - practical digital transformation of healthcare.

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Posted in CRM, Marketing, Websites
3 comments on “Why pharma should stop worrying about Web 2.0
  1. timomj says:

    You are so right: the pharma has not REALLY grabbed the essence of web 2.0 and how to make it work like other industries do.

  2. come here says:

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by Kay Wesley of Kanga Health Ltd

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