Issues in DTC: Social media and mobile technology

By Todd LaRoche (@toddlaroche)

Will social media be a category killer, crushing even mobile technologies? Thats an unlikely reality especially if the FDA continues delaying the announcement of new advertising guidelines for online and social-media marketing. Plus, social media isnt a replacement for other communication channels; it should be complementary, and part of a larger multi-channel marketing strategy.

A McKinsey Marketing Practice report notes:

The stakes are high, but for many companies, innovatively delivering benefits through integrated multi-channel solutions is the key to significant profit growth.

Couple social media initiatives with a growing mobile Web ComScore reports 65.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in January 2011, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period and youve got a tremendous opportunity. As smartphones become de rigueur and more mobile medical applications achieve FDA approval, not having a strategy that encompasses all the touch points to interact with customers and prospects is a missed opportunity.

The Department of Commerce notes that 28 percent of Americans dont use the Internet in any location. In other words, 92 million people are offline and not using social media. Marketers should have strategies other than Twitter or Facebook to ensure a broad reach. However, 70 percent of U.S. consumers do have an Internet connection and are online at their computers, on their smartphone, or both. Knowing this, its no surprise worldwide spending on social networks is expected to reach almost $6 billion this year, amounting to $3.1 billion in the US and $2.9 billion in international markets.

Learning how to incorporate new technologies into the marketing mix as well as which ones are most effective for your business is essential in reaching todays consumer. Author, speaker and marketing expert Jamie Turner will be delivering a dynamic presentation on “The Five Biggest Lies in Social Media at the DTC National Conference, where pharma professionals can uncover how they can use or not use social media for their specific business.

Social media, along with other major issues in DTC Marketing, will be a much talked-about topic at this years DTC National Conference. Each year, the DTC National Conference draws hundreds of industry experts, leading pharma marketers, market researchers and politicos to converge their insights on the latest innovations in DTC Marketing.

Over 3 days, attendees will benefit from case studies, new market research, media & marketing gurus and networking opportunities. The DTC National will give you the latest tools and innovations essential to creating best-in-class DTC marketing campaigns with improved ROI. And since a DTC Marketers job is about more than just the bottom line, the DTC National will also give you insights into using DTC marketing to improve patient health outcomes.

Last year, Pixels & Pills had some of our most memorable interviews right form the floor of DTC 2010. We talked to Governor Howard Dean and actor Joe Pantoliano. We talked about the Flomax campaign with Rich Baron and healthcare reform with Jim Davidson. And we made new friends, like Epsilons Mark Miller, Roska Digitals Kurt Mueller, and ContextMedias Rishi Shah.

This year, were looking forward to another blockbuster lineup, and the same high-quality educational programming that weve come to expect from the folks at DTC Perspectives. Heres the low-down on this years conference:

Date: Wednesday, April 6-Friday, April 8
Location: Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA
Website: http://www.dtcperspectives.com/website/Conferences/DTC-National/DTC-National-Main.html
Agenda: http://www.dtcperspectives.com/website/Conferences/DTC-National/Agenda.html
Registration: https://www.dtcperspectives.com/conferencereg/17.html

Whats more, this years Gold Pass is better than ever Gold Pass holders get an Amazon.com Kindle Wi-Fi Edition with access to the Conference Materials in the form of two Amazon.com Kindle book credits. Special terms and conditions apply.

Were excited to see you there youre welcome to swing by the Pixels & Pills set and lend us your thoughts on the future of digital DTC!

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