Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Power to Remove Despots and Keep Customers

It’s being said on all the political talk shows and op ed pages that the past week’s people’s revolution in Egypt could not have happened without the power of Facebook and Twitter.

Yet while social media is proving itself time and time again to be a positive force in people’s lives, pharmaceutical clients are still a little nervous about adding it to their marketing toolbox.

Why? Because they fear that they could lose control of the discussion. That someone may step over the line in terms of adverse events. They feel they have to wait for the FCC to make good on its promise to establish guidelines for the industry to follow.

They don’t get how to assign the dialogue a monetary value. ROI is understood; ROE (return on engagement) is something pretty foreign to them.

But the perception is not the reality. Reportable adverse events are far less common than assumed. Nielsen randomly picked 500 postings on Yahoo Health boards. Only one of them qualified as a reportable adverse event. That’s a rate of 0.2%. The fact is, most comments don’t qualify as an adverse event.

As for the ROI question, Dorothy has been preaching since even before we opened Extrovertic that “ROE should be your new ROI.”

Back then the “E” was for “engagement.” Now, many in the industry have broadened it to mean, “experience.”  Regardless, there are a number of ways to quantify the monetary return on it.

I guess the irony is, that while social media can help rid a country of a dictator in 18 days, it has been slow to convince marketers to take up the cause.

Still, I have no doubt: the revolution will prevail.


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1 comment:

  1. Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. - Wilma Rudolph

    Just a matter of time before a brave pharma marketer takes the step to help patients realize their dreams.

    Stay optimistic.