Category Archive: Social Media

Pew Internet Research: Social Use Update

New research from Pew Internet Research shows that as of August 2011, 65% of US online adults, use social networking sites.  That’s a 61% increase from 2010.

And, now 50% of all adults use social networking sites. Staggering numbers.

click here to download the report.

The Age of the Customer

I hope you read Josh Bernoff’s blogs (from Forrester Research).  Josh blogs about social applications and technology empowerment inside and outside companies; and is an author of the books Empowered and Groundswell.

In his June 6, 2011 blog he summarizes his new report Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer.  The report first summarizes previous sources of business domination (manufacturing, distribution, and information mastery); but notes the we are now in a whole different era.  Business is now in the Age of the Customer, and the power of the business comes from engaging with the empowered customer.


And his four priorities as you set your 2012 objectives, strategies and budgets:

  1. Invest in real-time insight (via social listening) to build products customers will embrace.
  2. Spend more on customer experience and customer service to build relationships.
  3. Fund sales channels that deliver intelligence about customers, not just push.
  4. Shift marketing funds from one-way ads into useful content and interactive marketing.


If you haven’t read the full report yet…do so now.  You can’t afford to continue doing things the same old way.


In the absence of FDA’s social guidance….

2009…nothing.  2010…nothing.  2011…doesn’t look like it.

According to the FDA’s “Guidance Agenda: New & Revised Draft Guidances CDER is Planning to Publish During Calendar Year”,  “Promotion of Prescription Drug Products Using Social Media Tools” was nowhere to be found. This was brought to pharma’s attention last week by John Mack, aka Pharmaguy.  You can access John’s blog here; his blog also includes the link to the FDA’s Guidance Agenda.

But who needs to wait for the FDA. As per Marc Monseau & Shwen Gwee’s presentation at the May 24, 2011 MM&M Virtual Summit, the 3 key areas where pharma should currently be involved in social include:

  • Identifying deep insights about the people who use our products and services and the markets we operate in
  • Encouraging direct dialog between our company, products and brands and different stakeholder groups
  • Creating relationships
Social can, and should, be done. Our patients expect it.  You just have to be transparent, smart, establish policies, and most of all, remain flexible. Social’s not going anywhere…deal with it.

The Social Life of Health Information 2011

Pew Research does a great job with the big picture of social and health information.  And their most recent report doesn’t disappoint.

The social life of health information is robust. The online conversation about health is being driven forward by two forces: 1) the availability of social tools and 2) the motivation, especially among people living with chronic conditions, to connect with each other.

Some of my favorite numbers:

  • 6% of internet users have posted comments, questions or information about health or medical issues on a website of some kind, such as a health site or news site that allows comments and discussion.
  • 5% of internet users have posted health-related comments, questions, or information in an online discussion, a listserv, or other online group forum.
  • 4% of internet users have posted such comments, questions or information on a blog.

And if you remember there are close to 200 million internet users in the US alone, those are some pretty big numbers.

Marketing Research in 2021

Great editorial from a recent Journal of Advertising Research.

The Shape of Marketing Research in 2021

By 2021, we think that leading-edge companies—probably led by consumer packaged goods and technologically driven enterprises—will look for answers to 80 percent of their marketing issues by “fishing the river” of information.

The river is an organic flow of knowledge.  And how will innovative companies fish that river?

  1. Mobile Data
  2. User-Generated Content (UGC) and Text-Mining
  3. Social Networks

Get on board, or your going to miss the boat.

Pharma can ENGAGE in social, it just takes common sense

Social is not a brand Facebook page or a corporate tweet. It’s not a one-way push. Social is engaging and interacting with individuals at a personal level; that’s a two-way street.  To date pharma has barely scratched the surface of one-way social, let alone done much of anything in terms of true, two-way communication.

Yeah…Yeah…Yeah…regulatory concerns.  But if pharma uses common sense, a sound strategy, and sticks to their corporate mission, participating in two-way social is a win-win for everyone.

A recent article by Vernessa Pollard entitled FDA’s Social Media Enforcement: Emerging Rules of Engagement nicely lays out a handful of social guidelines pharma companies need to consider in the absence of specific guidance from FDA.

Should be required reading for all of Pharma.


Adam Kleger