A blog exploring pharmaceutical relationship marketing, emarketing and innovation with a focus on rare disorders.
The convergence of rare disease, digital communications, and pharmaceutical marketing communications

Advertising Never Started a Movement

Posted by | 3:50pm on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

if we could start by changing the way we think about Advertising in the Social Media space, we may actually find ourselves driving much needed solutions for our patients 

It may be kinda weird to hear a marketer talking about the limits of advertising, but here I am. When marketing within Social Media, Advertising is the LAST thing you want to do. With Social Media it is far more beneficial to communicate around a Movement. No one understood this better than the Obama Campaign. They didn’t run advertisements that said “Vote for Obama”. Instead they initiated a movement around the words “Yes We Can” and the fundamental desire for hope and change. There is a great presentation by Adam Cahill that showcases this Social Media breakthrough.

This Movement philosophy seems to translate well into the world of Pharma. And more specifically, for Rare Disorder Therapies. Lets face it – we are already more focused at improving the quality of life for these patients and families, than pushing programs and products. So, we already believe in the Movement philosophy! The opportunity is for Marketers and Pharma to embrace this and create the desired forums online. A good example of this is Gardasil’s Take a Step campaign. Forrester has a great summary of this first-ever Pharma Facebook program.

And of course, finding the right Movement comes out of listening to our patients. Their concerns and questions should help us define the gap they are looking to fill. Once you have uncovered these needs, you will have identified a Movement! Ok, we all know it isn’t quite that simple, but if we could start by changing the way we think about Advertising in the Social Media space, we may actually find ourselves driving much needed solutions for our patients.

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(Image courtesy of The Library of Congress via Flickr)

About Heidi Schoeneck

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  • http://www.friedmanandwexler.com marietta baglieri

    What a great article .. poignant and straight forward .. I agree, on several plains .. first, with respect to “advertising” .. there are those who cannot distinguish between advertising and marketing .. and worse, don’t know when they need branding — not advertising OR marketing.

    Sometimes the best way in is to start with an ideology .. better to make them think about the subject, than to tell them what needs to be done .. and hopefully, the less you have to educate the audience, the quicker the uptake!

    I like your style ..

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