Alternative Media: Mouthing Off - Pharmaceutical Executive


Alternative Media: Mouthing Off
Word-of-mouth marketing provides insight into patients' attitudes on drugs and treatments.

Pharmaceutical Executive

Inserting word-of-mouth tactics can also bring an additional level of effectiveness and freshness to them. One of the best examples of this principle is the recruitment of "best patients" into patient advisory boards. These individuals relate to their peers in a way that only an experienced patient can. Another example is to use existing physician relationships to recruit new doctors into your marketing programs via referrals. Word of mouth can also be tied into educational marketing. When it comes to health education, participants are usually eager to learn more about specific conditions, diseases risks, and treatments. Education marketing is also less restrictive than other tactics, so companies can execute more aggressive programs. Launching a disease-awareness initiative, for example, by developing individual relationships with the most influential members of key stakeholder groups, is a highly effective way to spread information.

While pharma was among the earliest industries to realize some of the strategic benefits of word of mouth, there is an even bigger opportunity to do more grassroots planning and outreach. This path will be challenging, largely because of the difficult marketing environment, but the good news is that pharma marketers don't have to take any drastic steps to start incorporating word of mouth in their outreach.


Cadient Group promoted Charlie Bowden, to general manager of convention logistics. I-SITE added three new people to its lineup: Mike Johnson became senior interactive designer, Jian Xu became interactive developer and Albena Pashova became account manager. Michael P. Harden and James J. Cooksey joined the board of directors at Lets Talk Interactive.


Charlie Bowden
Hawaii Medical Service Association, an affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield, renewed its partnership with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions for another three years. This will allow doctors to use Allscripts TouchWorks EHR program. Tennessee Oncology also signed on to use TouchWorks EHR. Zix and eClinicalWorks announced their alliance, which will allow for data exchange as well as co-marketing and supporting sales efforts. Itasca Medical Care selected Plexis Healthcare Systems' Plexis Claim Manager and EDIWorks to improve its response to claims and enhance its operating functions.


McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing released an online version of its Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. Cafepharma unveiled its social-networking application, Cafepharmareach. It allows people in the industry to stay connected by maintaining a contact list. It also allows members to search others' profiles, invite new people, and read blogs. Zynx Health launched ZynxCare, an evidence-based clinical-decision support instrument to assist nurses and interdisciplinary care teams. Norvax launched LeadMiner, the first e-mail autoresponder that includes such features as the ability to automatically send complete health insurance quotes to potential customers.


InfoWorld named Dan Farmer, co-founder and CTO of Elemental Security, an "Innovator to Watch in 2006."

Lydia Worthington is research director at BuzzMetrics, a research firm. She can be reached at


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