Alternative Media: The Download on Podcasting - Pharmaceutical Executive


Alternative Media: The Download on Podcasting
Through podcasts, marketers create intimate and captivating experiences for audiences.

Pharmaceutical Executive

Vehicles to Reach Physicians

Podcasts help marketers to create an audience. This additional reach is attained by providing an easy way to access important and credible clinical content. Moreover, podcasts dramatically increase ROI because the overhead of creating a podcast is just a fraction of the cost of putting on traditional live events or making sales calls. Typically, a podcast saves marketers over 80 percent in cost when compared with traditional promotional and educational tactics.

Podcasts increase conference participation and impact, while decreasing expenses and logistical headaches. With anytime/anywhere access, podcasts make it much easier to sandwich a CME course between Bruce Springsteen records.

The Pharma Marketers Guide to Successful Podcasting

It's fairly easy to make a good podcast. However, it takes a little more effort and planning to make a great one. Here are some key tactics to keep in mind.

1 Plan ahead to maximize time and efficiency Podcast subjects are very busy people and the production process can be time consuming. A good approach is to work with the podcast's KOL ahead of time to flesh out several topics. That way, marketers can maximize the time by creating an educational series in just a day. Working ahead also gives ample time to create, edit, and distribute the podcasts as a serial broadcast.

2 Use high-quality equipment To make a podcast stand out, always use high-quality, professional equipment. Compression for distribution over the Web can lower the quality, which is why it's crucial to start with the best. Be certain to recruit trained, experienced crews to ensure that materials fit the technical requirements of a podcast, and can be adapted to fit other specification formats, such as marketing DVDs or video.

3 Leverage podcasting platforms Podcast providers like Apple's iTunes—the most popular podcasting host—let users subscribe to podcasts that are of particular interest to them using RSS feeds. If viewers don't have iTunes, they can download podcasts directly from a company Web site and view them on different platforms, such as QuickTime and Windows Media Player.

Podcast Penetration

Podcasting offers consumers another avenue to research drugs and medical conditions. The Web is one of the biggest resources for non-physicians to find medical information, and podcasting is just another extension of the Internet. Podcasts can be established as "webisodes," such as a serial health show with a credentialed host.

Non-branded podcasts are especially effective, because they get the marketing message across, while still educating the user. Given tech-savvy consumers' passion for adopting the latest gadgets, and their inclination to research medical information online, podcasting is a smart next step for marketers.

Consumers can expect a variety of podcasts on multiple disease states and therapeutic categories, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. What are they already listening to now? Tune into the Science and Medicine podcast section of the iTunes Music Store, which offers content from over 100 podcast publishers, including JAMA, Science, Nature, NEJM, and the Mayo Clinc.

Scott Burkette is director of content development for Lathian. He can be reached at


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