Making Big Waves - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Making Big Waves


Pharmaceutical Executive


Get Social

To support your patient targets, leverage social media and insight-driven resources. While it may seem farfetched for a small and relatively unknown newcomer to dominate the market, the goal seemed an achievable one. Through our SOCIAL MEDIAtion process, Compass began observing the social media space—identifying key sources of information relevant to our brand such as message boards, Facebook, and other networking groups and online communities.

Next, we identified 20 key sites that contained acromegaly and treatment information, including http://Mayoclinic.com/, http://About.com/, and http://Drugs.com/. To ensure that the Somatuline Depot message appeared in as many places as possible and was always accurately represented, Compass employed its Online Outreach service. Using Online Outreach, Compass developed, distributed, and gained placement of educational content on many of these prominent sites, often with links back to http://SomatulineDepot.com/.

The Results

In terms of building brand awareness, driving traffic to the Web site, and establishing product trial, the results of Tercica's interactive efforts far exceeded the company's goals for the brand.

The email campaign enjoyed a highly favorable open rate, with 13.4 percent of physicians and 11 percent of pharmacists opening the launch announcement email. Of the 18,000 pharmacists who opened the email, close to 7,000 clicked through to the new Somatuline Depot Web site.

Online Outreach efforts resulted in 75 percent penetration and adoption, with eight of the 11 identified sites implementing the educational content submitted to them.

Furthermore, Tercica was especially pleased with how many patients and healthcare professionals visited http://SomatulineDepot.com/. In the first 12 months post-launch, more than 32,000 unique visitors arrived at the site, with 80 percent of site traffic being delivered via paid search.

Not only were the interactive marketing efforts successful in driving qualified traffic to the site, once visitors arrived, but they were also effective in driving online traffic. Visitors averaged 6.2 minutes on the site with 125 visitors opting into the database in the first month alone (60 percent of those were patients; 40 percent, healthcare professionals). Within the first six months, 115 consumers signed up for the CRM program, and 20 percent of CRM enrollees went on to print the online coupon for Somatuline Depot, with 46 percent of them redeeming it.

Somatuline Depot is living proof that for small, specialty pharma companies, interactive marketing can bring them into the big leagues, but more importantly, emerge them as a star player. While Big Pharmas may have greater resources, their sheer size can cause them to move slowly, like a battleship. So, get moving—propel your brand into the market like a speedboat, and in the process, create powerful waves.

Peter H. Nalen is president and CEO of Compass Healthcare Communications. He can be reached at


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