These are among the insights revealed at Digital Pharma China,a conference in Shanghai on July 11-12 that attracted more than 100 pharmaceutical marketing professionals, physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Numerous experts at the event reported that multi-channel marketing can be a huge challenge for pharmaceutical marketers but there also are a wealth of e-marketing opportunities in China’s rapidly growing market for branded prescription medicines. A common theme is to ensure that all communication channels are fully integrated and working towards brand objectives. Some digital channels are more important than others,and conference speakers emphasized that only through good research can professionals become masters of great multi-channel marketing.
“Intelligence is a key word that describes effective digital marketing,” said Ellen Cheng, Vice President and Senior Consultant at BizPro International. “Technology has enabled us to deploy innovative marketing strategies,but they are not necessarily interconnected. The challenge is to measure how each Yuan or Dollar spent on digital marketing is impacting a business.”Digital Pharma China was hosted by ExL Pharma, a New-York based company that is a leader in developing innovative, educational conferences that serve the pharmaceutical and allied healthcare communities.
This is the first professional conference dedicated to exploring advances in digital marketing in China, and participants agreed that the topic is timely. While the conference was underway, China’s State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang met and announced that it will accelerate development of China’s mobile networks and broadband internet access.
Already in China, 98 percent of physicians report that they access the internet for information. Of those physicians, 75 percent spend on average 11 hours per week online. Ninety-five percent of those doctors are using computers to go online; 55 percent use tablets and 35 percent use smartphones, according to Feiyan Shen, Managing Director of Sudler-MDS. Several speakers reported that physicians want pharmaceutical companies to provide access to patient-related services online offering market-specific patient education, disease information for patients and patient counseling using digital tools.
James Avallone, Director of Physician Research at Manhattan Research, provided new data confirming that China physicians have significantly different user-profiles from physicians in other countries. Nearly twice as many China physicians access websites than mobile apps for professional purposes via their smartphone. While physicians in China use their device for longer periods of time and for a larger range of activities than physicians in other markets, it is still critical that digital tools provided by healthcare companies be efficient and small-screen friendly. China has the largest number of mobile phones in use in the world.
Many speakers at Digital Pharma China cited the newersocial media mobile app WeChat, which has exploded into the mobile internet sphere–growing quickly through innovation and user outreach both within China and internationally. Since its inception in 2006, Digital Pharma Series of conferences has grown to become the leading and largest event for life science marketers. In addition to China, the conferences are organized by ExL Pharma in North America and Europe.In 2013, Digital Pharma East in the United States will host over 650 marketers for four days, with 45 sessions featuring over 75 speakers.
In addition to ExL Pharma and BizPro International, DXY was a strategic organizing partner for Digital Pharma China in Shanghai. Sponsors included Manhattan Research, BBDTEK, Ci&T, drcom, i-MD, inVentiv Health, McCann Health, Pitcher and Sudler-MDS.
With over 800 million Internet users expected by 2015 and well over a billion mobile phone users, digital channels in China provide compelling opportunities to engage healthcare professionals and patients. China’s healthcare market has unique characteristics, which present additional opportunities for innovative digital e-marketing. Yet it is not a case of simply applying Western digital practices into the local market. For pharmaceutical companies expanding into this vast emerging Pharma market, knowledge of Chinese culture, local platforms and user behavior is essential.
Digital Pharma China is designed to be an “East-West exchange” to assist pharmaceutical and life sciences leaders and healthcare companies in implementing the opportunities of the digital future in China.
This two-day event is the latest in ExL Pharma’s global Digital Pharma Series Conferences which bring massive experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare e-marketing to the table: from insights on digital strategy and future trends, to useful case studies and innovative models for successfully integrating digital and e-marketing into overall business plans.
With the Internet and social media feeding demand for health information in China, digital channels offer pharmaceutical companies significant untapped potential to reach and interact with physicians and patients in China. Successful marketing teams already have responded by boosting their digital marketing activity— leaving some companies behind at integrating digital tools into brand strategies.
Attend Digital Pharma China to keep pace in this rapidly evolving landscape with fresh insights from top performing digital Pharma marketing teams and executives. This conference will help you establish a comprehensive digital strategy, learn from the success and missteps by others, and make the most of emerging digital opportunities in China.
Attending this ExL Pharma Digital Pharma Series Conference in Shanghai will enable you to overcome challenges and successfully implement these and other e-marketing strategies:
- How to integrate multi-channel marketing using the channels preferred by Chinese physicians
- Using mobile channels and devices to engage customers
- Strategies to engage healthcare consumers online
- Using unique Chinese social media platforms and understanding how they fit into brand promotion
- Building and deploying a digital customer relationship management (CRM) function
- Achieving collaboration and alignment between e-marketing and IT
- Understand the impact of China’s healthcare reform policies on digital e-marketing
- Using data and analytical tools to segment audiences and target individual messages
- e-Marketing branded pharmaceuticals and communicating across cultures
- Coordinating e-marketing and public relations to drive patient awareness and engagement
- Developing a customer-centric mindset in your organization
- e-Metrics and measuring the return on investment on digital marketing
- Tapping into digital physician networks in China
- How to design the most effective e-mail marketing campaign
- Using an iPad to enable physician-friendly communication
- Understand trends in electronic health records in China