Digital marketing push for pharma in 2009

From iMedia:

“The pharmaceutical industry is preparing to make a big push in the digital marketing space in 2009, according to a new survey from MarketBridge. Although the industry is largely behind the curve when it comes to digital marketing, nearly 45 percent of pharmaceutical executives made it clear that they need to better understand the opportunity, and more than a third said they’re not adequately organized to take advantage, ClickZ reports.

“Half of all those who responded to the ‘Digital Marketing in Pharma’ survey said less than 10 percent of their company’s marketing budget is allocated to digital. Moreover, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty among pharmaceutical companies about whether they can prove a substantial return on investment if they put more efforts into digital marketing.

“At least 72 percent of all respondents said they would be investing more in 2009, although that may be tempered somewhat by the recession. Partha Krishnamurthy, director of the University of Houston’s Institute for Health Care Marketing, suggests that large pharmaceutical companies face significant risk if they embrace Web 2.0. By its very nature, digital marketing will give consumers a louder voice in shaping a brand’s message, and those with the most negative experiences can easily rise to the top.”