Why HealthCare and Pharma Need Digital and Social Media Training

At SXSW I had the pleasure to meet many interesting people from the pharma and health care industries, many who were attending for their first time.  I had some interesting conversations about marketing, training and digital with many of the leaders in the industry.   For the first time, SXSW even had a campus entirely dedicated to healthcare. As I talked to many of those in the industry, the need for social media and digital marketing training came up again and again.  I wanted to share some of the thoughts from my conversations. Why HealthCare Needs Social Media HealthCare and Pharma have not been early to adopt social media or digital marketing.  Due to the complex regulatory environment and the lack of guidelines, many healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt. That being said, pharma and healthcare have a unique opportunity to implement digital marketing: « Consumers look to the web to get information about health related information. « Digitization of healthcare records combined with remote monitoring devices is creating the opportunity for patients to become more empowered and involved in their healthcare. « Physicians are using the web and mobile devices to access information, including in a clinical setting. « Patients want the ability to ask questions outside of scheduled visits and telehealth could be a real opportunity. « Patients want to connect with other patients and learn from their experiences (check out patientslikeme.com). The problem is that many pharma, healthcare and health insurance companies are still slow to adopt digital technologies and social media.  Traditional healthcare companies and being leap frogged by lean startups that can see the opportunities and jump on them. Why Social Media Training is the Answer Training is the key to success to implement social media and digital into your business.  It isn’t about one digital person, or a small department fighting an uphill battle. The healthcare organizations of the future will have integrated digital into every aspect of healthcare delivery and pharma product launches.  Digital won’t be an afterthought.  Those who don’t adapt will be left behind.  It isn’t just about selling pills and treating patients – it is about becoming a healthcare partner and connecting stakeholders. To be successful, digital will have to be integrated into marketing, communications and even product delivery upfront.  This means that all parties will be required to poses digital fluency. If you don’t have a training plan to get your organization up to speed, you may be missing out.

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