Pharmaceuticals Neglect the Net

A recent study released by CRM consulting firm Cutting Edge Information says that pharmaceutical companies are failing to utilize the potential of the Internet in their marketing plans. The study corroborates recent IMS Health data, which reveals that only 1 percent of all pharmaceutical marketing promotions involve the Internet. Cutting Edge claims that pharmaceutical companies that neglect the Internet as a vital tool in reaching key customer groups risk losing revenues. The report, entitled "Lifetime Customer Value in the Pharmaceutical Industry," contains more than 50 metrics and business practices from top companies and suggests ways companies can use the Web to reach out to patients and physicians alike. The report reveals how top pharmaceutical companies develop Web-based disease management tools to educate the market and ensure patients comply with prescription fulfillment. "The Internet is, perhaps, the most common disease management tool in the industry," Cutting Edge Information CEO Jason Richardson said in a company statement. "Our customers have used this research to shape and implement new Web-based marketing strategies to drive disease awareness and prescription compliance." According to the study, only about 10 percent of physicians believe current Web sites offer reliable, accurate medical information. Most physicians feel the Internet is brimming with poor medical information. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies that understand how to effectively reach physicians through Internet-based tools can capitalize on a relatively untapped market, the study claims. Overall, the top five things the report claims a pharmaceutical company can do to become more customer-focused are: build customer relationships through online disease management programs; cultivate relationships with non-patient customers via health management and educational resources; provide medical resources to develop non-sales relationships with physicians; launch and measure lifetime customer value capabilities; and work towards building a customer-focused corporate culture.
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