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June 26, 2012
Influential online Moms are not just about consumer goods. They have a strong and passionate voice when it comes to healthcare as well. So why isn't the Canadian pharmaceutical industry tapping into this powerful network to help raise awareness about various disease states and provide healthy tips? Perhaps some have and I am not aware. If this is the case, please let me know. By now, we all know that the industry is heavily regulated and anything that the bloggers write on behalf of an organization, whether on paper or in a blog, would be subject to the same guidelines that the pharma marketers must abide by. A little training, a set of guidelines and monitoring can greatly minimize this risk. As an example of what could be done, take a look at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals online fundraising campaign via “Miracle Moms”. Miracle Moms consists of a group of 10 passionate Moms with influential blogs; 7 are Canadian and 3 are American. They have joined forces to raise awareness for Children’s Miracle Network and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. These Moms are highlighting moments that take place at these children hospitals and are showcasing the needs of various families who are using these hospitals’ services. In addition, each blogger is running a fundraiser via their blog and social media profiles to help a local children’s network hospital in their area. Funds raised will be given to local hospitals for much needed services like Art Therapy, Child Life Rooms, and of course state of the art equipment. I am always impressed with the soft selling skills of online Moms, and have learned a lot from this group over the years. In speaking with Stephanie, the author of the popular Canadian Mom blog "How to survive life in the suburbs", here is the key learning that she took away from her participation in the Miracle Moms campaign:
"If you ask for help spreading the word about a heartfelt cause, you will receive. I continue to be amazed by the power of Moms who Blog and the way they will all jump in to lend a hand and socially amplify each others tweets, Facebook and Blog posts when it is a subject close to their hearts. Awareness of this cause has truly blossomed all thanks to the power of social media. In future programs we may consider using a twitter party at launch to truly get off to a dramatic start."Wouldn't a blogger outreach such as this one be a great way to humanize the pharma industry? Have you ever considered it as a PR tactic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. On a side note, congratulations to all the Mom bloggers who were involved as 'Miracle Moms' in this particular fundraising campaign. I personally appreciate all the hard work that you have put in for this very important cause, the health of our kids. Be sure to check out the blogs of these great ladies!
- My Organized Chaos
- How To Survive Life In The Suburbs
- Bored Mommy
- Things I Can't Say
- Tammy's Two Cents
- Nugglemama's Handful
- Loulou's Views
- Listen To Lena
- Busy Mommy
- CMNH Radio
February 15, 2012
When it comes to online social networking sites, Canadians and Americans are not that different. According to Hitwise, for the week ending January 28 2012, the majority of the visits from both countries went to FaceBook, and then YouTube. The rest of the sites all got less than 2% of the visits, and that includes Twitter. So if you are a small firm marketing to both countries, this is good news, because you can focus on the same top sites to get traffic from your target audience from both countries. Here is a side-by-side comparison of both charts:
October 13, 2011
According to a new report posted by Statistics Canada ("Individual Internet use and E-Commerce, 2010"), 64% of Canadian internet users search for medical or health-related information vs, 58% who use social networking sites. In fact, only 33% of Canadian internet users play online games, and only 19% are contribute content or participating in discussion groups (e.g., blogging, message boards, posting images)
Unfortunately, the online activities are not broken down by demographics.
The report clearly states that one cannot compare data from previous reports to this most recent one because the methodology and questions for both are somewhat different. However, I cannot resist but post some of the stats from the 2009 report. Compare the 2010 and 2009 data at your own risk:
Health searches on the Internet (from the data collected 2009):
- Searching for health information online reported by 70% of home users
- 74% of women used the Internet to search for information about health or medical conditions, while 66% of men did so
The 2010 online activity for both health information search and social networking is quite high. Moreover, search engines are taking social media more and more into consideration when ranking webpages.
Isn't it time for all healthcare organizations and pharma companies to pay closer attention to their online activities in order to respond to the needs of Canadian consumers? Leave your comments on this topic below.
June 23, 2011
Manhattan Research expects to publish their Taking the Pulse® Canada (2011) report either later this Summer or in the Fall, but they have given me permission to share with you a little preview of the data right away.
- 206 physicians were surveyed using face-to-face, telephone and online interviews in Q1 2011.
Below are key findings regarding online physician professional adoption of the Internet in Canada:
- Among Canadian physicians who are online for professional purposes, four in five say the Internet is essential to their professional practice.
- In 2011, nearly three-quarters of online physicians in Canada own a smartphone – which is comparable to adoption trends among physicians in the U.S. physician market in 2010.
- About 3 in 5 online physicians in Canada can be classified as “advanced smartphone users.” These are online physicians who own a smartphone and use it to browse the Internet, watch online video or access an app for professional purpose.
- Two-thirds of physicians who are online for professional purposes in Canada visit pharma corporate or product websites. Pharma-sponsored services such as patient education and the ability to request journal reprints are in high demand among online physicians.
“Canadian physicians have a sophisticated digital profile; they use multiple screens to access professional content and turn to the Internet for information during the workday,” said James Avallone, Senior Digital Healthcare Analyst at Manhattan Research. “These findings aren’t too surprising, given the overall maturity of the Canadian market. In fact, so far, it looks like Canadian physicians are only a couple of years behind their U.S. counterparts.”
Source: Manhattan Research, Taking the Pulse® Canada (2011)
Many thanks to Manhattan Research for sharing their Canadian data with me, and for allowing my blog to be the first to share it with you.
Are you surprised, or skeptical, about any of the statistics mentioned above? What other information are you hoping to find out from the Manhattan Research's Taking the Pulse® Canada (2011) report when it becomes available?
Clarification (June 23, 9:30 am, E.S.T.):
The press release for Taking the Pulse® Canada is likely being put off til later in the Summer or Fall, but the actual study and deliverables are already available for clients who subscribe to the study (but these deliverables are not public, so this is the first media that Manhattan Research has shared this data with). Here’s a link to more information about the Taking the Pulse® Canada product if anybody is interested - http://manhattanresearch.com/Products-and-Services/Physician/Taking-the-Pulse-Canada
January 10, 2011
I am a believer that FaceBook can have positive influence on healthcare. With so many healthcare stakeholders involved on the network, it seems like the perfect place for everybody to get connected. Just looking at the number of people who are members of this network should be enough to make any marketer stop in their tracks and decide whether they should reach out and engage with their target audience on this medium. And over the past couple of years, there have been several reports that have suggested that Canadians really 'like' their FaceBook time (yes, that was an intentional pun, but it is true). The most recent report that I have seen was the one from eMarketer.com's November 29th 2010 post "Canadians Say Yes to Social Media".
Almost 10 million Canadians went on FaceBook per day in September 2010. That is a lot of people when you consider that the Canadian population in 2010 is estimated at just over 34 million people by Stats Canada.
If that is not enough to convince you to at least consider whether FaceBook fits into your strategic objectives, take a look at the video clip below. It is part of Time's Person of the Year issue, in which Time put together a fascinating video clip showcasing statistics about what happens on FaceBook in 1 minute . The statistics are global, not Canadian-specific, but it is worth taking a look at.
The facts from the video are noted below in case you are having trouble viewing the video:
- Shared links: 50,304
- Photos tagged: 66,168
- Event invites: 74,204
- Wall posts: 79,364
- Status updates: 82,557
- Friend requests: 98,604
- Photos uploaded: 135,849
- Messages sent: 231,605
- "Likes": 382,861
- Comments: 510,404
If you need more Canadian-specific stats to help you make your decision, here are a few articles that you might find helpful:
If you are interested in seeing examples of various healthcare FaceBook pages, just go to the Dose of Digital social media wiki. Here, you will find lots of creative uses of FaceBook from all over the world. Keep in mind that advertising and promotion guidelines for healthcare products vary from country to country, so some of the examples that you will find in the wiki may not be suitable for Canada.
I am not suggesting that all healthcare marketers jump on board and set up a FaceBook page. It needs to make sense for your business. Social media is nothing more than a tactic designed to help you reach your organization's strategic objectives. What I am suggesting is that all healthcare marketers should take the time to at least consider whether FaceBook fits their strategic goals or not. For marketers who are not on FaceBook themselves (and I know quite a few are out there), it might seem a little bit overwhelming and obscure to market in this new environment, but that should not stop anybody from at least considering the possibility that the fit might be there for the target audience. Do a little bit of monitoring to see where your audience hangs out, and if they are already on FaceBook, then you might want to join them there.
If you have considered a FaceBook page and decided to forego it, what is stopping you from setting one up? Leave a comment below.
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