6 Key Takeaways From #DigiSights 2015: How Indian Pharma Can Excel In Digital Marketing

Six major takeaways from #DigiSights 2015 to help Indian Pharma industry excel in digital marketing

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The Indian Pharma market is all set to touch new horizons in 2015. As per the Mc Kinsey report of India Pharma 2015, the pharma industry has immense opportunities and is poised to grow to $24 billion by 2015, and would reach upto $55 billion by 2020. In this process it is also expected to create 45,000 new jobs next year.

Will digital play a bigger role at a time when India is moulding itself in a mobile economy? Will data be the currency of Indian Pharma market or will the regulators and dogmatic mindsets continue to widen the divide between doctor and patient? To find answers to all these questions, experts from the Indian Phama world along with a strong capacity of management students met under the roof of SIES College of Management Studies, Mumbai.

The second edition of DigiSights 2015 organized by MediaMedic happened yesterday with a focus on the “Why and How of Digital Pharma Marketing in India.”

Read also: Live coverage of the event – part one and part two.

The day long conference that started at 10 in the morning focused on various key issues, the good and the bad, challenges and the success stories from the industry to leave us with a smile. We at Lighthouse Insights joined hands with MediaMedic to bring you the content coverage; listed below are the six major takeaways for the Pharma industry to excel in digital marketing:

1. Build digital culture and not apps

“Digital is a revolution and we need to build a culture rather than focusing too much on various apps and gimmicks. The industry needs to think that the divide between health professionals and patients should minimize. The future is in the room sitting here, please connect the dots,” said Sanjiv Navangul, Managing Director, Janssen India in his welcome note at #DigiSights 2015.

In his quick hard hitting talk, he shared that technology is the last thing one considers in the Pharma market. Sharing an anecdote he said, “Take technology out of two industries, the industry will have no change. Those two are – Healthcare and Education.”

With a digital boom in the country, he is concerned that marketers focus only on building apps and give attention to other gimmicks. He urged the audience to rather focus on building a digital culture to reduce the increasing gap between doctors and patients.

2. Pharma is not boring and mobile holds the key

Pharma is not boring! You believe that when a dashing young man says it with gusto at a conference. Rahul Avasthy from Abbott in his talk in the first half of the conference, emphasized on a disruption in the healthcare sector rather than focusing on digital gimmicks like Sanjiv had emphasized in his talk.

Besides he also made the audience – specially the 30% student crowd from SIES College of Management Studies – believe that doctors love social media too, they also go out and spend time on Facebook and more essentially use social media for information and communication.

Mobile was the buzz word that found heavy mention from almost every speaker of the day. Sunder Ramachandran from Pfizer who focused on how businesses are transforming vouched that mobile is going to be the driver for learning and training industry as well. Based on these inputs, Pfizer is launching its first mobile learning app – Rocket, anytime-anywhere-any device.

Sagar Pawar from PwC also spoke about m-health – “m-health or mobile will change the way treatment will happen and the way information will flow and be collected.” He also shared some examples of mobile apps that are curating data effectively. 

3. Focus on the ‘why’ and not ‘I need a mobile app’

“You can’t get up one day and say I need an app, ‘why’ has to be worked on – only then it can meet your objectives.” These words came from a seasoned marketer like Priti Mohile, Co-Founder at MediaMedic who has enough experience to back it.

In her talk, Priti persisted that the focus should be on “Why” and not building another mobile app or building a video or being present on a new social network. “The move has to be doctor and patient centric; you need to touch lives rather than being just a logistic company.”

4. Make data the currency of pharma marketing

Salil Kallianpur from GSK-Global started his discussion with a very harsh truth – “Nobody trusts our Pharma industry, why would today’s evolved world do?”

Swiping his slide he pulled up a nice picture of Google’s Data farms in Finland. Highlighting Google’s currency being data, he questioned Pharma’s currency; he said that the last thing we want to show anyone is our server room – normally washrooms are better. “There is so much of data available, why are marketers not using it to serve a customer better. It is being a wasted opportunity.”

Before he left the dais, he shared this message for all Pharma marketers – “Let’s make data our currency and build a patient centric environment through digital so that people start trusting in our business.”

5. US models won’t work in India

Sagar Pawar from PwC was the man who focused on trends in the industry. While he agrees that one needs to be better equipped in this digital world but we also need to understand what can and cannot work in India. “We can’t pick up US models just because it has worked there. We need to understand Indian doctors, patients and the regulated industry we work in here.”

He also had reserved thoughts on data being used as the Indian Pharma market is a highly regulated one and one needs to think twice before playing with data. However, the data that Salil was referring to in his talk was the freely available data on the Internet.

6. Digital PR is a must in Pharma

From PR to Digital PR and now to Digital PR in Pharma were the opening lines of Dinesh Chindarkar, Co-founder at MediaMedic. With his bunch of case studies he stressed the fact that in today’s times Digital PR is very much required for Pharma Marketing.

His first case study about how MediaMedic associated with Yuvraj Singh on a cancer campaign was a brilliant example of an all round digital PR initiative in the Pharma market.