Hottest Marketing Trend

The most popular new marketing trend this year was actually “other”—so social media is finally unseated by a miscellaneous collection of trends that couldn’t be grouped together (Figure 18). However, of the actual items that could be categorized, social media once again came out on top, but there is no question that it is losing its luster—it was mentioned 15% less this year. Meanwhile, mobile continues to be a fast growing trend. In fact, if you combine all of the possible components (mobile marketing, apps and iPad tools), it totals 34% of the vote, which would make it this year’s No. 1 hottest trend.

We also had some new entries this year (that were actually mentioned more than once), including co-pay cards, gamification, EHR optimization, and market segmentation (which is an oldie making a comeback). As for that epic “others” list which cannibalized the vote, here are some highlights: Connecting patients to providers and tying in the NP/PA provider, bundling products and service, externalization for large pharma, behavioral advertising, HCP influence mapping, and integration of patient advocacy into social media and personal promotion campaigns. And that doesn’t even include what was perhaps our best answer: “Why do you think I would share this with the world?”

Social Media Use

More proof that people are becoming disenchanted with social media: Only 76% of respondents believe social media use will increase in 2012. That number has continued to decline from the 89% of 2010 to the 83% of last year. People may be discouraged by the fact that so far the FDA’s promises of social media guidelines have only resulted in last December’s document on how to respond to off-label requests, which included advice about responding to these queries through various social media sites. However, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act signed into law last month promises guidelines on using social media for promotion within two years. They really promise this time, and you will only have to wait another two years.

Despite this seemingly lack of enthusiasm surrounding social media, we actually saw a fairly large boom in its use (Figure 19). Half of our respondents are using Facebook for their brand compared to just 26% last year—and it doesn’t end there. There was a 37% increase in YouTube use for a brand; a 21% rise in the use of blogs; Google+ went from nil to 17%; Sermo use increased 15%; LinkedIn rose 14%; and Twitter use went up 13%. However, the most telling number: 53% of respondents in 2011 said they were not using any social media for their brands—only 11% are continuing to abstain this year. It appears marketers are starting to get the message: The time for waiting is over.




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