Real Patient Testimonials An Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

Take It From BobDrug companies have long used celebrities to endorse their products. However, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, market research shows that the sick are relying more on the recommendations of fellow patients, and less on the reputations of companies and endorsers, in deciding whether to seek treatment and what drugs to ask for. Exploiting that trend, pharma marketers are beginning to use real patients in their direct-to-consumer TV and print ads and are soliciting real patient stories on their web sites, YouTube channels and Facebook pages.

Given the popularity of social networks among consumers seeking medical advice, the next logical step may be the use of real patient brand ambassadors to participate in pharma-owned and 3rd-party online discussion forums.

This article discusses the potential pitfalls, regulatory issues, and best practices regarding the use of real patient testimonials based on comments collected from a recent survey of readers and other experts.

Topics include:

  • Peer-Influenced Marketing
  • Soliciting Patient Stories
  • Consumer Opinion Leaders
  • FDA Blasts Lilly’s PAH eCommunity Videos
  • FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
  • Avoiding the Pitfalls
  • Are Patient Testimonial Ads More Persuasive?
  • Brand and Disease Category Ambassadors
  • Integrating Broadcast DTC and Social Media

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Issue: Vol. 9, No. 4: April 2010
Word Count: 4403

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