Today I chaired CBI’s Social Media Compliance Strategies and Benchmarking Summit in Philadelphia. In my opening comments I declared that the pharma social media pioneer era is over. Here’s a draft of what I said:

 Welcome fellow “wonks” to CBI’s Social Media Compliance Strategies and Benchmarking Summit!

I say “wonks” because I assume most of you like Peter Pitts, our first speaker, relish the art of interpreting FDA rules, regulations, and guidances. I know I do!

But before we get to Peter and his wonky views, let me explain why I am wearing this shirt and hat. It’s to remind you that I am PharmaGuy, although it says John Mack on my badge.

For the past 4 or 5 years I have been recognizing pharma marketers who thought – and acted — outside the “social media box” by handing out the PharmaGuy Social Pioneer Award, which is the shirt you see in the slide here. I wore that shirt at one of the first conferences – actually “unconferences” — focused on pharma social media. It helped me stand out from the crowd and it’s a fitting symbol for how pharma social media pioneers stand out from the crowd.

This year, I will be making the FINAL presentation of the award.

Why final?

For one thing, now that the FDA has finally come out with social media guidelines, it will be easier for “run-of-the-mill” pharma marketers to finally fully integrate social media into their campaigns – at least that is the hope. The crowd will co-opt the paths laid down by the pioneers, but the thrill of adventure and danger will be gone. There simply is no more real social media pioneering to be done!

So, I declare that the pharma social media pioneering era is over! Long live pharma mobile health app pioneering!

Yes, I am here to tell you that there will be NEW pharma marketing pioneers – this time in the MOBILE arena!

Mobile health apps represent the current “wild west” of digital marketing. As the FDA has said, their recent guidelines do NOT include mobile. Many mobile health apps created by pharma companies today are untested and some provide faulty data based on undocumented algorithms, and many lack even rudimentary privacy policies. Worst of all, many of them are poorly-conceived brochureware or flip-books that never should be apps at all!

So, it’s time for a new award: The PharmaGuy Mobile App Pioneer Award!

That’s all I have to say about that for now. Let’s get on with the conference!