Pharma’s Digital IQ Measuring the Digital Competence of Pharma Brands

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A conversation with Scott Hagedorn (PHD Network CEO) and Scott Galloway (L2 founder and NYU Professor of Brand Strategy) about the L2 Digital IQ Index for pharmaceutical brands, a first-of-its kind measurement of the digital competence of 51 pharma brands across eight therapeutic categories. (See guest bios.)

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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Pfizer’s Viagra and AstraZeneca’s Nexium took the top-two slots on the new L2 Digital IQ Index for pharmaceutical brands, a first-of-its kind measurement of the digital competence of 51 pharma brands across eight therapeutic categories, designed to provide an actionable metric to optimize pharmaceutical digital ROI.

The ranking, created by think tank L2 in partnership with leading media agency PHD Network, evaluated pharmaceutical brands’ digital presence across four criteria: Platform, Off-Platform Messaging, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media. Each brand was scored against more than one hundred qualitative and quantitative data points, and assigned a Digital IQ ranking of Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged or Feeble.

While the third spot on the Index was also claimed by a Pfizer brand, Chantix, AstraZeneca emerged as the industry’s digital powerhouse. With four brands in the top ten — Nexium, Crestor, Symbicort and NuvaRing — and five in the top twenty, AstraZeneca had the best showing of any company on the Index.

“Our analysis shows that, despite the challenges inherent in an ambiguous regulatory environment, some brands are innovating online and building a foundation for digital growth once a clearer path is illuminated,” says L2 founder and NYU marketing professor Scott Galloway. “However,” Galloway continues, “the industry as a whole disappoints as most brands offer obsolete technology, anemic content and scant social media programs.”

Summing up the challenge in terms of the pharmaceutical industry’s current capacity to effectively engage with the 109 million consumers who go online each year to seek healthcare information, PHD Network CEO Scott Hagedorn says, “Right now, there are millions of unregulated conversations taking place online regarding prescription drugs, from which the voice of pharmaceutical companies is mostly absent.”

Some questions/topics that were/will be discussed

  • Why the index?
  • What are the assessment criteria?
  • How can the same company be both genius and feeble?
  • Breaking down the components that add up to genius — Can you analyze one of the top five brands?
  • Beyond the regulatory issues — what are the institutional and cultural barriers to genius?
  • Is it realistic to think that pharma can ever leverage digital environment like CPG products and retail brands have?
  • What is the greatest unrealized opportunity?
  • What do you plan for the future?

Guest Bio

Scott HagedornScott Hagedorn runs PHD in the US, and is responsible for nearly $4B in client media investments annually (as reported by RECMA). He provides strategic vision and leadership across PHD’s five regional US offices. In his 14 years in Marketing, Scott has excelled as a digital expert, brand planner, marketing strategist, direct response guru and entrepreneur. Prior to joining PHD, Scott worked as the Managing Director of OMD East, a role that was redefined with a stronger focus on digital and analytics. Scott had also worked as the US Director of OMD Digital, supervising all digital efforts across OMD Digital’s US properties in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.Prior to OMD, he was the Chief Interactive Officer of Omnicom direct agency, Rapp Worldwide whose clients included Merck and Novartis. Scott was named to Crain’s 40 Under 40 list in 2008. He is happy to report that he is still under 40.

Scott GallowayScott Galloway is a Clinical Associate Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches brand strategy and luxury marketing and is the founder of L2, a think tank for prestige brands. Scott is also the founder of Firebrand Partners, an operational activist firm that has invested more than $1 billion in U.S. consumer and media companies. In 1997, he founded Red Envelope, an Internet-based branded consumer gift retailer (2007 revenues: $100 million). In 1992, Scott founded Prophet, a brand strategy consultancy that employs more than 120 professionals in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Scott was elected to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders of Tomorrow,” which recognizes 100 individuals under the age of 40 “whose accomplishments have had impact on a global level.”

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