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Welcome to this, the second edition in our Pharma Social Media Series, the UK Twitter Ranking. This ranking has been developed in partnership between Owen Health and firstlight PR.

The ranking aims to take a snapshot of the performance of these pharma companies on Twitter in the UK and provide some commentary on our findings.

Shining a light at the country level really starts to identify the challenges these pharma companies are facing with social media, namely commitment. The danger of zombie communities, as seen in our Global Twitter Ranking, is even more pronounced here.

Pharma companies need to define a clear purpose for their UK Twitter presence and how it fits within their wider global Twitter strategy. Too many seem to struggle with their identify and purpose. Committing to a robust content marketing plan, which delivers relevant and distinctive content for their UK Twitter account is vital and can be done at scale and in a cost effective manner. Working smarter not harder is true when it comes to Twitter content. …

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We see plenty of challenges faced by clients within the Pharma sector when it comes to managing content across multiple websites, various additional channels and across territories where each has their own desire to localise communications… What a nightmare! As if the job of the marketers isn’t hard enough anyway with all this siloed content.

It’s enough to make you lose your head… Well actually in a manner of speaking that isn’t such a bad thing. Enter stage left, the headless CMS.

We are all used to our various Content Management Systems designed to manage the content on our websites and via responsive templates, content delivered to mobile devices via the web. Some of the solutions are pretty sophisticated and offer additional functionality via plugins and API’s to offer personalisation and automation. …

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We were blown away last year when our Periodic Table of Pharma Multi-channel Marketing turned into a runaway success with around 15,000 views across Medium, LinkedIn and Slideshare.

So, new for 2018 we’ve created The Periodic Table of Healthcare Communications which builds on our previous table with over 30% more elements.

Feel free to download a high-quality version from Slideshare here.

The Periodic Table of Healthcare Communications builds on last year’s table by looking in more depth at the following three areas:

Brand planning and multi-channel marketing

We had lots of feedback from pharma marketing folk who wanted to know how pharma brand planning integrated with multi-channel marketing activities. …

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It’s undeniable that social media can be a real challenge for Pharma companies.

  • The restrictions imposed in a regulated industry when publishing content
  • The strategic decisions global organisations have in establishing global and regional social presences
  • The need to balance corporate, brand and product content and messaging
  • The challenge of deciding who their social outposts should cater for … patients, payers, policymakers, HCPs?

Therefore, it may not be surprising to learn that many of the pharma companies that have adopted social media marketing are still finding their feet. They may simply be using these channels to promote corporate news or re-publishing marketing campaigns. They may have also started following key influencers including KOLs, HCPs or patient groups. …

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The voice assistant battle is hotting up between the major players; Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung as they invest to build out their AI-powered voice ecosystems.

For our crib sheet, we have concentrated on the voice assistant providers, identifying device availability and which search engine powers them, to provide a high-level overview of the current state of play.

We have focused on where the voice assistant is either built directly into the device’s operating system or where there is a dedicated native app provided by the voice assistant’s owner via an app store. …

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The first edition of our Pharma Social Media Ranking, the Global Twitter Edition ranking measures the performance of the global corporate Twitter accounts of the 22 largest global pharmaceutical companies, measured by revenue. These accounts were identified via the main website of the respective companies.

The overall performance scores, used to position the companies in our ranking, have been calculated using around 5,000 data points which take the following attributes into consideration.


As a snapshot of performance, we looked at all activity during October 2017.

>>>>> Get the full research here <<<<<<<

With engagement such a key performance metric we first created a weighted formula, incorporating likes, retweets and replies, which produced an engagement score for each account. We then normalised this score taking into account the number of followers and the volume of tweets sent during the period. This resulted in a final engagement score which provides a clearer understanding of whose content is working the best. …

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A very warm welcome to this, our first edition of our Pharma Social Media Ranking, the Global Twitter Edition

As social media platforms have become a daily part of many consumers media repertoire over the past decade, it’s understandable why companies in every sector have decided to set-up social media outposts. Even back in 2014 eyeforpharma’s Industry Healthcheck found that 75% of pharma executives agreed that better use of social media was genuinely important to the future of pharma.

Our research has found that most pharma companies embraced Twitter around 8.5 years ago, although GSK stands out as an early adopter of the channel when it was the first pharma company to dip it’s toe into the 140 character social platform just over a decade ago. …

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The day we lost customer service

Whilst the internet opened up a new sales channel for retail brands, it left the personal touch of the customer assistant back on the high street, and retail brands were forced to rely on email as a poor substitute. Social media helped bring some of that real-time personal interaction back into the online customer experience, although it’s been used more as a customer support platform post purchase.

But now conversational commerce has arrived and is promising to reunite the personal touch of customer assistants right across the customer shopping experience. …


Steve Sponder

Partner at Owen Group. Helping companies create profitable customer experiences.

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