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Mission-Driven Marketing Blog

The Pharma Imperative: How RX Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned And Earned Media

By Joe DiGiovanni

In Pharma, the intersection of advertising and content marketing has become the breeding ground of brand success. Based on new research by Altimeter group and our own clients’ successes, Pharmaceutical, OTC, and CPG Marketers, and their agency partners must converge their media efforts by combining expert guided content and advertising reach –or risk connecting with the fleeting HCP, patient and consumer audiences.

The RX Inbound Marketing Formula

Owned + Earned + Paid Media = Key to Campaign Success
Owned (Content developed by or for brands) and earned media (Content that is so good, that it is shared) are vital to campaigns, helping to disseminate brand messages through the multiple paths patients, HCPS, and consumers follow across devices, screens and media.

Advertising, or ‘paid’ media, has traditionally led marketing initiatives both online and off. But advertising no longer works as effectively as it once did unless bolstered by engaging content, developed by experts consumers trust, and crafted for key marketing channels across mobile, web, social, television, and print.

While consumers distinguish less and less between these content marketing channels (paid, owned, and earned) marketers remain specialized in one medium at the expense of the others. Rather than allow campaigns to be driven by paid media, marketers must now develop scale and expertise in owned and earned media to drive effectiveness, cultivate creative ideas, assess customer needs, cultivate influencers, develop reach, achieve authenticity and cut through clutter. For those black box brands, sponsoring such content is an equally powerful solution.



This is where leveraging a nationally recognized nutrition expert comes in to create engaging content for diabetic medications for Pfizer; or a celebrity parenting doctor provides advice for new parents for P&G; or AZ’s Crestor cuts through the clutter with heart health content from a celebrity patient blogger.

And let’s not forget the obvious, choosing the key expert and celebrity health-star who can effectively communicate the message and connect with the audience through 1) owned, 2) paid, and 3) earned media is equally important as the inspiring behavioral changing content they create.

Joe DiGiovanni

Written by Joe DiGiovanni

Joe has a passion for supporting brands and non-profits through content marketing, mobile, and technology, having held roles with LLuminari / Oprah Network, WPP, Epocrates, Lycos, and Roche.