White Paper Demystifies ‘Podcasting,’ Provides Guidelines for Newest Pharmaceutical Marketing Tool

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“Podcasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry: The Newest Way to Reach Your Target Audience,” is the subject of a White Paper published today by The Maxwell Group, a leading provider of pharmaceutical web conferences for continuing medical education, clinical research and direct-to-physician brand promotion.

Doctors who don’t see sales reps may be surfing the net: 45% of physicians report averaging 3 hours per week of internet use. That’s why Podcasting—the newest means of delivering audio and video files via the internet—offers Pharmaceutical marketers a unique and timely means of communicating with physicians, consumers and sales forces.

“Podcasting for the Pharmaceutical Industry: The Newest Way to Reach Your Target Audience,” is the subject of a White Paper published today by The Maxwell Group, a leading provider of pharmaceutical web conferences for continuing medical education, clinical research and direct-to-physician brand promotion.

Podcasting is a fast-growing means of web-based communication. In April 2005, the podcast listenership was estimated to be 6 million (Pew Internet Study, April 2005). As indicated by Rodney L. Rumford, founder, PodBlaze.com and Freshpodcasts.com, that audience is doubling every three-to-four months. (Based on Rumford’s projection, the podcast listenership is estimated to be approximately 48 million as of the release date of Maxwell’s Paper (April 2006).)

In its analysis, Maxwell indicates that incorporating podcasting into the pharmaceutical marketing mix offers an opportunity to improve on declining physician access rates. Study data shows that 12% of all physician sales calls result in a live meeting with the physician, with the average call duration being 30 seconds to 3 minutes. The study also purports that more than 50% of physicians report that they spend 40 minutes or less each week with pharmaceutical sales reps. More encouraging data shows that 45% of physicians use the Internet an average of 3 hours a week. The implication being that subscriber-based podcasts may be a unique and viable means of maintaining and cultivating open lines of communication between the physician and the product marketing team.

Further, the study offers podcasting as a means for pharmaceutical companies to: improve brand awareness; offer timely information regarding new studies, indications and protocols; establish disease-state thought leader reputations; increase product loyalty through case presentation; provide invaluable CME and other training opportunities; and add value through deliver of key product and industry information via the convenient and easy-to-use podcasting tool. The study also offers podcasting as an effective means of communicating with consumers, sales staff and other employees.

Offering a number of best practices for the novice podcaster, Maxwell suggests the focus remain on strategy and message content as opposed to the vehicle by which those messages are delivered. Recommended best practices include: knowing your audience and saying something valuable, crafting your message carefully and producing it professionally, promoting your podcast and training your audience, and leveraging the expertise of professional service providers.

To receive the full-text White Paper, including the technical and strategic requirements of implementing podcasting as part of your marketing communication strategy, contact James J. Miller, Jr. at 1-800-292-0450, ext. 1220 (1-610-292-0450, ext. 1220 outside of the US) or jim_miller@medconference.net.

To learn more about RSS technology, podcatchers or RSS readers, go to: http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/aboutrss.

To learn about Maxwell’s podcast production and subscriber services, go to: http://www.themaxwellgroupinc.com.

About The Maxwell Group

The Maxwell Group is the leading provider of live web conferencing solutions to Fortune 1,000 companies. Founded in 1989, The Maxwell Group is a pioneer in the field of online events, eLearning webcasts, web conferencing and Podcasting, offering a comprehensive menu of pre-event, live-event and post-event services.

The Maxwell Group manages more live, direct-to-physician, web conferencing events than any other company in the world. This year, the company will conduct more than 6,000 events, reaching some 300,000 physicians around the world. Through MedConferenceLive, the company’s proprietary web conferencing platform, The Maxwell Group offers the only fully-integrated web conferencing technology and support service package specifically designed to assist pharmaceutical companies in brand promotion, speaker training, advisory board meetings, clinical investigator training and more. MedConferenceLive improves physician access and time to market in a convenient and flexible format providing pharmaceutical companies a distinct competitive edge.

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Amy Alderfer