"Aside from broad budget concerns and the changing business environment, pharma marketers are not unlike marketers at large—they worry about how to measure social media marketing efforts, especially tying the investment in social media directly to brand objectives.”—
I disagree. They are not like marketers at large. They are very, very risk averse. The reason I got out of big pharma marketing (other than the ethical dilemma of selling inferior or equally efficacious drugs as *new* or better) was the fact that it wasn’t any fun. Even more so in Canada where we don’t have the same Direct To Consumer freedom that they have in the US.
Any websites I that I built had to follow very strict rules and were governed by a regulatory body. Yes, sure the execs and marketers wanted to see some kind of quantifiable ROI. But, the biggest obstacles to any marketing, Social or not, are regulatory and legal. All it takes is one person to report an Adverse Drug Event (something bad happens while they are taking the drug) via a drug company controlled social channel that goes without follow up and all hell would break loose.
So, Social in Pharma will continue to be a slow go. And, even with US spillover a ’no go’ here in Canada.