Successful medtech and pharma firms must look beyond Anglophone social web

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It is important to establish that the medical healthcare equipment and supplies market continues to grow. According to Datamonitor, the global medical device and diagnostics market will be worth $370.7 billion by 2015, which is 13.4 percent up on its value in 2010. However, the industry is extremely competitive and the rivalry is strong amongst the biggest firms that take the majority of the market share in many nations.

Major markets such as China and Latin America are particularly influenced by word-of-mouth (WOM) in decision-making and consumption of products. Micro-blogging is a suitable social media platform and online marketing tool to increase awareness and demand about medical device products online. Captured audience in these markets share “deals,” feedback and recommendations within their network of family, friends, peers and followers.

Moreover, Experian Simmons stated that Chinese consumers have avidly adopted Web 2.0 technology and are exceptionally influenced by word-of-mouth when making consumer choices. Meanwhile, Hispanic consumers are more likely to interact with brands through social networking than non-Hispanics.

A global reach with social media is achievable, but not if a company only relies on Facebook and Twitter. It goes beyond language – you have to know their culture and the technology they use. A number of other high profile social networks such as Weibo in China, Tuenti in Spain, Nasza Klasa in Poland, Fotolog in Argentina, and Wer Kennt Wen in Germany, are the preferred social media platforms in their respective countries than Facebook and Twitter.

Commentary from Andrew Spong

Companies that are indulging themselves with the pressing issue of which template looks best for their facebook page, or whether they should redesign the background of their Twitter page are already falling from grace.

The Anglophone social web does not constitute the apogee of social success for pharma. As it nears maturity, opportunity resides in other languages, and other networks.

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