16 July 15:20

Why big companies should show they have a little heart

Global pharmaceutical companies are often criticised for making big bucks from the elderly and infirm - so how can they change this?
By Jenny Hyndman, Digital Manager, UK

The problem:

Large pharmaceutical companies are often scrutinised for being commercially-minded, despite their life-saving innovations.

This consumer distrust has a huge impact on business and corporates are starting to wise up and find a way to fix it.

According to a recent article in Forbes, 'our trust of corporations has fallen significantly, with less than 20% of people trusting corporations in the banking, health insurance, or pharmaceutical industries.’

The reasons for this are two-fold, according to Forbes:

1. ‘The facelessness and stigma of the ‘corporation’’

2. ‘The virtual ineffectiveness of traditonal advertising.'

The article goes on to explain that:

"If companies want to remain profitable, they need an avenue to build visibility and trust without looking like they’re trying to build visibility and trust."


The solution:

So how can pharmaceutical companies show they're invested for the right reasons and build trust and visibility, while steering clear of traditional advertising?

Rather than shouting about themselves from the rooftops, pharmaceuticals are creating content that showcases the impact of their work on the ground: the people and families whose lives they have affected.

Take the third biggest pharmaceutical company in the world, Pfizer. Pfizer sponsored an article about 73-year-old Joey from Galway, Ireland; keeping her heart healthy with exercise classes:

“The medication and support Joey has received since diagnosis has made living with atrial fibrillation as undisruptive as possible to her life and routine. 'I still go out with my walking group and my dog, Mindy, and I continue my exercise classes. It’s a good quality of life,' she says.”

Have we fallen a little for Joey? Yep. Do we trust Joey? Yes! Are Pfizer smart to align themselves with such a human-interest story? Absolutely – they saw a click through rate of 1.85% on this content.

When Novartis tried this, they felt it was important to maintain a level of authority whilst keeping their sponsored content personal. They compiled insights into deadly metastatic breast cancer from a nurse, an oncologist and a patient.

When patient Toyomi says – “I’m fortunate that the drugs I’m on now I can take as tablets at home, and there aren’t many side effects. […] None of us know what tomorrow will bring, so each day is a miracle we must be thankful for” – do we also want the best for Toyomi? Yep! Do we trust Novartis to be best placed to pursue a cure for her metastatic breast cancer? Most likely, yes.

What these successes really point out is that content marketing can have a huge impact on corporate distrust and is part of the solution to combatting the 'stigma' of corporations, in a society that increasingly demands social and environmental impact be part of a company's values.

Content marketing works so well because it can a) replace traditional advertising and still bring measurable results (like Pfizer’s click through rate), and b) question the facelessness of corporations, (like Novartis, whose tablets are keeping Toyomi thankful).

So if you're looking for a way to increase consumer trust in your brand, without shouting from the rooftops about how awesome you are, give the friendly team at Mediaplanet a call today.



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