In no other industry are the reputations of the company and the product so distinctly separate as in pharmaceuticals. To satisfy customers, shareholders, government oversight groups, and many other interested parties, it is crucial that pharmaceutical companies have both a strong overall brand image and a solid reputation for each individual drug line.
So is online reputation management the same for both the product and the company?
Well, yes and no.
On the one hand, they build on each other. A drug’s safety and efficacy reflects well on the company that makes it, while a strong positive company reputation leads to more sales and more loyal customers. As both the company’s brand image and the drug’s reputation improve, they continue building and reinforcing the other, creating a continuous cycle. That compound effort can boost (or diminish) both reputations exponentially.
On the other hand, the steps a pharmaceutical company takes to build a good reputation for itself may be very different from the steps followed to improve a single drug’s reputation. Social media, for example, can be a very effective tool in a company’s online reputation management strategy, but it can be tricky to implement for individual product lines. This is especially true in an industry that’s not used to engaging its customers.
Reputation Management for Pharmaceutical Companies
To manage overall brand image, pharmaceutical companies need to focus on reputation issues such as:
· Customer service
Customers and shareholders want to know that the company making their drugs and medicines is honest and trustworthy, employs good governance, and takes care of its consumers.
Blogging, social media, and news media are often the tools of choice for a drug maker’s online reputation management. When combined with a focus on ethics and customer service, these tools help you build a community of loyal fans who become repeat buyers and brand advocates.
Reputation Management for Individual Drugs
When managing the reputation of a specific drug or product line, drug makers focus on more concrete and specific things, such as:
· Trials and studies
· Real-life results
· Patient endorsements
These are more than just selling points; they indicate high quality and value, which boosts the product’s reputation, while reinforcing the transparency of the overall brand image.
Product-specific websites with regular updates and strong search engine optimization (SEO) are crucial for the online reputation management of individual drugs. Product news and reviews are also helpful for building and maintaining a sound reputation.
ORM for Both Drugs and Pharmaceutical Companies
Both reputations rely heavily on SEO to influence search results. Proper optimization helps fill the search engine results pages with positive content that boosts both reputations, such as company and product websites, blogs, social media accounts, news articles, Wikipedia pages, and other web properties.
Although some of the tactics are different, all pharmaceutical reputation management utilizes the same two-step process of gathering and publicizing positive content to boost image.