September 10, 2012

Controversies on how Medicines are being Promoted Online & Offline

We all know that TV commercials are still the largest mass medium for advertising ~a part of every business marketing plan. But take note, with the growth of internet and social media sites another medium of advertising is starting to overtake. 

So here are some thoughts about what I read about this Dynamics of Medicine Promotion Online

1. The consumers’ awareness that are getting stronger online. I really thank God that through social media consumers can now voice their thoughts and be able to share what’s on their mind (interesting, right?). Regarding the case of the state "no approved therapeutic claims" be changed to "Mahalagang Paalala: Ang (name of product) Ay Hindi Gamot At Hindi Dapat Gamiting Panggamot sa Anumang Uri ng Sakit”, is a good idea just to present it in a manner in which it can be easily understood by the many. But again, if people will not really care to read on an important ant notice then it will be and will always be useless unless the Department of Health willfully change the mindset of Filipinos regarding this important matter. I hope DOH will do something about it!

2. Another issue in here is that Loyalty gimmicks might click but it is the community that counts. Giving loyalties to your customer is one way of giving value to them but sometimes marketing plans like these may tend to irritate some customers in some other ways. Good for me that I haven’t experienced such irritating calls from them to come for a free consultation and etc. Although it is really an effort for them but I would rather prefer buying those medicines that creates a community impact like joining raffle draws, contests online and the likes. So far, I am signing up for free vitamins (still don’t know the product yet) for my kids in exchange for a simple review and this really counts big in a certain community. 

I really do like the Unilab products on how they do campaigns online because they really take their time posting it on social media sites asking the consumers to like their page and that one thing about it is that they are also up for free bloggers sign-up who are willing to do a review for them in exchange of their products of your choice. 

3. Brand positioning is as important as targeting your consumers ~ why would they buy your brand in preference to others? Have you noticed in tv commercials nowadays that they are using a multi-level marketing models, a celebrity-driven commercials and even use a heavy advertising? Well for me, partly they did not help in contributing the effectiveness of the endorsed product but they are just being used to drive the consumers to buy their product in preference to others just like in the case of John Lloyd Cruz in Biogesic, Manny Pacquiao of Alaxan and many others. To be honest, I don’t easily take over the counter medicines because it doesn’t work for me and that sometimes I may question if it’s really worth buying for because it is not as effective as their spiel and as safe as what they say. Some people may tend to buy that product because of the endorser itself, not knowing on its effectiveness and safety of the product as a whole, but not for me because I am completely the exact opposite. 

Have you seen this TV ad from Saridon


Oh well another controversy, TV ads like this should not be aired because promoting violence as one way to catch the viewers/consumers' attention is really a big NO, NO! So true that normally we Filipinos will just take it as a funny or a humorous ad, but take note that the ad does not only be seen by adults but kids do too. They also contribute as the major viewers who would like to mimic what they see and hear on TV. In my daughter’s case, every time she’ll take her medicine she would ask me…”eh safe ba yan?”. :)

I totally agree with the idea that DOH should set clear guidelines and policies on what kind of advertisements to be aired or not both online and offline. I don't believe they don't have a screening committee on this, but  oh well we have nothing to do if they themselves don’t know what violence is all about or maybe they just see it on the other’s perspective way. Hope they'll do something about this, not just purely for promotion!
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