Sales via Social Media?

by Infinity Concepts | Mar 14, 2011 | Digital

Social Media (Facebook/Twitter, etc.) has exploded and is changing the way we (insert just about anything you can think of here).

The question is, will “traditional marketing methods” used for generations on TV and radio translate directly to social networks?

Case Study

Pozen is a small, unconventional drug developer with just 2 products approved and one on the way.  According to Jason Chew, they are…

…eschewing a sales force for its planned launch of PA32540; instead, it has decided to go virtual. Led by Liz Cermak, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, the company plans to focus its sales effort using social media tactics. Theoretically, this will allow each marketing dollar to stretch farther. In a presentation at the Cowen & Co Healthcare Conference March 7, management suggested their commercialization model would allow an almost nine fold increase in physicians contacted compared to a typical sales rep model for the same amount spent on promotional activities.

Chew raises an essential caution about this strategy…

…most important is physician acceptance of their sales tactics. Sermo is already monetizing its user base by selling anonymous information on topics of interest. Pharmaceutical company-paid doctors (badged) enter the site to communicate with users. There may be a point when physicians feel their privacy has been overly compromised and leave the site.

Of course, the answer to the “traditional marketing methods” question is: Emphatically NO!  You don’t sell on social networks, you build relationships.  If you forget that, you will lose your audience faster than you can tweet.

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