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Monday, April 08, 2013

Younger Physicians Less Engaged in Social Media Than Their Elders

Kantar Media just launched a new healthcare insights blog at www.kantarmedia-healthcare.com. Hopefully, many of the posts will include key data points from the company's professional and consumer studies that I can analyze here on Pharma Marketing Blog. In fact, there is one piece of data that caught my attention: i.e., the types of social networks used by physicians for professional purposes. Specifically, this chart:


"Looking at the data by physician age, those in the 35+ group are nearly twice as likely to participate in a professional social network versus those in the under 35 group," says Bernadette Cognac, who writes for the Insights Blog. "Surprisingly, physicians ages 45-59 are the most likely to use any social network for professional purposes overall" (read the post here).

Yes, this is surprising given all the hype about how younger physicians are leading the way to digital and thus future pharma marketing to physicians should focus a lot more on digital channels as these physicians become mainstream.

It is also surprising that the headline for the Kanter Media blog post reporting these data -- "Social Media Usage Increasing Among Physicians -- is a bit misleading. A better title, IMHO, may be "Social Media Usage Increasing Among Older Physicians Compared to Younger Ones," which is another way of expressing the title of my post.

Unfortunately, this is not good news for pharma marketers (or their ad agencies) who wish to convince their bosses to invest in more social media marketing aimed at physicians.

1 comment:

  1. For what it is worth, this shouldn't be too big a surprise when it comes to 'use' for professional purposes. In our JMIR article this past fall we found a correlation with age and adoption of social media for lifelong learning...but age was NOT a predictor of adoption...there are simply too many other critical variables in play. When you factor in autonomy, desire to support the medical community, personal innovativeness, personal social graphs...well, the younger clinicians are just not settled enough in their careers to 'need' to look beyond the the bounds of the traditional hierarchies in which they work.

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