The pharmaceutical industry is miles behind European healthcare professionals and patients when it comes to multichannel marketing, according to a report.

Eyeforpharma has published a white paper which reveals that the majority of HCPs and patients “are increasingly multi-screen and channel ‘savvy’.” It cites Google statistics which show that the majority of browsing is now initiated on a smartphone (65%) as opposed to a laptop or PC (61%), but claims that 93% of pharma’s investment remains in analogue channels.

The analysis argues that a key stumbling block for pharma is that many executives have come through “a strong face-to-face sales tradition, making them wary of digital”. The authors say that many see the technology “just in a supporting role, rather than as a ‘leading edge’ approach”.

They go on to state that regulatory compliance issues also leads the industry to be risk-adverse, “instead of pushing against the boundaries to provide content that is engaging, up-to-date yet still compliant”.

Paul Simms, chairman of eyeforpharma, said the sector needs to tackle the issue “if it wants to keep pace with both its key customer base and the end patient”. He added that 98% of HCPs search for medical information online and 86% want more e-resources. “Only 10% use a company website for information and just 3% rate that information as credible”.