Sermo’s physician social network and Everyday Health’s digital health media network are sharing capabilities. The newly inked partnership hands control of joint market research projects to Sermo, while Everyday Health will now handle ad sales across both portfolios.
The deal extends both groups’ reach, while also redistributing strengths. In advertising, Everyday Health can leverage its technology and volume advantage, Sermo CEO Peter Kirk said in an interview with FiercePharma, which should result in better deals for pharma advertisers looking to reach physicians on properties across both platforms. Sermo, on the other hand, gets an expanded doctor panel to run its and Everyday Health's market research initiatives. Everyday Health will also get the benefit of the expanded panel with the ability to offer more survey opportunities to its doctors. The physician panel is now the largest in the U.S. with 800,000 doctors, up from Sermo’s 600,000 alone.
“Sermo was in much the same place with advertising as we were with market research,” Chris O’Brien, senior VP and general manager of Everyday Health Professional, said in an interview with FiercePharma. Both sides realized that to grow those businesses they would have to scale operations internally or find a partnership.
Along with display ads, Everyday Health will also sell its ProFusion native ad platform, which creates interactive information spaces in the place of static display ads. Inside the format, pharma advertisers, in this case, can allow interactions, such as letting people sign up for co-pay cards or watch informational videos, without having to click away to a branded drug website.
O’Brien said it’s similar to The New York Times' newly announced proprietary cross-device native ad format, Flex Frames.
“We’re creating much larger, richer spaces where physicians can engage with content and brands across our network,” he said. “You can order a co-pay card, scroll through clinical messaging or whatever a pharma company wants to do, but they don’t need to go back to brand.com. We can deploy the messages and interactions directly within the platform.”
Creating one point of contact is an added benefit for pharma companies, Sermo’s Kirk said, adding that “by combining our audiences, with the main properties being Sermo, DoctorDirectory and MedPage Today, we create one large group access for both market research and advertising.”
Both execs did point out that Sermo will continue to sell advertising on its own social networks such as Sermo Pages, which is similar to Facebook or LinkedIn, and Sermo Conversations. Everyday Health adds Sermo to the professional portfolio of healthcare properties it sells across, which includes KevinMD and the “What to Expect” websites.
- read the release
Pharma's social media activity is up, but there's still work to be done on audience insights: Review
The 'Kardashian Effect' on pharma begs the question: Does social media influence drug requests?
If TV's everywhere, then where does pharma need to be?