DTC National Conference in Boston: What’s the Buzz All About?

To some, Spring in Boston might mean an end to winter, longer days, and Opening Day at Fenway Park.

But in 2017, it means DTC National Conference to pharma comms! One of the industry’s top conventions in the niche of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing is taking place April 5-7, 2017  – that’s three full days packed with presentations, panel discussions, and round-tables on the industry’s latest research data, insights, and case studies. The agenda will blow you away (check out some of the heavy hitters up for DTC Marketer of the Year and Hall of Fame Inductees), but here are a few highlights that are generating buzz in the event’s 16th year.

FDA: New Studies May Impact Your Brand


When it comes to regulating online pharma communications, the FDA is starting to hit its stride. With a few Guidance documents under its belt, the agency is getting more proactive in expressing its expectations for marketers – rather than reactive through Warning Letters and Notices of Violation to pharmaceutical companies.


Attorney Mark Senak will be presenting the details on the FDA’s upcoming activities, including:


  • A somewhat controversial study that will dig into the impact of animations in ads. If they distract a viewer from paying attention to negative drug information, do they offend the FDA’s false and misleading standard?
  • An analysis on weighing the communication of risks and benefits in social media links. How does multimedia fit into fair balance compliance?
  • A look at mock advertising. Do consumers know how to recognize bogus claims?


All of these studies and more will have an impact on your branding – even if the typically slow-moving FDA doesn’t take immediate action on the results of their efforts. Attendees will be in good hands with Mr. Senak: He has two decades of experience carrying over his legal background to realm of communications and public relations in the life sciences space.


Creativity in DTC


Who knew you could get creative by taking a deep-dive into your database? Frank Chipman and Phil Sawyer, that’s who. This pair will present on how you can extract critical characteristics from your data to make your DTC advertising really sing. The key to success is to evaluate your ideas early to make they have the best possible impact – meaning you’ll spend less time and money making mistakes with creative development.


The Chipman-Sawyer duo bring the right blend of research finesse and advertising effectiveness to the table, enabling them to identify a handful of factors that encourage response in the DTC world. Gain insight into your data to drive creativity, and you’ll be unstoppable.


Social Media Panel Discussion


So much is going on the social media universe that it takes a panel of professionals to present on the latest trends impacting DTC marketers. Three pros – from none other than industry giants Facebook, Twitter, and Google – will present on how you can harness the power of social media to gain consumer sentiment and gather priceless information about your target audience.


This session is a can’t-miss, mainly because of the message it will deliver to marketers who are frustrated by the sometimes-convoluted positions of the FDA: Social media is trying to help you, too. The representatives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter will talk about upcoming innovations intended to address the challenges pharma marketers face, including how you can be involved in essential DTC conversations – while still remaining in regulatory compliance.


It’s not too late to get your tickets to the DTC National Conference. Of course, the event will include plenty of cocktail receptions for networking with your peers. With all the outstanding information you’ll be absorbing, you’ll need a break for socializing.


(Psst…the Boston Red Sox are also playing at home)


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