Social media has forever changed the way in which patients impact pharmaceutical brands. Every day, patients and caregivers use the social web to research their symptoms, condition, and treatment regimen to make more informed decisions. Unlike the behavior of previous generations who relied predominately on the advice of their healthcare professional, today’s patient plays a significant role in their own treatment.
But to take advantage of social media inclusive of blogs, forums and health communities, pharmaceutical and healthcare marketers must quickly detect relevant signals and recognize patterns to deliver an optimized patient-level experience. Making sense out of social “big data” is a huge challenge that marketers must embrace and conquer to stay a step ahead of the competition.
It’s important to realize that all social media listening is not created equal. Gone are the days when social media listening meant capturing the volume, sentiment and share of voice about a specific therapeutic area and competitive brand set. While these social media metrics were fascinating to view at first, often the questions “what is this data telling me?” and “what do I do with this information?” were left unanswered. Vendors also relied heavily on sampling methods to generate anecdotal insights.
Listen With Purpose
Klick Health and ListenLogic Health have been taking clients’ social media listening to the next frontier. Leveraging ListenLogic’s advanced social media analytics technology that collects, parses, enriches and structures more patient-level social media data than anyone, and the collective healthcare expertise of both firms, clients listen with purpose – they listen for early warning of risks & threats at the corporate level and market and brand insight at the business unit level.
Let’s elaborate – social media listening only becomes actionable when conversations can be broken down by who, what, where, when and why people engage online. It’s within these dimensions that marketers can discover risks and exploit opportunities in the marketplace. Examples of this deep analysis include answers to the following questions:
- Who is discussing the therapeutic area online? Are there distinguishable segments of conversation? What proportion are consumers, caregivers, and patients? What are the archetypes? How do these map to existing segments?
- What is the patient dictionary throughout the patient journey (from experiencing symptoms to managing their condition)? What is the impact of online influencers within this discussion? Who are they? What are patients and caregivers saying about competitors and treatments?
- Where do patients, caregivers and HCPs engage about the therapeutic area online? What are the key sources and sites?
- When are patients engaging online throughout the patient journey? What are their unmet needs throughout their journey?
- Why do patients and caregivers engage online within the therapeutic area?
Using this knowledge clients can better target segments, create more relevant content and messaging, optimize SEO and media planning, and inform on new marketing strategies.
A New Perspective
Realize that the moment a patient experiences symptoms, is diagnosed with an illness, or desires a more effective treatment option – they go online to research as much as possible about their health issue and connect with others who share their condition. This is the new normal of patient behavior. Patients and caregivers control this conversation, and in turn, they control your brand. The companies that leverage these conversations for intelligence are the ones that are equipped to manage risk and exploit opportunities in this new world.