I know, I know, it’s not often you hear advertising agencies saying that we need to be quieter. We’re usually the ones shouting key selling messages from the rooftops. But, there’s a lot to learn when you stop talking about your brand and listen to what others are saying about it.
They’ll say anything behind your back.
People will say really horrible things online. Have you seen the terrible things people anonymously post on forums, or in response to a news article they don’t like? It’s easy to say what you really think about a commercial on YouTube or on a message board. People may not be so forthcoming when you’re right in front of them doing market research.
The first thing most people (and some doctors) do when they want to learn about a medication is Google it. By searching your brand online, you can see what comes up first – the first thing people might read about your brand. Is it a personal blog, where someone described side effects they attribute to your drug? Is it a forum of people complaining about how expensive it is? Are there ways you can balance the fears they might have of starting your drug, or help them overcome the challenge of obtaining it?
Be a part of the conversation.
Social listening can give you a lot of helpful information. While there are regulatory constraints on how the pharma industry can communicate with patients, social listening can be a great way to get unique, real-time insights into how others see your brand. By passively listening, you can collect information on patient concerns and perceptions, compliance challenges, sales rep experiences, competitors, packaging likes and dislikes, and the list goes on. This information can help you with targeted marketing, sales force training, packaging redesigns, and key selling messages.
So, take a moment. Bask in the silence. And do some serious (digital) listening.