During my time at CREATION we have carried out many retrospective HCP studies, analysing HCP opinions and views over a set period of time. We also see a high demand for something a little more immediate: Our CREATION HCP Tracking Studies provide a way of identifying emerging trends in the market before they become a significant issue.
The challenge is to quickly uncover insights and present them without compromising on the quality or depth of analysis. This is something we are constantly looking to develop as a team, because there is such a great benefit in responding to needs as they come up. I see it like this: Tracking HCP conversation is like detecting earth tremors. Keeping an ear to the ground allows you to pick up a murmur, a rumble; the gentle, subtle beginnings that warn you something bigger is coming. A tremor might start off low and slow, but it is the first indication alerting you of an incoming earthquake.
To use an equine analogy, tracking HCP conversation allows us to ‘hear it straight from the horse’s mouth’; it’s always exciting to see a story developing before it’s picked up by mainstream media. Laying an ear closer to the source allows us to be first to recognise when HCPs report their views and experiences days before news sites publish their thoughts on the issue. ‘Hot topics’ change over time, and one real strength of a tracking study is to identify trends that are growing and those that are fading, as it happens.
Spotting the unexpected
By using real-time analysis we can see small or unexpected stories that capture HCP attention, as well as HCPs’ response to major world events. Whether it’s global politics, the weather or sport, the response to key events are rarely unanimous. Preferences, views and temperament are made public based on social habits, and analysing these across a group of HCPs can provide us with valuable insights into the issues that matter most to those posting, and their peers. Although we don’t necessarily investigate every motion, notion or commotion uttered by each individual HCP, when a story breaks, we investigate the developing discussion, expectantly awaiting the contribution of our HCP cohort.
Insight-led decision making
When carrying out a tracking study, we constantly challenge ourselves to make the findings actionable for client teams. It’s no good to sit back, watch trends emerge and then let it pass by, missing the opportunity. For this type of study to be effective, you have to be willing to react to trends in the data, you have to be prepared to make an insights-led brand decision. This type of research is for the innovators, the pro-active risk-takers, those who will respond to the needs of customers in real-time. This is the immediacy generation, let’s embrace it.