Over the last few years we have seen the pharmaceutical industry cautiously embracing social media channels as an additional way to engage with and learn from healthcare professionals (HCPs). Listening to HCP conversation helps brand teams to locate where healthcare professional customers discussing their brand or therapy area are (both online and offline). This is useful information for product managers planning next year’s marketing campaigns.
Listening into online HCP conversation doesn’t only inform your digital marketing strategy
Intelligence insights from HCP conversations online are certainly helpful for brand managers when putting together their digital strategy. However, such insights also give you intelligence about their offline communications. Which congresses the HCPs you want to meet are attending this year? What information sources they are reading? Which publications or journals are they interested in? Answers to these questions can help determine where you need to have either a physical or print presence to make an impact with your multi-channel campaigns.
We also see some of our clients using online HCP market research to understand if HCPs in certain parts of the country have different needs. For example, a recent Creation Pinpoint project discovered HCPs with a particular concern situated in rural locations only. This insight enabled the client to plan further offline resources to assist with this geographically focused need. Thinly spread resources can negatively impact a campaign, so determining where the HCPs you want to speak with are is imperative to success.
Understand which social media channels HCPs are using
Working with 50% of the world’s top pharma companies we see numerous brand managers being asked to get more involved in certain digital channels i.e. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc. Whilst brand managers want to encourage enthusiasm they also understand the cost and resources involved in putting together a digital campaign. Before committing to such a campaign it is important to know if this channel is actually being used by the HCPs you want to reach.
Know where your HCPs are going for information online
HCP social media listening will also help you find out which forums your HCPs are participating in and the blogs they are reading for advice and expertise. In one recent project we found that UK nurses were very active in discussions around the client’s therapy area on the Practice Nursing Forum. Based on these insights, the client was able to form a strategy that helped them connect better with nurses using this forum. Reaching their audience in the right place greatly improved health outcomes and the company’s reputation.
Pharma, before starting next year’s marketing campaign check where your customers are…
At Creation Pinpoint we are seeing more and more Pharma brands using healthcare professional social media research to answer questions like “What social media channels are my customers using?” or “Which congresses are the HCPs I want to reach attending” or “Which blogs/forums are HCPs reading” – before they start their social media strategy planning.
If you are in the brand planning stage and thinking about your HCP marketing campaign then make sure your hard work isn’t wasted. Use social media insights to determine the best channels for your brand.