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Josephine Borrillo LLC Posts

pharma and “social currency”

 

A major strength of a brand today is measured by its’ “social currency”. There is a massive amount of information that consumers are willing to share. “Social currency” is all about consumers wanting to share brand information with others by engaging in conversations with brands, advocating for brands, and becoming part of communities. What does pharma’s “social currency” look like?

 

What do we mean by “social currency”?

  • we can think of social currency as a modern day version of word of mouth
  • “social currency” is when your product is shareable and is being talked about
  • “social currency” is when consumers connect with the brand or with others about a brand and they share information, share pictures, leave a comment

 

Why do people share and therefore create “social currency”?

 

Why does pharma need “social currency”?

  • we live in an age of social consumers – technologies, platforms, and networks are a part of our everyday life
  • it is an investment that in return creates value, you need to pay attention to this value

 

What is pharma doing that could threaten to lose its’ “social currency”?

  • keeping a distance from engagement
  • sharing too much promotional – like material
  • see themselves as exclusives (“we are different”) and are not strategizing enough to interact with all their clients on a daily basis
  • pharma companies have to break away from their long-standing history that they need not be involved in social media platforms

 

What key factors are critical for pharma to maintain its’ “social currency”?

  • need to understand how consumers engage with brands in the digital and social universe
  • brands need to work harder than ever to earn the attention of their consumers.
  • the consumer needs to be put at the forefront from beginning to end of any digital transformation
  • create valuable content that consumers/healthcare professionals are willing to share
  • educating and empowering – help you earn more “social currency”
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why do we share on social media

I often ask myself why do I share on social media. My reason would be I guess I like to share valuable information, if I found it important than maybe some else will too. Sharing on social media is also my business card, it is my personal brand, I like others to see what I am doing. For pharma understanding the psychology of social media sharing 1) will help to understand how social media works and 2) put more effort behind content strategy and creation that will be more shareable.

 

Why do people share on social media?

  • People are intrinsically inclined to sharing
  • Sharing is an emotional experience and it evokes positive emotions in people
  • People like to share content that is entertaining and hope that others find it amusing as we did
  • People like to share useful information and hope someone else may find that same information useful
  • We share things about ourselves – psychiatrists refer to this as self-presentation – controlling or shaping the way you want to be seen
  • We share because we want to tell or show people who we are and what we really care about – self-expression
  • We share to stay connected with other people and to strengthen relationships
  • We share because we build our social currency -when we share the right type of content we gain social currency
  • We share to support a cause and this is by far the most powerful reason to why we share

 

What kind of content do people share?

  • Content that is entertaining or amusing
  • Content that provides information that is useful
  • Important news or breaking news
  • Where we have been and what we are doing
  • Content that supports a cause – this is probably the most powerful content people share on social media (think for example the ice bucket challenge)

 

Where do brands in general fit in?

  • People trust people more than brands
  • People do like brands – we identify ourselves with brands
  • People, however, feel brands are not authentic, so they are not shared
  • Shared values is a bigger driver for building relationships than lots of interaction with a brand

 

Where does the pharma brand fit in?

  • Pharma has a trust issue (which is not a new issue)
  • People do share a lot of information against the pharma companies – for example, #epigate:
    • ridiculous price gauging to unhappy customers to comparing prices,
    • stories of parents and pictures of EpiPen purchase receipts & prices they had to pay

 

Which kind of content should pharma focus on that will make people want to share?

  • Values come first – if people share the same values as companies then they will share their content
  • Get rid of the noise – that means less paid promotion
  • Create content that responds to emotions
  • Work on amplifying great content
  • Understand which kind of content people want to share -think of buyer personas
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is pharma instagrammable

I often hear people on social media platforms say “wow that is so instagrammable”. What do we mean by being instagrammable? We find it everywhere: restaurants, nature and in the art world. But is pharma content instagrammable?

 

What do we mean by “being instagrammable”?

 

What works on instagram?

  • great photography
  • creative photography
  • stunning visual content
  • fantastic colors
  • hashtags – make sure you get your hashtags right and are monitoring
  • posting own photos

 

What audience is on instagram?

 

 

  • More interesting stats can be found here:

Can pharma be on instagram?

  • yes, they just have to choose the right content
  • creative original brand pictures work well on instagram, but pharma is a highly regulated sector
  • make it a photo moment
  • make it an experience, a customer experience
  • get artists and creatives on board and be more creative
  • consider event content that is more instagrammable, make stands and booths fun to visit both in person and on instagram
  • do not make it so “brand – artificial”, make it real

 

Is any one pharma company doing it right?

here is my ranking with comments of some examples of pharma on instagram and trying to get it right:

  • some great instagrammable shots:

Bayer

Novartis

  • needs work on:

Pfizer

GSK

Novo Nordisk

  • so many accounts:

Medtronic

  • the worst:

Sanofi (seriously a private account????)

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“Buyer Personas” is it right for pharma

 

Just finished reading the book by Adele Revella, “Buyer Personas”: How to gain insights into your customer’s expectations. Align your marketing strategies and win more business. So naturally, I ask myself should big pharma be considering “Buyer Personas” as part of their strategic planning (if they are not already doing it)? Pharma talks about being “patient-centric” but do they really know their patients and healthcare “Buyers Personas”.

 

What do we mean by buyer persona?

  • “Buyer Persona” is a new more personalized approach.
  • The opening question is only one scripted question and it asks the buyer to go back when they first decided to look for a solution to their problem.

Understanding the art and science of “Buyer Personas” is understand buying decisions and the people who make them” – Adele Revella author of “Buyer Personas”

Companies involved need to listen to their buyers tell a story about a considered decision.”  – Adele Revella author of “Buyer Personas”

 

What does the information tell us about how a person makes a buying decision?

  • Of limited interest to your audience is pharma promoting products, achievements, appearances at conferences and trade shows
  • Marketers today need to become good listeners since the social media/tech savvy consumer today can now choose to listen to you or go somewhere else

According to Adele Revella – author of “Buyer Personas”, buying insights reveal:

Which buyers are receptive, and which will ignore you no matter what you say

Which aspects of your solution are relevant to them, and which are irrelevant

What attitudes prevent your buyers from considering your solutions

What resources your buyers trust as they evaluate their options

Which buyers are involved in the decision and how much influence they wield

 

Why include buyer persona as part of a general strategy?

  • Listening to your buyers enables you to better understand today’s tech/social savvy consumer.
  • Helps marketing and sales people to communicate more effectively with their buyers.
  • Helps to build business relationships through engagement and the exchange of ideas.
  • Helps internal stakeholders understand the what drives today’s informed and empowered “buyers”.

 

Who are pharma’s “Buyer Persona”?

  • Anyone who is involved in the buying decision.
  • Anyone who is involved in the decision-making process.
  • Any influencer that had an effect on the choice of solutions.
  • Any external factors that had an effect on their choices.

 

What kind of insight can be gained from “Buyer Persona”?

Getting messaging right

“When marketers have insight into their buyers expectations, they know which buyers their message needs to persuade and which of the many attributes of their solution are the most important to each buyer’s decision.

Armed with verbatim quotes describing how buyers weigh their options and make a choice, marketers can readily find the sweet spot between their buyer’s needs and their solution’s capabilities.”

 

Generating leads

“Marketers who have insight into their buyers priorities, expectations, and preferred resources know where their buyers are looking for guidance, the questions they are asking, and most critically, which answers they want to hear.

 

Shortening the sales cycle

“Marketers who listen to buyers describe their buying decision have a chance to peer inside the inner workings of their companies, discovering issues and challenges that the buyer never reveals during an active sales situation.”

 

 

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is pharma building an audience

 

Why should pharma focus on building an audience? The whole idea behind content strategy is to build an audience. How can pharma achieve this? I have been reading the book Content Inc by Joe Pulizzi and how content is the foundation for building an audience. Here are some of my key insights for pharma.

 

Why build an audience?

  • It makes you an authority
  • It means you are providing useful content
  • It means you are solving problems or responding to pain points
  • It means you are providing something valuable
  • It means you are trusted

 

Who is pharma’s audience?

  • Just about anyone and everyone really
  • Just to name a few:
    • Patients
    • Caregivers
    • Consumers
    • Healthcare professionals
    • Payors
    • Policymakers
    • Other pharma companies
    • Journalists
    • Anyone that may need healthcare services in the future
  • However and most importantly you do not own your audience

The reason that the audience is in different places is that no audience is owned. Regardless of whether you are a major television network, popstar, or professional sports team with rabid fans, you simply do not own your audience. They can get up and leave mentally or physically at any time.”  Jeff Rohrs, chief marketing officer at Yext and author of the book Audience

 

How do you build an audience?

  • By providing useful content
  • By providing great content
  • By responding to the needs of the audience
  • By responding to customer pain points
  • By sharing your knowledge

 

Is content the best way to build an audience?

  • Content is where it all starts
  • Content is why people come to your website /blog
  • Content is why people subscribe to your channel/blog
  • Content is why people follow you on social media

 

Is social media sharing and engaging the best way to build an audience?

  • Social media provides the platforms for sharing content
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is the micro influencer right for pharma?

A new trend in influencer marketing is the micro-influencer. Instead of the traditional sponsored ads with celebrities, brands are now partnering with micro-influencers. Partnering with micro-influencers allows brands to share more authentic posts. Should pharma consider micro-influencers as part of their strategic marketing?

 

Who is the micro-influencer?

 

But what makes micro-influencers unique and important?

  • Micro-influencers are hyper-engaged
  • From the graph below as an influencers’ following increases, we tend to see a like rate (that is an engagement rate of likes and comments) that decreases

 

  • Social media is all about engagement and micro-influencers have the right balance rate of followers to likes/comments (which is the measurement for engagement)
  • Micro-influencers posts are trustworthy and engaging
  • Micro-influencers post their own content and respond to the comments themselves (no social media manager) in other words are more authentic

 

So social celebrity or micro-influencer?

  • With social celebrity, you do reach a wider audience, but a large part of that audience may not be interested in your product
  • Working with micro-influencers is also more affordable
  • Working with micro-influencers you will need to manage more relationships simultaneously
  • Working with micro-influencers you may achieve a higher engagement rate
  • Working with micro-influencers allows for reaching different demographics

 

How can pharma incorporate micro-influencers in their social media platforms?

  • Incorporate micro-influencers as part of a general current strategy
  • Patient groups, patients, healthcare providers, maybe your micro-influencer

 

Does one platform work better than others?

  • Most of the research has been focused on Instagram
  • Instagram allows for easy posting of photos and comments, however, this does not exclude other platforms
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patient advocacy in an age of social media

 

Social media platforms are an incredibly powerful tool and have been the main empowerment tool for patients. How is social media disrupting traditional patient advocacy and what must pharma do to stay ahead?

 

How have social media platforms changed traditional patient advocacy?

  • Social media allows for global networking & making connections worldwide is easier
  • Social media makes it easier to get message across instantaneously – real-time communication
  • Social media makes it easier for patient advocates to network or interact with other patients
  • Social media makes it easier to meet and reach new communities/patients or consumers
  • Social media allows for remote patient advocating; establishing and explaining your position not only with policymakers but with the public
  • Social media allows patient advocates to share clinical trial results and clinical research findings
  • Social media platforms are free and are cost-effective communication tools

 

How can you identify an influential patient advocate online?

  • Patient advocates engage in Tweet Chats – discussing important topics relevant to their disease areas
  • Patient advocates interact with online healthcare professionals
  • Patient advocates facilitate information creation and sharing
  • Patient advocates follow proper hashtags for disease topics
  • Patient advocates are bloggers that share their experiences

 

What are some of the tools out there for patient advocacy?

 

 

  • Tweet chats take place on Twitter platform and allow for conversations to take place around a keyword or hashtag. For example #BCSM (breast cancer social media)

 

Which social media platforms are best for patient advocacy?

  • Patients are meeting on different social platforms.
  • They join a FB group.
  • They recount their own story by Instagram.
  • They meet and share information and experiences on Twitter through tweet chats.
  • They blog their illness.

 

How can pharma use social media to embrace this movement and improve the patient experience?

  • Pharma needs to join in the conversation.
  • By engaging on social forums, pharma may better learn what questions patients are asking and what their real needs are.
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online research for pharma

For pharma (and for all businesses) the internet continues to change the business environment. Social media platform adoption has also allowed for new business opportunities; to gain unique insights into consumer behavior, attitudes, and beliefs that drive their decisions. Online research is an ever evolving field.

 

question 1: so, what is online research?

as described by What is Online Research. Using the Internet for Social Science Research by Tristram Hooley, Jane Wellens, John Marriott

  • online research methodologies describe the approaches that researchers take rather than the tools that they use
  • it begins from the question of how do researchers find out about and make sense of the social world, and pursues that question in the context of the online environment
  • online research methods describe an approach to finding out about people and the social world they inhabit, by using the internet
  • many of the online research methods are really traditional research methodologies that we are familiar with in market research and they have only been modified and repurposed to fit the needs of the internet

 

question 2: some specific types / examples of online research methods include?

  • cyber ethnography
  • online content analysis
  • online focus groups
  • online interviews
  • online qualitative research
  • online questionnaires
  • social network analysis
  • web-based experiments
  • online clinical trials

 

question 3: how can pharma use these online research methods towards strategic planning?

  • brand reputation
  • gaining meaningful insights into health care professionals, payer, patient and consumer behavior and beliefs

 

question 4: what are some ethical and legal aspects for pharma to keep in mind?

principles of research ethics and ethical treatment of persons are codified in a number of policies and accepted documents, such as the

At their core, the basic tenets shared by these policies include the fundamental rights of human dignity, autonomy, protection, safety, maximization of benefits and minimization of harms, or, in the most recent accepted phrasing, respect for persons, justice, and beneficence.

  • copyright
  • intellectual property
  • data ownership
  • transfer & storage
  • potentially operating in other or multi jurisdictions, for example when online research is international
  • contractual terms of service (TOS) to which online participants agree when they sign up to, for example to social media platforms
  • identification of adverse drug reactions (ADR) and proper reporting is important for drug safety surveillance

 

question 5: do online methods substitute the traditional research methods?

  • one does not substitute the other
  • consider during the development and decision of methodologies as whether online and onsite experiments can be combined
  • online research may be not appropriate for all research questions, for example, the elderly population
  • consider cross referencing, for example, are there any differences between online versus offline behaviors of individuals?

 

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pharma marketing to millennials

Every generation is different. Millennials have different buying habits and different priorities than Baby Boomers and Generation X. This means companies need to adapt and change their marketing strategies. This goes for pharma too.

question 1: Should pharma be marketing to Millennials?

  • Yes
  • Millennials are now the largest generation in the United States and have surpassed Baby Boomers
  • Definition of Millennials those aged 18 – 34 in 2015

question 2: How are Millennials different than Baby Boomers and Generation X?

  • They are born digital or are digital natives
  • Their priorities are different
  • They care about health and overall wellness
  • They are more likely to use urgent care or walk-in clinics; this is more convenient and quicker
  • Smartphones and social media are the platforms they use to communicate and share information
  • Medicines are important, but they do not like the high prescription prices of medicines
  • They use health and fitness apps and Bluetooth devices to track progress at a rate higher than any generation

 

question 3: Is it a target audience for pharma?

  • Not considered a target audience for pharma, but it is a large audience and they do have an impact in healthcare because of their presence on social media
  • Millennials are tech savvy and help their parents and grandparents to navigate the social media platforms and also search for information

 

question 4: Which priorities should pharma keep in mind when marketing to Millennials?

  • Pharma needs to show empathy – do not just talk about your brand show value that goes beyond the pill or product
  • Pharma needs to be authentic, Millennials do not mind advertising but they do not like it if it is fake and false
  • Millennials want to be engaged with pharma not talked to (this might be the biggest hurdle for pharma)
    • Millennials want conversation and are looking for answers/solutions through technology
    • Excellent customer experience that allows for personalization and engagement options, including the ability to have a one to one conversation where questions can be asked and get honest answers in return

 

question 5: How can pharma engage with Millennials on social media?

  • Forget the traditional marketing mix that pharma has relied on for years
  • Create a sense of community, connection, inspiration, and convenience
  • Remember it is not about your pharma needs but about their needs

 

 

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people are now the media, pharma needs to adapt

Social media platforms have changed our way of communicating. We now live in a society of conversation and empowerment versus what was once a push of information. How can pharma adapt to a world where people are now the media?

question 1: what do we mean by the people are the media?

  • people control the narrative
  • people control the conversation
  • brands need to earn their place in the conversation

question 2: what role do the consumers play in this?

  • people are no longer passive
  • people today can create and contribute and even brand themselves
  • people can contribute with ideas
  • people can either block or share ads
  • people today relate to values and concerns of citizens

question 3: what role do platforms play in this?

  • technology and platforms enables everyone to become producers
  • it allows for people to share or block ads
  • it allows for crowdsourcing – ideas can come from anywhere
  • platforms are easy and free to access

question 4: what role could pharma play in this?

  • people are looking for a solution to problems, pharma can play an active role in solving someone’s problems
  • pharma can make a relationship with customers which is becoming a core competency of every brand

question 5: how can pharma adapt to this?

  • pharma has a huge opportunity to speak to people, not at people
  • pharma can be a part to solve problems, advertising does not solve problems
  • pharma needs to understand transparency is the new mandate, people hold brands accountable
  • pharma needs to stay ahead of the learning curve in understanding tools and platforms
  • pharma needs to be aware transformation may take time and their own bureaucracies may slow the evolution
  • pharma needs to invest in monitoring and measuring communications
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