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pharma building your global content marketing team

This post is an inspiration from a #contentchat held March 20, 2017, with Pam Didner (@PamDidner) and Erika Heald (@SFerika) on Building a Global Content Marketing Team. My focus here will be on pharma and building a global content marketing team.

question 1:  why a global content marketing team for pharma?

  • global pharmaceutical companies have already in place a headquarter and/or global, regional and country structure and mindset
  • having in place global content marketing makes it easier for alignment of business goals between headquarters and/or global, regions and countries
  • often regions or country level have no content marketing team
  • often regions or country level lack ownership of content marketing team
  • often regions or country level budget is embedded in different groups
  • often regions or country level content marketing does not have senior management buy-in

 

question 2: what are some of the challenges a global content marketing team may face?

  • global content marketing team need to be aware of cultural relevancy
  • global content marketing teams should be aware of operational challenges for example:
    • issues with resources, both headcount, and budget
    • people who leave the company
    • new hires or agencies coming on board
    • internal processes that slow down the process or plan
  • global content marketing teams should also be aware of local market regulatory restrictions
  • global content marketing teams need to understand and study the networks local audience is using within each country
  • global content marketing teams and countries need to reach an agreement on the personas to target
 
 

question 3: how do you get started in globalizing your content marketing strategy?

  • start with auditing current regional and country specific content, how effective is it?
  • develop a content marketing plan and discuss with countries how content will be utilized and distributed, KPIs and feedback back to global content planning
  • establish an internal communication process so that everyone is aligned
  • agree or reach a consensus on personas to target based on local behaviors and prescribing habits
  • study and understand the networks the audience is using within each country
 
 

question 4: What are some considerations can increase your chances of success in a global content marketing team?

  • establish a clear internal communication strategy that will help to convey the same message across all geographies
  • establish local editorial boards in each country or region in order to manage proper planning and distribution:
    • local editorial boards should consist of medical, marketing, legal, regulatory, digital marketing, content marketing
  • educate your regional and/or country stakeholders:
    • global or regional product team meetings could be an occasion to educate everyone on the content marketing
  • provide documents with do’s and don’ts
  • some of the critical operational challenges you could encounter:
    • issues with resources, people who leave, new hires or agencies coming on board,
    • internal approval processes that tend to slow down the plan
  • increase internal awareness of content marketing through documentation, list all new content created globally and provide continuous visibility on the editorial plan, this will also help for budget and headcount discussions
 
 

question 5: what are some considerations to keep in mind when repurposing global content?

  • consider creating content centrally and allowing countries to adapt locally

Common Sense Advisory Study

72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language

72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language

56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price

  • consider content topics broad enough to allow for freedom to produce different subtopics or create interesting campaigns
  • consider launching pilots and learn from successes and mistakes:
    • get feedback from your audience on your content
    • identify KPIs to evaluate the pilots: blog (landing page) views, engagement, downloads, conversion rates, leads

 

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Can pharma create customer experience content?

 

Can pharma go from just sharing content to creating customer experience content?

question 1: we are living in an age of customer experience. what do we mean by customer experience?

Forrester defines customer experience as *How customers perceive their interactions with your company*

From a customer’s perspective it must be:
useful – deliver value
usable – easy to find and engage with
enjoyable – emotionally engaging and people want to share or engage with

Forrester customer experience professionals
According to Gartner customer experience is *the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and this increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.*

question 2: what type of content creates that customer experience?

  • you have to care enough about the customer and be interested enough to understand their pain points, motivations, needs and wants
  • listen to your customers and take what you have learned and create the content that will meet their needs
  • create content that is compelling and enticing enough for the reader to cause them to take action
  • remember consumers are no longer passive players in treatment selection and usage they have unique expectations and demands
  • healthcare customers are more self-empowered today, they are more proactive and can educate themselves thoroughly before each purchase or decisions
  • measurement:
    • what was the quality of the customer experience?
    • how did your customer experience efforts affect sales?
    • does it solve a problem? or is it a resource? or is it information?
  • governance:
    • cross-functional collaboration is needed between marketing, medical, legal, IT, call centers, sales, and management
    • sorry but speaking directly to patients via direct-to-consumer marketing is not customer experience
    • in the end, good content experiences lead to good feelings about brands

question 3: how can pharma make the shift?

  • pharma is heavily regulated and it crushes ideas without even thinking, this mindset needs to change
  • pharma needs to start employing people with customer experience knowledge and skills
  • forget the company focus on the drugs
  • learn from retail
  • don’t do it all once, pick a market, a drug, some good people, start investing, tolerate mistakes and go slow
  • be creative with both content and formats, get followers to create content for you

question 4: customer experience content and its role in the customer journey?

  • every phase of the customer journey creates the customer experience
  • you need to plan for the entire customer life cycle and not just for the prescription

anatomy of an experience map here is an example from Adaptive Path for Rail Europe 

 

question 5: how can pharma stand out?

  • do not become deaf to the real voices of real customers, know your target audience and what they want to see
  • do a content inventory and audit, what content do you have and how is it performing
  • new product updates or sales or too much vanity are the surest way to turn people off
  • remember to customize your social content based on social channels
  • always ask your customer what kind of content do they want to see, encourage them to create content and spread the word for you, User Generated Content
  • make sure your sales and customer service teams know about your content and how they can use them – this exposes your content to your customer facing people

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Is pharma spending too much money on the wrong content?

 

When I look at some of the content pharma puts out I often wonder are they spending too much money on the wrong content?

question 1: how much is the right amount of content for pharma?

  • the focus should be on quality rather than quantity
  • is pharma investing necessary resources in creating content or just moving further content down the priority list
  • readers start to experience content fatigue as brands pump out more and more low-quality content
  • creating original content, posting and engaging is the driving force

question 2: what type of content is good content?

  • first who is your audience, pay attention to the conversation taking place online
  • second write content for your audience:
    • good content is content that speaks to the person – not what you want to say
    • good content encourages interaction and engagement
  • too much self-promotion – is not good

 

question 3: what is more important content creation or content distribution?

  • content is king, but great content is critical to success and to building your community
  • experimenting with content is important
  • learn to measure what kind of content works
  • what drives your community – social listening can help you build your content
  • planning and adapting great content to your platform(s) is just as important
  • please no* I want this to go viral* requests

question 4: should pharma have in place a content marketing budget?

  • yes, but before putting a budget together pharma needs to identify first which content needs to be created, for which audiences and which platforms
  • 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing. (Curata)
  • what to include:
    • strategy
    • topics
    • content calendar
    • SEO optimization of your content
    • content development (writing, images, videos)
    • content distribution
    • measurement

question 5: should pharma create a content marketing team in house?

  • first pharma needs to understand how are they going to approach content marketing
  • managing content means being creative, developing, distributing, measuring, seeing what works and what does not work
  • if you do plan to have a content marketing team in house:
    • have a solid strategy supported by roles
    • get the right people in the right roles
  • keep in mind:
    • agency – can be very expensive
    • in house – less expensive, you develop your own strategy and build expertise
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Should Pharma attempt producing their own podcasts?

 

Changing times also brings a need to adapt and be creative. That is why podcasting can be an excellent source of content for pharm.

question 1: what basic things does pharma need to know about podcasting?

 there are many benefits to podcasts:
  • a podcast is relatively easy to produce
  • it allows the audience to listen while doing other things, alias multitasking
  • podcasts allow for easy listening instead of reading content all the time
  • it can be a powerful marketing tool

but also need to make sure you have:

  • the right equipment to record quality podcasts
  • distribute on multiple channels in order to reach a broader audience

question 2: how can podcasting add to pharma’s traditional marketing plan?

  • podcasts allow for easy listening instead of reading content all the time
  • it can be an alternative to video
  • podcasts can help you reach new audiences
  • podcasts can be added to a traditional email campaign
  • podcasts can be highly engaging
  • podcasts can be listened to on demand, while in the car, working out, in an airplane
  • podcasts provides a format for sharing your expertise in your industry
  • podcasts helps you to stand out in the super-competitive online market

question 3: what topics would work well for pharma in podcasting?

 sharing information about:
  • clinical trials
  • disease awareness
  • policy issues
  • industry research
  • drug mechanisms
  • company information, financial and corporate
  • general information related to the industry or sector

question 4: how can pharma assure consistent followers or listeners?

consistency is critical:
  • although there are no rules, listeners like to know what to expect
  • a consistent posting schedule is super important for podcasts, think of it like a TV program certain day certain time

familiarity and structure are good:

  • have guests, which can be more interesting than just one person talking
  • have no guests
  • have more than one guest, more hosts means more ideas and content
  • get your CEO to do a podcast
  • co-host with someone that lives in another state or another country

question 5: how can pharma measure effectiveness on their podcasts?

 some basic ways of measuring effectiveness include:
  • who is downloading your podcasts
  • who is subscribing to your podcasts
  • who is sharing your podcasts
  • who is talking about your podcasts and what are they saying
  • monitoring your traffic with tracking URLs, look at visitor’s interactions with your website

here is a simple equation to measure ROI of your podcast:

revenue generated (minus) expenses (divided) by production hours = return on investment

 

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Big Pharma can you please explain why all the Twitter accounts?

I was in the process of creating Twitter lists of pharmaceutical companies when I came to realize just how many Pharma Twitter accounts there are.

I am curious and I want to take a closer look at what is going on and why it could be happening.

question 1: so why so many Twitter accounts?

  • the accounts may have been registered years back when “you had to be on social media”
  • different product and business unit lines or roles (for example CEO) call for different and dedicated accounts
  • several departments within the same organization may have created different accounts


question 2: can too many accounts be confusing for the audience?

  • multiple products or brands speak to different audiences, so lumping accounts together could lead to confusion
  • always good to keep brand and customer service accounts separate
  • many pharma companies are creating accounts for specific campaigns:
    • the purpose for marketing campaigns is to leverage the following you already have so why would you want to start from scratch with a new account?
    • instead today it is better to use hashtags for campaign purposes instead of new Twitter accounts
  • regional offices may want to have different account since they operate in different parts of the world:
    • audiences speak different languages, could be distracting to see several different languages coming from one account
    • different accounts allow for different versions of the same product with different regional regulatory policies

question 3: are multiple accounts worth the time and effort?

  • accounts need content, day to day maintenance, engagement, and staff to keep the accounts running smoothly
  • always remember what is the purpose for your Twitter account and are you meeting your followers needs
  • remember several accounts can dilute content if you do not plan
  • on the positive side more accounts also means more exposure, different audiences are following different accounts
  • with multiple accounts brands can target niche audiences and provide customers with more engaging content

question 4: should pharma have a social media customer service account?

  • this is one of the main reasons for most companies to have a Twitter account in the first place
  • always good to have a separate dedicated customer service account:
    • makes it easier to monitor for customer service related tweets
    • helps customer to know where to send comments or complaints or even adverse events
    • a dedicated customer service account ensures that all of the branding activity is not over shadowed by complaints or comments or request for information
  • make sure that customer service account is constantly being monitored
  • good social media etiquette is to have person that wrote the tweet also sign it off

question 5: could the cause for all the Twitter accounts also be due to no alignment within the company on a social media strategy?

  • social media sits across the entire organization and not on one sole team or brand
  • in a crisis situation all teams and departments will want to act swiftly and messages must be coordinated
  • we tend to forget but, social media has an effect on the entire organization not just one brand or campaign
  • anything shared on social media platforms needs to be in alignment with the entire company
  • pharma companies need to consider to have in place a social media community manager and an overall company social media strategy

check my post “so which department owns social media in a pharmaceutical organization?

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VR/AR for pharma

I participated in a very informative #cmworld tweet chat January 31st. The topic was on VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality). One of the chat questions that came up was “Can VR and AR work for every industry?” Hum this got me thinking, can VR/AR work for pharmaceutical companies?

Wikipedia defines virtual reality (VR) as *realistic and immersive simulation* , a person can *look around, the artificial world move about in it and interact with features or items that are depicted on a screen* .

Wikipedia defines augmented reality (AR) as *a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented ) by computer – generated sensory*

question 1: what are some impactful ways pharmaceutical companies can use virtual reality and augmented reality in their content marketing?

For both the physician and consumer:

  • VR/AR is all about a customer experience
  • with VR consumers become active participants
  • it is a new way of experiencing published content
  • it is a new way of creating storytelling medium
  • VR/AR can stimulate more empathy for the patient and the challenges they face

question 2: What are some of the barriers to overcome in order to have VR and AR in place?

Some barriers to overcome:

  • VR and AR both not only need better, but also cheaper hardware
  • AR requires sophisticated sensors
  • broadband speeds can be an obstacle; what happens if an AR -enabled device loses its connection to the internet, the experience is lost
  • how can pharmaceutical companies see a ROI out of using VR/AR

VR/AR will find day to day applications, we are just at the beginning.

question 3: What should pharmaceutical marketers have in place before they start planning for VR and AR?

  • a must have in place are SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) so get regulatory & medical & legal around the table and write those SOPs
  • need to understand how VR/AR will fit in with your overall product or company strategy

question 4: some examples of how VR and AR can work for pharma industry?

  • training and education:
    • VR/AR can be a learning tool enhancement to:
      • help consumers and healthcare professionals to understand treatments
      • help patients & doctors understand how a drug works
  • drug launch:
    • understanding chemical pathways or processes in a fun and interactive way, and which makes a greater impact when compared to power point or just a simple linear film
  • conference booth:
    • new avenues to attract attention
    • entice visitors to stop at your booth; once you grab their attention you can build through traditional media
  • corporate responsibility:
    • visual stories with strong emotions can be told in a completely different way
  • simulate the effects of a condition or disease:
    • allowing patients to see and experience treatment with AR
    • can help to remove uncertainty and anxiety

question 5: How can marketers justify the cost of VR/AR to stakeholders? How can brands measure the success of their VR and AR projects?

some background information first:

  • Goldman Sachs states that healthcare VR applications will top $5.1 billion in sales by 2025, with 3.4 million active users – 1.5 million of whom will be by medical professionals
  • increasing competition means prices for VR is expected to decline, while accuracy and user experience will improve
  • VR/AR are becoming more consumer friendly
  • there is a need to get over the *wow factor* and make it valuable:
    • the VR/AR engagement time is greater:
      • consumers and healthcare professionals do watch longer then a fixed frame or traditional content, which means they are completely immersed and engaged
      • you have 100% of the consumer or healthcare professionals’ attention
      • interactivity means consumer or healthcare professional is spending more time on your content or product or brand
    • the power of VR/AR combined with traditional content can create compelling content
    • VR/AR instills emotion and empathy, which is memorable
    • consumers today are expecting more innovative and creative ways of experiencing a brand, they expect new channels for increasing brand awareness
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The new skill sets for social media management

 

Pharmaceutical companies need to start considering, if they have not already, to adding social media managers to their hiring portfolio.

 

1: do you need new skill sets for media management today?

Yes! Social media has become and will continue to be a important channel of communication. It is no longer a “nice to have” or a on the side activity. Pharma companies work in highly regulated environment but they still need to sharpen their skills in social media management.

 

2: in house or outsource?

There are slight differences, but in the end you need a social media manager, in house or outsource does not really matter. In house always means you start to build and acquire expertise within the organization. Outsourcing, on the other hand, you are relying on agencies which are probably managing other accounts at the same time and cannot dedicate 100% of their time.

 

3: full time job or just an add on to other job responsibilities?

The bottom line is social media management is a full time responsibility. What you must look for however is to have one sole person responsible. This cannot be a role added to an already existing role and that will get pushed to the bottom of the priority list because some other urgent matter comes up.

 

4: where should it sit?

I covered this point in a previous post. In my opinion there needs to be a team that is solely dedicated to social media and that hold the right social media skills. There needs to be collaboration and interaction with other functions, such as sales and marketing and regulatory or safety divisions.

 

5: what are some of the skill sets to look for when hiring a social media manager?

Here is a list of what I would look for:

  • Social media presence and are they engaged on social media
  • Knowing the difference among the social media platforms are they staying up to date on platform updates & management
  • Social customer service, if asked a question or receive a comment you need to know how to respond and respond preferably within an 1 hour
  • Content curation: managing what content you have in house and where, when and how to share
  • Community management: this is all about understanding your online community, responding and interacting with your audience
  • Creativity: no more boring press releases you need to get creative with content to attract and engage
  • Analytics: analyze posting habits; content that is interesting; engagement; monitoring what is being said about your brand; trending topics
  • Relationship building: how do you go about building your community and keeping them engaged
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Being social on social media

As the word social in social media implies you have to be social. Does being on social media and not being social work? Many pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations for that matter are looking to using social media platforms as just another tool to push their messages across. They have not yet grasped the notion that social media is really not a tool but more of channel. A channel of communications, to have conversations or a dialogue with real people.

1) what do we mean by being social on social media?

Social media platforms are set up in way that allows for a two way conversation. The word social is in there for a reason, is all about relationships. It is about human relationships. We tend to forget but people on social media are real people. Businesses that “get this” are and will be the most successful on social media and in return their ROI.

2) what are some of the mistakes we still see pharmaceutical companies doing on social media that is not social?

I still see pharmaceutical companies being so corporate. Posting and sharing traditional corporate messages on social media does not really work. These kinds of messages do not really allow for audience engagement and frankly I find them to be very boring.

Pharma is still following the traditional PR paradigm of pushing messages out. What really needs to change is for pharma to get some real people on board. For example start with your CEO, get them on Twitter. (see my post on this) Get your employees on social media, they are your best advocates.

Pharma should also start following the 80/20 rule. That is serving 80% of the time and selling 20% of the time. This is a great opportunity for Pharma since they can be of service 100% of the time instead of selling and at the same avoid the many problems of illegal promotion of medicines to the public across most of the globe.

3) can a corporate style pharma company coming from a push information style transform to an engaging style?  and what will it take to convert to this new paradigm?

Yes.

The first step for pharma would be to get marketers to think of social media as a different way of marketing. They need to make the paradigm shift to thinking of social media as being a channel and not a tool.  The social media platforms are where people go to search and find people. They are platforms where people can an ask questions or answer questions. They are platforms where people can express themselves.

Second step would be, social media needs to change from being a “nice to have” on the side activity to being an integrated component of the business strategy. Traditional marketing worked back in the days of brick and mortar. But in today’s digital age social media has become the word of mouth or the new sales rep.

Third, there is a need to get on board people with social media skills. Whether pharma hires for this role in house or outsource, you need to have people with the right social media skills on board. A social media manager has a big responsibility. It is not a job role that is just added on to something you are already doing and that constantly shifts and gets put to the bottom of the list because of other company priorities.

4) does social media engagement matter?

In today’s world yes. It is all about empathy and empathy is a true human connection. Not showing empathy or engaging on social media today will have an impact your on your bottom line. Pharma needs to understand that social media is more about reflecting your corporate culture then it is about generating revenue. For example, pharma does a lot of good work and gives back to their communities. Why not highlight this and start a conversation with the community you work with or give back to.

5) measuring social on social media?

Social media is all about measuring social relationships. It is not just measuring vanity metrics; likes, followers and comments. It is all about being real. Building up value and loyal followers and advocates. Metrics therefore should be established on what you do with your engagement.

Some metrics that can be used to measure social performance on social media include the following:

  • Do you respond if someone asks a question or a mention? Do you then answer in the most appropriate way?
  • Do you highlight user generated content?
  • Are you creative with your content?  Or are you pushing a regular bland press release or blah corporate message that can be found on your website.
  • Do you share pictures, images and videos? These today do very good on social media platforms because they are real.
  • Have you considered crowdsourcing content? I do not feel pharma is ready for this, but something to think about for the future.
  • Do you spend time evaluating your content? Do you analyze what worked what did not work and which content was most engaging?
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Pharma and online reputation

Social media today is a very important tool for reputation building. Pharmaceutical companies are not best known for their use of social media platforms, but the time has come for them to cultivate and take care of their social media online reputation. Your online reputation is your reputation. What you say and do online equals what you represent or are offline.

 
 

1): What is online reputation? 

In doing the research for this blog post, I was unable to find a verified definition of “online reputation”. So I will try to define it in my words. Very simply online reputation is what people find when they google you, your company, your products. It is also what people are saying about you or sharing about you on social media platforms. In other words, it is how you are perceived by the public online and what the public thinks about your products, business and services. What people say about your company on social media or anywhere online is todays’ most important reference for everyone. 

 

2): Why should pharma care about their online reputation? Should pharma be interested in their online reputation? Does it matter?

It should be your top priority, since online search today is the first step for everyone and social media platforms is where the discussion takes place. Social media allows for the rapid dissemination of news about your drug, brand, your company. So any negative news will spread very rapidly.  Deleting will not help either because once online it is a sure bet someone will have seen it. Pharmaceutical companies should take note of recent events that have taken place across social media such as EpiPen pricing controversy and price hikes by Turing Pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical companies create drugs that people use and people use social media to discuss and express their anger and frustration. 

 
 

3): Is there an expectation that pharma respond to social media engagements by patients?

If you think you can just be silent then you are wrong, somewhere online they are talking about you. Pharmaceutical companies we all know are not used to engaging with their audience or consumers on social media platforms. However in todays’ online world, interaction is vital to any online presence. If we think about #epigate EpiPen price gauging, it is because it is a life saving medicine and patients cannot afford it. Pharmaceutical companies today need to take time and have in place a strategy to how you would respond to negative news online. Pharmaceutical companies need to change their mindset and be able to face consumers and accept feedback, positive or negative. It does matter because it reflects the behavior of your company and how you communicate with the public. Think global, even if it is on one market it will have an effect across the globe.

 
 

4): What would a pharma company who is exceptional at managing their online reputation look like? Is there an example?

It is fundamental that you do not ignore patients or consumers and their angered frustration, but try to understand and answer.  Do not think or pretend people are not talking about you. They are talking and you need to address them. The catch 22 is when and how should you respond to what is being sad. Easy to respond to positive feedback, but what about negative comments? There may be times when engagement or answer is necessary and other times it is not warranted. So how do you decide?  It is vital for pharmaceutical companies to monitor everyday public online content of what is being said about your company or brands. Then process and analyze both negative and positive information found and decide how to address what was found. Your aim is to avoid online reputation situations such as #epigate. These cases are the worst since not only is your reputation shattered but the impact is felt on the entire pharmaceutical sector.

 

A good example in my opinion of pharmaceutical companies managing their online reputation would include the following points:

  • listening to the patients or consumers, which gives an advantage for handling online reputation;
  • not only listening but responding and creating the situation for open dialogues
  • have guidelines and company policies in place for engaging
  • take a more proactive approach in managing online reputation
  • get rid of old school “damage control” mindset

An example of one pharmaceutical company and the modern approach to online reputation. What it has? real time online discussion with the public. 

An example of one pharmaceutical company and the old school approach to online reputation. What is missing? listening and true real time online discussions. 

As stated by Pfizer,  “We focus on proactive activities that communicate with people”……However, old-school marketing it’s not – in that it doesn’t pitch any products, even indirectly. It’s a different, unexpected way to interact with people”……..

 

5): Is there a value to online reputation?

Online reputation is the new practice. The value of online reputation today is to be transparent and present. For pharmaceutical companies, or any company or person, this can be risky, but it pays off in the long run, along with your bottom line. What does being transparent and present mean today?  It means that pharmaceutical companies will need to answer to good and bad news and decide when best to respond and if to respond to what is being said. 

 

resources:

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Pharma and the “sharing economy”

We are living, just in case you didn’t notice, in a “sharing economy”. We ignore adverts that continuously push their products upon us and we try to make use of “stuff” that is hanging around in our homes. But the interesting question I think is, where does pharmaceutical and healthcare in general fit into the picture of the “sharing economy”?

1) What do we mean by “sharing economy”?

Let’s start be defining “sharing economy”:

“Sharing economy” is a social, economic and technological movement that is changing the way business is conducted

“Sharing economies allow individuals and groups to make money from underused assets. In this way, physical assets are shared as services. …….For example a condo owner may rent out his condo while he’s on vacation.”. PWC has put together an excellent video that explains our shared economy

 

 

2) What factors are needed to have in place a “sharing economy”?

The “sharing economy” is an economy built on trust, convenience and community. People trust people more than they trust brands. You could think of it as a modern day version of “word of mouth”. For example what has worked for Airbnb is an ecosystem built on reviews and people really caring about others’ reviews.

Another important characteristic of the “sharing economy” is business models are hosted through digital platforms. Transactions that offer access to a car, a house, a space and although they take place on digital platforms, it involves real people.  The digital platforms serve as a platform to create a user experience – one that feels more like friendship when compared to the traditional cold anonymous method of exchange. For the organization, this all means providing more choice while mitigating cost and creating a unique user experience.

3) What does pharma need to do to be a part of the “sharing economy”?

Big corporations are conservative, careful and risk adverse, especially pharmaceutical and healthcare. So one place pharma could start, is getting the right talent onboard. Get millennials on board they know how to navigate the new business models. And the next generation after them, will be even more revolutionary.

“Sharing economy” sets a new mindset of not necessarily needing to own everything. It is about avoiding a lot of waste, properly called consumerism. But having a lot of “stuff” lying around becomes an opportunity for sharing and to reduce the waste. A mindset of less consumerism, less materialism and more of building a community.

4)Any examples of pharma doing this already?

I think it is a given that pharma is not a disruptor. Its’ approach is more of a wait and see and we will adapt to market forces. However, I was surprised to find the “8 out of 10 of the top pharmaceutical companies use Science Exchange to outsource experiments”.

5) What are the opportunities and risks for pharma in the “sharing economy”?

Some opportunities could include sharing facilities, equipment, offices. The science world has already stepped into the “sharing economy” through the birth of  Science Exchange. So what does this mean for big organizations?  Being more efficient and less inefficient, exactly what the new consumer wants to see today.

The “sharing economy” would mean also sharing with the community intangible assets that includes intellectual property, clinical trials, brand and talent. This is something I am afraid pharma is not yet ready to deal with, yet. Pharmaceutical companies want to keep proprietary technologies and guarantee their intellectual properties..

However, pharma can take a cue from some traditional corporations that have adopted or experimenting with the “sharing economy”.

Citi Bike(Citi), for example has found a novel way of reaching and connecting with people and consumers. Citi Bike brand is associated with a an environmental friendly transportation model.

ReachNow at BMW and premium mobility services. Millennials not really interested in spending money on owning a car acquisition.

Wonolo is a company that is tapping into the sharing economy by creating an on demand staffing. That is you don’t have to hire, and you can still keep a level fo professionalism that will represent your company.

In the end you can be as creative as you want and come up with how your organization can be a part of the “sharing economy”.  All it requires is a change in the way innovation is traditionally approached.  Take a leap and expand the brand through shared economy experiences.

References:

“Pharma Marketers: Adopt Principles of Sharing Economy to Catalyze New Growth.” MM&M. 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Consumer Intelligence Series: The Sharing Economy.” PwC. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Deborah Berry Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Histopathology and Tissue Shared Resource, Georgetown University. “The Sharing Economy Comes to Scientific Research.” The Conversation. 11 Apr. 2016. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

Science Exchange – Order Experiments from the World’s Best Labs.” Science Exchange – Order Experiments from the World’s Best Labs. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.

David Hunt. Web. 16 Dec. 2016

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