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Josephine Borrillo LLC Posts

Playing it safe

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LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing professional social networks. According to statista LinkedIn today has 433 million users.

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LinkedIn distinguishes itself, from the other social media channels as being a social network that brings professionals together. Historically, this is where recruiters go to find and recruit talent and where individuals can connect for business purposes. However, today it is becoming more and more a mainstream channel to promote your brand and company messages.

1) Ok so we all know by now that LinkedIn is well known for recruiting talent. How do the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors rank on representation when compared to other industry sectors in attracting talent?

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By looking at the chart, I guess we could say pharmaceutical along with healthcare are one of the least represented industries among top attractors on LinkedIn. A sought after employer not only brings a competitive edge for the company, but also value and good reputation.

2)So what can pharmaceutical companies gain by becoming more active on LinkedIn?

First, it is probably the “safest” social media channel.  If you want to start in social media, start with LinkedIn. Since the network is built on professional network, many of the comments and material or content shared tends to “stay” professional. In stark contrast to content shared in other social media channels such as FaceBook and Twitter.

Second, many modern day CEOs today are on at least one social media channel.  So if a Fortune 500 CEO has to start on a social media channel, LinkedIn would be the place to get your feet wet.  Ian Read Pfizer CEO was among the early pharmaceutical CEOs to join LinkedIn influencer program when it broadened its’ program.

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3)What other features does LinkedIn provide?

Besides building reputation and getting your feet wet. LinkedIn launched its InMail service in February 2015 as part of its’ Marketing Solutions portfolio. Features of InMail include 1) real time dynamic delivery of sponsored emails / updates / campaigns to a target audience; 2) mobile-optimized templates making it easier to view on any mobile device, 3) rich targeting capabilities ( industry, job function for example).  These all become part or should be a part of marketing strategy. LinkedIn also is a way of by bypassing open comment possibilities. This is where the safer concept comes in play.

4)Pharma LinkedIn Influencers?

The LinkedIn Influencer program launched in February 2014. This may explain why we see a more diverse set of influencers, beyond, Barak Obama and Bill Gates. Some Healthcare & Pharmaceutical CEOs that are part of the Influencer program include

Pfizer Ian Read (120,370 followers)(accessed July 28, 2016)

Abbott Laboratories Miles White (113,524 followers) (accessed July 28, 2016)

Cardinal Health George Barrett (15,823 followers) (accessed July 28, 2016)

According to social CEO report 2015 “Highly regarded companies are more than three times as likely as those with weak reputations to have a CEO who participates in social media.”

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Younger CEOs are on more social media channels and they understand the benefits they can achieve from social media engagement. The advantages of being part of the influencer program allows a CEO to be able to think like a business leader, which the professional community looks up to. Pharmaceutical industry needs to learn that it must define itself externally above and beyond the brands and this is where the Influencer program can play a pivotal role. An Influencer can also help the audience understand the pharmaceutical process of bringing meds to market. CEOs engaged in social media channels can contribute to the companies ROI by bringing in reputation rewards.

5)How about leveraging all your employees?

Pharmaceutical companies can leverage one of their greatest asset, its’ employees, colleagues and associates. This is one of fastest and easiest way of broadening and reaching a greater network with your company message.

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As we can see from the chart above the bigger the company the wider the reach to build up your followers.

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Interesting reads #3

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2015 Survey of US Health Care Consumers (Deloitte Center for Health Solutions) trends in health care consumer engagement.

Engage with confidence: Managing online adverse event reporting. Ensuring digital engagement between healthcare companies and their consumers aligns with regulatory requirements. (White Paper: Nexus Social Media) (IMS Health) 2015

GSK working together with Apple ResearchKit to improve clinical trials designs.

Pharmaceutical companies are looking for new ways to attract patients to participate in clinical trials.

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Social media and adverse events

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More people are online today searching and sharing health information.  Social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, commenting on blog posts and participating in online communities such as tweet chats, facilitate this exchange of information. While people are participating and sharing their health experiences with others, it is a given that there will be discussion of treatments and possible adverse events. Regulatory agencies such as FDA in the US and EMA in Europe, monitor and collect data to ensure the safety of the public. Pharmaceutical companies also have the obligation to report to regulatory agencies adverse events. The question is can social media data mining and social media listening prove be useful in early detection of adverse events?

So what is an Adverse Event (also abbreviated AE or AEs)?

An adverse event can be defined as “Undesirable experience that is associated with the use of a medicinal product in a patient”.

In order to report an AE to the FDA, four criteria must be met and those are:

  1. an identifiable patient;
  2. an identifiable person reporting the event;
  3. a specific drug or biological product;
  4. an adverse event or fatal outcome suspected to be due to the suspect drug or product

What could be some of the opportunities of social media data mining or social media listening for adverse events?

  • It could allow for additional information to the already established safety profile of a medicine
  • Social media could be more useful for early trends detection or reveal new patterns, which can then be further investigated through research or observational studies
  • New technologies, could offer new possibilities for monitoring drug safety
  • It could provide for geo-monitoring for drug safety

What could be some of the challenges of social media data mining or social media listening for adverse events?

  • Adverse events or potential AEs can be ambiguous, especially due to the word or character limitations (for example Twitter 140 characters)
  • People use different language in social media (social media vernacular) such as hashtags, abbreviated words, slang words
  • There is a need to account for misspelled words, different languages, retweets or reposting, that is duplication within the same platform and / or across multiple platforms, and fraudulent postings
  • Possible bias regarding the demographics of Twitter users, such as age and location
  • People may fear being monitored or feel “Big Brother” is watching over your shoulder

What is being done to try and capture adverse events in social media?

Web-RADR (Recognizing Adverse Drug Reactions) Europe is funded by the Innovative medicines Initiative, which in turn is funded by the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. The initiative also involves drug regulators, pharmaceutical companies and the World Health organization and universities.

Epidemico, a health informatics company and a subsidiary of Booz Allen Hamilton, is working on developing algorithms to pick up adverse events from social media as part of Web-RADR project. The FDA is also collaborating with Epidemico to develop the digital data-mining platform, MedWatcher Social. MedWatcher Social (MWS) is a validated GxP (good for practice) digital listening platform that is designed to monitor social media information about drug safety.

Treato, a company based in Israel, the company offers a reporting tool so that organizations can log adverse drug reactions and it’s website allows patients to search for information that has been collected about other drugs. The goal for Treato is to capture early drug signals and improve patient outcomes.

IMS Health, through it’s social media analytics company Semantelli, has been analyzing adverse events and picking up signals on prescription drugs and over the counter drugs. Also IMS Health has been working on capturing signals on efficacy of drugs.

This sounds like an overwhelming task?

Yes it may well be overwhelming, but the information shared on the internet cannot be ignored today.  These networks play an important role in consumer health management for today’s modern patient, caregiver and consumer. However when confronted with regulatory risks and considerations, such as reporting of adverse events, healthcare industry feel the risks may outweigh the benefits in social media listening or engaging.

Resources:

Social media and pharmacovigilance: A review of the opportunities and challenges. Richard Sloane, prod Osaniou, David lewis, Danushka Bollegala, Simon Maskell and Munir Pirmohamed. Br J Clin Pharmacol:Volume 80, Issue 4, pages 910-920, October 2015.

Systemic review on the prevalence, frequency and comparative value of adverse events data in social media. Su Golder, Gill Norman and Yoon K Loke. Br J Clin Pharmacol: 2015 Oct; 80 (4): 878-88.

Digital drug safety surveillance: monitoring pharmaceutical products in twitter. Freifeld CC, Brownstein JS, Menone CM, Bao W, Filice R, Kass-Hout T, Dasgupta N. Drug Saf. 2014 May;37 (5):343-50.

IMI Web-RADR Webinar: mobile technologies and social medias as new tools in pharmacovigilance.

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Interesting reads #2

 

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Silicon Valley’s new darling: Healthcare, Just what the doctor ordered (Accenture strategy) July 2015

Up The Ante In The Age Of The Consumer (Forrester Consulting) March 2013. Three elements are essential in the Age of the Customer: 1) a customer – obsessed approach; 2) understanding of customer’s behavior and needs; 3) customer engagement strategy that responds to those behaviors and needs.

PharmaVOICE2011 (Showcase McKinsey)  capitalizing on social media listening first discussed in 2011, still relevant today.
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Silicon Valley versus Wall Street

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Should pharmaceutical companies dip their toes or better yet move their head quarters in Silicon Valley in order to be closer to digital disruption?

So many industries have faced disruptions from technology driven start – ups and pharmaceutical companies I believe will be no exclusion to digital disruption. They may feel they are well protected, mainly due to the regulatory and compliance environment they operate in, but they are also burdened by old business models, complicated processes, multiple layers of approval and above all their aversion to risk taking. Pharma companies can benefit from learning from the innovative culture that is so embedded in Silicon Valley, but this comes along with a change in mind-set of legacy C-level and it’s employees.

Does pharmaceutical need a digital disruption?

Absolutely yes. They have traditionally and continue to this very day to “push” information out to their customers (doctors, patients/consumers/ payers). Whereas, today it is required that pharmaceutical companies adopt a more interactive experience or strategy with the consumer. That is they must learn to engage with the consumer.

What would be the payoff of engaging with Silicon Valley?

The payoff could be substantial. For one thing, pharmaceutical companies could learn more about the entrepreneurial (a culture of innovation) approach. An entrepreneurial approach would allow for disruption of present day business models and embrace learning through trial and failure. Second benefit would be to digitalize all of pharma’s present day silos (sales, marketing, medical etc). Third payoff, I believe pharma would learn to be more consumer / customer focused. Who is the true customer today for pharma? In today’s world it is not only the doctor.

How can pharma tap in or engage with Silicon Valley?

The easiest would be to simply visit for a few days and shadow some of the industries in Silicon valley. See the YouTube video below of one companies experience. Another possibility would be to form partnerships. One excellent example already underway is Google and the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis. Google and Novartis are working together in developing contact lenses that can monitor the glucose levels in diabetic patients. Open offices in Silicon Valley which would allow or facilitate to tap into local talent and cultivate a more innovate culture away from legacy,Wall Street, operations.

Here is an example of one company that visited Silicon Valley and their learnings.

How can this knowledge be incorporated back in headquarters?

Traditional company leaders can immerse themselves in Silicon Valley’s culture of innovation approach, that is all fine and dandy. But, once they get back to headquarters they need to be the agents of change. Continue with that “culture of innovation” of being open-minded and listen to the right people. There is not only senior level responsibility, this learning experience needs to be extended to heads of different departments such sales, marketing, medical. The question that pharma needs to ask itself is how well aligned is top management about the challenges on the horizon and what needs to be done to overcome these new challenges.

Does pharmaceutical face a future in which unprecedented technological change could disrupt legacy operations or business models?

The list of dead companies is pretty long and their stories tell it all. The failure of not responding to technology is a mistake one does not want make.

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Interesting reads #1

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2016 Social media Impact Report: B2B Industry Edition (TrackMaven – 2016)  How do the best B2B brands move the needle on social? 500,000 content pieces analyzed from 316 leading B2B brands. Pharmaceuticals and Medical featured.

Pharma 3D Rewriting the script for marketing in the digital age (Wharton, Google and McKinsey (date not found on report))  Applying Discovery, Design and Delivery, otherwise referred to as the 3D, in the pharmaceutical sector.

The State of Consumer Healthcare: A Study of Patient Experience (Prophet GE Healthcare Camden Group – Summer 2015) Understanding the consumer health experience by understanding the gaps between patient and providers’ expectations and perceptions and what needs to change.

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Social media and paying tribute

Social media is changing the way we express our shock and sadness for the passing of celebrities. On April 21, 2016 the world paid homage to one of the greatest pop music legends, Prince. People, organizations, companies and brands all used the social media channels to express their grief, shock and condolences. Personally, I found out about Prince’s death from twitter.

Why do we do it?

In my opinion we want to be a part of a relationship with people or a community. You want to join in the conversation of outpouring of grief, sadness and shock.

Can using social media to pay homage hurt or help your brand?

As a business your aim on social media is to form relationships with people by engaging. Just like in my previous article (“Educate or Engage” posted April 11, 2016) the key word here is “engaging”. Brands can and should tweet honoring or paying tribute to a celebrity. The fine line is not to capitalize on it.  It is more about brand reputation then brand awareness.

Not every brand  managed it well. Some tweets where tastefully done while others were just downright bad marketing, or opportunistic and were later deleted.

Cheerios tweeted then deleted.

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While Chevrolet was really appreciated and acclaimed by people on twitter.

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3M brand on the other hand made it more about them and their brand.

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Should pharmaceutical companies use social media to pay homage?

In my opinion, yes. Even though it may have nothing to do about their products but it does make you human and a part of the world conversation. When done correctly you can really connect with people.

Did any pharmaceutical company pay tribute?

I decided to do a little research to see if any tweets went out from pharmaceutical companies paying tribute to Prince.

The companies analyzed included the following:

Novartis

Pfizer

Roche

Sanofi

Merck & Co.

Johnson & Johnson

GlaxoSmithKline

AstraZeneca

Gilead Sciences

Takeda

AbbVie

Amgen

Teva

Lilly

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bayer

Novo Nordisk

Astellas

Boehringer Ingelheim

Allergan

Daiichi Sankyo

Biogen

Baxter

From this very long list, I found that only Lilly had a post paying tribute to Prince.

Was Lilly’s tweet done “tastefully”?

In my opinion no. It appears that someone had paid tribute to Prince by writing on some sort of wall that Lilly was sponsoring. Lilly then took that to twitter, with a very unusual post reading “a timely tribute to #Prince” and “can we get that in purple?” Hey Lilly are you just using the hashtag of the moment, so that you can increase your chances of getting noticed by many people? What you post about people says more about you then you actually realize. What do you want to get in purple? And timely? I would say late. You posted it on April 23rd.

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Whereas the tweet below from Lilly was spot on maybe because this celebrity relates to a product?

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Participating in the paying tribute conversation is an excellent way for pharmaceutical companies to “humanize”. It has nothing to do about their products but it does make you human and a part of the world discussion.

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Educate or Engage?

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I usually come across pharmaceutical presentations and their use of social media. In their talks I have noticed they always refer to social media and how they are “educating” the patient. I never hear them refer to “engaging” with the patient. Is this because traditional pharmaceutical companies are still using a “push” marketing model? Pharmaceutical companies should continue to inform however they also need to engage.

What do we mean by engaging?

Merriam Webster defines engaging as “very attractive or pleasing in a way that holds your attention.” The social media community refers to engaging as a “two way conversation”

What do we mean by educating?

Merriam Webster defines educating or to educate as “ to provide with information.”  When pharmaceutical companies refer to educating they are referring to offering disease-specific education information aimed at patients, consumers and healthcare professionals.

So why does pharma always use the word educate and less so the word engage regarding their use of social media?

I think it starts with social media was made for people in mind and not really for businesses. Think of sites like MySpace and LinkedIn in 2000 and Facebook and Twitter in 2006. These sites created a new way for people to communicate and share with each other. But I truly believe the main reason is that pharmaceutical companies are still in a one sided “push” of information approach. In order to be an integral part of engagement, they definitely will need to open their communication and listen to the consumer.

So what are pharmaceutical biggest fears for not engaging?

Social media platforms are increasing and there are several channels to provide information and education. Many pharmaceutical companies fear that being involved in social conversations will increase the number of adverse drug experience reports and force them to conduct investigations that could be costly and damaging.

What needs to change for pharmaceutical companies to start using more the word engage?

Social media platforms provide for an easy way to exchange information and above all dialogue. In order for this to happen there is a great urgency to rebuild the pharmaceutical business model and mindset if they truly want to “engage” with the consumer, patient and healthcare professional on social media.

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Searching for the customer experience in #ActuallySheCan

Industries today are focusing more and more on customer experience. So what does this mean for pharmaceutical marketers? That you absolutely need to build a customer experience for your product or brand.  What do we mean by customer experience? Customer experience is about building an intentional or planned customer journey. It starts off by leading and then it is maintained though loyalty. I recently came across Allergan’s website  #ActuallySheCan, and did a review on their approach to customer experience.

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What is #ActuallySheCan website about?

As described by Allergan “this campaign is about fostering a discussion among women, not at them. This is a platform and medium for women to get more educated,” Allergan then goes on to explain “This is not just a traditional social-media platform with standard banner ads and tweeting content about a product.”  Right, so let’s move on to content.

Is the content relevant, valuable and useful?

Content experience is about making user experience a good experience. A good experience is what will create your lead and then loyalty.  According to Content Marketing Institute content must be relevant and valuable. In my opinion I really find it hard to see any information at all on the website, let alone it being useful to me. Maybe if I register to their newsletter / email I will receive useful information. But why would I register for information if I can’t find any on the website? May I suggest maybe to research and try to understand your customers first and then build your content experience on that.

Engaging on social media channels?

FaceBook, Twitter, & Instagram photos and messages are pretty much the same across all channels. Trying to foster a discussion with women? Can’t really see a discussion going on. Appears to be just a push of general messages. Suggestion, relevant and useful content will increase your user experience to share and engage with others. Content experience and sharing can only be built after researching and trying to understand your customers.

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Testimonials or influencers?

In seeking an authentic and balanced tone, Allergan states, that it partnered with celebrities including actor Lea Michele, reality television personality Lo Bosworth and Youtube personality iJustine. Maybe what you are looking for are “influencers” more than testimonials. Influencers have the trust of their followers and care very deeply about giving their opinion that is valuable and relevant for their followers. Testimonials are just a traditional marketing “quick” fix voice behind a brand. The outcome is very different. With influencers you will create a true following and fulfill the loyalty part of the customer experience journey.

Are you using emojis and “shemojis” just to attract millennials?

Millennials, although frequent users of emojis,  don’t want brands to communicate with them using emojis. They want to interact with the company in a different ways. Why not ask them how they would like to engage with you? As for “shemojis”, Allergan defines “shemojis” as a website featured technology that allows women to create their own emojis by uploading selfies so users can convert them to “shemojis”.  In my opinion it is always best to first test photo emojis such as is the case with “shemojis” first as a social experiment. See how it resonates before launching to a broader audience.

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Can we please have health emojis?

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Why should we consider having health emojis?

92% of the population uses emojis. Regardless of one’s native language, emojis’ are universal and can be understood by all. Images are processed faster in the brain than text is, so there are benefits to choosing a visual icon over words to describe or convey a sentiment.

What are emojis?

Emojis are small digital images or icons used to express an idea, emotion, etc, in electronic communication

What is the origin of emojis?

Born in the 1990s in Japan and from e “picture” + moji “letter, character”. They became very popular with their inclusion in Apple’s iPhone, followed by Android and other mobile operating systems.

How are brands incorporating emojis in their marketing mix today?

Super Bowl 50 (2016), Twitter, partnered with brands like Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch and Verizon to offer emojis with a Super Bowl theme, sometimes referred to as “admoji”. Super Bowl custom emoji

Twitter has selected celebrities that can overlay emoji (style icons) onto their photos.

Lifetime has experimented with auto – response campaigns using certain hashtags to unlock content.

Facebook launched (Feb 24, 2016) “Reactions” a new feature that allows users to respond to posts with six emotion choices (angry, sad, wow, haha, yay, and love)

Has healthcare experimented with emojis? 

I am very happy to see that GE Healthcare experimented using emojis at the #RNSA15 (a professional radiology medical device conference).

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