Nobody, not even a company can afford to stay away from social media, these days. The conversation happening on social media are the real world conversations especially during a time when the world is facing a pandemic. The importance of online public platforms and the conversation happening there cannot be missed. Even pharmaceutical companies cannot stay far from these conversations.
A company’s strategy will be incomplete if it doesn’t consider social media intelligence before going out in the market.
Gathering social media intelligence based on conversations taking place on the online platforms gives an insight that is unbiased. For pharmaceutical companies information from social media and online public media platforms is of great use, as they can gauge what patients, doctors, caregivers, and even pharmacists are talking about.
Online media has platforms where people discuss in detail, diseases, medicines available for these diseases, their positive effects and even the side effects. These are not coaxed discussions, but genuine ones where patients share their ordeal and even positive stories of how a certain medicine has helped them.
Social Media/Online Public Platform Conversations:
The pandemic has made people speak more on social media and online public platforms, the reason being that all are locked in their homes and hardly meet anyone new or old to have a conversation. These conversations are on varied subjects, from politics to medicines and are important because, they are not me talks, but experiences that people are sharing. For a Pharma company reference, social media conversations including doctors, patients and former patients becomes very important. These group of people talk about products that are related to Pharma companies, read: medicines. The availability of a medicine, the non-availability of a medicine, the effects both positive and negative, the pricing including affordability and non-affordability and other aspects of a medicine that a Pharma company should know.
Social Media Intelligence Gathering
While one is aware that there exist conversations on social media and other online public platforms, not all conversation is of importance. Social media intelligence gathering helps a company to actually filter those conversations that is relevant for them. These conversations are able to give an insight to a Pharma company that can be used by them in various forms to grow. These conversations are gathered from various platforms, where people are speaking, the intelligence gathering happens from conversations that are ongoing not from a conversation that normally is coaxed or seeded.
How Does Social Media Conversations help A Pharma Company Launch a New Medicine?
There are multiple ways in which a social media conversation can help a Pharma company. For example, a company before launching a specific medicine can listen to social media conversations. What people are talking about other products in the same category, it would include packaging, pricing and its effectivity. Based on insights from these conversations a Pharma company can easily derive a strategy on how it wants to launch a new medicine. For every medicine there are different target audiences, it may include a pharmacists at times, and at times a larger audience, including doctors, patients and caregivers too. The way they see a medicine and their experiences that they share online can help a Pharma company shape their product accordingly and make proper marketing strategy and not to miss even packaging.
Online Conversations And Insights Can Help Pharma Company Grow Better
An online conversation not necessary be limited to enhancing knowledge, but it also could be a rant by an existing customer. An unhappy user of a medicine dishing out his negative comments online is like jungle fire it can lead to more damage if not controlled in time. Via Social media intelligence gathering one can easily keep a tab on such conversations that are going against a product by a Pharma company and then tackle them accordingly. By smartly resolving the issue a big fiasco can be avoided. Online conversations are also about the senior management of a Pharma company and keeping a tab on such conversation is also healthy as it helps understand what is the perception that the company and its senior management is creating in the outer World.
Social Media Intelligence gathering Over Traditional Research
Traditional research mostly includes a questionnaire that is being filled by a randomly selected audience. While traditional research methods have been in use for a very long time and they have given good results too, their does exist chances of biases that seek into many traditional research methods. Social media intelligence gathering on the other hand follows zero interference in the research, most importantly it is unprompted. Social media intelligence gathering is based on the conversations that are taking place on online public platforms in regards to a product or a medicine that may soon come in. The biggest draw towards social media intelligence gathering is it is less time consuming and cost effective when compared to traditional methods. While there does exist a chance of falling prey to seeded conversations, but. The chances of that happening in a medical field is very less, as the liability especially legal liability, on the patient or a doctor talking about a medicine, treatment or a disease is huge.
Being a Good Listener
Being a good listener on social media and public platform is the biggest tool when it comes to social media intelligence gathering. A Pharma company that listens to what its customers, doctors or pharmacists are speaking about their product they can easily excel. For example, if someone is unavailable to find a specific medicine in a specific location, the Pharma company can increase, the supply, speak to local pharmacies and know the real problem and solve it right there. The biggest tool on social media intelligence gathering is keeping your ears wide open.
Currently all most all the big pharmaceutical companies have their presence online and around 40% for them tactically addressing to the queries raised on social media platforms in regards to their products. However, not more than 10-15% of the companies are using social media intelligence gathered by conversations for strategy.
But I see this number rising to 50% in the next two years as more companies will wake up to the social media intelligence gathering methods. And the main reason behind this growth would be the current situation where people have moved online and conversations are happening on web more.
Dr Ranjit Nair is the CEO, germin8
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETHealthworld.com does not necessarily subscribe to them. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly).