Pharma brands: to drive patient behavior, get to know the “why” behind it….

October 23, 2017

Author: Steve Reeves, Director of Social Intelligence

One of the primary goals of healthcare marketing and customer engagement is to drive a desired set of behaviors – whether it’s helping patients adhere to their medication, driving consideration of a new Rx, sparking conversations at the doctor’s office, and so on.

In today’s marketing era, product ads and reps armed with brand promises alone aren’t cutting it – forward-thinking brands see they need to leverage emerging data sets, including social and digital analytics, to understand and engage their customers (both patient and HCPs) on a much deeper, nuanced level to drive desired behaviors and achieve brand goals.

One way we’re partnering with brands to modernize their marketing is moving them from a “transactional” to “relational” patient understanding - by layering social intelligence and emotional insights on their research.

Brands with a transactional understanding know…

  • Where their patients consume info and talk with others
  • When they go there
  • What they search for

This type of understanding helps brands get a baseline view of their patients’ ecosystem and interactions, and address basic information needs – undoubtedly a key step in engagement.

However, by staying at this level, “transactional” brands are failing to address the more important question of “why” customers take certain actions – which limits their ability to change behavior.

By taking brands to a relational understanding, we’re introducing them to the underlying emotions, attitudes and motivations that are driving certain behaviors (e.g., switching Rx), showing them what approach they should take to address those feelings, and in turn positively influence desired customer actions.

Brands who move beyond the transactional level to a relational understanding know…

  • How patients talk about their disease and treatments
  • Why they take certain actions
  • Emotions, motivations, barriers at each stage of the patient journey

And ultimately, what they (the brand) needs to do to drive desired behaviors.

Getting to this relational understanding requires the right data sets (integrated traditional and digital/social analysis), modernized frameworks, and smart analysts to turn the findings into action.

When we partner with brands, we use proprietary frameworks with the flexibility to build on their existing research (e.g., offline/traditional patient journey), and layer different data sets on top for a more holistic view of the journey.

To start, we typically get a baseline view of the overall multichannel environment, channel mix, and info seeking across the journey.

We then introduce new levels of segmentation from “voice of the customer” social data, and from there to get a more defined sense of the collective psyche of your audience. You’ll then start to see patterns in how the emotional and behavioral characteristics of your customers cluster, and are able to link a set of emotions to the behaviors they drive at different points of the journey.

Once you understand the emotions and behaviors of the patient group, you gain a much more granular view on where points of intervention and education exist. We then detail the specific digital networks and sites for brands to create their intervention strategies, and provide brands their roadmap to drive positive action.

Becoming a “relational brand” is an evolution, and your brand’s understanding will grow and get better over time – but those who start on this journey towards more relevant and emotion-driven engagement will gain a significant competitive advantage over your peers who don’t.

Take action for your brand:

  • Steve Reeves is meeting with a handful of clients to walk them through how to modernize their patient journeys . Contact us to secure time for your team
  • Click here to view more info on our patient journey capabilities

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