Of the thousands of hospital or healthcare videos, few will ever “go viral.” But nearly all online videos that get big shares will be fueled by emotion.
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Health care. If ever there was a hot button topic that’s on everyone’s mind, this is it. But what may go unnoticed is how savvy marketers involved in this sector can actually use their skills to help the entire system deliver better care to its target audience: patients!
One such savvy marketer plying his skills for the benefit of others is Arra G. Yerganian, Chief Marketing and Branding Officer at Sutter Health. I met Arra through The CMO Club (he won the Officers award) and not only was he kind enough to share his thoughts with me below, he even agreed to rerecord our podcast episode after the sound quality proved deficient (stay tuned for my “9 Ways to Screw Up a Podcast” post!). More importantly, Arra is leading a massive transformation in how Sutter Health not only markets itself but also how it delivers patient care.Drew: Tell me about Sutter Health.
Arra: Sutter Health is a remarkable organization. We are an integrated team of clinical and non-clinical pioneers who are deeply rooted in our not for profit mission. And we really work together to change how you and I experience healthcare. In fact, through an independent study in the last few months, Truven Health Analytics (which is part of IBM) recently recognized Sutter as one of the highest performers (top five) amongst healthcare system in America. This study looked at things like saving more lives, having fewer complications, spending less per patient on episode of care, etc. This is truly an organization that’s unprecedented. We’re about $11 billion in revenue supported by 55,000 employees. I call them ‘members of our tribe’ and nearly 7,000 providers. These are people who develop the product and care every day that makes a difference in people’s lives.Drew: Wow. So what does your role as CMO encompass?
Arra: Well, it’s a multitasking role for sure. I feel like I’m steering a big ship and I think for me it’s really about walking the brand promise. It’s about how we tell powerful stories and how we translate that into something that the consumer can really relate to. I often talk about this relationship that we have with the people we serve, not the “patient” and you need to understand the distinction. As healthcare’s going through the transformation in America, it’s not about putting the patient first. It’s about putting the person first. During every stage of being a patient you’re still a person. So it’s about leaning in. It’s about helping them understand you know them intellectually and emotionally and about the support and access we can provide. How we change the conversation around them and I think that’s our secret weapon for the healthcare system in Northern California.Drew: Interesting. How does marketing fit into this vision?
Arra: For me, it’s about operationalizing the brand. It’s helping my fellow leaders understand that investing in marketing is an important endeavor, not just an expense. It’s changing the way the organization thinks about the brand. We’re helping the organization see that marketing can really add value. In fact, we can contribute to creative growth within this organization. I tell people we don’t necessarily need one more person to care for; we just need to take great care of the ones we have now. I call this the “love the ones you’re with” approach and it is a big differentiator for us since so many healthcare companies are just trying to acquire as many customers as they can.Drew: How big is Sutter Health?
Arra: We are one of the largest healthcare systems in America and we’re really just in the Northern California footprint today. We service a geography of 12.5 million people and each of those three to three and a half million people that we care for every day are in the amazing care of our provider who truly go the extra mile and provide what I’m describing as intellectual and emotional support, going beyond the physical. It’s not just getting in to see the provider when you want to see them. That’s a given. To differentiate in a ‘sea of sameness’, it’s about that extra effort that we as an organization can deliver. We need to be the brand leaning in when others lean away. Remember, we care for people when they are at their most vulnerable. We have an awesome responsibility.
Arra: I think this is somewhat unprecedented within the healthcare field; however, I had a vision when I arrived 16 months ago to create a brand management structure along lines of services like cardiology, oncology, women’s health, neuroscience, pediatrics, primary care, etc. This meant bringing professionals into the organization or nurturing those who were already here in marketing roles and focusing them all on these product lines and creating partnerships with clinical leaders who can help inform the content.Drew: Sounds like P&G?
Arra: Exactly. These brand managers would build efficacy around their “products” and communicate the benefits to the mass market. I really wanted to understand what we do uniquely versus our competition. Where do we stand-alone as we service the consumers in our communities? With this new structure, we can get really specific and surgical. I call it ‘precision marketing’. You know there’s this movement called ‘precision medicine’ that’s become quite common. I think it really is about getting super targeted. I think about creating one to one relationships with three and a half million people and addressing topics that are of specific interest.Drew: Makes sense. So how did precision marketing actually play out?
Arra: Well, for someone who’s suffering from coronary heart disease in a particular geography we can isolate by age and really dive in specifically to those individuals with a targeted message. Very, very different from the way most healthcare companies approach the challenge. I realized when I first arrived that lowest common denominator marketing is alive and well within the healthcare space. People talk about things like quality and expertise as if they’re differentiators. Seems to me that everyone expects when they go to a doctor to get quality care and that their doctor is an expert in their field, right?Drew: Well, I certainly do.
Arra: Right, so let’s take it to a whole new level. When we talk about intellectual access it’s about being able to easily talk to the healthcare professional. Get clear information about things like pricing. Get the healthcare professional to lean in and not appear rushed. When I think about emotional access it’s treating the people that we work with like humans. Having our healthcare teams work together toward collaborative care so you are not being treated like a statistic–not being treated like a burden. These are the things that we as an organization are striving to do every day that really separate us.Drew: Getting back to the brand management structure…
Arra: So when I implemented this brand management structure at this highest level we can, for example, sit with a cardiologist and ask him/her lots of questions: What really makes the work you do different and unique? What are the research breakthroughs? What’s helping you do better care for the people that we serve? By the way, we’re the second largest non-teaching research system in the country. This is a not for profit organization that truly understands the importance of giving back. Part of the way we give back is through this philanthropic effort of doing research in the community.Drew: This must be a complicated branding challenge given the Sutter Health parent brand and now these service-specific sub-brands.
Arra: It’s actually even more complex because we were previously federated model with approximately 24 hospital CEOs, all managing in many respects, legacy brands that have somehow come together over the last 150 years under the Sutter Health umbrella. So in order to pay homage to those strong and uniquely positioned brands, particularly in our ‘out of home’ creative and even the via radio campaigns, we’ve put Sutter Health on center stage while paying homage to our affiliated brands, i.e., Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Alta Bates Summit, or Sutter Gould, for example; then we highlight the line of service, like cardiology, pediatrics, or urgent care before we do any discussion about the work that we do.Drew: That is complicated. So how do you hold all of these communications together?
Arra: We created a very light-hearted campaign to start building familiarity in the marketplace and that’s called the “Smile Out” campaign. The whole idea is we choose somebody, for example, with a sinus condition and would say literally, “Sniffle in. Smile out.” Or for orthopedics, we say “Limp in. Smile Out.” When we talk about cardiology, we say, “Flutter in. Smile out.” Each of these is connected to a line of service, Sutter Health and our local, very community-based hospital systems. So yes, we have multiple challenges but it is very exciting that we can actually break through and create this connection across the multiple brands, the lines of service and the geography in which we are in.Drew: How are you measuring and charting the success of your marketing initiatives?
Arra: We’re doing brand research in ways we’ve never done before. We’re also utilizing the amazing amounts of data that we already had more effectively. For example, we have the largest single installation of Epic, the hospital records management system, in the country. But all this wonderful data without insight, as you know, is useless. So effectively understanding, for example, that there’s a difference between awareness, familiarity and consideration is a big transformational idea in an organization that hasn’t really thought about marketing the way I describe. And incidentally, I’m the first Chief Marketing and Branding Officer this organization’s long and rich history.Drew: Let’s dive into the research more. What kinds of things did you want to track?
Arra: Not surprisingly, our awareness is high and we are a trusted brand. We need to help consumers better understand what we really stand for; that which makes us uniquely different. 23.5 hours a day people don’t think about healthcare. So we want to make sure that the moment when you do have to think about your personal care or the care of a loved one, you think of Sutter Health…and it’s in the most positive light. That’s why making an emotional connectional is so important. I want them to feel confident, I want them to feel as if they’re in control and they own their own destiny. Because at the end of the day the brand strategy for me is to increase physical, intellectual and emotional access to healthcare so people can more confidently and independently engage with their health.Drew: How did you persuade the folks internally to invest in this research?
Arra: So interestingly we’ve already made that investment. We have all the data, it’s really about peeling the onion back to understand how the data can inform the way we think about communicating with different segments of consumer. So, customer segmentation and segmentation research is absolutely at the forefront of our new strategy. Doing panel research, understanding really what makes people emotionally tick so that we can do the right thing when, for example, they’re giving birth. I love to tell people because I found this out really by accident. At Sutter Health; we give birth to three kindergarten classes a day! Funny enough, one of every three consumers that I meet throughout our Northern California footprint introduce themselves to me as either having given birth or having being born at a Sutter Hospital. That’s a meaningful statistic. In fact, we take care of one out of every 100 Americans, one out of every 4 Northern Californians. These are truly remarkable statistics. We have in our DNA the spirit of doing amazing things for people every day – we just need to bring those stories to light.Drew: What’s your advice for your fellow marketers?
Arra: It’s funny — about a week ago I was at an even at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose, we’re a partner to the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer team they serve the same 100 communities that we serve. And it happened to be Saturday so we brought our ambulances, helicopters, and providers and it was great opportunity to activate the brand with the 10,000 people in the stands and generate some good will.
So my six-year-old son, my youngest with three of his friends clamored into Sutter Health mobile clinic and within minutes, they tried out a stethoscope and other cool tools. They then switch their roles; first doctor then patient. I watch their intellectual curiosity, their flexibility, and their focus and realize that they could change the world if given the opportunity. If we look at the world through their lens, we could change the world. And in this period of rapid evolution requiring great curiosity, determination and adaptability, we have the opportunity to do so. So I encourage marketers to have the courage to think way outside the box. It’s okay to fail. I tell people all the time, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I want them to really think differently; I think that’s paramount to success. Take some calculated risks; I think that’s super important.
In this IMS Health white paper, The Essential European Revolution, discover unique insights on the differentiators in digital maturity and multichannel readiness – key considerations for those operating a multi-channel strategy in Europe.
Via Olivier Delannoy
1. Medtronic (Corporate)
See also: How can drugmakers tell better stories? Try Instagram
8. Emily Maynard for Diclegis (Influencer)
“ With the proliferation of social networks and blogs, the Internet is increasingly being used to disseminate personal health information rather than just as a source of information. In this paper we exploit the wealth of user-generated data, available through the micro-blogging service Twitter, to estimate and track the incidence of health conditions in society. The method is based on two stages: we start by extracting possibly relevant tweets using a set of specially crafted regular expressions, and then classify these initial messages using machine learning methods. Furthermore, we selected relevant features to improve the results and the execution times. To test the method, we considered four health states or conditions, namely flu, depression, pregnancy and eating disorders, and two locations, Portugal and Spain. We present the results obtained and demonstrate that the detection results and the performance of the method are improved after feature selection. The results are promising, with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve between 0.7 and 0.9, and f-measure values around 0.8 and 0.9. This fact indicates that such approach provides a feasible solution for measuring and tracking the evolution of health states within the society.”
Via Giuseppe Fattori, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, Pere Florensa, Maria Alexandti
Un macroestudio en The Lancet critica que la OMS no incluya la desigualdad como factor a combatir
Pere Florensa's insight:
Ser pobre, el peor factor de riesgo.
Finding a balance between professionalism and a human voice to connect with patients can be a challenge at times in the healthcare industry. Aside from the usual – having a clean, consistently updated website, maintaining a social media presence, etc. – here are some helpful tips found from healthcare and business resources to help improve your organization’s marketing strategies.
Have a plan
It seems it should go without saying, but with a hectic industry with news and technology ever-changing, it can be easier said than done. Even if it’s tentative, having an updated plan will help keep your marketing department more organized and on top of things. Keep track of topics and information already shared to avoid overlap and to find new angles. Come up with topics to blog, share on social media, email, update website with, etc. for the next few weeks or months that is relevant to the time of year, organization updates, or news. Pay attention to what patients responded well to in order to spin off of your best ideas.
Humanize your voice
While it’s important to maintain a clean, professional front in the healthcare industry, you also want to come off as friendly, welcoming and approachable to patients and potential patients to put them at ease. Besides using personable rapport on your website, while answering questions, or in person, one simple way to humanize your image is to avoid using stock photos on your website – instead use real pictures or your office and employees. Another idea is to provide your ideas and commentary on current healthcare trends or news. What are your thoughts on the new happenings and what are you going to do/utilize to improve things and help patients? Share via blog, social media, email updates or press release. Additionally, ensure patients have access to answers of common questions. While an FAQ question is a great way to do this, you can take it beyond that by providing relevant information in email updates and social media posts too.
Video is becoming an increasingly popular way among audiences to obtain and learn new information. Your marketing department should utilize video in applicable places, especially for reaching out to younger patients. Have an organization update? Try creating an engaging video to include in your next blog or social post. Videos are also great for holidays or special events marketing.
No matter how strong your marketing strategies are, patient testimony and word of mouth will always be one of the best and most effective ways to reach new potential patients. Distribute surveys and pay attention to what your patients want, need, and respond well to. Make the necessary changes to keep them happy and feeling safe. Create a testimonials page on your website with videos or case studies of patient success stories. Create a patient referral program and offer gifts or cash prizes to those that utilize it.
Show off what sets you apart
Is your practice specialized? Are you offering new or cutting edge treatments? Do you have 24-hour access? Whatever it is that is going to be the most impactful and meaningful to your audiences should be consistently promoted and updated to your patients and potential patients.
Marketers are taking to Facebook Live en masse, but can live social video work as a marketing tool for pharma? Yes, experts say—and it might be easier than expected.
The easier-than-expected part is that pharma marketers can and should build on live content they already use. For instance, pharma companies could use Facebook Live to stream conference speeches by key opinion leaders with added interactive elements, such as a question-and-answer session after.
The recent Novartis Facebook Live chat with Queen Latifah about heart disease (read “Novartis, Queen Latifah, & American Heart Association Team Up on Facebook Live Broadcast”; http://sco.lt/6caCxN) is another good example of a “safe” experiment where pharma can engage with patients and caregivers through disease awareness and community building,said Dave Wieneke, digital strategy practice director at Connective DX.. Patient stories in general are a good use of Facebook Live in both the initial broadcasting and in the ability to access those authentic social stories later, said Wieneke.
Another bonus to Facebook Live is audience building. During any particular session, viewers can click to follow all future Live sessions from the marketer.
In general healthcare, Wieneke noted several hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, UNC Healthcare and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin successfully using Facebook Live with live-streaming events such as “ask a doctor” sessions, lectures, fundraisers, and guided tours. UNC Healthcare, in fact, reported results of its Facebook Live streaming that included a 480% increase in daily interactions and a 75% increase of page likes in the first six months. One of its live chats about the Affordable Care Act has been replayed more than 2,000 times.
The risks, which pharma companies tend to fall back on when it comes to new forms of media, are more about being live than the use of video. Potential comments made during interactive sessions around off-label use, incorrect information, or the reporting of an adverse event, for example, are the same risks as at any live event, said Wieneke.
Via Pharma Guy, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek, eMedToday
Speaking at an industry conference, Dr. Anne Beal, Chief Patient Officer, at Sanofi, said "Patients can help in many ways and we (pharma) have to reach out to them all," to which @TuLupus -- a Spanish Lupus patient blogger on Twitter said "patients, don't be afraid of going to the 'dark side' - engage with pharma and industry (is not so dark)."
Dark side? Let's imagine Pharma as Darth Vader and patients like @TuLupus as Luke Skywalker:
Darth Vader: Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
[Here Pharma -- as Darth Vader -- is telling Luke -- who represents all patients but especially "ePatients" like @TuLupus -- that patients are just beginning to discover their power and if they join with pharma their power will be much greater. The combined strength of patients and pharma will bring order to the healthcare system.]
How does “Luke,” the patient, respond? Find out here.
Further reading/listening:“Anne Beale Discusses The Three Pillars of Sanofi's Patient-Centric Strategy”: http://sco.lt/6nX5AP“Flowchart: How Pharma Can Handle Every Type of Comment on Social Media”: http://sco.lt/6tsLa5
Via Pharma Guy, Claudio Bini
The benefits of a customer-centric strategy aren’t limited to private-sector businesses. Government agencies at every level can gain by putting the needs and wants of citizens first.Across the business landscape, savvy executives are increasingly asking the same question: What do my customers want? They are coming to realize that, whatever they offer, they are in…
Via Fred Zimny
Going to regularly scheduled doctor’s visits, choosing careful diets and exercising throughout the week are still useful tactics in managing a healthy lifestyle, but many Americans today are much more mindful of other factors when it comes to managing their health.
Via Richard Meyer
In recent years, the use of social media in health care has skyrocketed. From Tweets to Facebook posts, health care authorities and practitioners are increasingly turning to social media to promote awareness, encourage patient engagement, and increase the spread of accurate health messaging. And they’re doing so while remaining fully compliant with regulators.
According to the Pew Institute, the growing popularity of social media in health care can be attributed to two key factors:The widespread use of social media toolsThe growing desire for patients, particularly those afflicted by chronic illness, to connect with each other
Coupled with other online resources, social media now largely impacts the way people interact with information—including health-related content. And while most patients continue to prefer face-to-face interaction with their health care providers, online health resources, including social, are now an extremely important supplementary tools in their health journey.
In this post we’ll look at several key ways health care can benefit from social media. We’ll also take a look at some of the challenges related to social media in health care and offer several solutions to mitigate those risks.The benefits of using social media in health care
Social media offers health care organizations and practitioners many benefits. In this section we’ll look at three of the top situations where social can be especially helpful to the industry: during a crisis, to help build brand authority, and to raise awareness for a particular cause.Benefit 1: communicating during a crisis
During a public health crisis, social media is proving particularly beneficial at helping to inform and protect thanks to the instantaneous and wide-reaching ability of the tool.
Consider, as an example, the 2016 Zika outbreak. Originating in Central and South Americas and the Caribbean, the latest outbreak of the mosquito-transmitted virus quickly gained notoriety for is particularly devastating effects on babies in utero. Untreatable and highly-transmittable, Zika presented enormous challenges to health care providers desperate to minimize its spread.
Largely unknown to health care practitioners outside of the virus’ epicenter, Zika posed several unique challenges to the industry, including:Building awareness and transmission prevention knowledge amongst frontline health care practitioners.Disseminating prevention information to civilians (including remote and rural dwellers) and at-risk travelers.Minimizing the spread of misinformation related to treatment, risk zones, and prevention.
To tackle these challenges, major health care authorities, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), turned to social media. From the initial outbreak through to their ongoing response in the months that followed, the CDC used social media to rapidly disseminate accurate health information to both the health care community and the public in general.Initial outbreak: crisis communication
Quickly after the outbreak in early 2016 the CDC began issuing public health notices about Zika on both their Twitter and Facebook feeds—providing information on its symptoms, transmission, localization, and prevention techniques.
View image on Twitter
During this initial response phase, the focus of their efforts were two-fold: to minimize the spread of misinformation and to contain the spread of the virus itself. To the former, the CDC regularly hosted Twitter chats with Zika experts aimed at connecting the general public with accurate Zika facts related to its status, prevention and transmission. To minimize the spread of the virus, the CDC heavily posted updates advising against travel to Zika-affected areas.
View image on Twitter
While not a new virus, Zika was largely unknown by many health care practitioners at the time of the 2016 epidemic. To increase understanding and prevention awareness, the CDC employed social to promote their Zika Training Resources to practitioners.
View image on Twitter
Other physician targeted awareness tactics, such as regular twitter chats with Zika experts, also helped the CDC arm frontline health care providers with critical preventative information.
View image on Twitter
Physicians, such as Texas-based OB/GYN Dr. Danielle Jones, have applauded social media for its awareness-building role during the outbreak. As Jones notes, social media helped to put Zika on her radar. As a result, she was able to decisively advise her pregnant patients against travel to Zika-active regions.Ongoing response: raising local health awareness
During Zika’s outbreak in Puerto Rico, CDC First Responder Iban Khan employed social media to increase prevention messaging retention amongst local civilians.
“When I landed, I realized there were a lot of gaps in message retention and people understanding what was important,” Iban said. To narrow that gap, Iban and his team launched an unprecedented virus awareness campaign through Facebook Live Chat. Especially popular in Puerto Rico, Live Chat helped Iban and his team to directly communicate with the public and answer their questions.Ongoing response: continued preventative care
By the late summer of 2016, public hysteria towards the outbreak had started to wane. Despite this, the CDC knew that the threat of Zika persisted and that avoidance of another large-scale outbreak would require continued awareness building efforts.
View image on Twitter
In response, the CDC has continued to utilize social media to frequently drive home the importance of Zika prevention practices.
View image on Twitter
Benefit 2: establish brand authority
The internet has dramatically changed how people seek their health information. While face-to-face consults with health professionals are still the first choice for patients, according to a study by the Pew Institute, patients now also actively engage with online health resources to guide their health decisions.
Further, they’re using online resources to supplement physician advice with their own research and talk with peers about doctors, medications, and more. Within this trend, social media factors as a major tool through which patients seek, converse about, and share their health findings.
For practitioners, the growing demand for trustworthy and accessible medical information presents an exciting opportunity to engage the new digitally empowered patient. Social media, given its vast global adoption and high-degree of interaction, is one of the most powerful ways to engage within this new health care landscape.
Health care providers who want to elevate their brand authority amongst patients need to go where their patients are—on social media. Several key attributes make social media particularly useful to health care brands: listening and monitoring, engagement, and content dissemination.Monitor evolving patient interests
Social media can be especially useful to providers looking to understand their patients’ concerns. By monitoring social media, blogs, forums, review sites, and other digital sources, health care teams can better understand what patients want and need. Those insights can then be used to help create relevant content that speaks to the interests of a targeted patient segment.Increase trust and credibility
For many patients, social media is an environment in which they feel a great sense of belonging and trust. They view participants within that sphere as their peers and confidants, and commonly seek advice from within that realm. As such, many physicians today are utilizing social as a powerful way tap into these personal networks to make their messaging more credible and motivating.
Practitioners like Boston-based Dr. Kevin Pho actively engages in Twitter to connect with patients. With close to 150,000 followers, he also uses Twitter as a powerful platform to influence health practices with his original health content.
View image on Twitter
For other providers, Twitter chats, LinkedIn forums, and Facebook posts can also be extremely effective ways to reach patients concerned about a particular health issue.Benefit 3: raise awareness for campaigns and programs
On the campaign front, social media can also help health care providers achieve unparalleled reach for a particular health cause or issue. As with brand awareness, these social campaigns succeed by going to where the patients are—encouraging participation within the very environment concerned patients are already active.
Organizations like Diabetes New Zealand frequently use social media to encourage and direct participation in their web-based diabetes awareness chat, #diabeteschat. The organization successfully builds awareness about its chats by tapping directly into the personal social networks of its audience on Twitter and Facebook.
View image on Twitter
The challenges of using social media in health care
Challenges, of course, continue to persist in the world of social media in health care—with issues of compliance and security topping the list. With several simple precautions however, the challenges related to social media for health care providers can easily be overcome.Staying compliant
In the heavily regulated health care industry, remaining compliant to ethical requirements and protecting patient information is critical. For large organizations with multiple social media users, establishing best practices for social media use can help ensure the collective compliance of all users.
Guidelines towards acceptable and forbidden content, data handling, patient engagement and even tone are a few best practice examples organizations can implement to keep their team compliant.Staying secure
Simple measures can successfully safeguard health care organization against security breaches. The use of social media platforms, for example, are a great way to manage a social strategy across multiple internal teams without the risk associated with disorganized efforts.
With best of class platforms, organizations can quickly lock down their social media accounts from a single secure dashboard. A single management platform can also prevent the release of non-compliant materials and provide audible records of patient conversations.Using social media in health care opens up opportunities
In just a few short years, the health care industry has had to respond to dramatic shifts in patient expectations precipitated by an increasingly digital world. Innovative health care providers are quickly adapting by creating highly engaging and helpful experiences for patients—while also remaining fully compliant. For any health organization wanting to remain competitive, embracing this new era of patient interaction is of the utmost importance.
With social media, health care professionals can gain unprecedented opportunities to connect with patients and promote healthy living. Moving forward, health organizations are encouraged to provide the framework to keep their practitioners and employees compliant while actively engaging in this new world.
Via Plus91, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Technological change has already happened in the world around us and our daily lives have been transformed as a result of smart phones and Wi-Fi. Yet the untapped potential for other aspects of our lives to be enhanced by thoughtfully applied digital solutions is enormous.If we focus in on just a single area – healthcare, for which Government has an enormous responsibility, in today’s digitally connected world, why is it that, when it comes to our health, we wait until we are ill, then seek an appointment with a doctor or nurse working from a costly surgery? Why is that we wait for paper records to pass through the system until we receive treatment for a condition that has often become worse in the meantime?
Via Alex Butler, Maria Alexandti
Convenience may override loyalty when it comes to sticking with a primary care physician, and those that offer telehealth may fare better in keeping their patients than those who don’t.
Pere Florensa's insight:
Un 20% de los americanos cambiaría de médico a uno que ofreciese consultas a través del video
You hear a lot of people circulating the accusation that big pharmaceutical companies would rather treat cancer than cure it, these days.
It actually wasn’t so long ago that the pharmaceutical industry itself was considered among the most respected industries out there1. And while far from perfect, the industry to this day continues to play a major role in the discovery and development of new medicines and alternative treatments. But its reputation is tarnished. Downtrodden. Disdained. We leave our seats and mute our TVs during pharmaceutical commercials. Sneer at the brand names when we see them in the news because of another scandal, or failed product launch, or mass layoff.
For brands in the pharmaceutical sector, the whole of our society’s perception of these companies is influenced primarily by the diverse and vast array professional media content (through print, TV, radio and online) and the internet (blogs, social media, video) that showcases them. Other prominent voices to the conversation include trade bodies (such as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and the Biotechnology Industry Organization), regulatory and government agencies (such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Justice), professional bodies (such as the American Medical Association), patient advocacy groups, and lawyers representing patients4. That’s A LOT of noise to parse and intellectually stew, especially from a consumer perspective (who also happens to be the patient).
Which means a company’s reputation is among its most valuable assets.
Now I’m just a simple marketer, and I believe the whole is the sum of its parts – but the whole is not truly indicative of the story those parts tell. A perfect example currently being that big pharma is to blame for the stratospheric costs of healthcare — particularly in the United States. While according to a series of surveys conducted by USA Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health – pharmaceutical products themselves actually only account for about 10% of all money spent on healthcare in the US6. And while most industry critics will clamour that pharma brands should work in conjunction with the developing worlds to provide medicines that are more cost-effective in meeting their needs simply don’t know the broad extent to which Pharma is already doing so. If you check the website of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), you’ll find a incredible jaw dropping array of investments, initiatives, and organizations dedicated to finding cures for diseases that plague the developing world (most of which don’t even exist in the United States, thanks to pharma). Many of these efforts are even aided by partnerships with the Gates Foundation, UNICEF and the WHO (to name a few)5.
Even more so, the pharmaceutical industry has continuously dominated the top of the charts in charitable donations, and has done an incredible amount of work to alleviate pain and suffering across diverse segments of the world. Yet it continues to be the whipping boy of present and aspiring politicians, press, and online vitriol6. Its reputation continues to stagger, and sometimes trip on the inevitability of human error, and inability to adapt.
The dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to enhancing the health is the kind of positive imagery big pharma needs. The transparency and education that promotes greater awareness and understanding of the trials and tribulations of drug development; the successes and innovation that goes into the solutions they discover; the constant battle against the evolution of new and troubling diseases; their involvement in developing countries and the ability to weed out region-specific diseases that increase the health of our global community, etc etc.
And I think it’s about time patients and consumers gave them credence for the stories that aren’t being told.
Via Plus91, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Only 11.5% of marketers can prove the quantitative impact of social Media, according to the biannual CMO Survey by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the American Marketing Association and Deloitte. Has the social media marketing ship sailed?
Despite the use of social media marketing, almost half (47.9%) of marketers surveyed said they haven’t been able to show the impact yet on their business. More than 40% said they have a good qualitative sense of impact, while 11.5% said they can prove the impact of social quantitatively. That hurts.
What I have found is that DTC marketers want a clearer line between their marketing and ROI. Why? Because there is a good chance that marketing budgets are either going to remain flat or be cut as the political climate around drug pricing starts to heat up. In addition, there really aren’t any “mass market” Rx drugs in development which means that DTC marketers have to target patient segments very carefully. But, will social media be included?
Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest advertising spender in the world, will move away from ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, concluding that the practice has limited effectiveness. This comes at a time when Facebook has found more flaws in its ad stats, and is making changes to give advertisers more accurate numbers. It’s the third time since November that Facebook has disclosed reporting errors on metrics that advertisers rely on to plan or measure their campaigns. In addition ad fraud is completely out of control. The best anyone can do is guess at the amount of fraud.
Here are some examples of mainstream pharma social media use..INSIGHT:
1ne: DTC marketers should be setting up custom metric dashboards to measure their social media marketing, including impact on bounce rate, time on site and page views.
2wo: Dedicated social media people are also needed to help pharma develop a strategy based on insights from the brand team. Pharma managers can use agencies, but often only an internal person has the in-depth knowledge required to develop a winning strategy.
3hree: Look to develop communities within your own brands and leverage them to help achieve brand objectives.
eMarketer has significantly revised its estimates of wearable-device users in the US. The still-young category showed early promise, but usage has not expanded beyond early adopters.
In October 2015, eMarketer expected usage among US adults to grow more than 60% this year. But according to its latest forecast, it will only grow 24.7%, as smart watches in particular have failed to impress consumers.
This year, 39.5 million US adults will use a wearable device (with internet connectivity) at least once a month, far less than the 63.7 million previously forecast. Smart watches haven’t caught on in large numbers, primarily because of their high price point and lack of definitive use case. This year, usage of wearables will reach just 15.8% of the population. That penetration rate is only expected to grow to 21.1% by 2020.
“Before Apple launched its Watch, fitness trackers dominated the wearables space, and consumer surveys consistently found that tracking health and fitness was the main reason people were interested in wearables,” said eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle. “They also reported high price-sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smart watches—which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality—the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.”
Further reading:“Why 2016 Will Be The Year Of Mass Wearables Adoption”: http://sco.lt/7tKbpJ [Ha! I guess they will have to rethink that prediction!]“Most Doctors Not Yet Ready to Recommend Mobile Apps & Wearable to Patients”: http://sco.lt/8yujoX“MIT/Harvard ‘Hackers’ Dis Pharma's mHealth & Wearable App Efforts”: http://sco.lt/91ET45
Via Pharma Guy, Claudio Bini