In the age of the Internet and social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter, investors are turning more and more to non-conventional sources of information to gain an advantage on investing in the stock market. With a little detective work, the ordinary retail investor can level the playing field versus the professional analyst or money manager, and even game the system to an advantage.
No industry presents more of a potential opportunity to scoop a story than the biotech sector. With over 400 publicly traded pharmaceutical and biotech companies testing their drugs in over 45,000 active clinical trials, many of these trials with hundreds or even thousands of patients, somewhere out there, someone is talking, or tweeting, or blogging.
No example is more representative than what was recently seen with Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRPT). Prior to the release of the phase IIb results on October 3, 2012, Sarepta shares had been slowly trending higher for the better part of the prior three months. Interest in the story, and eteplirsen, a RNA-based therapeutics that is designed to repair a genetic mutation in certain patients with duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), was first generated by the company when it reported encouraging preliminary results from the phase IIb study back in July 2012.
However, the press release alone from Sarepta wasn't enough to send the shares from $3 per share to nearly $17 prior to the release of the full data three months later. Instead, what drove meaningful excitement and net buying in the stock were videos and blogging on twitter by some of the patients prior to the company making the full results available. Parents of three of the eight subjects who were in phase IIb trial had been publicly discussing the results with local media (source, source) and even posted videos of family members' impressive recoveries on YouTube.
A big part of social media is about harnessing the power of communities - be it simply to better understand the real unmet needs, or actually engaging with the various stakeholders to deliver meaningful interactions that hopefully make this planet a better place!
John has disected a wonderful report by ComBlu (which delivers on the title of this post), to highlight some good points that professionals in the Pharma industry should be fully aware of.
We all (well, a few of us digital evangalists) get really excited about digital in the multi-channel ether, but beware those that forget paper! This bit of research shows us just how attached to printed articles our doctors still are... but please do not let this be a reason to forget all those other channels - do you really believe you are only influenced by what you read on paper, and all those other touch-points do not contribute?
Infographics, as I've said in other postings and comments, can be tremendously useful and dangerously misleading!
Brad Einarsen has taken the time to disect a recent healthcare infographic. His work underlines my thoughts!
"I love free research--specifically free healthcare research. These studies provide insight that promotes the common understanding of the audiences who consume our information and who make important life decisions based on it...."
Pinterest could turn into an absolute monster for e-commerce, and we've been waiting to see what it would do to push that forward. We found out today with the company's announcement of new tools for the business community.
Pharma, as usual, will take a bit more time to navigate internal barriers. Pinterest is however a great medium for visual - something that nearly every pharma marketer apreciates! There might be hope.
It's a familiar litany now, that the openness and transparency of social media will unleash a wide range of compelling outcomes for our organizations, if we'll only embrace it. While there is little doubt that social media is one of the great phenomenons of our age, there are certainly those that think the hype surrounding it is also a bit over-egged.
Yet a growing set of compelling examples is showing us unique and vitally useful outcomes that are only possible in social media. For those just catching up with the story, part of the uniqueness and power of social media is that it generaly makes the information that's shared -- using social networks, blogs, and other forms -- public by default.
This is in contrast to earlier forms of analog and digital communication, where we were required to have perfect foreknowledge of who should be involved in a conversation, such as their phone number(s), e-mail address(es), or other contact info. Everyone else was automatically excluded from the process and the contents of the discourse itself was largely invisible and left little behind.
Community management is the new black. Everybody is doing it. Everybody claims to do it well. But scan a random sample of brand Facebook pages and you will discover a broad spread of quality. Now check Twitter. Same thing.
This article highlights the 3 pitfalls to avoid in community management for brands:
1. Letting Industry stats drive the strategy
2. Letting your own data drive the strategy
3. Forgetting to define a brand voice (excellent recommendations here!)
In conclusion, the quality of the conversation matters (wow!).
Pharma is oh so far away from this today, but I beleive community management is going to hit us at some time in the future, and we'll be scambling to find skilled resources that want to work in a nombrilisme sector.
Already from the title I'm a little concerned that we're going to create isolation. Yes, I'm a digital geek, but to really shift the needle digital is only part of multi-channel. If we want Pharma to have a meaningful impact on their target audience we need to start upstream.
This article is however an excellent read as there is alot of structure and great elements that are all part of the magic that is needed in delivering results.
There are more than half a million apps at the iPhone App store, and few human interests are uncatered for. You can download books, have a tour of the stars, and lob exploding birds at hunkered-down pigs.
Academics are now getting in on the app action. Earlier this month, researchers at Liverpool University launched ClickClinica, a free app for doctors. It brings together authoritative guidelines for handling medical issues, from bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), so doctors can check best practice before treating their patients.
This article provides much background on the changing dynamics of the Pharma industry, and how initial "digital" initiatives have not delivered the expected results, but also giving an honest appraisal of the downsizing of the sales foce.
Although there is much value in this post, and well worth the read, I would not be so harsh on digital. We need to know much more about attibution to channels, and develop truely interwoven channels to be able to deliver meaningful results.
As a beloved district sales manager that I highly respected once said to me "you don't catch flies with vinegar" (probably lost in translation from French - but you get the idea), here too the huge underinvestment in platforms undermines the objectives.
Great lessons to be captured from looking across different geographies (survey by the Commonwealth Fund).
Just 27% of American doctors said they had EHRs with "multifunctional" capabilities.
That's a far lower percentage than in other countries such as the U.K. (68%), Australia (60%), and New Zealand (59%), but higher than in Canada (10%), France (6%), Germany (7%), Norway (2%) and Switzerland (7%). The Netherlands was roughly comparable to the U.S. at 33%.
What is frightening is the low level of (digital) exchange between GP's and specialists (yep, you're going to have to go read the original report now) as this has real impact in slowing down the time-to-treatment for patients in need.
A great place to start when looking around for some inspiration (or huge gaping gaps).
This article is about social media and digital initiatives by pharmaceutical companies in the year 2012.
There has been a good deal of work to dig around and investigate the higher profile initiatives.
As usual with these articles the authors focus on English language initiatives as they're the easiest to spot and understand. Be aware that there are many more initiatives in different languages, many of them even more avant-gardist and driving real engagement.
BTW I've heard that Dose of Digital is updating its Wiki and will publish shortly - will be worth keeping an eye open (or simply RSS it) :-)
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