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Pharma & Life Sciences

Social Listening has become a powerful tool for pharmaceutical companies as the industry has come to understand the wealth of benefits it has to offer.

How our multilingual social listening unveils deep insights about patient journeys across the Pharma industry

Compared with traditional research methods, social listening provides a fast, unbiased and cost-effective way to gain insight into the Patient Journey, understand the unmet needs of Patients and Caregivers, identify Key Online Influencers and learn what matters to Healthcare Professionals (HCPs).

To develop actionable insights and make data-driven decisions you must first start with a solid business question. This helps set the scope for the data collection, analysis and reporting. To clarify and refine your business question, think about who will use the insights and recommendations and which stakeholders need to be involved. When your business question is ready it’s time for the data collection and analysis.

Convosphere uses not only global public social data found on blogs, forums, websites, and social media – but has partnerships in place with unique private-source data providers, such as the HCP forum SERMO. In addition to the global datasets, having local offices around the world – from China to Spain – gives us unique data access to local and regional data-sources inaccessible from outside the market. Convosphere is distinctly placed to collect, analyse and report valuable insights that drive impact thanks to our years of experience in life sciences insights and access to unique data sets.

Data Assimilation

Finding and accessing the right data is crucial to generating valuable insights. We are a social-first agency, meaning each project starts with data collection from licensed sources including content from public channels (blogs, forums, websites, reviews, social media posts from Twitter) that gives us access to millions of pieces of data. Further, when relevant for the business question and research, we license data from private life sciences platforms including Sermo, M3 and Figure 1.

The breadth of data, combined with the experience and capability of our analysts, provides a significant depth of insight. This allows us to go beyond positive and negative sentiment, helping our clients to better understand the concerns and preferences of their stakeholders and create more effective strategies and communications.

Human Insights

Audiences – from patients and HCPs to payers and the brands – are continuously creating signals in an increasingly digitalised world. Independent of language, timezone and channel of these signals, we are able to access, interpret and identify the value of them through our specialist pharma analyst team, which spans over 100 languages and 50 countries.

Medicine vials

Patient Journey

In today’s customer-centric marketplace, companies are competing to offer the best customer service to secure brand loyalty. In the healthcare sector, patient-centric approaches have historically been far less common which has resulted in low patient satisfaction. This is changing with the move away from volume-based to value-based care, meaning healthcare organisations need to reassess their priorities. The transition to a more holistic view of patient health requires an improved understanding of patients’ perceptions and emotions, both prior to diagnosis and throughout the entire continuum of care.

Companies that address the pain points and issues along the patient’s care pathway will reap the rewards in the long term; increased patient satisfaction will fuel customer retention and product adherence which, in turn, will lead to a more predictable revenue stream.

At Convosphere, we are experts in tapping social media conversations and combining it with your own first-party data to understand the stages of any patient clinical and emotional journey. Our team of pharma insight specialists further refines these steps by identifying the potential product or care ‘unmet needs’, as well as lessons from successful competitors, to help you improve the patient experience, unmet needs and improve treatment adherence.

Need States

Whether practical, financial or psychological, unmet needs can interfere with the quality of care patients receive – and ultimately their treatment outcomes. Traditional primary research methods developed to unveil and address patients’ unmet needs are complex, costly and time-consuming.

This is where social listening offers a cost-effective and reliable alternative. Using Convosphere’s in-house methodology, our team of experienced pharma insight specialists can identify patient emotional and medical needs that are not being met by healthcare professionals and patient advocacy groups (PAGs).

In online conversations, patients can stay anonymous and participate in communities of peer-based patient discussions. This makes them more willing to openly share their experiences, concerns and fears and offer advice to peers, for example, around treatment and drugs. By listening to these real-world patient conversations in forums and other online channels, we are able to identify issues including:

● Communication deficits between HCPs and patients
● Medication side effects
● Potential adverse events

Without social listening, pharma companies struggle to quickly and accurately access and understand the deeper insights into patients’ emotions during their patient journey. By using social listening to identify and address these unmet needs, and their emotional state we can better understand and manage issues, such as barriers to adoption of medications, switching of treatments and lack of adherence. The speed at which these insights can be identified and actioned means Pharma & Life Sciences organisations will be able to quickly and cost-effectively implement, adapt and refine processes, whether it is enhancing patient support services or improving the relevance and resonance of information or product campaigns.

Scientist looking through microscope
Image from World Economic Forum

Congress Listening

No matter how global the industry, pharmaceutical events – including symposiums, congresses and conferences – can often find themselves restricted by time and location. Whether offline or online, these events are attended by HCPs from across the globe who gather to network with peers and stakeholders, resulting in an overwhelming spike in social network interactions. Extracting meaningful data can be a daunting task but our near-live monitoring can pinpoint the truly relevant information, regardless of the language. Congress Listening helps brands to direct their marketing efforts, creating personalised messages during and after the conference based on the main stakeholders’ most mentioned topics, products and key conversation drivers. It can also be a powerful time to gain a competitive advantage as HCPs engage and react to outcomes and findings from clinical trials and studies.

Therapeutic Area Overview

There are more than a billion health-related questions entered on Google each day and looking for health or medical information is one of the most common activities online. In addition to the main social networking sites, people turn to forums and health sites to seek and share advice, often anonymously, about particular symptoms, treatments or conditions. From pre- to post-diagnosis, the internet is a vital source of information and support for patients as well as caregivers.

Through thematic, stakeholder and channel analysis, social listening can be used to answer the what, who and where of online conversations around a specific therapy area – whether common or rare. This will allow healthcare companies to form a holistic overview of the disease landscape, vital for any brand looking to launch a new drug, develop their communication strategy, review product positioning and, ultimately, increase sales.

HCP Influencer Identification, Mapping and Profiling

Access to HCPs has seen a sharp decline with pharma rep visits curtailed and congresses and symposiums no longer taking place in person but increasingly moved online to a virtual format. Despite this lack of access, the value of connecting with, learning from and engaging with HCPs is invaluable to pharma companies and continues to be in high demand. In many cases influential HCPs, in particular Key Online Influencers (KOIs), have become even more sought-after than traditional Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) to pharmaceutical brands to observe, learn from, connect and engage with. These KOIs are often HCPs who don’t just speak for themselves but interest, engage with and influence other stakeholders online. With the fact that the influence of HCP KOIs among their peers has continued to increase, and for influential HCPs their thoughts and opinions resonate across stakeholder and peer groups – understanding who these KOIs are is more important than ever.

Brands in the Pharma & Life Sciences industries need to continuously develop educational, informative or campaign content and engagement strategies to better inform and support HCPs in treating their Patients. For many organisations, partnering with HCPs, in particular KOIs is a key step in these engagement strategies to ensure they understand, create relevant content or educational material and effectively reach the target audience of HCPs, Patients or Caregivers.

Business owner in shop

Key Online Influencer Engagement Strategies

At Convosphere, we help clients identify the Key Online Influencer (KOIs) who are HCPs, PAGs or other relevant stakeholders for their therapeutic area and provide a rich biographical profile and offer specific engagement strategies tailored to each KOI. Our methodology for HCP influencer Identification, Mapping and Profiling covers three core areas:

  • A point scoring technique based on various criteria used to shortlist and rank the top influential KOI or HCPs.
  • A profiling exercise to give in-depth details around each KOI or HCP’s background, interest areas, associations and focus on the topic in question.
  • A network map to illustrate HCPs’ interconnections and influence, to help the client better understand how content is shared between parties and the best routes to boost content reach.
  • Engagement recommendations on what topics or themes and types of content would resonate with the KOI to drive engagement and lead to actions such as participating in an advisory board, resharing content across their social media or co-creating content.

Competitive Intelligence Brand Audit

Recently, pharmaceutical companies have begun to proactively engage with stakeholders such as HCPs, Patients and Caregivers online and form distinct cross-channel brand personas. Further, within a therapeutic area the owned pharma company social profiles don’t just compete for mindshare with each other, but also with PAG profiles and others. Therefore, understanding “who is doing what well” and “where the white space is” on owned social within a specific therapeutic area offers a key competitive advantage for pharmaceutical companies.

Reinforcing their expert status, pharmaceutical companies use their social media channels and websites to create and share content around awareness generation, campaigns and CSR activities to build rapport with stakeholders and increase engagement. Convosphere’s competitor audits help our clients understand the successes and failures of rival brands, how consumers behave online and the best strategies to gain their attention, increase resonance and encourage engagement.

  • Pharmaceutical brands follow various best practices to maximise their reach and engagement on social media. Typically, activation strategies cover social channels, content formats and the time of content publication. Brands looking to refine their strategies benefit from competitive intelligence brand audits as these help provide a deeper understanding of the best practices.
  • Our CI Brand Audit exercise highlights the key strengths and opportunity areas for the brand, based on a holistic quantitative and qualitative review of competitor activity on social and other digital platforms, using industry standard tools and proprietary scoring techniques.
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To learn more about our pharma & healthcare social insights, please get in touch today to receive further information.

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