Social Data and its benefits for Pharma

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A presentation on the benefits of social media data for pharma and healthcare. Looks at examples for marketing and product development.

A presentation on the benefits of social media data for pharma and healthcare. Looks at examples for marketing and product development.

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  • The inability to understand and engage with your audience is the fastest way to sink any new communications platform. Spectrum partnered with Social Radar to demonstrate visually what this looked like for McNeil and their Motrin brand. As the following graph depicts, shortly after the ad’s unveiling, the number of online conversations related to Motrin skyrocketed. Had McNeil or their agency been listening, it would have quickly been clear that something was afoot. Starting with the massive spike in discussions about Motrin starting the very afternoon the ad was launched. This would have been a first clue that something important was happening around the brand. For those that are in the school of “No such thing as bad publicity” it is interesting to note that in this case the Moms were so outraged they were calling for a boycott of the Motrin product and recommending competitor products such as Advil in its place.
  • Before the PR crisis, in the months leading up to the November 14 launch, Motrin enjoyed a relatively high positive rating with regard to sentiment (tone) in online conversations. The majority of customers were happy with the brand and product as can be seen in the following sentiment chart.
  • However, in the days that followed the ad’s launch, the sentiment turned extremely negative, as evidenced in the chart below.
  • If McNeil had been conducting its’ due diligence by regularly monitoring the online community, the company could have avoided having the anger of those displeased with the ad fester for days and the negative news coverage that followed. Even by reviewing a small sampling of Internet comments, executives at McNeil would have seen that the words being used alongside comments about Motrin were overwhelming negative – bad, problem, upset, hate, stupid, sad, dumb, hurt and annoying. As this chart illustrates, the sentiment trend was overwhelming negative. McNeil’s complete disregard for listening left the company in a less than desirable position. Motrin ultimately took too long to remove the ad from its’ Web site and what started as a campaign aimed at mothers, turned into one of social media’s biggest crashes. While the Motrin Moms case study demonstrates some of the consequences of failing to monitor the online community, there are other examples of the power of listening that produced far more positive outcomes
  • Spectrum was recently tasked with preparing the 2010 digital communications plan for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, a non-profit organization focused on helping men and women resolve their infertility issues. Through a grant it received from the Department of Health and Human Services, RESOLVE was interested in promoting embryo donation as a viable family building option for those struggling to conceive. Spectrum sought to listen to the infertility community online – a massive network of women and couples communicating about their struggles through personal blogs, chat rooms, Twitter accounts, etc., in order to fully understand the issues these individuals face and how we might introduce them to embryo donation. By using Spectrum’s listening products, we learned several insights. The most surprising for everyone the client and the client team was that adoption is by far the runaway leader in family building methods discussed online and all other methods pale by comparison. Resolve was caught off guard by this news and surprised to learn that adoption so drastically outweighed the other family building options. The client discovered that the space they thought they were operating in – where family building options like infertility treatment and in virtro fertilization were just as popular as adoption – was in fact, significantly different.
  • Removing adoption from the conversation, we were able to get a clearer picture of the family building conversation. Keeping in mind this breakdown, we were able to tailor our digital plan to reach the pockets of this population who were struggling to conceive, but still yearned for a traditional pregnancy, making embryo donation a practical solution. Our upfront listening prepared us for what the space really looked like outside of any pre conceptions we may have had. As a result our campaign has been very successful.
  • Monday movement received a substantial amount of media attention with the announcement that Baltimore City Public Schools would go meatless in their cafeterias on Mondays and then-CNN host Lou Dobb’s aggressive response to this news on his nightly television program. As way of background, Meatless Monday, a campaign founded by Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, encourages Americans to go meatless one day per week to help reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, and also to reduce our carbon footprints and save resources like fresh water and fossil fuel that are required to transport meat. When listening to the Meatless Monday conversation, Spectrum quickly identified a large trend – when influential bloggers, Twitter users, etc. were touting the merits of Meatless Monday, they often did so by providing recipes for meatless dishes. As you can see from the below graph, almost a quarter of all Meatless Monday conversations include mentions of recipes. While this was not the original goal of the campaign, the most influential online ambassadors in this space were using recipes as a hook to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Out of Meatless Monday’s overarching campaign, grew a community of bloggers who found each other through recipe swapping. Knowing this, it would be in Meatless Monday’s best interest to include recipes in their marketing plan and promote healthy, meatless meals for Americans to prepare and consume on Mondays.
  • As a final example for this article, we did an analysis of the conversation for a client interested in the hysterectomy space. Prior to the listening project the clients marketing and messaging was based on the lack of scarring from the procedure. By simply reviewing the conversation cloud and the underlying conversation taking place around hysterectomies we discovered that what was really important was the pain involved and recovery time. So by refocusing the messaging around a painless process and speedy recovery the client was in a position to resonate quickly and in a meaningful way with their community.
  • Remember this as you prepare to engage in online and social media marketing and communications initiatives. Listening should always be the first step in any online campaign. To best understand your audiences and be effective in your outreach to them, you first have to listen to what they want.


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    • Speaker introductions
    • What functions can benefit from listening?
    • Natural Language Processing and TED talks
    • Case Studies
    • Points to consider on Privacy
  • 3. Kevin Walsh, Vice President of Digital Strategy @KWalsh30 Chris Hall, Consultant at Innovation Center; @Hallicious Ted Smith, Executive Vice President, Audience Knowledge at Health Central @TedSmithPhd
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  • 5. Statistician Sebastian Wernicke reverse-engineers the perfect Ted Talk . Then gives a Ted Talk about it.
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  • 14. "If speaking is silver, then listening is gold."
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