Our regular readers know that when it comes to developing email campaigns, we put a high value on strategy and relevance. That’s because hyper-targeted campaigns achieve better results than those built on the “spray and pray” approach. Still, your ability as a pharma marketer to develop and effectively deploy refined messaging depends on how much data you have about your HCPs and how well you listen to what that data is telling you.
You can analyze data from past email campaigns to gain insight into your target market and refine future campaigns. Yet email marketing is just one element of an integrated marketing strategy. At its best, email becomes the connective tissue linking various marketing initiatives, and as such, it can always benefit from more and better HCP data.
Though it’s currently underused in healthcare marketing, social listening presents great opportunities for pharma marketers to obtain that data.
Go Big or Go Home
In a recent white paper, UCB Pharma and IMS Health identify the role social media plays throughout the product life cycle and explore news ways pharma companies can use it to engage with both patients and HCPs. According to co-authors Greg Cohen and Siva Nadarajah, though pharma companies are starting to use social listening, they’re being too timid about it.
As Fierce PharmaMarketing explains, “pharma companies that aren’t using social listening strategically are squandering competitive advantages and the opportunity to do better-targeted—and therefore more efficient and effective—marketing.” Using social listening as a tactic for answering specific questions related to a one-off project isn’t enough. It’s time to think bigger.
Cohen and Nadarajah advocate continuous social listening because it helps identify current customer insights, but also because it provides extensive data that marketers can analyze to predict future behavior. They list a number of ways pharma companies can benefit:
- Sales and marketing can monitor sentiment around brand assets, identify key opinion leaders, and track brand-switching trends
- Market research can identify unmet patient needs, examine brand attitudes over time, and determine which online activities generate the greatest returns
- Public relations can safeguard the company’s reputation and identify trends for future social media engagement
Social Media Examiner describes additional benefits of continuous social listening, including attracting new customers by engaging in social conversations about current needs, improving customer care by monitoring both positive and negative feedback, and driving innovation by soliciting feedback from online communities.
Build Better Campaigns
For pharma companies accustomed to controlling their own message, engaging through social media may be uncomfortable at first. Still, it’s a highly effective way to develop a nuanced understanding of different market segments.
When used strategically, consistently, and on a large scale, it provides a powerful channel for obtaining detailed, specific data. Moreover, social listening can and should be integrated with your entire marketing plan so you can become more responsive to your HCPs’ evolving needs—whether through social, email, or other marketing channels.