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Future Pharma Hall&Partners

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1. To listen to the entire interview, log on to www.futurepharmaus.com The increasing importance of digital media in individuals’ lives is transforming the way that…
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  • 1. To listen to the entire interview, log on to www.futurepharmaus.com The increasing importance of digital media in individuals’ lives is transforming the way that people think about pharmaceutical brands. No longer are consumers left to receive all their information about a brand from the company itself. Instead, people engage with others on online boards, blogs, and networking sites to share their experiences and feelings about a brand. Pharmaceutical brands who take the time to truly understand the digital medium can maximize their ability to serve both customers and themselves better. Future Pharmaceuticals Is the FP How has digital media affected brands need to behave in anything that they do, digital revolution truly relevant people’s relationships with brands? regardless of the medium in which they’re work- to pharmaceutical brands? LK It’s tempting to think that all the rules about ing, to foster participation. Lisa Kindig Much has been made of the digital media have changed because of the digital age, The first principle we defined is: make room revolution. People reference the speed of e-mail, but despite the average person’s evolving ability for others. This involves mature, two-way com- quick access to the vast resources of the Internet, to multitask and become a critic in the virtual pub- munication. Participatory brands are those that development of virtual communities through lic sphere, at its core, human nature has funda- have created some role for the audience to play social networking, and while there is still a digi- mentally remained the same. We’re all the same beyond simply receiving information or complet- tal divide that exists throughout different regions people we were before, and Web communities ing a transaction. To know where to make room of the world, that is shrinking. But what’s most need the same qualities of trust, purpose, shared for others requires the brand to engage in active, important, and why it’s most relevant to pharma- values and rules of conduct that you would find in constant listening. So, if the goal is to replace tradi- ceutical brands, is that digital has brought with an offline or face-to-face community. tional brand monologues with two-way dialogues, it significant changes in behavior. Digital creates Hall & Partners Health conducted research that then brands and brand teams must become more opportunities for people to share, explore, find, found that the digital revolution has affected how attuned and open to what people outside the create, and transact, and to do all these things people make choices about participating digitally brand are thinking, saying, and wanting. quickly and easily. in two key ways. The first is the birth of what we’ll The second principle is called: a mission, not a Creative and passionate consumers have call micro-actions: these are ever-present but emo- mission statement. We challenge brands to have always engaged in personalization of their brand tionally unsatisfying actions. Secondly, the digital a mission that extends beyond profits. People experiences and evangelized on behalf of the revolution is also the advent of a completely new respect a brand that stands for something that’s brands that they love. What digital has done class of opportunities for meaningful and purpose- going to guide every decision, from internal cul- is democratized and multiplied these actions, ful actions, and it springs across geographies, inter- ture to external communications. That said, even so you no longer have to be an expert or have connecting people based on shared interests. The a true, deep, and enthusiastic mission only works extensive resources to be able to influence or problem is that many brands are only soliciting con- if it’s aligned across the entire organization and is inform others. In previous eras, the relationship sumer participation through these more superficial present equally in what a brand says, what it does, between consumers and pharmaceuticals often micro-actions, which are those that require just a and what it fundamentally is. was reduced to choice — fill a prescription or few clicks, or a moment to explore something. The third principle is: inside reflecting out- don’t fill a prescription, take a pill, don’t take a pill However, the more active people are online, the side. With the help of search engines and con- — but people now have a lot more power at their more they want the opportunity to engage in pro- sumer watchdog groups, corporate websites disposal. They can access company sites; they gressively deeper ways. So, to appeal to them, a and online communities, people are doing a lot can utilize powerful search engines; they can more layered approach has to be created. This issue more homework before they make decisions, and connect with other people the world over to share of participation is actually at the heart of how digi- they’re reviewing information from many differ- their perspectives and experiences. tal has empowered the consumer. It sheds light on ent sources — not just the ones that the brand The shift, then, is from being told about some- some of the reasons why people have so quickly and and the brand team control. Therefore, it’s critical thing to experiencing something. It can also be powerfully embraced digital media, and it suggests for a brand leveraging digital to foster participa- described as a shift from a monologue delivered implications for successful brand building and com- tion to find ways to create synchronicity between by brands and physicians to a shared learning munications in the digital environment. their inside and their outside. That is, to ensure experience among consumers and physicians, that who a brand is matches how the brand acts. whether that’s in person or online. So yes, the FP How can brands leverage The fourth principle is: truly enrich people’s digital revolution is completely relevant to phar- the rise of digital to foster lives. It’s no more complicated than what it maceutical brands. Public advocacy of a brand, brand participation? sounds like. A prerequisite for any participatory positive word of mouth, consumer engagement LK As part of the research we conducted, Hall & brand today is that the product or service genu- in a disease and its treatments — these are the Partners Health has developed a few principals inely has to add value to people’s lives. Brands new channels that many pharmaceutical market- of how successful digital efforts lead to partici- need to make themselves worthy of people’s time ers are seeking to harness. pation. These are some broad principles of how and energy — not just through their claims and 1 FUTURE PHARMACEUTICALS Driving the Industry Forward.
  • 2. S&M sales & Marketing beyond the branding iron lisa kindig, Managing Partner at Hall & Partners Health, speaks with Future Pharmaceuticals about pharmaceutical branding in the digital age www.futurepharmaus.com 2
  • 3. Beyond the Branding iron clinical performance, but also through the way “IT’s TeMPTIng To ThInk ThaT aLL they behave as responsible corporate citizens. Principle number five is: back to basics. It’s the ruLes about media have simply remembering all four P’s of marketing, which still make up a sensible framework within which to express the mission of a brand. It’s tempting to think that all the rules have changed, but they really haven’t. All four Ps — product, changed because of the digitaL price, place, and promotion — still need to be aligned with the brand’s mission. Brands live in age, buT aT ITs core, huMan more places now within people’s lives than sim- ply in advertising, so when a brand shows up in a naTure has fundaMenTally place that doesn’t fit or is inconsistent with who they are, consumers sense that dissonance. reMaIned The saMe.” FP Are these ideas relevant for physicians as well as consumers? seek to blend both the fundamental and the new. about the client, the brand, and the goals of the LK Physicians’ desires for authenticity, trans- They’re not going to abandon known truths about research. For some types of research objectives, parency, and integrity, are no less urgent than any brands and their relationships with people, but hiding behind that mask of objectivity and control other person’s are. For instance, the latest data they’re going to be retooling to accommodate actually undermines our ability to get close to the I’ve seen for the number of physicians that are some of the shifts required in the digital age. people that we’re seeking to understand. There’s participating in e-detailing at present suggests They’re going to treat research as a way to solve an opportunity to learn even more by seeking that about 6 percent of U.S. doctors have been a lot of complex questions, not a one-size-fits-all subjective, two-way dialogues with those whose e-detailed in 2008, and about 45 percent express answer for a single problem. They will be disci- opinions, actions, and lives we’re interested in moderate to strong interest in e-detailing. Some of plined agnostics, using combinations of methods on behalf of our clients and their brands. This is the reasons they cite for their interest include the to understand different pieces of the puzzle, and going to require a meaningful re-appraisal of the opportunity to participate at times that are more they will engage consumers, patients, physicians, language that we use to describe the research convenient for them, the ability to focus more nurses and other audiences as human beings, and event in general, specifically thinking of the term fully on the information presented, and greater not as ‘respondents.’ These leading-edge research ‘respondent’, which implies a passivity that’s not confidence in the likelihood of representative fol- companies will also have extensive global reach. in sync with how people perceive themselves or low-up with additional information. commit themselves today. FP Can the principle of participation It would help if we and our clients acknowl- FP What does all this mean for the be used to maximize inspiration edged that the event of qualitative research is evaluation of digital communica- and insight from pharmaceutical actually an individual doing on behalf of a brand. tions and brand-building activities? market research? Instead of letting participants be satisfied with LK As more and more pharmaceutical companies LK It can, and it’s essential. With the develop- superficial ask and answer, we need to inspire and communications agencies seek to develop ment of online technologies come new tools to them to plunge into the project in a deeper way. thriving, rich brands, invite people in, and fos- help us as qualitative and quantitative research- To do this, we need to treat them, not as respon- ter active participation, it’s going to be crucial for ers. For example, qualitative research has been dents, but rather as empowered consultants, and pharmaceutical market research firms to develop able to utilize bulletin boards, online focus groups, make the benefits of deep participation clear to a strategic perspective and evaluative tools that blogs, and even simple email or chat formats to people. We need to give them a clear context for are reflective of this new paradigm. Some com- help us get close to consumers, patients, physi- the research event, conveying possible benefits, panies undoubtedly will persist in promoting the cians, nurses, key opinion leaders and other rel- providing them a greater sense of utility, or the sat- notion of rules and norms for standard metrics like evant audiences to the pharmaceutical industry. isfaction of helping solve a problem that’s impor- recall, persuasion, and brand linkage, assuming Repeatedly, participants confirm that online dia- tant to them. We need to foster a feeling of connec- that such rules will be forever unchanged. Other logue is an authentic forum for them. People are tion between people involved in the event: those research companies will demonstrate some under- engaging in deeply meaningful interactions and responsible for guiding it, as well as those partici- standing of how people behave in the digital era, investing significant time and thought in digital pating in it. That’s enhanced by total transparency and they’ll use all the right tools to measure hits, discussions, which supports their stated perspec- about the study, its aims, the researcher’s role, and clicks, eyeballs, and traffic flows. However, while tive that these are important interactions to them. shared personal perspectives. We’re going to need some measurement of these behaviors is essen- There are a lot of research techniques that to make the experience entertaining in relevant tial, focusing only on those micro-actions with lit- are vestiges of a more directive era, such as the ways through providing opportunities to engage, tle understanding of why people are behaving as commonly used interrogative approach in quali- create, even perhaps play — not just respond. they do, will not provide the strategic guidance tative research. In this model, the researcher has Researching participatory digital content also that pharmaceutical companies rightfully demand privileged status by implicitly claiming the right to poses new challenges and opportunities for quan- and deserve in this complex new era. craft the questions, focus the discussion, assign titative research. Most research products available Therefore, leading research companies will time limits, and actually hold back key information for the digital realm typically focus on an ad’s ability 3 FUTURE PHARMACEUTICALS Driving the Industry Forward.
  • 4. S&M sales & Marketing to stand out and generate click-through, not taking successful digital communications include ele- before actual media buys happen, with the same into account how they do or don’t contribute to lon- ments of both, and successful evaluation of digital certainty of effectiveness that the established ger term brand-building strategies. In response, communications must assess both. intercept method was offering post-launch. Hall & Partners Health undertook a major research Since the main objective of many digital ads is In the end, however, these are all sim- initiative to evolve our original thinking about to elicit an immediate response, as evidenced by ply research tools. The key issue that market brands and communications. Our discovery indi- click-through, we invested in developing a predic- researchers and pharmaceutical brand teams cated that for every ‘think’ component of our origi- tive research approach to click-through, which we need to focus on is conducting research in a way nal model, there is a corresponding ‘do’ element. call ‘click-sponse’. The outcome was exciting — our that fosters the kind of participation digital allows For every strategic path, whether it is rational, ben- metrics correlated very closely with the indepen- us to leverage: deep, ongoing, honest, and con- efit-based persuasion, emotional, value-driven dent ad server click-through, which provided strong nected conversations. These types of interactions involvement, stand-out focused saliency, or simple validation for our approach. Essentially, what we lift the veil, engage people where they already are, promotional activity, digital offers something new, are now able to predict is an online ad success in and allow people to express themselves fully in a leveraging consumers’ pre-existing behaviors. It terms of immediate response, before the ad is ever variety of ways. Time will tell if digital will be able doesn’t mean that the ‘think’ necessarily precedes served up online. The value of this approach is that to live up to its full potential in pharmaceutical the ‘do’ — they can actually occur in any order — but it allows for the optimization of online campaigns brand strategy and communications. fP Lisa Kindig heads the U.S. Healthcare division of Hall & Partners Health, overseeing the group’s operations, serving as an executive director on the corporate board, and working closely with the CEO to develop and implement the company’s strategic vision. She has particular expertise in business development, value-added research innovation and research-based strategic consulting for global healthcare brands. Hall & Partners Health Health is a dynamic, consultative market research firm, collaborating with global pharmaceutical, consumer health, animal health, device, diagnostics, and healthcare communications agency clients to support fresh, successful decision-making throughout the entire life cycle of their brands. www.futurepharmaus.com 4
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