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Biopharma has no lack of touchpoints to optimize engagement with its most important stakeholders. Yet the industry is lagging behind in leveraging those crucial points of the customer journey to meet stakeholders where they are. Below are some suggestions for how biopharma can improve the customer experience and innovate successfully.
It’s time to question the effectiveness of pharmaceutical engagement with its stakeholders. The 15th Annual eyeforpharma Summit (March 14-16 in Barcelona) poses the questions*: “What’s stopping us from being patient-centric? Is it laziness? Or…is it simply too difficult to give up control?”
The same organization recently partnered with The Health Perspectives Group** to review the state of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in North America. They concluded that pharma companies are still overly reliant on TV advertising blitzes and have under invested in authentic patient-centered stories delivered via digital channels. This addiction to old-school push marketing has inflated DTC spending, yet has led to a decline in DTC ad awareness and patient pull-through. How can an industry with such strong scientific roots and talent get it so wrong?
Unclear guidance from regulatory agencies has led to genuine industry-wide caution when activating digital channels. However, this doesn’t explain a drop in digital pharma advertising spending (excluding search) in the US from 2015 to 2016. Digital shyness can’t be the result of resource constraints because TV, radio, magazine and radio ad spending all increased during this same period.
What’s more, new drug applications (NDAs) are back to record highs, so the industry has a great innovation story to tell. And the mobile app surge continues even though most branded and unbranded health apps have few users. Meanwhile, companies are struggling to reorient and redeploy sales forces to take advantage of the new digital realities. We are in a post-iPad world, where the rep and account manager can be curators of targeted and relevant digital content. Yet biopharma still uses outmoded recall and share-of-voice metrics when gauging detail effectiveness.
To paraphrase the futurist William Gibson: The future is already here, it’s just not widely distributed. Plenty of pioneering examples within and outside the biopharma industry heed some basic principles:
There are plenty of success stories such as AbbVie’s patient access programs, Novartis’ real-world psoriasis patient stories (fueled by the largest-ever global survey of PsO patients in over 30 countries) and Otsuka’s fusion of traditional and digital therapies. These are just a few of the pioneers that will gather at eyeforpharma in Barcelona in March to share the best and brightest ideas for engagement with patients and customers.
Join the dialogue as we exchange ideas for advancing the art and science of customer engagement. I will be hosting the Digital Transformation and Customer Engagement tracks on Day 2 of the conference, Wednesday, March 15.
If biopharma makes these five smart moves, they will have the tools to innovate through richer relationships with a breadth of stakeholders, by embracing the new digital reality and by continuing the transformative dialogue on customer engagement.
The conversation continues outside of the conference. We invite you to join us for a meeting onsite anytime during the eyeforpharma program, or be our guest for a special dinner where you can meet other industry peers.
Join us Wednesday, March 15 at OneOcean Club, overlooking the beautiful Barcelona marina
Schedule a meeting and join us for dinner at OneOcean
Not going to Barcelona? Just click here to pre-register for GfK’s post-conference briefing sharing the best and brightest ideas from Barcelona.
*Chairman comments in program for 15th Annual eyeforpharma Barcelona Summit
**The Great DTC Shake-up: Patient perspectives on direct-to-consumer advertising
Consumers are more connected than ever. New technologies and the benefits they bring have a significant impact on people’s behavior and their relationships with brands. Find out what that means for your business!
Those aged 30-40 are most likely to share data for rewards. China, Mexico and Russia lead for people willing to share data. Germany, France and Brazil have the most people not willing to share data.
Did you watch the most recent episode of Homeland last night? Maybe you caught up on the new BBC drama Taboo, watched some YouTube clips or just had an evening of chilling in front of Netflix. Whether you viewed any video content or not last night, there is no denying that the way in which we watch video has changed drastically over the last 5-10 years. Long gone are my uni days of watching Neighbours at 5.35pm on a small TV screen in my or a classmate’s bedsit. If I were still watching it now, I could access it on demand and view it on my smartphone during my commute.
But how is all of this media change affecting kids in the UK? How have their habits and behaviors changed with the advent of smartphones, tablets and catch-up services? Our ViewScape data from 2015, which provides a snapshot in time of viewing behavior, includes the viewing habits of children aged 1-17. Parents and guardians were asked to fill in the survey for young children. The survey requested information about the device that content was viewed on and whether viewing was linear or non-linear. The aim? To measure total video viewing across all devices, channels and platforms.
When analyzing BARB data relating to 4-11 year olds, we can clearly see the change in traditional linear viewing on the TV set when we compare the figures for January to June 2006 with the same period in 2016. In 2016, people spent half an hour less viewing linear content per day than they did in 2006. Does this mean our kids are becoming more bookish or spending more time outside? According to our ViewScape data, even more video content is being consumed, just in different ways.
Next time you are out shopping or eating at a restaurant, take a look around you at any nearby families with young children. My bet is that a device of some sort will be out to keep the kids quiet – is that Peppa Pig I see? Our ViewScape data shows that kids aged 1-11 consume 2 hours 37 minutes of video daily. This includes any viewing occasion, whether it’s using free online services such as BBC iPlayer and YouTube, or SVOD services Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. With BARB showing that viewing on a TV set for kids aged 4-11 is 1 hour 47 minutes per day on average, we can see that new methods of viewing have significantly increased viewing time.
Ofcom’s ‘Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes’ report, published on the November 16, 2016, revealed that children’s internet usage had usurped that of viewing on the TV set for the first time. The capability that mobile devices offer has brought the internet age beyond the household and into the outside world, and not just for those of us who are over the age of 18.
For this to happen, of course, access to a device is needed. While a number of young children use a device belonging to their parents or guardians, many now have their own. Tablets are the device of choice for kids aged 1-11, with more than 60% of all those who have access to a tablet possessing their own. On average, kids with access to a tablet device spend 24 minutes per day watching content, compared to 19 minutes and 13 minutes on PC/laptops and smartphones respectively. Brands such as Amazon and Kurio have facilitated this trend with kid-friendly tablets designed to keep children safe and secure from the vagaries of the World Wide Web.
Will kids continue to embrace these new, emergent behaviors as they move into adult life, or will they revert to a more traditional method of viewing on a TV set? Either way, it is clear that video viewing is increasing because of the media proliferation that has occurred. While it would be easy to conclude with the notion that watching more video content will cause kids to fry their minds, who’s to say that this trend won’t increase their intelligence? If it weren’t for YouTube, I would not have a clue how to install a washing machine! Let’s just remember to keep a balance in our lives and those of following generations. Too much of anything is bad for you, apparently.
Nigel James is a Senior Research Executive at GfK. To share your thoughts, email email@example.com.
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Over a quarter of internet users across 17 countries strongly agree that they are willing to share their personal data in exchange for benefits or rewards like lower costs or personalized service. Find out more in our global study!
Find out more in our 10 min webisode how to be closer to your customers in the innovation process thanks to voice.
Find out more in our 10 min webisode how to improve your innovation process and minimize the risk of product failure.
Find out more in our 10 min webisode how to connect emotionally with your customer when you develop new product concept.
Find out in our white paper how to reveal the emotions of your customers by listening to their voice.
Many products go through a series of consumer tests before they hit the market. This is to measure how consumers will respond to them, allow for optimization and sift the wheat from the chaff. In the past this has led to some improvement of market reception but the number of product failures still remains really high. We have seen that traditional approaches to concept testing simply aren’t the best fit for purpose today. Businesses need an innovative approach that embraces people’s emotion and subconscious response and connection to a brand or product rather than only a rational and articulated response. We have seen that bringing in this emotional connection allows for a better prediction of success.
Voice analytics in market research is opening up many avenues to better understand the consumer. It is now possible to measure Emotional Impact by simply asking respondents what they think of the new idea or experience. By listening to what (words) people say and how (tone, pitch, rhythm) they say it, both the implicit thinking (System 1) and explicit thinking (System 2) can be captured. This provides an authentic way to understand the emotional and rational impact of new products and experiences. Using voice analytics can shorten questionnaires and increase the amount of data gathered from consumers whilst increasing the engagement – a good thing for the industry!
An application of this is to use the volume of unstructured data to capture these Voiced Thought Streams in response to key topics – like purchase journeys or in-store experience. We can now use this non-rational component of the response to understand the emotional reflection of the experience and to ask new and evolving questions. We are able to dig deeper into the in-the-moment journeys of consumers and understand how their day-to-day lives are working towards or hindering the short-term sales and long term Brand Equity.
Recently we tested popular ads in the UK market and the findings were quite profound. We combined the rational thought-out response and sentiment, along with the non-rational passion. This combination allowed us to understand a full 360 degree view of how the ads are being received by the market and the impact – emotional and rational – on the consumer.
As expected, the flashy and quirky ads did well in engaging the audience. However, when we dug deeper, the brand mentions and associations for these ads were quite low and although people were engaged in the creative ads, the “boring” ads scored better on brand mentions and associations.
The solution is not one or the other, but rather both – clearly the goal is engagement and brand association. Market research now has compelling and scale-able tools to measure both of these consumer parts to better measure ads and concepts to predict success.
Bradley Taylor is the Country Manager of Consumer Experiences at GfK. Please email Bradley.Taylor@GfK.com to share your thoughts.
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