Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#ePharma West: How can networks affect your behavior?

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Connected: The Power of Social Networks on Life Sciences and Health
Dr. James Fowler, Author, University of California at San Diego

When studying networks, Dr. Fowler noted that as humans, people have always had friends and family members, and our evolution has been because of the webs weaved and created with other friends and families in society. To be able to understand how information and behavior spreads, he has taken a bird’s eye view to understand how connections work and spread together.

He started identifying networks by asking the following questions about friends:
- Who do you discuss important matters with?
- Who do you spend your free time with?

By identifying the interconnectivity of friends, it is easy to track the social behavior of social groups. If there is a person who is connected to people in lots of different groups, the flow of information is greater due to the strong connections. The humans/groups that are the most dynamic are the ones that spend time with multiple groups. If you can place people in social space, you can often locate them in physical space due to connections. You can then see how your health correlates with the health of people you’re connected and who their friends are connected to. This is due to the influence networks have on each other.  Through is studies, he has also found that there is a distinct degrees of influence that affect for three degrees of friendships, effectively spreading behaviors and attitudes three degrees.

Dr. Fowler examined this theory in hospitals, specifically dealing with the cost of care at hospitals.  Network revealed that the doctors working there can predict the cost to the patient. They could identify types of doctors and see the specialties in the networks. Hospitals with specialists at the center of the hospitals of the networks, the costs of care is higher than if primary physicians are at the center of the networks.

How Hologic is Talking to Mobile Moms
Amanda Powers, Senior Partner, Greater Than One
Jackie Lewis, Product Manager, Hologic

Greater than One research shows that the most downloaded apps by categories are: games, shopping, weather, and health.  When looking to build their mobile strategy, Hologic identified that pregnant woman, their target audience on mobile was goal oriented, their activity is linear and focused, and it’s they looked up information that was personal to them.

After building their mobile site, they found that the majority of the traffic driven to the webpage was from paid search and email marketing.  They structured their mobile page’s look and feel to mirror their webpage to connect the brand webpage with the mobile site. Since the launch in May, Hologic has seen around 1800 visits a week, many of them were a result of their digital promotion efforts.  In order to keep up the momentum, they also plan to continue to update the content on the webpage to encourage returns.

Keys a company should consider for mobile strategy:

  • Be where your consumers are
  • Create a focused site that meets the needs of your consumers
  • Communicate to customers in their language
  • Keep everyone on the mobile team updated in the building process
  • Don’t build something your customers don’t care about
  • Balance your mobile and media budget
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