Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Digital Patient Journey and Applications for Emotional Analysis in Pharma Marketing

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This post was contributed by Genevieve Walsh of BehaviorMatrix

Our perception of a health system, brand or HCP’s quality comes from inferences and attributions we form based upon what we see, hear or read about them online or in the news. The majority of that perception is influenced by friends and peers.  Seventy two percent of internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year and twenty six percent of internet users have read or watched someone else’s experience about health or medical issues during that time. Pharmaceutical companies and health systems must have a digital program in place to track and monitor consumer and stakeholder perception, their competitors and the success of their external outreach.   

Are emotional analytics the missing
piece to the pharma marketing puzzle?
Unfortunately, due to heavy regulation, digital marketing represents an atypical opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry when compared to other sectors.  Still, pharma marketers are under growing pressure to develop creative and innovative ways to establish brands and gauge consumer marketing success. Not only is the marketplace rigorously regulated, fierce competition for HCP’s time and the growing strength of other influencers including patient associations, pharmacists, health regulators, institutional partners and private insurance companies makes innovation even more challenging.

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a disease, an emotional journey begins. Social media, blogs, forums and portals become an outlet for patients and caregivers to express their fears, concerns and opinions but also to learn about other’s experiences. These sources provide a rich abundance of behavioral and emotional data. With the right analytical modeling and techniques, this data can be tapped for insights that go beyond the market research and focus groups traditionally utilized by pharma companies. 

Emotional analytics represent an advanced form of psycho-graphic profiling for digital marketers from all sectors. This technique can be used to help brand managers and analysts develop more “patient centered” communication, more effective product positioning and segmentation, near real-time competitive analysis and can help improve upon subsequent health and medical care utilization.

How a patient feels towards their doctor, their drug regimen and their treatment plan influences their overall outlook and may increase or decrease their behavioral risk of noncompliance. Key emotions that impact patient behavior and outlook include: sadness, anger, acceptance, admiration and optimism.  Behavioral indicators such as trust, engagement, interest, and loyalty may also be metrics of significant value to pharmaceutical including tracking competitor’s launches in the eye of the public, tracking market penetration, segmentation of messaging based on people’s psychographic profiles, brand equity studies and understanding the patient journey.  

BehaviorMatrix, a behavioral analytics company in the Philadelphia area, has patented the process of extracting and quantifying emotional meta-data from textual conversation and tracking the impact of external stimuli (ads, social commentary, KOL’s) on behavior. To achieve this requires using a combination of computational linguistics, big data algorithms, signal processing statistics, machine learning and quantitative information theory. Unlike many other companies, BehaviorMatrix sources agnostically; utilizing basically any textual data for analysis.

BehaviorMatrix was recently featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and PhillyTechNews.and has partnered with The Smart Cities Council to help increase global sustainability and the promotion of citizen engagement. They serve clients in industries including: Political, Government Agency, Energy, Transportation, CPG and Pharma. Some Pharma clients include Boehringer Ingelhiem, Abbvie, and Daiichi Sankyo.

We’ll have more on the latest innovation in digital pharma at ePharma West, September 22-24, San Francisco, CA. Check out what’s in store, click here to download the agenda.

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