Pharma Marketing Strategies for Social Apps

Ayogo Pharma Marketing Strategies 12/11/2015

Pharma Marketing Strategies Tier Social Features to Deal with Privacy

In 2010, new pharma marketing strategies like creating a social health game on Facebook felt scary, but Boerhinger Ingelheim got behind it anyway. The sky didn’t fall. In fact, the opposite happened: patients loved social games, and better yet, they improved health outcomes.

Healthseeker, one of the first-to-the-market Facebook health games was played by tens of thousands of adults who publicly engaged in challenges, and sent messages of support and encouragement to their fellow players with diabetes. When Boehringer Ingelheim and Joslin Diabetes and the Diabetes Hands Foundation won a Clio Healthcare Silver Award for Healthseeker, it paved the way for other pharma organizations to accept social games as a legitimate part of a patient-centric pharma marketing strategy.

Culture and priorities vary significantly between pharmaceutical marketing teams. It’s important that project strategists within pharma marketing be willing to think, “What does the consumer want to see?” From that position, the strategists, and even the sponsors, can take steps to educate others within the organization to allow a more consumer-centric strategy to be realized.

Social features in applications add a layer of emotional engagement to pharma marketing strategies that we believe is best accomplished through incorporating Emotional Design principles. “Emotional design’s primary goal is to facilitate human-to-human communication. If we’re doing our job well, the computer recedes into the background, and personalities rise to the surfaces” writes Aaron Walter in his book Designing for Emotion.

Social Marketing Tactics

Pharma Marketing Strategies - Example Moderated Social Wall T2TWhen it comes to social, it can mean a bunch of different things. In this context however, we are referring to the social interactions of users in an application or on a social website. Things like private email, texts, and messages are considered to be private conversations, and third party monitoring of them is an invasion of privacy.

However, it is perfectly acceptable to monitor publicly-shared communications such as:

• Commenting includes free text comments such as contributing to a topical thread on a forum
• Scripted commenting such as pre-scripted messages of encouragement “Way to go!”
• Gifting which is a digital interaction where users give, trade or receive a virtual good
• Sharing which typically includes reposting a message to public sites, such as twitter, facebook
• Liking a non-verbal show of encouragement made famous by Facebook’s thumbs up

Pharma marketing strategies increasingly include social sites where free text comments appear in a patient forum. On such sites, there’s obviously a concern for timely reporting of adverse events, and to a lesser degree, inaccurate or unsuitable content posted by a user. Here moderation is important.

Moderation can be reactive, reviewing and responding to (or deleting) posts that went up without review, in real time. Reactive moderation can be initiated by:

1) Automated scans for trigger words
2) User-flagged content (literally, other users have the option to “flag this content” on post, with a drop down list of why it deserves flagging, eg. spam, inappropriate content, offensive etc)
3) Moderator-observation

On the other hand, proactive moderation holds a post that has been submitted for review by a moderator before it is allowed to go live. It is possible to semi-automate this process.

Paul Prescod, CPO of Ayogo oversees the regulatory compliance side of Ayogo’s products and partnerships and works closely with our customer’s IT teams. Based on Ayogo’s lessons learned, Paul developed a Tiered Approach to Privacy and Social Features, that shows the trade-offs between social engagement, risk and privacy concerns. Tier 3 social features are almost always acceptable, but there are tradeoffs.

Ayogo’s Tiered Approach to Privacy within a Pharma Marketing Strategy

Click image to enlarge.Pharma Marketing Strategies - Social Feature Table

With the right partner, social applications are excellent channels for support, status, affinity, encouragement and positive feedback.

Do you need help championing the importance of social and gamified applications as part of your direct-to-consumer marketing experience?

Download our Mitigating Risks for Social Engagement Cheat Sheet.


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