Mar 22, 2012

Pinning It: Using Pinterest to Drive Deeper Patient Engagement

Pinterest Landscape
Like “Linsanity,” Pinterest, the newest darling of the social media space, has come, seemingly from out of nowhere, to sweep the imagination of millions of women and quite a few men.  Pinterest allows users to virtually pin images to self-styled “boards,” everything froPharma-Bytes Pinterest Post Graphic 1m favorite books and places you’d love to visit to home makeover ideas. 

And, as with any trend, there are marketers trying to figure out how to capitalize on it.  Much has been written about the fact that Pinterest has driven more traffic to online publishers than Twitter.  And for retailers, the opportunities seem endless, whether it’s Etsy driving traffic to their site from pins of their handcrafted goods or Kate Spade re-pinning images that customers post featuring products from the brand that they love.

What About Healthcare? 
In October, we wrote a post about applying what we call The 3Ps to creating acceptance — an integral part of moving patients from awareness to action.

  1. Personalization acknowledges their condition, provides empathy and emulates
    the “loved-one connection” as defined in the Edelman Health Engagement Barometer.
  2. Personification uses life moments to allow patients to see themselves, painting a realisticpicture of the potential problem and solutions.
  3. Projection provides a ‘roadmap’ for action and empowers patients to take responsibility for their health/well-being.
Storytelling is one way that the 3Ps can be incorporated into messaging so that brand communications can be incorporate personalization (in look and feel to a particular patient ‘type’)personification (allowing patients to “see themselves”), and projection (giving patients hope for their future, even when they are uncertain about their long-term prognosis).
Absent clear-cut guidance from the FDA, many brands have shied away from engaging with patients in the social media space, preferring to post patient stories on websites, instead of going to where groups of patients are likely to be found, which many agree is a missed opportunity.

So, although medical/legal/regulatory pharma challenges and copyright infringement issues relative to images will need to be addressed, Pinterest may well be the vehicle to drive the 3Ps to another level. I propose that patient ambassadors contracted to speak on behalf of the brand may use images pinned to Pinterest to represent more of the essence of who they are, what they believe in and, by proxy, what the brand represents.

Consider the examples below which were pulled from various Pinterest pages.

Personalization How are you feeling words and images relevant to people who are fighting depression.Roska-Healthcare-How-You-Feeling-PinterestPersonification I Fight Like a Girl showcases images from a photo-essay project of the same name created to support breast cancer survivors. 
Projection Inspired Healing contains “images that remind me that while we may not be cured, we can always be healed.”
Key Takeaway
Even if patient ambassadors do not directly speak about a product, they do represent your brand, which means they should be trained like anyone else you contract to speak on the company’s behalf.  And in this virtual space, the company becomes responsible for re-pins, comments, etc.  So while this has the power to drive patient engagement to a deeper level, consider whether, ultimately, the effort is worth the reward. 

What do you think about the risk/benefit equation of Pinterest and pharma?  Comment below or contact me directly.

By Kimberly Clotman, VP, Group Account Director Roska Healthcare Advertising

Mar 13, 2012

Crowdsourcing In Pharma: Engaging Patients & Caregivers To Shape Your Campaigns

Engaging patients and caregivers through social media to help solve your marketing problems and shape campaigns designed to target them may sound adventurous, odd, or even downright scary to your med/legal team (go here to download the full copy of the whitepaper).
Today, marketing to consumers is about meeting the needs of individuals, reaching out to them in their online spaces, and integrating into their daily lives. Doctors diagnose patients and prescribe treatment regimens unique to the needs of each individual patient. To get the best results, your marketing campaign should do the same. That’s where crowdsourcing comes in.
Crowdsourcing is a way to quickly obtain feedback and direction from relevant online audiences about your campaign/communications challenge—think of crowdsourcing as a cross between a
focus group and a quantitative survey. To better determine the role crowdsourcing could play in pharma, we decided to conduct a social experiment.

We kept the exercise simple and designed a crowdsourcing experiment that enlisted caregivers of cancer patients, asking them to better define their needs and perceived duties around the task of care giving, and simply asked them what they needed from a support program. What we learned opened our eyes to the power and passion of individuals.

A short survey consisting of just three questions was designed and pushed out to 37 different online groups across several social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and forums—all were cancer-related social networks. I used my real name, my actual Gmail account (or forum-specific identity for transparency), and clearly stated that I was interested in creating better caregiver/patient support programs.

Twenty-five responses were received within 24 hours of the program launch
, representing half of the 50 total completes received during the seven-day experiment. While we can’t fit all of the findings from the crowd in this post, two key findings came across loud and clear.

  1. Caregivers of cancer patients need help with the basics of everyday life.
    80% of the crowd felt keeping their patient in good spirits and making sure their patient took their medication were top of the list. Following close behind were providing transportation, performing chores/shopping, and attending doctor appointments with the patient for whom they provide care. And, the caregivers stated they needed more than a great patient-support program. They needed support in taking care of themselves, getting a break to avoid burnout, and keeping their own attitudes positive.


  2. Providing day-to-day medical management is the job of the healthcare team.
    Only 35% of the crowd felt they should be monitoring their patient’s progress or taking vital signs. Similarly, just 35% of the crowd felt they should be advising their patients about treatment options. Simply put, the majority of the crowd doesn’t feel they need support here and rely on the doctors and treatment teams to provide this level of support.
While not a representative sample of the entire caregiver universe, the findings from our experiment are invaluable. We were able to intercept caregivers in their online spaces, while they go about their daily lives, and engage them to help us refine our support programs to meet their individual needs. The final gem from the experiment? Several caregivers proactively reached out to me asking if they could do more—even participate in a patient advisory board.
How are you leveraging social media and the crowd in new and innovative ways to deliver more relevant content and value? E-mail me or post a comment below to discuss what’s working for you and how you’re blazing new trails.

By Kurt Mueller, Chief Digital & Science Officer Roska Healthcare Advertising

Mar 8, 2012

Click Heat Tracking—Going Beyond Basic Website Analytics to Optimize The User Experience

Your team has spent hours at a whiteboard dreaming up the concept. The technology and creative departments have spent long nights with their heads down crafting the visuals, architecting information, and designing the user experience. The end result is your website—the online representation of your brand. You turn it live and unleash it into the digital ecosystem.

Now what?

Building your website is only half the battle, knowing exactly how your audience (be they healthcare professionals, patients or caregivers) is interacting with your site is the other half. While there are lots of great analytic tools out there that will dump enough numerical data on you to cry “Uncle”, (we wrote another post on defining metrics and why you should be diligent) how do you really know where visitors are clicking on your website so you can refine the design, and continually evolve the experience to better meet the needs of your audience?

That’s where click tracking comes into play.

About Click Tracking and Heat Maps
Through a combination of proprietary technology and third-party software, our agency is able to generate visual “heat map” overlays of where visitors to our sites are clicking.  Think of it as a transparent touchpad overlay on top of a website.  Every time a visitor clicks, or “touches” the screen, that interaction is recorded and used to generate a heat map—showing where visitors are clicking and, most important, where they are not.

Putting Practice Into Play
I’ll use our own recent website re-launch to illustrate that insights gained through data visualization is not just good for pharma—it’s good for any industry.

Below is both a clean screenshot of the “About” section of our website, and an export of what this page actually looks like from a user engagement/interaction standpoint (the brighter/more intense the color the greater number of clicks—think Doppler radar from your local weather station).



In the example above, four key insights can be gained about visitor engagement:

  1. Top navigation is providing access to content as intended—visitors are clicking the “Strengths” section most frequently from this section.
  2. Left rail navigation is functioning well—“Careers” subnav clicked the most, reinforcing the success of our most recent staff recruiting campaign.
  3. Visitors are using contextual deep links—accessing/engaging with more content on the site.
  4. No interaction/engagement is transferring over to our social properties (Pharma-Bytes blog, @RoskaDigital Twitter  feed, SlideShare, or LinkedIn channels).

While the first three insights support what we’re doing right, and successful areas of the user experience, the fourth insight is equally important.  No clicks on these icons informs us that one of two things are occurring—visitors to our agency website are getting what they need and are not interested in ancillary content/properties, or we haven’t yet optimized the location/representation of the value of these areas on the site.  

Generating Results Combining hard metrics (those generated from tools like Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.) to identify opportunities to optimize traffic sources and content, with softer click tracking to optimize design and user experience, results in online experiences that are highly tailored to the needs of customers. By utilizing this method of measurement and optimization we were able to realize a significant boost in activity and engagement with our brand.

  • 200% increase in traffic
  • 100% increase in new visitors
  • 1.2x increase in time spent on site amongst repeat visitors
  • 95% increase in overall page views
  • Significant increase in contact with our agency leaders driven from web traffic
  • Increased in-bound requests for earned media opportunities

How are you visualizing and optimizing your online engagements? E-mail me or post a comment below to discuss what’s working for you and most important, what’s not.

By Heather Brady, Digital Campaign Planner Roska Healthcare Advertising

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