Moving from 'share of voice' to 'share of influence'

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Biopharma is caught in a swirl of uncertainty greater than anything it has ever faced: legislative mandates, changing media consumption and patient and professional empowerment. Given this new environment, the traditional approach to marketing is failing and the industry needs a new approach.
The traditional mindset has been that websites were built mostly for newly diagnosed or switchers. The industry nodded its head to eCRM and often created a one-size-fits-all patient support program that was intended to help patients stay compliant. We moved from text-based experiences to incorporate delivery techniques like video, and from pure brand speak to include the voices of different influencers. The response? One or two visits. The relevance and importance for patients? Low. The opportunity to connect with patients for adherence? Not good. And most importantly, there was little acknowledgment that patients have numerous sources of information that greatly influence how they make decisions about their treatment. Instead we use all media at our disposal to shout our message and single-mindedly drive to our nicely constructed brand sites.
We need to move from the familiar model of share of voice to one that embraces a very human reality: customers' mindsets, attitudes, level of engagement and needs change over time. More importantly, who they turn to throughout that lifecycle changes as well. Instead of focusing on telling them things about our brands within our owned properties, we need to intercept them in meaningful ways as they search for answers to the questions they have at that moment. And by doing so empower them to make better decisions for their care. Or as my colleagues and I say, move from planning for share of voice to creating share of influence.
Is this really different? To prove the point, apply it to yourself or someone who has encountered a diagnosis or is living with a chronic condition. As you have lived with this condition, haven't you changed? Have you used the same resources throughout your treatment journey or have they evolved? Has any brand really recognized that and been with you to influence your loyalty and usage along your journey? Probably not. Until now. In this world, influence trumps all.
Alfred O'Neill is group VP, client engagement & strategy, Razorfish Health
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