Vantage Point: Market research and social media

Share this article:

The rapid growth of social media is fundamentally changing how pharma brands communicate with their target audiences. Now, brands not only talk to customers, customers talk back to brands. The monologue has transformed into a dialogue—with millions of people potentially listening and participating in the conversation. With social media, pharma marketers have the opportunity to move beyond speaking at customers to engaging with them.

Understanding this new communications world demands a new communications model—one we call Influence 3.0. The new model captures both types of conversations taking place today: Brands talking to customers, attempting to persuade them to take an action; and customers talking with each other—and back to brands.

It is critical to remember that social media doesn't operate in a vacuum. Customers today have a huge number of contacts with a brand—through both traditional and new media. Each either enhances or detracts from a brand's image. To develop an effective communications strategy, marketers must look at a full range of channels and how they interact to understand which are most influential for their brands—and what is the best mix for driving a positive outcome.  

Incorporating social media into communications strategies means a cultural change—a switch to a culture of listening, as well as speaking. With social media, marketers gain firsthand insight into the topics that interest customers—and the language they use. In effect, social media “feeds” traditional media, helping create messages that resonate. Listening closely results in communicating  effectively.

John Tapper is president, marketing insights practice at KantarHealth
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Next Article in Vantage Point

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders

Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Vantage Point

Vantage Point: Payers—the "experts" in healthcare research

Vantage Point: Payers—the "experts" in healthcare research

Access to payers is about knowledge, about understanding what they do in their jobs

Vantage Point: Determining "fair market value"

Vantage Point: Determining "fair market value"

Should pharma formulate a super matrix to determine the FMV of research incentives?

Vantage Point: Marketing Support for Clinical Trials

Vantage Point: Marketing Support for Clinical Trials

Pharmaceutical companies must provide robust marketing support for their clinical trials