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June 24, 2024

How to capture the value of unscripted conversations

Social listening helps you make more informed decisions and reduce FOMO – the fear of missing out on critical information that could impact your strategy.
capturing unscripted conversations

Public conversations contain a wealth of potentially valuable information for pharma teams, who can use technology to ensure they’re capturing unscripted conversations in a compliant and effective way.

Social networks like X, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and other public forums are now places where disease communities come together and discuss their experiences. This legitimate scientific exchange can help pharma companies:

  • Better understand their customers, inclusive of their preferences and unmet needs
  • Track and identify trends within the public discourse as it relates to the therapy areas they serve
  • Gain insights into the market and their competitors

This is possible even in a highly regulated industry like life science. Pharma teams can access this information through social monitoring.

Unprompted, unscripted conversation

We’ve all grown used to sharing information online. Unlike clinical trials and in-person HCP interactions, these open-ended, free-flowing conversations are free from any authoritative presence, such as an HCP or investigator. That means these threads contain a wealth of unprompted, unscripted, and candid exchanges among community members. They’re a valuable source of pure insight for pharma teams.

Caroline Schaffrath Demarco, Director of Insights Strategy and Innovation at Within3, explains how active online disease communities offer a wealth of largely untapped insights for pharma teams. “We’ve become comfortable sharing information about our personal experiences with medications, with disease conditions, and with lifestyle factors,” she says. “People are comfortable sharing how they were diagnosed, how they’re managing their condition, what they’re taking, what’s worked and what hasn’t. And people are going to social media to get that information.”

While patients, caregivers, and advocates might turn to social media for the latest information on the current treatment landscape or to hear first-hand stories of other patients’ journeys and experiences, pharma teams traditionally do not. And that’s where social monitoring comes in.

The power of social monitoring

Social monitoring tunes in to these conversations and looks for patterns and trends. Social monitors use technology to mine text for specific keywords and references, depending on what a company looks for. For example, they might search for references to:

  • A particular drug or company
  • A specific medical congress
  • A rare disease

All of this information is user-generated – social monitoring compiles it and brings it to the attention of pharma teams. Once the organization has the information, internal stakeholders can integrate the results of social monitoring with data from other sources to better understand the disease community or other topics they are studying.

Sometimes, the insight gleaned from social monitoring can be used immediately. Social listening at a medical congress has value before, during, and after the event, without straining resources on the congress floor or back at the office.

In the weeks before a major medical congress, a medical affairs team might analyze what HCPs and KOLs discuss online to uncover unmet needs or other opportunities in a specific disease community. Armed with this knowledge, the team would be better equipped to create their congress plan around key trends and topics that are top of mind with their audience.

Where else can you find unprompted insights?

Outside of social listening, unprompted insights can be collected alongside structured feedback, such as through open-text fields in surveys, questionnaires, or virtual advisory boards.

Offering your audience the opportunity to share emerging topics provides the opportunity to confirm information you’re seeing elsewhere or clue you into potential new trends that can impact strategy.

Remember, asking every question is impossible – allow audiences to share freely. You may end up with much more, and more valuable, information than you’d expected.

Bringing it all together

Using insights from unprompted conversations as part of your insights management process can strengthen your ability to make decisions and be more agile when navigating complex topics. Integrating these unexpected contributions into your insights reporting results in a more complete view of your disease community, market behavior analysis, or other projects.

Download our e-book to learn more about unprompted conversations and choosing the right social monitoring solution for pharma insights.

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