Will new channels change your strategy?

Many articles have been written in recent weeks about the trend of the moment: Google Plus. Whenever a new platform or technology comes out, many predictions about its future are made. But do you trust predictions?

Actually, it is interesting to read what people think about it because it helps us make our own decision on whether we want to get involved with a new platform or not, or simply to know more about it. I read people writing that Google+ is a revolution; others talk about an evolution, a competitor to Facebook, a “place to be” for companies, a useless + tool, or even that we will no longer see new web 2.0 platforms after Google’s one (or they will be copies).

Anyway, my point is that all this information can obviously be valuable for marketers and communicators in order to stay informed, but all this noise might distract your attention from the real insights.

Social media platforms don’t matter but your stakeholders do.

Google+, like other technology trends, may provide opportunities for you or your business to improve what you are already doing or do to new things in order to achieve better results. However, the Internet is constantly moving, new territories appear and disappear every day but one thing never changes: who your care about, the various healthcare stakeholders.

That’s why I am absolutely convinced that we should always be focusing on these people, on their online or offline changing behaviours, which channels they are engaging through, how you can engage with them more effectively, and be aware of their needs. Then, you can inform and build the most effective engagement strategy in order to reach your goals.

Territory

As I have written before, digital territories appear and disappear in this infinite digital environment. It makes it more complicated but the growing number of these various social territories creates places where more and more people can actually find somewhere where they feel comfortable to engage, share or experience the power of online social interactions. Thus, this creates new opportunities to engage and communicate the right message to the right people, in the right territories.

Your engagement strategy is not about the newest platform such as Google+ but it is about the people you want to communicate with: what really matters is where YOUR stakeholder is and will be. Indeed, the changing and challenging digital landscape requires a constant monitoring of your stakeholders’ interactions, to continue to improve the relationships you build and to provide them with new innovative services or support.

A business perspective

Building a strong knowledge base about your stakeholders will bring insights that can be valuable for many departments in your company, helping communicators, marketers, medical and regulatoryprofessionalsto understand how the digital environment changes the stakeholders’ relationships and to identify possible changing roles. Digital media has and will continue to affect every aspect of the pharmaceutical and healthcare business and will bring new opportunities to support company growth while improving access to trusted information or to new healthcare services, and more, for the various stakeholders. This amazing win-win situation is becoming a reality thanks to the evolution and innovation of the digital environment.

Back to Google+, two simple pieces of advice: wait for Google’s announcement about business services, and make sure your stakeholders are actively be on the platform before investing in engaging them there.

Invaluable data form your existing campaigns and engagement strategies

When I was thinking about the Google+ launch and observing people’s appetite for it, I realized how sometimes we can be tempted to switch from one campaign channel to another because of a desire to be “innovative”. Of course we need to be innovative, but only if this innovation is bringing more value to the work you are already doing.

Let’s think about all the data and the information that you or your third parties (agencies and consultancies) have gathered from digital campaigns or projects. Have you really analysed these data and extracted insights? I ask this question because I think we should always build our new campaigns or projects on the existing insights that we have, to constantly improve what you do and increase the results. The digital environment needs this approach because you are building your brand and company’s reputation online in a changing environment, whilst creating long-term relationships with your actual and future stakeholders.

“Stay informed about innovative technology or media but more importantly stay focused on your stakeholders.”


Creation Healthcare is a global consultancy working with business leaders in the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. If you would like to discuss how the changing world of healthcare engagement affects your organization, please contact us.

Thibaud Guymard

Thibaud Guymard joined Creation Healthcare’s UK team in September 2010 after completing an internship as Advertising Manager with Saatchi & Saatchi Health in Paris. He is an active innovator in healthcare engagement and has worked with Pfizer, Amgen, Sanofi, Ferring, Daiichi Sankyo. With first-hand experience of the French healthcare landscape, Thibaud strengthens Creation Healthcare’s European team and plays an active role in the consultancy’s current pharmaceutical commissions.