A conversation with Tom O'Brien, CMO at MotiveQuest LLC, about using social media data mining to spot patterns in conversations early so that pharma marketers can better align their messages with the needs and concerns of consumers and patients. (See guest bio.)
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There are millions of health-related conversations on social media sites. Who are having these conversations and what are they saying? Should you monitor these conversations? What will you learn that can help you refine your marketing message to address the needs of your customers.
Many pharmaceutical companies are concerned about one particular type of conversation: adverse event (AE) discussions. According to Tom O'Brien, there are four approaches to observing AE reports in naturally occurring consumer conversations:
Don't ask, don't tell: Just don't read all those consumer conversations out there and we won't see any AE's.
Strict Constructionists: If it doesn't meet all four criteria exactly, then it doesn't count.
If You Happen to See Something: Scan the data you are using for the "marketing research" project, and IF you see something that could be an AE (with one of our brands) then send it over to Clinical Safety and we'll decide what to do with it.
Help me Find It: Scan the universe of relevant consumer conversation to collect as many possible AE related data points so we can spot patterns early and take correctional/proactive measures before the situation is out of control.
Which is the most valuable to you as a marketer? Of course, O'Brien believes you should actively search and find such information and learn from it. Not just AE information, but other conversations about your product and the medical condition it treats.
Tom O'Brien's career has been spent helping small technology based businesses brand and sell their products to the Fortune 500. His latest adventure is as CMO of MotiveQuest LLC.
Tom is a long-time newsgroup and forum junkie (thousands of posts to rec.windsurfing and several car forums over the years) and first came across the data mining technology at the core of MotiveQuest's process working with Bryan Goodman at Ford Research Labs. Bryan had been asked to monitor the newsgroups for Ford, and showed Tom the results. Tom's first question was "have you shown this to marketing"? When Bryan said that he had, but they didn't understand it! MotiveQuest LLC was created to help marketing understand and use data mining.