Knowing how to use feedback channels toward furthering business is more important than ever, with over 70% of pharmaceutical companies utilizing social media outlets to stretch their reach to stakeholders and customers. However, regulatory requirements impose limitations on the innovative ways pharma can communicate back with their consumers and patients, which places a greater emphasis on closely monitoring what their customers and clients and saying about the products on offer. How to optimally leverage HCP, patient and consumer feedback is an area of extreme importance in the pharma industry at present. In addition; with all these new feedback channels, where is all the feedback going? In most cases, that answer is nowhere. The idea of Closed Loop Marketing fills the gaps that once allowed the forward momentum of pharmaceutical technology to drop. The miscommunication between manufacturer and consumer was, and still is in some cases, broken. So, how can pharma companies keep from upsetting the customers and shareholders alike? A bridge crossing the communication gap needs to be constructed.
The first and most popular type of loop is called a balancing loop, as you are constantly balancing out where you are and where you want to be. By providing a more open and synchronized receptacle for comments, complaints, suggestions, and other notes, companies can better fulfill the needs and demands brought forth by paying customers. Sales and marketing need to have the necessary tools to measure the influencing factors, both direct and indirect, and representatives need to be filled in on all prior communications. This not only eliminates the influence of situational flukes, but solidifies the differentiating issues that the consumers believe will sway their opinion of your company.
The second and arguably most important type of loop is a reinforcing loop. Almost like the foil effect, a reinforcing loop is accomplished when one system changes in a way that it affects another system, which in turn, strengthens or reinforces the first. For instance, a company establishes a flawlessly designed process to receive feedback on products. This change causes the once dormant consumer to begin giving feedback, which in turn, makes the company stronger. Think of this type of loop as the outer and larger loop of the balancing loop. Together, they build the perfect formula for improvement.
A challenge with both strategies is how to identify what changes impact on customer behavior and how they can build metrics around this. The tools available to challenge and monitor behavior are advancing quickly and social media is currently one of the major areas under scrutiny. Social listening from pharma companies is now becoming an extremely innovative space. For example, we are now seeing psycholinguistics and web intelligence products as well as tools that provide insight into the sentiment of comments made as well as the content.
This innovation is only set to grow and for more detailed regional and global company case studies about the work they are doing to bridge the gap and leverage HCP, patient and consumer feedback please visit the Digital Pharma Series Website.