Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Last month, marketing excellence in pharma was rewarded and, as befits their increasing role in the marketing mix, digital projects were among those recognised.
Picking up prizes at the annual Pharmaceutical Marketing Excellence Awards (PMEA) were GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Janssen for projects in COPD, men's health and psoriasis.
The work was carried out in 2010, but as this year draws to a close and thoughts turn to 2012, these three UK projects show some of digital innovation pharma is capable of.
Digital training in COPD
GlaxoSmithKline's online training programme, Paper to Patient (pictured above), produced in association with eBee, won the Euro RSCG Life Digital Award.
Launched in September 2010 to coincide with major policy and clinical practice changes in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Paper to Patient was aimed at 10,000 healthcare professionals (HCPs).
It centred around a computer game called Paper Practice that allows HCPs to work through a range of different patient scenarios and decide what goals should be set.
As a whole the programme has three components disseminated in face-to-face meetings and online:
Step 1: Understand: Immediate recommendations of the new National Strategy/NICE guidance packaged into five stage-by-stage multimedia training modules.
Step 2: Apply: 'Paper Practice' patient management scenarios helped practitioners implement guidance while remaining focused on the needs of those in their care.
Step 3: Take Action: An 'action plan' tool enables practitioners to record their objectives measurably and select from a variety of supporting resources.
The programme went live in September 2010 and has seen high levels of engagement by healthcare professionals. PMEA judges concluded Paper to Patients was “an innovative approach to a very real problem”.
“The project was well thought through and executed with great results. Traditional channels were used to augment the performance of this initiative and the local team were engaged and given the opportunity to follow up. There's evidence of strong and effective collaboration with PCRS and changed behaviours,” they said.
• Full details of the Euro RSCG Life Digital Award, Paper to Patient and the rest of the finalists
Innovation through social media
The winner of the Hill & Knowlton Award for Innovation was Janssen's ground-breaking Psoriasis360 social media campaign.
Produced in association with Creative Lynx, this sought to raise awareness of the range of treatment options available to patients and increase their overall understanding of the condition.
To do this it put Facebook (Facebook.com/psoriasis360) at the heart of the campaign, in the process becoming the first pharma social media campaign to 'post-moderate' comments.
Allowing comments to be posted before they were moderated allowed open patient discussion and peer support, while aiming to work within the spirit of UK pharma's Code of Practice.
The campaign's use of YouTube and Twitter encouraged further patient engagement, broadcasting patient testimonials, tweeting valuable insights and driving traffic to the campaign's Psoriasis360.com website.
Regular communication and content updates took place across all platforms, maintaining campaign momentum and interest from the community.
Janssen also developed smartphone and desktop applications to allow HCPs and patients to assess the severity of psoriasis and provide patient guidance on discussing treatment options with their specialist.
• Full details of the Hill & Knowlton Award for Innovation, including the rest of the finalists
Online male health and patient focus
The third and final PMEA winner from the digital sphere was Pfizer, for its Man MOT - Monday Opportunity to Talk, which took home the Patient Focus award.
Produced in association with Red Health, the campaign drew a wide range of partners, including Men's Health Forum, Diabetes UK, Relate and the National Obesity Forum.
A first of its kind initiative, Man MOT is a weekly online male health clinic (www.manmot.co.uk) that launched in July 2010 and is open for business on Monday evenings from 6pm – 11pm.
Staffed by two NHS GPs, alongside monthly guest clinics from News of the World sex expert Tracey Cox and Relate counsellors, Man MOT allows intimate, confidential health conversations to take place anonymously, at the convenience of its user.
Up to December 2010, Man MOT had “smashed through its targets”, offering medical information and advice to over 17,000 visitors and providing an online consultation to over 400 men. This worked out at a total of 125 hours of live surgery time, equivalent to the same number of male patients coming through the door of a large GP practice.
The PMEA judges said: “The moment you go on to the site, it looks like an online surgery. It is nice and simple in terms of what it aims to do and there was no reference to a product or brand – a fitting of the idea of patient focus. It's an impressive programme and very collaborative, bringing together many charities.”
The campaign also drew praise from NHS Direct, whose head of partnerships said: "Our own data shows men aged 18-35 are the group least likely to use our telephone services. Man MOT is a valuable service which gives men more choice in how they access healthcare and directs them into appropriate care pathways.“
• Full details of the Patient Focus Award, including the rest of the finalists