Paradigm Shift: Developing a communication strategy based on online patient-generated conversations

In order to inform the development of a communications strategy for the launch of a new medication in Germany, a pharmaceutical client elected to use Ipsos’ Social Intelligence offering as its primary research methodology. Social Intelligence explores and analyzes organic consumer conversations online to uncover business insights; in this case it was used to reconstruct patient experiences around a severe dermatological disease and identify opportunities for messaging about therapeutic options and support. Based on the research, the client has launched a patient website with the goal of accelerating the often prolonged process of diagnosis.

1. Background and Objectives
Pharmaceutical companies must fully understand patient needs and expectations regarding their disease in its various stages in order to effectively provide information, advice and support throughout. In this case, our research focused on a skin disease that is little known to the public but is often serious. Some 1% of the German population are estimated to have the condition, but are often not properly diagnosed. Potentially progressive, painful and often visually disfiguring symptoms can lead to physical and mental strain and frequently result in social isolation. Until recently, there had not been an adequate medicinal therapy option for this disease. In August 2015, our client was granted marketing authorization for a therapy . The aim of our study was to provide the basis for developing a communication strategy. The study focused specifically on the following objectives:
• Mapping out a detailed 'patient journey' on the basis of predefined disease phases
• Determining definitions and descriptions of patient typologies and their respective handling of the disease
• Identifying commonly used keywords for targeted search engine optimization


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