Digitalisation is far from being a consistent new reality. Some sectors are much more familiar with digital transformation than others, and the pharmaceutical industry is, perhaps, one of the most conservative when it comes to tackling digitalisation processes, both at the operational and production level, and especially when it comes to the training and performance of its professionals.
However, the consumption patterns and digital behaviour of both prescribers and patients are evolving rapidly, forcing companies to redefine their relationship models. All stakeholders in the sector are putting pressure on pharma to develop innovative activities and service propositions, which inevitably include a strong digital component.
In this context, at the end of 2019 we started a martech project together with the Central and Latin American unit of Sanofi Pasteur, one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world. It was an innovative and ambitious data-driven project which was developed in multiple languages, (Spanish, Portuguese and English) deployed in 11 countries, and aimed at enabling Sanofi to implement more efficient marketing strategies based on the standardisation, integration and optimisation of data.
The project was based on two main areas of action: data and digital influence. Optimising these assets would allow Sanofi to improve the visualisation of the performance of its digital media investments, as well as to be aware of their exact ROI. In other words, Sanofi would gain control over its resources and its share of voice in a global and multinational scenario.
Our work with Sanofi also involved a major health and social task: raising public awareness in Central and South American countries about the importance of vaccination, especially among children. We used digital platforms to disseminate vaccine-related information, so that technology could also give families the opportunity to make decisions and take action for their well-being.
Bring order to your data rows!
Sanofi Pasteur is a global brand, handling an enormous amount of data from multiple sources and markets: social listening data, campaign data provided by media agencies, socio-economic data provided by each government, etc. In order to turn this flood of information into useful dashboards for decision making, it is essential to work on data collection, standardisation and integration beforehand.
- First, we worked on a reporting model for local campaigns. In order to achieve a coherent and unique model among the different countries, we developed a branded content toolkit and standardised the nomenclature of the campaigns.
- We also unified KPIs and monitoring parameters, which allowed us to integrate and compare social media campaign performance data from one country to another.
- Simultaneously, together with Brandwatch, we developed social listening programmes, with the aim of understanding social media conversations around vaccines (diseases, seasonality, most recurrent searches, etc.) in real time.
- Next, we defined the ETL processes that would create the infrastructure to host all the data in a unified repository, or data lake.
Only once the data has been scanned, homogenised, grouped and categorised, will it be possible to produce intelligence reports with relevant insights and practical recommendations: what digital content is most appropriate for each time of the year, when to launch campaigns based on search seasonality and social concerns, what type of key messages to use, etc.
The data lake would also provide us with Business Intelligence tools (alarms, predictive models, automated email reports, etc.) that would contribute to generating value. The very nature of the project forced us to continuously evaluate the reliability of the data used and the need to incorporate new sources.
Working with ambassadors on brand building and social impact
The other major strand of our work with Sanofi Pasteur was an ambassador programme, which allowed us to generate positive conversations and build prescribing around vaccines.
We identified two different kinds of ambassadors:
- DOL (Digital Opinion Leaders): relevant profiles in the healthcare field. DOLs are influencers who have developed a proven personal brand.
- KOL (Key Opinion Leaders): professionals in the healthcare field.
Based on a social media influence analysis, we selected the 50 profiles that would make up our ambassador programme. We then developed a database and monitored their conversations, in order to segment the profiles based on parameters such as engagement with their communities, number of connections, level of influence or awareness generated.
With regard to the DOLs, we created a listening programme in which we analysed elements such as the main topics and conversation streams, the dynamising drivers or the channels in which the exchanges took place.
What drives these profiles to act as Sanofi ambassadors? We offered DOLs an emotional and experiential reward, inviting them to events and congresses, putting them in contact with DOLs and, in short, creating a Sanofi community. For KOLs, we opted for a rational motivation instead: we developed a training programme aimed at strengthening their digital skills through various talks and webinars delivered via digital media, which they would be able to access in the future through a shared communication platform.
The digital revolution is transforming the original rules of the game once governing the pharmaceutical sector. Major players such as Sanofi are evolving into digital companies, committing to innovation and digitalisation in order to develop new data-driven business areas, capture talent within the new generations of medical professionals – who are mobile first and 100% digital – and create new experiences for users and patients. A journey for which they have the support and expertise of Good Rebels.