Editor’s Note: In the fall of 2022, GreenBook’s IIEX Health event took place in Philadelphia, bringing both useful and inspiration content to insights and analytics professionals spanning the healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical, and wellness industries. Attendees found the content so valuable that we wanted to make much of it available to all who could not attend this in-person event. Before even reading this post, know this: You can view all the sessions on-demand now! Don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming IIEX Health event now!
If you aren’t in those industries … how might you apply the learning within your own? At GreenBook, we believe that IIEX is more than a conference series. It’s a mindset. These are the forums in which the most important insights innovations are revealed, demonstrated, debated, and championed. What starts at the events drive change in our world. It is in that spirit that we bring you, directly, some of the poignant content we heard at IIEX Health.
Enjoy our On-Demand Video
Join Ben Potter and Steve Reeves of Ipsos and Janie Vitlina of Novartis with a talk about the future of digital insights and how clients are starting to “get back to the basics” of digital insights. Click to view the video (courtesy of Civicom).
View more 2023 IIEX Health content on-demand!
Whether you were able to attend, or you were not, join us online to see what was shared by some of the biggest brands, the newest startups, and expert-level researchers across healthcare, pharma, and consumer experience. Here’s just two of the amazing sessions you’ll find on-demand:
- Greg Hewitt and James Bauler speak to the innovation process behind Fuse Oncology, a spin-out of Cone Health, after a critical examination of the lag between a patient’s diagnosis and start of treatment.
- Zach Hebert speaks to how the Covid-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to deliver the right message and how the right message can help ease the mind of vaccine hesitant parents.
Online you’ll find other fantastic sessions by speakers from Pierre Fabre Group, Novartis, Hinge Health, and more! If you want to stay on top of the trends in the healthcare industry — one of the largest spends in market research — you won’t want to miss IIEX Health On-Demand!
Not familiar with the Insight Innovation Exchange (IIEX)?
Ten years ago, GreenBook embarked on a simple idea: Could we create opportunities for market research leaders to share ideas and collaborate to define the future of insights?
If there was something new to our industry — a company, methodology, or platform — that didn’t exist 10 years ago and is now considered a “best practice” … well, you probably saw it first at an IIEX event.
What starts here will change our world!
(Transcript courtesy of TranscriptWing)
Alexine Tranquada: [Laughter] Hope you had the chance to get some Prosecco, but we’re really excited to have Ipsos and Novartis here, partnership to share with us how they’ve unlocked future of digital insights. We’re really excited to hear what you have to share with us. So, thank you, Ben, and Steve from Ipsos, and Janie from Novartis.
Steve Reeves: Can folks hear me? I just want to clarify that. Okay, Test, test, test. Awesome. A quick intro; Steve Reeves, Head of Digital Strategy, and Ipsos Healthcare. Happy to be here.
Janie Vitlina: I’m Janie Vitlina. I’m the COE Lead at Novartis for PMR innovation and portfolio
Ben Potter: And Ben Potter, also from Ipsos. Steve and I work in the healthcare advisory group
on digital strategy.
Steve Reeves: So, before we get into the presentation, let me give you a little bit of background on how Ipsos and Novartis came to be, so to speak. It happened, what? Back in April-ish.
Janie Vitlina: Oh, yes, early this year. [Laughter]
Steve Reeves: On LinkedIn. Just to set the stage, I actually reached out to Jamie on LinkedIn saying, “Hey, the team is growing. I would love to have you on the team,” offered her a role. [Laughter] What was your response? I forget?
Janie Vitlina: I said, “No, thank you. That’s such a great offer. Thank you. I’m at Novartis, but I just looked at your LinkedIn and it says you are the top 50 most creative innovator in social intelligence, and I really want to know what you’re doing, because I lead
innovation at Novartis, so please tell me what you’re doing.”
Steve Reeves: That kind of opened up the dialogue. The thing that we can point to at Ipsos Healthcare that we’re doing a lot of right now is what’s coined as ecosystem mapping. Now, if you close your eyes for a minute and you think about when you go onto the web, where do you go? Why do you go there? What influences that decision? What are the touchpoints along the way? Who are the actors, so to speak, that are producing content that is feeding to you, et cetera? So, we set out to map the ecosystem, the renal ecosystem, for Janie and her team. Really, it was predicated on understanding the flow of information, both to the patient and the HCP in a digital setting. Interestingly enough, we found a lot of interesting things, I would say. There are entities that we discovered in mapping the ecosystem and understanding which entities have a greater pool versus maybe a less of a pool on how information flows and potentially misinformation as well, because we’re in that age. That kind of was the overarching context for the project, understanding how information flows to the patient to the HCP online, who are the entities that control and shape the narrative in a digital setting, and that actually has application across all therapeutic categories, something that we’re investing in heavily with our clients at Ipsos. Tell me a little bit about how you felt the project went, and kind of unpack for me what brought you to the decision that, “Hey, I want to do this. I want to invest in this,” a little bit about the impact if you will.
Janie Vitlina: Yes, absolutely. The interesting thing is that this project, it didn’t come from us asking a question and saying, “Ipsos, can you help us with this?” It actually was the other way around. I said, “Tell me whether the innovative things you’re doing.” Steve sent me three projects, three innovative things that he was working on. He said, “This one is the most creative. Let’s talk about it.” I said, “I have budget. Let’s do it.” So, this…
Steve Reeves: It was the easiest I ever did.
Janie Vitlina: Easy as that, easy as that.
Steve Reeves: Usually doesn’t happen though, right?
Janie Vitlina: The interesting part was that why this project was so applicable to what we needed, right, which we didn’t actually go searching for was because the underlying question that we had is, where do people go for information? I am sure that everybody here has encountered that question at some point. It comes across regardless of industry, regardless of therapeutic area, and usually the answers that we get come from not such reliable methods, right? We use surveys. We ask people where did they want to go, and if you’ve had a similar experience like me, most of the time, your physicians or people or your patients are saying, “I went to Google.” I went to Google to learn this or I read JAMA or I go to ASN,” right? Really, they’re just regurgitating what is more salient and comes to the top of mine. So, what I ended up doing with this work is really taking that question and flipping it on its head, right? Instead of thinking about investigating where are people going for information, it really became a question of who’s driving the narrative in the digital space that pulls people and grabs their attention, and how can we use that, and how can we learn about those influencers and that flow of information to elevate our own content, right? So that it comes out on top so that it cycles through that ecosystem more time, so there’s more eyes on it. Also, how can we use this to make an impact on our investment and media-buying strategy?
Steve Reeves: Yes. If you think about ecosystem altogether, every therapeutic category has an inherently different ecosystem, which makes it really interesting. Typically, what we find, and Ben will drill into this, typically, what we find is that the entities that shape the narrative in a therapeutic category tend to be patient advocacy groups, tend to be patients, emerging HCPs, but maybe less so. We’ll talk a little bit about how that was actually flipped on its head in this case. In essence, we’re mapping the entire ecosystem, and then within the ecosystem, we want to understand specifically how patients and their digital journey coalesce. So, 10,000-foot view, here’s the ecosystem. Here’s what’s happening. Here are the key players. Here are the messages that are that are going on. Here are what our competitors are doing and here’s the whitespace, et cetera. Once you paint the picture of the larger ecosystem, it gives you the ability to then say, “Okay, great. We have the ecosystem. Now let’s look at the patient’s digital journey and their pathway to information.” We can do that with HCPs as well, and then within that, even further, looking at specific digital personas. So, I wanted to see if you might want to drill into any of that because you’re the project lead architect of that, and so give us perspective.
Ben Potter: Yes, absolutely. I would expand even between disease areas, even market to market, the ecosystem is very different, so we have run this in multimarket. If you go over to the EU, I mean, it’s a totally different landscape, so you really have to look at this in a segmented way. It’s really not lip service. It very much is unique, disease area to disease area. In this case, it was such a rare disease, so we looked at an ultra-rare disease and a rare disease in the renal landscape. What we saw was a really self-sufficient set of HCPs, nephrologists in this case, that had developed their own community that were interacting in this really public way, even interacting to the point where they were interacting with patients, which is something we almost never see. The patients themselves, we always look over time, and it’s a community that had grown, too, so also very self-sufficient, super engaged, super literate for patients. It was just really interesting to see without a lot of – definitely no advocacy group and with very little pharma intervention, how sophisticated they were on both sides, yes.
Steve Reeves: I mean, it took an entire team, I think, when we discovered that insight. I think it was week eight of the 10-week, 12-week program, and one of our absolute rockstars, Jaya Sardana. She actually found that in combination with Ashwin Balasubramanian. I got his name right. They make up a fantastic team, and so drill in for us, what was your experience like working with the team, if you will? Then talk a little bit about potentially, to the extent you can, what’s the impact, right? What did it mean to you and to Novartis?
Janie Vitlina: Yes. I just want to preface this by saying we are very strategically not divulging very specific insights or having slides up because this product has not launched yet. This is work that we actually finished just a few months ago, and it’s currently being applied. So come back to us next year [Laughter] and get the update, but what I can say is that through – what we ended up finding was essentially answers to questions we had been guessing on for years. It ended up leading to giving us a strategic lens into how do we approach, for patients, search and social in different rate and different ways based on the stages of patients that generally adopt those channels. How do we invest differently based on those channels and patient usage? And from the HCP side, we had a lot of impact and understanding the prioritization for who could be our partners in terms of voice and influence, and then the impact on our media-buying strategy and investment. All in all, when we had this body of work, I mean, this was a lot of work, because we didn’t just include patients and HCPs. We also had pegs in there, and we had other really specific things about search and social that we were asking about. So, we ended up having this huge, broad…
Steve Reeves: A big presentation?
Janie Vitlina: It was like 175 slides, right, which is something that nobody can use in its entirety. The point was that this gave us a foundational piece of work that is now, for this pre-launch product, is now the premier body of work to really understand their media approach and their investment strategy, right? For our media planning team and our marketing team, this is now being considered wave one, right? Our next subsequent waves are intentionally going to be looking at refining “Have our investments made impacts, and now, how do we how do we go further and understand the impact of other information, other content, and also the impact of misinformation on our therapeutic area, and where we need to go and how we can change that?”
Steve Reeves: Awesome. Ben, I got a question for you. So, you’ve had a long career in PMR. You’ve touched qual and quant, and you’ve also been very, very prevalent in social analytics and social data along with myself. When we think about this approach, right, it’s less about asking and it’s more about observing. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Ben Potter: Yes. I mean, so when we do this, it’s all a passive exercise, and it’s a snapshot. Well, we do it over time, but really taking in a huge volume of data and from many different data sources. So, we’re not just looking at social data, we’re looking at search and web analytics to understand what search patterns there are, what websites they’re being driven to, and we’re looking at it relationally. All of that leads to sort of a different type of insight generation. It’s not answering any one specific business question. It requires a lot of touchpoints [Laughter] with the client to make sure that we’re not going down divergent paths. I will say 175 slide deck but a killer executive summary, right?
Steve Reeves: Yes, exactly.
Janie Vitlina: [Crosstalk]
Ben Potter: So, easy to digest, and then 175 slides should you want them.
Steve Reeves: We have [Crosstalk] yes, yes.
Ben Potter: Yes, so it’s really good as Janie just said, because it’s so broad. It gives you a really good sense of what it is that you’re working with and maybe answer some unknown questions and let you know what it is that you don’t know and what you want to dive deeper into.
Janie Vitlina: Yes.
Steve Reeves: Yes. When we think about the key moments that matter along an information pathway, right, I mean, industries outside of pharma have done this for years and years and years. It is rooted in personalization, and this really lays the groundwork for the future of pharma in terms of creating more personalized experiences for patients and physicians in a digital space while also understanding the different players, so to speak, different entities that control and shape narrative. Yes, I mean, that’s a really good summation of what we’re doing. Should we go to questions? We got about six minutes. Is that fair? Great.
Janie Vitlina: Maybe I can get some wheels spinning. I can say that with this work, because it has become so foundational, our team actually cut to future projects that were going to be done with the media agency…
Steve Reeves: Sorry.
Janie Vitlina: [Laughter] …and we actually saved ourselves a workshop for a SWOT analysis and all in all have probably saved just about half a million dollars with this one piece of work.
Steve Reeves: So, you’re saying I should have gone at risk? [Laughter]
Janie Vitlina: You should’ve charged me more. That’s what you should have done.
Steve Reeves: Any questions? Go ahead.
Female 2: When will it be available to…?
Steve Reeves: It is available. I forgot to put the QR code.
Female 2: Where can we find it?
Steve Reeves: It’s on my LinkedIn. I’d post it right there, so you can grab it on LinkedIn or meet me afterwards, and I can shoot it to you via email.
Alexine Tranquada: Any other questions from the crowd that I can run around with, or I can come up with one on the spot because that’s something I’m particularly skilled at, I think. So, here’s a question for you. You talked about the future of digital insights, right? At a very meta level, Greenbook’s tagline is “The future of insights,” so we’re frequently looking to the future of insights, right? Sarah brought it up earlier in her talk, right? The future of insights. So, if you were to kind of step out of just this project and just be a futurist for a moment, what is the future of digital insights defined?
Steve Reeves: Let’s see what she has to say.
Janie Vitlina: Well, I think it’s interesting from a client side, right? You give the consulting side; I’ll give from the client side. From the client side, the digital insights – the future is almost like getting back to the basics, right? I’m speaking from a pharma perspective. I know that CPG and retail, they’re much more ahead of the game on this, but for pharma, so much of it is really trying to just understand, what the heck is going on in this space? What are people talking about? How do we learn about it? How do we know? How do we confirm that we actually are being relevant in the discussions that are happening today? I think, for at least the next five years away, I see the future of digital insights, it’s really getting back to the core fundamentals and being able to use that as kind of a jumping off point to be able to get to maybe where we want to be in 10 years.
Steve Reeves: What do you think?
Ben Potter: Yes. I like to think of it as a way to really generate what I would call organic content. So hopefully, we’re providing an insight into how this ecosystem works, how it goes to that you can really become a part of it, and really get away from anything that seems promotional and have it really become something that’s part of it all, but it shows that you’re listening. It’s empathetic to whatever the HCP’s initiatives are, whatever the patient’s needs are at any given time. You’re listening. You’re speaking the same language and then sort of insert seamlessly into that flow.
Steve Reeves: Yes, and just the last thing, I mean, we’re laying the groundwork, like I mentioned earlier, for understanding how to move towards a more personalized experience in digital settings for pharma use cases, patients, and physicians. Were also, in terms of what’s innovative, that’s the question. We’re doing work now on blending our WB data and digital data sources, and so there’s a lot that can be learned from the perspective of claims and EHR data and how patients interact with the healthcare system. It doesn’t really give a good indication of why it’s happening. So digital data, actually, and social data in specific, is a good litmus for understanding the why behind things like biotherapy, progression, and switch and all that kind of stuff. We’re down the road on it, I would say, but I think that, to me, is another area of focus.
Janie Vitlina: That’s why we need consultants thinking about smart things like that so we can [Laughter] learn the foundational stuff and then get to where you are.
Alexine Tranquada: Thank you.
Steve Reeves: We got two minutes. Any questions?
Alexine Tranquada: We do. You want a mic?
Female: I can try to speak. So, from a fellow client, I’m curious, how did you get this share? How was your dissemination or visualization of this work? Were there any [Unintelligible] on board that you were sharing around? How did you navigate that down the line?
Janie Vitlina: Yes. So, I did this work on my own. So, this is not commissioned by my marketing partners. I did this work on my own, and when it came out, really, my argument for it was, “Hold on, don’t spend your budget with your AOR. I have a piece of work for you.” So anytime you’re able to make an argument of budget savings is always something people are willing to look at. So, when I did present this, the kind of insights that we had was really something that our insights department had never had a perspective on before. This was totally new to Novartis. This has never been done by any group in the organization. So, when I presented it, the body of work and just the amount of information that was now able to answer questions that we were guessing on before, like what are people talking about, who’s driving the narrative, how do we invest in certain channels that actually have more share a voice and make an impact, right? When we had those answers, the team kind of gradually very much drew to this, and actually, I ended up working with our executive leadership to make this into a best-in-class approach, something to be instituted across the enterprise for all the brands in the franchises.
Steve Reeves: Thank you. [Laughter]
Female: [Unintelligible] on this scale, what you’ve done once you put the foundation into the organization, that would be exponentially expensive, I would assume, and replicate that because it’s a cookie-cutter approach, meaning, you got the best-inclass process in everything [Unintelligible]
Steve Reeves: Right. No, no, no. That’s…
Female 3: It’s like, okay, you’ve got a deliverable that works in that perspective. And hopefully, that deliverable is so rich, it fuels all these aspects of the business. So, all the magic is not talking about the detail and the method just now. My point is that can be replicated in any job, and then would it get exponentially cheaper?
Steve Reeves: Correct, yes.
Female: I’m sure the first time.
Steve Reeves: Yes. Yes, the first time, it’s difficult. There’s always a level of customization by client, Novartis as an example. But certainly, there are economies of scale, because when you harvest data, let’s say from 10 therapeutic categories, and then you mash that together, it does save time. That’s the whole concept. The idea is to add value across the pharma enterprise. So how can you build a framework that sits sort of at the center and is able to cut across your therapeutic categories and provide a homogenized level of insights that every TA would benefit from?
Female: Let me just follow up this; can you take a previous research and put it in? In other words, could your methodology – does it have to be all new data or did you also somehow work with – so you have studies for the past five years could you somehow absorb that?
Steve Reeves: We do, yes. We do all the time. One example is like a traditional patient journey schematic where you’d overlay a digital approach to it. So, yes, that’s possible. We do it all the time. Yes. I think we’re out of time. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Janie.
Janie Vitlina: Thanks, everyone who dropped off the happy hour. [Applause]
Steve Reeves: Yes. She’s really the rockstar in this.
Alexine Tranquada: Thank you, all, so much.
Ben Potter: We really appreciate it.
Alexine Tranquada: All right. Cool.