Health tech startup Medikly disrupts pharma marketing with KONNECT that integrates content management, social media and big data analytics into one solution.
Healthcare has finally caught the social media bug. Statistics suggest that nearly 5,000 US health organizations have social media accounts today. And with mobile technology use on the rise, physicians are tweeting, pinning, and checking-in more often. Still, speculation remains as to whether or not social media holds any tangible value in healthcare. Is this social phenomenon capturing more than just our attention?
Yes, much more—like valuable marketing insight, according to Medikly’s Dr. Venkat Gullapalli.
“The social media train has left the station and it’s not coming back,” said Gullapalli, CEO and founder of the New York City-based healthcare technology startup. “The healthcare industry has to adapt to it and adopt it. We’re proud to be on the forefront of the trend with the knowledge and experience to guide healthcare marketers through this change.”
Medikly is helping pharma marketers embrace the swift social shift thanks to its KONNECT, a cloud-based web platform that’s been described as a mission control for healthcare marketing. The platform provides users with a behind-the-scenes peek as to what open internet forums and social media sites healthcare audiences are tapping into. Marketers can then use the platform to host their own content and campaigns to reach those targets.
Additionally, the platform offers a suite of social tools to interact with physicians if desired, including embeddable surveys, podcasts, transcripts, communities, virtual panels, quizzes, or certification for completing education programs.
To be clear, KONNECT doesn’t draw upon social media use alone, but it seems to play an important role in its data-collection process. Because Medikly’s platform is not just helping marketers reach their target audience, it’s also intuitively measuring what type of topics and content is effectively reaching it—or not.
“At any given point, a marketer can view audience engagement around a particular piece of content or campaign and can understand, in real-time, whether engagement is high or low and if sentiment is positive, negative, or neutral,” said Gullapalli. “Based upon the ebb and flow of metrics, marketers can make real-time decisions to ensure that engagement and sentiment remain high.”
Medikly’s Intelligent Sentiment Engine uses a “secret sauce” of metrics to measure the sentiment of topics, products, and keywords that aid marketers in the refinement and realignment of their marketing efforts. All interactions are captured and measured using big data analytics that quantify audience engagement: changes in knowledge, skills, and behavior: and a marketer’s return on investment (ROI).
Having all that intuitive data instantly allows marketers to save a great deal of time and money, especially when their methods aren’t working. It’s an otherwise costly and time-consuming mistake traditional marketing tactics have failed to amend for far too long, even those that have incorporated social media, said Gullapalli.
“Traditional social network-directed tactics are what we call ‘outside-in’. This methodology is akin to a marketer listening to a group of docs via a cup-to-ear approach from behind closed doors, then yelling a brand call to action through two inches of wood,” he said “The message is muffled, and you can’t see what they are doing or how they are responding to it. You can only hear them laughing or silent, and that’s all you can take back to report on.”
Gullapalli knows the frustrations of traditional healthcare marketing all too well. Aside from being a pediatrician, he is self-described serial entrepreneur who’s been in the pharmaceutical marketing space for the past 13 years.
Searching for an online marketing tool to create greater efficiency and effectiveness led Gullapalli to build Medikly and its KONNECT from the ground up. Refining target marketing via technology is not a novel concept, but putting it into practice in the healthcare space is.
Carrying on with his analogy, Gullapalli explained that Medikly’s platform is using an analytic approach as a means to takes the marketer beyond the office door by providing them with a virtual seat next to their targets. This enables marketers to directly connect to what concerns and interests their targets. From there, marketers can learn how to draw them into a relationship with a brand on a one-on-one basis.
Using social media as a measuring stick in healthcare is beginning to bloom thanks to companies like Medikly, and its value is already stretching beyond pharmaceutical and medical device marketing. Additionally, KONNECT is being used to refine medical education, sales force training, and internal knowledge management.
Gullapalli and his company are demonstrating that social media use does hold great value for healthcare, just not in the way we initially thought. Social media is more than a tool to quickly share and promote content. In fact, its greater power may lie in its quick litmus-test-like ability to measure and gauge the reception of such content. Gullapalli calls it social listening.
It’s no different than the natural progression we’ve witnessed with Google’s search engine, which is now used as a virtual conduit for popular search terms revealed via Google Analytics. Such evolution has begged the question: How is the tool more useful? As a means to search for something, or for finding out more about those doing the searching? Similarly, is social media more powerful for what it brings to its online communities or what it reveals about them?
These are interesting questions company’s like Medikly are trying to answer in the healthcare space. As for Gullapalli, he said the sky’s the limit for his company, which will continue to develop cutting-edge engagement and big data analytic product offerings.
It will be interesting to see not if, but when other socially-driven healthcare startups will follow in Medikly’s footsteps to harness the power of social media’s intimate perspective. Regardless of what unfolds, one thing seems clear: speculation regarding the power of social media seems pointless. The value is there, it’s about how you look at it that helps you find it—or in this case— how you measure it.