A critical component of any successful marketing strategy is listening to the consumer environment to create relevant experiences that drive brand preference, loyalty and growth. Social media has already proven an unparalleled resource for immediate customer feedback and information. Now, one step further, deep data analysis of social media conversations carries even more weight to inform healthcare marketing strategy.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are already leveraging social media for health research purposes – tracking flu outbreaks and trends via Twitter posts.  Also, a recent Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association study, based on Microsoft researchers’ analysis of anonymized search logs of millions of U.S. web users, found that Internet searches on health symptoms helped identify drug side effects. This type of insight can play a role as a new early warning system that can boost drug safety.

As online conversations are now going beyond patient beliefs and buying patterns, healthcare marketers can show our value by leveraging “post-marketing” social media data endpoints, and pulling key insights that better meet consumers’ needs.

  • Sam Welch

    A veteran marketer of some of the world’s most recognizable names in healthcare, Sam brings a broad perspective to communications as Global Group President for Discovery Chicago, Razorfish Healthware and the Saatchi & Saatchi Health brand families. Agency offerings include professional promotion, consumer communications, branding, customer relationship management, digital promotion, and government affairs. Previous roles within PHCG include President of Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Communications Group in the U.S. and Chief Operating Officer of PHCG. Sam serves on the board of The Child Center of NY, an organization dedicated to serving at-risk youth through education, counseling, and youth development services.


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