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China 2015: INSIGHTS | SOCIAL MEDIA

Simon Li

General Manager

Kantar Health

China 

simon.li@kantarhealth.com 

Traditionally, pharmaceutical companies focus on marketing their products to physicians. Patients are largely ignored in the treatment decision, especially in China. But that is changing. As patients are increasingly empowered by social media and technology, they want more say in their treatment.

The Chinese culture of shai (sharing or “showing off” personal details online) means that many patients keep public online diaries, openly detailing their conditions, products they use and how they cope with treatment. Listening to these unique and voluntary insights into patients’ day-to-day behavior patterns and needs will help pharmaceutical companies develop the best treatment for them.

Social conversation has the power to make or break brands. Plugging into current trends and conversations helps pharma companies communicate their brands to target audiences. Likewise, if patients feel a brand’s message resonates, they are more likely to seek out that brand and listen closely to what the company has to say.