Reviving Pharma Perception with Sentiment Analysis

Michael Seymour |
 04/15/22 |
3 min read

reviving pharma

Healthcare concerns are no longer top of mind with consumers, who are understandably distracted by other worrisome events in the world. And along with this shift in focus comes the reemergence of a disinterested skepticism of everything Pharma offers. Reviving Pharma’s perception before it flatlines is imperative – and we are going to share how that could look!

understand external forces shaping your brand

As noted in a recent article on Fierce Pharma: “When we’re not as focused on the industry, we start to lose interest in it, and therefore our view of it can start to drift back into older patterns, where the industry has typically been seen in a more negative light.” And we can certainly see that shift happening below.


Understanding Consumer Sentiment Shifts

Regardless of industry, consumer sentiment shifts happen. It’s the only constant that applies to every category, in fact.

Leading brands recognize this challenge and use advanced AI-powered consumer and market analytics to better understand what is happening in real-time. More importantly though, they use it to understand why. Consumer sentiment shifts rapidly – and those who keep pace reap the rewards:

  • A full 50% of consumers say during the past two years, they’ve re-evaluated what’s important to them in life.
  • Brands that focus on improving their consumer experiences can expect to generate up to an 80% increase in revenue.

So, let’s survey the overall pharma landscape to capture a snapshot of what is happening, and then narrow our focus to sort out why – and what to potentially do about it!

Surveying the Pharma Landscape

Starting out with an overarching view of the landscape, we can see a good bit of negative sentiment built up from October 1, 2021 through approximately March 15, 2022:


And we can isolate our search to explore what was happening during that period to get a better sense of the challenges Pharma was facing from a consumer perception standpoint – or at least what the conversations were primarily about.


Further narrowing results to capture the top 15 clusters, we see that COVID was certainly central to the conversation, and we see the Opioid Crisis and Cancer figure prominently as well. It’s interesting to note the significant “social media” cluster which often revolves around sharing misinformation – that’s something to explore; and then the “personal care” cluster promises to offer insight around specific struggles consumers are facing in an increasingly isolated and expensive existence, rife with product shortages:


From the market standpoint, “tech experience” has been focused around digital transformation, and then we see the recurring concerns about pharma companies “making millions” and the focus on NSE Nifty (50 actively traded stocks).

And we can create another view of the most mentioned organizations, colored by combined sentiment to get a sense of where consumers’ attention is focused:


And these are just two of many views we can capture in NetBase Quid, as we can also track where in the world these conversations are happening – and on what sites:


The potential for exploration is pretty endless. And after exploring the big picture trends, it’s time to drill down to the specific behaviors and pain points to find ways to turn things around.

Identifying Specific Indicators

So, what are consumers saying about pharma specifically on these sites – and within these larger conversations. And what can we do about it? We can quickly sort out who we’re hearing from and develop a target profile to help us message out appropriately. Understanding which age groups are participating most in the conversations is helpful:


As is sorting out the type of content they typically consume and share. In this case, we can see that its news media:


And we can figure out which sites specifically are engaged with most often and then pitch articles to these authors/sites that speak to topics that resonate with our target audience.


Our research helps us understand language they’re using to design messaging, for publications and social channels, that specifically addresses concerns discussed using language that demonstrates we’re listening.


And to help drive home challenging communications and break through consumer trust barriers, partnering with (or mirroring the messaging of) respected key opinion leaders is wise, like Dr. Timos Papagatsias:


His audience is engaged and his words have credibility. Collaborating with him on a study or inviting him to share his expert opinion on the efficacy of your latest offering could remove the hurdle potential patients are stumbling over. It’s a step in the right direction at the very least!

It’s not impossible to work within the confines of consumer perception and make improvement by degrees, but it does require consistent monitoring of the space and audience understanding to do so! Reach out for a demo and we can show you a variety of ways to sort insight relevant to your needs and use consumer and market intelligence to shift perception!

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