5 Free Tools For Pharma Marketers

A recent Microsoft Research and Stanford University joint study mining search data from over 6,000,000 Internet users brought to light valuable information that can be gleaned from the massive amounts of data resulting from the 82,000,000 drugs and symptom-related searches studied by the researchers. The results revealed information about unreported side effects of several prescription drugs. The report did not exhaustively list all specific findings, but, if nothing else, the findings show how important it is for pharmaceutical companies to be aware of what is being said about them online.

This awareness is a focus of Brandkarma’s Interactive Team for its clients. By utilizing a variety of paid and free listening techniques, the agency is able to discover and share valuable information with its clients, including side effects, concerns, competition, product advocates, product opponents, and more. While Brandkarma has streamlined and continues to refine this process, here are 5 Free Listening Tools you can utilize today:

1.   Google Alerts

Want to know what is being said about product X or disease Y? Simply set up some Google Alerts, and Google will email you (daily, weekly, or instantly) whenever it finds content related to the keyword alert you have set up.

Don’t want to flood your already overflowing inbox? You can periodically visit Google and perform a search for your relevant keywords. In addition, you can filter that search using the Search Tools to show only recent content. Also, try searching Google+ to find content and contributors.\

Set up Google Alerts now

2.   Twitter

Twitter is more than just people sharing their lunches. It’s also a treasure trove of real-time information about the everyday experiences of individuals, potentially those using or contemplating use of your product or looking for a treatment option or answer to a question related to an ailment. You may not be Twitter savvy, but it’s easy to utilize Twitter’s search tools at http://search.twitter.com

You can also use a free Twitter consolidation tool, like HootSuite, to view your Twitter query as a stream. Twitter will list the Top tweets (ones that have the widest reach) first, by default, but you can also click on All to see them in chronological order.

Experiment with some of the advanced Twitter search techniques by using advanced options to filter your search by phrase, combination of words, or even geographic location as close as a 50-mile radius to a stated ZIP code!

Give Twitter search a shot

3.   TweetReach

Want to know who is tweeting about you, how far your own tweets are reaching, and how much Twitter is talking about a given product or disease? TweetReach can be a valuable, free tool to find volume for a given subject on Twitter and the influential users tweeting about said subject. Simply visit TweetReach and enter a keyword, phrase, Twitter handle, or Twitter hash tag. Within seconds, you’ll see which user is tweeting about your search term and how many users they are reaching, the number of users overall seeing tweets containing your search term, and the most significant tweets containing your search query.

Try a couple of searches on TweetReach and see what you can learn.

4.   Social Mention and Topsy

Beyond just Twitter, there are more social platforms out there than you can possibly count, but, luckily, there are a couple of sufficient (and free) search engines that can perform searches across the major social sites, from Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and YouTube to everything in-between. To get the most out of each site, limit your search by adjusting how far back the search goes (last week, last month, etc.) and filter the content by either chronology or type of content (by network or by media). Be ready to find some random material that mentions your product or disease!

See what you can find at Social Mention and Topsy

5.   Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Tool

How often are people searching for your query and which phrases, questions, and search terms are most popular? Explore a bit on Google Trends or Google’s Keyword Tool, which is a free tool from Google that shows common phrases, comparable phrases, search volume, and even search query forecasts. In addition, you can filter results by geographic location and dates. You’ll find some interesting information about the types of searches associated with your product or disease. This can also be helpful when developing blog content and FAQs, as well as a good resource for basic search engine optimization efforts for your website.

Image credit: NADA University

See what’s trending on Google about your product or disease now with Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Tool

See our related post about patient-doctor Q&A website HealthTap and the opportunity it presents for pharma

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About Brandkarma 

Offering healthcare companies the highest level of strategic and creative marketing for specialty pharmaceutical and biotech products, medical devices, diagnostics, and OTC brands, Brandkarma is a champion of intense engagement, measuring its achievements by its clients’ success.

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Ken is a great deal more than just the president of a medical communications company. He is something of a hybrid. He’s part marketing manager, part creative director, and part copywriter. To the chagrin of his peers—but to the delight of his clients—Ken is a consummate perfectionist. As a former creative director for a high-end consumer agency, he challenged his creative teams to go beyond the mundane to produce work with real creative impact, something he’s just as fervent about today. From producing and directing TV commercials, to launching DTC and Rx-to-OTC switches, Ken brings his clients a world of experience in OTC pharmaceuticals as well as business, lifestyle, and high-end consumer products and services. Whether huddled with clients behind a mirror in a market research center in Houston, facilitating a strategic workshop in Madrid, or developing a global campaign either in the New Jersey or California office, Ken is always fully engaged, bringing “bestness” to all areas of his hectic but full life.