When it was locked out of the 2014 World Cup because a competitor scooped up all of the advertising rights surrounding the event, Nike knew it had to come up with a game-changer to reinsert itself into the global conversation. By offering a comprehensive experience across all of their digital properties, Nike generated more than 6 billion impressions, received 400 million video views with 23 million customer engagements, and most importantly, experienced a 23% increase in profits in the fiscal first quarter that year. You may be wondering, “What can pharma take away from Nike’s World Cup success?” Read on to learn about three ways pharma can repurpose those strategies for our own social media.

Listen — Even though Nike rarely does test marketing, it keeps its finger on the pulse of its customers to know where they are in the digital space and what they want. After noticing that customers were gravitating toward bite-sized social content, Nike set its sights on developing content for Vine, a social network used to create and share six-second videos.

By conducting social listening to discover where patients and caregivers are consuming content and interacting with others, pharma companies can focus their digital strategy to deliver the right message, on the right channel, at the right time.

Plan — Nike began planning its marketing strategy for the World Cup well in advance of 2014 to ensure it could create and deliver timely and relevant content throughout the tournament. By setting up an event-specific headquarters to corral their subject matter experts under one roof, they were able to simplify their creative and approval processes.

While publishing timely content can be a challenge within the pharma industry, developing a streamlined decision-making process can help pharma companies take advantage of real-time communication opportunities at industry events.

Connect —Nike’s website was the glue that held their digital campaign together, but they also developed an app with built-in, one-click purchasing; live chat features; and interactive tournament schedules. Along with a social media blitzkrieg, all of Nike’s digital properties worked together to deliver a personalized experience connecting millions of soccer fans around the world — both to each other and to the brand.

By developing a digital strategy that taps into multiple platforms, pharma companies can build a cohesive marketing campaign that offers various touchpoints along the patient journey.

In our industry, it’s often easier to stay in the “safe zone” by continuing to produce the same type of content on the same social platforms. However, consumers are increasingly using social to interact with brands, so it’s important that we continue to push the boundaries to provide our audiences with innovative, informative content.