As 2014 fades and 2015 kicks into full swing, we find ourselves in the familiar spot of developing and finalizing plans for the new year. After a successful year for a brand, these plans continue and expand on current activities, in addition to adding new ones to the mix. If the previous plan has met with bad luck or poor insight or if the situation is changing dramatically, a more thorough overhaul may be in order.
Whether you’ve had a good or bad year, your plans for the future are based on what you’ve learned — but they also must consider what’s ahead. That can be a harder nut to crack. Obviously, it requires a bit of guesswork, unless your crystal ball is more foolproof than most, but there are ways to dial-in your guesses. And regardless of how successful you were, we should all be considering some new ideas based on what’s ahead.
So what is ahead? Glad you asked. When Forbes predicted six things we’d want this year back in February, they said we’d want hyper-efficient, multitasking tools that allowed us to create, not just consume; that we’d paradoxically want both escapism and mindfulness; and that we’d want more services that would hyper-personalize to us.
We think those were right on and provide a great jumping-off point for what we can expect next year: a continuing desire for personalized, efficient, multitasking tools that give us a greater ability to enjoy life. True though that may be, what does it look like specifically for pharma and healthcare?
Here’s what people want in 2015
- We want more customized mHealth — i.e., “beyond the pill” services. Patients want help, and healthcare providers (HCPs) want to offer it to them. Patients want devices to track, monitor, and provide insight and answers. HCPs want devices that help fit more patient care into overscheduled days. We all want our ever-present phones and tablets to help us organize our lives in increasingly meaningful ways.
- We want more data. All of us. About everything. Managed care wants to measure the connection between care and prescriptions and outcomes. HCPs want to get information on their patients and on the available treatments and tools and coverage they can offer to them. Patients want data that can be collected passively to give them a better understanding of their health.
- We want more health. So far it’s been a very tech-based conversation, but at the end of the day, it isn’t really about the apps or the databases, is it? It’s about whether our body is healthy enough to let us crawl around on the floor with our toddlers, run a race with our friends, go out to eat with family, watch another new year come in next December. We want this technology and these tools, yes, but we want them to help us become or remain healthy. That’s the crux of the issue, and we can’t let fancy new technology distract us from it.
How can we get those three things?
- We’ll need to understand our audiences impeccably well to give them the most useful tools possible.
- We’ll need to be able to parse vast quantities of data to pull out insights.
- We’ll need to think not only about acute, but also preventative, health issues.
What will get us there?
- We’ll need to collaborate even faster and more smoothly than ever. Customer insight doesn’t come just from one group; it comes from everyone devoted to a brand sharing their insights and building off each other’s wisdom.
- We’ll need to hone our mind set, becoming more adept at zeroing in fast and not letting massive datasets overwhelm or confuse us. We can analyze all year and never act — but that, while easy to do, is a surefire path to distraction.
- We’ll need to focus on timing, making sure that our audience gets exactly the right information to help them best, at exactly the moment they need it. It may be a coupon as a patient walks to a pharmacy counter. It may be study findings as a doctor reviews a chart. It may be an exercise encouragement on a cold morning. Whatever it looks like, it must hit the right user at the right time.