Sanofi is taking advantage of multiple social platforms in order to to learn more about the needs of its customers with diabetes, as reported by PMLiVE. Dennis Urbaniak, head of Sanofi's US diabetes business unit, explained to the news source that the value of this approach is not in direct pharmaceutical marketing but in integrated education for the company's workers.
"When used properly, the benefit to our company comes in three main ways," he said. "First, you get a real time direct point of view that you would never get in traditional research approaches; second, you meet very interesting people with great ideas on things that can be done better to satisfy healthcare consumers with something they really need; and third, you teach employees the benefit of transparent customer feedback, which greatly enhances the quality of what we are delivering to the market."
Currently, Sanofi is dedicating Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as a blog, entirely to diabetes. Furthermore, the company has another Twitter account for customer service needs in the use of a diabetes app. Although there is a whole core team working on outreach to diabetics, Sanofi encourages all of its employees to use their social media resources to learn more about the consumers.
Meanwhile, Urbaniak is insistent that the company does not use any of these social media platforms for the purposes of advertising or promotion. He added that transparency about the company's intentions toward the customers is paramount to showing them respect.
This approach is significant at a time when diabetes is highly prevalent. Nearly 26 million individuals in the U.S. live with the disease, including 7 million people who have not been officially diagnosed, as estimated by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.