Text ROI to 55150

December 31, 2019
John Nelson, Brand Insights Contributor, Head of Strategy, CultHealth
Brand Insights - Thought Leadership from Marketers I Paid Program

Channel mix nirvana. It’s like a group of superheroes with all different strengths; working together to achieve the extraordinary. Deploy different channels to achieve different objectives.

As communication technology evolves, should our expectations for individual channels evolve as well? One channel proving multitalented is, oddly enough, a more basic means of communication: text! 

Patient text has been at the heart of solving problems for awhile now at CultHealth. We continue to amass a mountain of evidence that text deserves foundational channel status, helping brands achieve many of their loftiest goals.

But why text, let’s say, over more commonly used email programs? Digital KOL David Nield says it best: “Text messages have more of a sense of urgency, whereas email tends to be seen as information that can be responded to at a later date. With cell numbers typically more closely guarded than email addresses, a text message also represents a more personal and intimate connection.” 

Our pervasive use of text started with nothing to do with text at all. It started with a lens to challenges brand managers face today. From there, text became a natural solution. This article will take you through core challenges and perspectives on text as a core solution, demonstrating the power of text when embraced as the engagement art form it truly is.

Let’s review some core brand challenges that patient text becomes a natural solution for:

  • Gaining rapid HCP confidence and Rx adoption at brand launch. HCPs want the benefit of real-world experience with a brand before they readily adopt. This has shown to limit uptake at launch and beyond.

  • Parity: Doctors will challenge drug clinical trials or believe efficacy improvement is marginally incremental, and ultimately stay unconvinced in altering their prescribing habits. Compounding this issue is a no-see policy among medical networks disallowing sales rep access in order to shape HCP perspective.

  • Adherence: Still a problem, albeit advances in CRM leveraging AI and other tailored responses. HCP-patient engagement is at the root of the problem, especially with HCPs lacking any real-time monitoring of patients in their own environment.

While two of the three challenges above lie squarely with HCPs, it’s the patient tracking data from text that’s proven to have a significant impact with HCPs. For starters, we recommend that promotion to patients go through HCPs. The idea is to empower HCPs first with a tool to evaluate brand performance while supporting their patients. At its best, text should extract rich performance data from patients–with timely reports sent to HCPs, shaping their perspective and Rx writing habits. Also, HCP endorsement carries weight with patients starting and sticking with the program.

In our experiences thus far, patient data from text works! When HCPs get firsthand data into how patients are improving, feel more satisfied, and supported, it becomes a natural surrogate for real-world experience they wouldn’t have (without the data). This, in turn, makes HCPs more comfortable with a brand and drives real and perceived differentiation–which should lead to higher Rx writing. To prove this, we’ve layered in ROI analyses with astonishing results. In the diabetes space, for example, we’ve seen a positive ROI with a significant lift in prescribing (Rx writing habits of HCPs participating in a patient text program vs writing habits of HCP nonparticipants).

Patients gain much from text as well. Research has shown patient preference for the timelier and more intimate text format, with patients reacting more, consuming more, and taking more key program actions. Our experience has been the same. We’ve demonstrated high patient satisfaction with text, leading to high response rates to surveys and tracking (which is critical when aggregating patient data for delivery to HCPs). This commitment to text support ultimately translates to a commitment to treatment long-term.

Finally, we’ve started advocating for text programs to be considered as Real-World-Evidence (RWE) to support market access efforts with payers. Text has the power to make CRM and RWE a more integrated venture–through a singular ability to capture RWE for payers and recognizable brand value for HCPs and patients.

So, go ahead and text ROI to 55150 and experience the power of text.