If you want to know what your audience wants, you can do a couple of different things. You can conduct surveys or focus group sessions or just pay close attention to how they behave on Twitter.
Express Scripts Canada does all of the above, and while we learn a lot by asking directly, we can glean even more simply by putting information out there, and observing how people respond. So with that, here are our top 3 tweets of Q3 2017, and what they tell us about our current and potential customers, our business and how the world sees us.
To clarify, these are our top tweets not in terms of number of eyeballs on them, but by engagement. These are the tweets that prompted people to like, reply or retweet.
This tweet from July linked to a previous blog about generic medication. Generics have gotten a lot of attention in recent years as brand-name drug costs have risen dramatically. Our audience is keenly interested in the topic because typically they are administrators tasked with bringing drug plan costs under control. The tweet calls attention by shattering a myth about generic drugs. That they alone are the answer to controlling drug plan costs.
An effective tweet, which brought a lot of people to the blog to learn more about generic drugs and the role they play in creating sustainable drug plans for the future. What we could and should have done was to include more information about the other strategies that Express Scripts Canada uses to help employers control their costs while delivering top-flight care for their employees. Of course there is a wealth of information on specialty medications, complex medical conditions and comprehensively managed plans on the website, and no doubt many of the visitors went on to learn more. We’ve included links in this piece, to be sure.
Also in late July, this tweet hit on a dilemma that is facing many employers that offer a prescription drug plan to their employees. How to continue offering the benefit, while taking action to control runaway costs?
The link in the tweet is to our 2016 Drug Trend Report, which presents the problem in very stark terms, but also offers solutions. In 2016, 14% of drug plan members accounted for 72% of plan spending. This stat, from the report, illustrates that the best way to rein in costs for employers is to offer extra support to these patients, who typically suffer from multiple complex medical conditions, and take a number of different medications.
Perhaps the lesson from the success of this tweet is that there is a hunger out there for the solutions we offer, and that it’s simply a matter of showing Canadians that lower costs for prescription medications can go hand-in-hand with a higher standard of care for patients. Canadians are very compassionate people, and we often balk at taking action on costs if we think it will mean that fellow Canadians will suffer because of it. At Express Scripts Canada, all of our solutions have the patient at the centre, and cost savings are never put before health outcomes.
Speaking of patient-centred solutions, this was our most engaging tweet of the quarter, and points to a special message from our president, Mike Biskey, about the Express Scripts Canada Pharmacy, a solution that is often misunderstood to be purely about cost savings. The message speaks to pharmacy members and other Canadians about the undeniable benefits of an active pharmacy solution.
With a relatively new solution like this one, myths and misconceptions abound, and clearly there was an appetite among employers using the solution, or thinking about it, to better understand what it is all about. Not to mention the curiosity of ordinary Canadians looking for a new way of managing their medications.
Ultimately, what we learn from looking at our top tweets is that Canadians are bombarded with a lot of general information about prescription drug prices, and about threats to the drug benefits they rely upon, and they want to know more. Why are costs escalating? By how much? Are generics helping? What other solutions are available to safeguard prescription drug benefits for themselves, and more importantly for future generations?
If we helped to answer even a few of these questions, we accomplished our goal of better-educating Canadians to these misunderstood but important issues. Because only with understanding are we able to work together toward solutions.