Cannes, France Facebook, Allergan and FCB teamed up to talk about building connected bridges between brands and real people. Meredith Guerriero, Head of Healthcare at Facebook, focused on the transfer of power that's happening: "Mobile has changed us and it's affecting each and every brand and person in this room. The mobile shift isn't happening; it has happened. It's not a trend; it's a new way of life."

By The Numbers

  • People are spending 3 hours / day on mobile devices
  • 1 million people / day are going online for the very first time and many are bypassing the computer entirely
  • 2.2 billion new mobile connections are activated every year (that's 14 new subscriptions every second)
  • 28% of U.S. consumers say their smartphone influenced their decision to buy a particular OTC drug
  • Millions use Facebook to find someone else facing a similar health crisis. In fact, there are 6 million healthcare related groups and 700,000 million people belong to them

New Solutions

Facebook is building solutions that fill a key gap: doctors' and healthcare organizations' ability to give the right information to the right person at the right time. They've had some early wins:

  • Facebook worked with UNICEF, using aggregated and anonymized data, to warn at-risk Brazilians about Zika virus. 82% of those reached reported they'd take action to protect themselves.
  • Through their "safety check" feature, over 1 billion people have been notified that a loved one is safe during a crisis

New Investments

They're also looking for ways to better support pharma and our unique needs as an industry. In fact they recently shifted key policies and made new investments to respond to the industry:

  • Pharma can turn off comments, in both text and ads
  • The 20% text rule is exempted
  • New ad units make it easy to use existing creative and layover scrolling ISI
  • New improvements in measurement are rolling out (including early exploration of looking at prescription lift)

Carey Reynolds, Director of Marketing, Allergan US Eye Care, RESTASIS Consumer, said that early leaders on Facebook – like Gilenya and Bayer – were the inspiration for how they built the RESTASIS Facebook community. But, what really drove the decision for Allergan was their patients. As a media channel alone, the reach was there. But the trends they were seeing made it even more important: more empowered patients, people looking for input from their social networks, etc.

Reynolds partnered with her regulatory team to lay the groundwork. Allergan was a late adopter – so there were no rules in place. They established a community where patients can come to comment with questions and stories. The brand is able to answer their posts, direct them to resources and learn from their experiences.

Overall, Allergan believes that it's essential that patients are able to find the community themselves. They need to discover the resource. But, mobile and advertising can become very interesting at the point of care. There, people are very much in the mindset of looking for new solutions and tackling health challenges. A mobile engagement can be much more influential than a nearby pamphlet.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.