Case Study

How to Use Social Media for Market Research

Market Research

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In preparation for partnering meetings in Japan, our client needed quick, but insightful understanding of diabetes treatment from the perspective of the patient. In response, KMK mined Tobyo, a social media website to analyze diabetes patient diaries and develop a deep dive view of the Japanese diabetes patient experience.
Market research in social media is the process of gathering quantitative and/or qualitative data from social media platforms to understand social, consumer, or market trends. In this case study, a client needed to understand the patient flow of a long-term disease in the global market to be better prepared for partnering meeting in Japan. KMK provided deepen understanding of the T2D patient experience in Japan to support commercial decisions.


To understand patient experiences in Japan, KMK investigated a social media which is a consolidator of diaries and blogs created by patients suffering from over 1,373 diseases to target at the diabetes diarist demographics.
We further tailored data to include only accessible and relevant high-quality profiles to generate a relatively recent picture of patient experience for use in this analysis. The quotes from patient’s diaries include diagnosis, cost of therapy, physician relationships, personal control and goals, etc. These patient stories touch on three key elements that are different from the US and impact the patient experience
• Length of hospital stays
• Obesity rates
• Prevalence and diagnosis rates of T2D
With this understanding we developed patient journey visualization from diagnosis, to marshal resources, to treatment and experience, which eventually contribute back to the resources as a loop where our clients can see opportunities and challenges to step in


This usage of social media allowed our clients to understand the key factors in relevance to the disease condition, for example, the associations among hospitalization, body condition and diagnosis rates.
The stories also suggested ways in which T2D patients in Japan experience the disease in different ways from patients in the US as opportunities and challenges that the client considered in addressing the Japanese market. In a word, our market research using social media as a point of penetration helped our clients to enrich discussions with potential partners, KOLs and other potential stakeholders, as well as to inform future research endeavors.

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