Insight into the needs of diabetic patients in South Africa

Understanding your customers’ needs is key to providing them with excellent service. Great customer care involves getting to know your customers so well that you can anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations. Ethnographic research enables you to gain emic insight into the lived realities of your customers.

Our client, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies approached us to provide insight into the lives of South Africans living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. We focused specifically on their adaptation to daily life and key issues they face. We were asked to develop a patient-centric strategy and action plan to assist our Client in finding ways in which to improve their patients lives.

In order to achieve this we conducted ethnographic research with patients across the major metropolitan areas of South Africa. Spending significant time engaging with each patient in their home environment, we were able to obtain rich data on the lived reality of the disease.

We conducted in-depth interviews with patients on issues they had been dealing with since their diagnosis, focusing mainly on their adaptation to treatment, initiation to insulin and the psychological and physical effects of the disease in everyday life.

We provided our Client with a detailed audio-visual understanding of how South African’s live with diabetes; as well as a patient-centric strategy that focused on how they could touch their patients’ lives through better education, communication, and support – as well as improved branding and advertising.