Marketers: What Would A Pharma Marketing Champ Do? 9 Imperatives for 2010 (part 4 of 4)

Muhammad-Ali: 1976 World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. | Photo: Frank Tewkesbury/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
This is the final post of a four-part series.

What Would Steve Jobs Do?

What Would Google Do?

What Would Jake and Rocket Do?

These are champs.

What would a ‘new marketing’ champ do in Pharma and Healthcare?

Here are 9 imperatives I see for Pharma Marketers as we enter 2010 and a new decade:

  1. Adopt human-centered thinking across everything you do. Both Steve Jobs and Google share a relentless focus on knowing and pleasing their core customer – the consumer. No detail is ignored if it brings value. Importantly, these champs don’t think of consumers sporadically or when it’s convenient, but in every decision and action they take.  The customer experience is front and center from beginning to the end.Pharma and Healthcare marketers: are patients at the center of everything you do? Really? As Steve Jobs might ask, are you taking full responsibility for your patient/e-patient user experience? Are you thinking about every touch along the treatment pathway, that is no longer a straight linear line, but made of multiple touches, information and influences often hitting at once and with circular repetition? (You may also want to read: Is Your Brand Patient-Centered? 5 Critical Success Factors)
  2. Get outta town. Experience and see what your patients see. What are your patients’ challenges? How could you help? How can you insure that learning is turned into action back in the office? Who should ‘own’ a particular learning or insight and see it through? Pharma and Healthcare Marketers: is listening and learning part of your everyday doings? What are consumers and patients saying about you? your product? your service? What are they saying on twitter? Facebook? patient communities? How are patients rating your brand on sites such as iGuard? (You may also want to read Jonathan Richman’s Dose of Digital blog: The Best Pharma Products According to Patients)
  3. Simplify.  Challenge your product and marketing design: Is it simple enough? Simplify your products and services; simplify your customers’ lives; simplify your own life…Create simple experiences.  Think about starting a search on Google…or picking up an iPod…Pharma and Healthcare Marketers: During every step of product development and marketing planning: stop and ask yourself: If Steve Jobs was the Product Manager on this, what would he do? Is the design and implementation  of your product/program flawless?
  4. Embrace publicness and openness. Transform your relationship with the public in every quarter of the organization.  You may extend this new relationship in many ways from blogging, interacting with bloggers and e-Patients, participating in twitter or Facebook, customer service and sharing ideas.  Overtime, you may even truly involve customers in the real-time design process for products and/or services…But ‘publicness’ is much more than having a web site. It’s about taking actions in public so people can see what you do and react to it, make suggestions, and tell their friends.  Living in public is a matter of enlightened self interest. You have to be public to be found. Every time you decide not to make something public, you create the risk of a customer not finding you or not trusting you because you’re keeping secrets….the more public you are, the easier you can be found, the more opportunities your have…(Read Privacy (and Publicness) by Jeff Jarvis Buzz Machine)
  5. Don’t try to control content and distribution, and think about how you can bring your customers ‘elegant organization’.  First, think in distributor ways.  Go to your consumer whenever and however you can.  This is still the opposite of many companies who continue to think centralized and want to make consumers come to them.  They spend large dollars to advertise to attract consumers.  Many try to make their home pages into destinations.  In sum, while many internet sites think of themselves as an end–Google thinks of itself as a means.  While many see the job of their home page to take you to where they want you to go, Google sees its home page as the way to get you to where youwant to go.  Google distributes itself.  Google enables others to use tools as they wish. Think of your site as ‘answers for every question you can imagine’.Second, it will also be helpful to think about ‘elegant organization’ as Jeff Jarvis outlined in What Would Google Do?Mark Zuckerberg originally coined the phrase to stress that communities already exist… As marketers, entrepreneurs and technologists, we can benefit from these communities by providing them with elegant organization. Help them do what they are already doing better.  Pharma: how can you aggregate and curate useful and valuable content for your patients/ customers? How can you replace focus on mass market with focus on mass of niches? And how can you provide helpful content consistently?
  6. Think mobile. Engage real-time with your customers 24/7. Mobile doesn’t have to be just about apps; consider the value of texting, geolocators, and/or the use of quick response (QR) codes for simplification…
  7. Takers may eat well, but givers sleep well. While most will wait for the FDA guidelines to be published for social media and web, some will move forward to listen, learn and to “give as well as to take.” There are still opportunities for Pharma to learn, and support patients and their communities, especially if Pharma starts to see themselves not only as products, but as a service, a platform, a means to enabling others. The bottom line: help your patients (and customers) build value. One new example may be the launch of the new Patients Like Me Epilepsy Community in Partnership with UCB. (While UCB is a client, I have nothing to do with their epilepsy business.)
  8. Do one thing really really well–focus on what’s most important.  Each champ does one thing really, really well.  Google never loses sight of what search means to their business strategy, and in their continuous focus for improvement of search, it continually spurs other applications and new products/services. Apple never loses site of flawless and simple design for maximum consumer appeal. Jake and Rocket for Life is Good always stay close to their roots of humor and humility. What does your company or brand do really well? Where can you focus resources to continually innovate?
  9. Raise Your Bar. Good isn’t good enough.  If you don’t think it would pass Steve Job’s bar, then don’t let it pass yours…Or you can think like Google: being great is a starting point, not an endpoint. But as Steve Jobs says, Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Welcome to the new decade of new-marketing–any other imperatives that you’d like to add or delete from this list? Please do share!


3 thoughts on “Marketers: What Would A Pharma Marketing Champ Do? 9 Imperatives for 2010 (part 4 of 4)

  1. Hi Ellen. I like this point especially: “While many see the job of their home page to take you to where they want you to go, Google sees its home page as the way to get you to where you want to go.” What if a hospital had a column on its site, or its enews, with a link each time to a group tackling one disease or another–like the PatientsLikeMe Epilepsy site you mention. This would be a direct service and a way of saying not “come to us and we’ll cure you” but “here’s something that could help you (and even tho it’s not at our place, we want to share it).”

    • Jane,
      Thanks for your comments; my apologies for the delay…missed a day flying back from biz trip.
      I like your idea of adding value for patients even if it means sending them to another site. Maybe there are some other places that you can reach out to people in your community, and add value to them in their own environment… that might eventually lead them back to your hospital site?
      Really appreciate your continued involvement here…Ellen

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