My 13 Favorite Business Books of 2009

As 2009 comes to a close, I want to share my thirteen favorite biz books from this year that I found myself writing the most “Notes in the Back of the Book“, and stimulating the greatest new thinking and ideas. The list of books covers social media, marketing and new marketing models, and innovation and leadership. For reference, here are also business book favorites by Fast Company, Mashable, Amazon and The Brand Bubble (John Gerzema).

If you’re looking to better understand and excel in today’s social media and web 2.0 worlds, here are four: Inbound Marketing is a must for anyone who wants to be found online, and is especially helpful for anyone who is actively considering how to get started with inbound marketing. Written by the leaders of Hubspot, they know what they’re talking about. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can tap into the power of these networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is essential to building online reputations, those who traffic trust are “trust agents” and key people for any business.  Putting the Public Back into Public Relations shows how to reinvent PR around two-way conversations with traditional and new influencers, bringing the “public” back into public relations. Both are consistent thought leaders in the area of PR. Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik begins to bring accountability to web 2.0 online programs with focus on customer- centered thinking and measurement, and builds upon his 2007 book.

Of course, to participate in our ever changing digital and social world, strategic marketing and a deep customer focus are still paramount.  How is marketing evolving? In Marketing with Meaning, Bob Gilbreath outlines the next evolutionary step in a progression following direct marketing and permission marketing. The book calls for the end of “push and sell” marketing in favor of adding value to customers’ lives. Excelling in marketing also starts with listening…In Listen First. Sell Later, Bob Poole outlines the benefits of listening FIRST. And to remind us about customer- centered marketing, I Love You More Than My Dog by Jeanne Bliss is a great read. Who can argue that companies like Lands End didn’t get it right early on? Continue reading

Some of the Best Healthcare Blogs and eBooks of 2009

As we move into 2010, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned this year, much of it triggered by the tremendous number of thought leader blogs, eBooks and white papers that I’ve read this year.  While there is no way to capture all the great work happening 24/7, here’s a smattering of a few (well maybe more than a ‘few’) that you may want to read or re-read as we get ready to step into 2010…

Topics cover a range- from social media and technology, to ePatients and marketing, including implications for Pharma and Healthcare, in the US and Europe. Please feel free to share other posts that you found valuable. Happy reading…  Continue reading

Pharma: Is Your Marketing Designed To Engage And Educate Or Sell?

As Marketers, we’ve long been conditioned to “sell”, also known as the fourth Marketing P: Promotion.  Increasingly, however, the world of Marketing is shifting from a model of selling and shouting to one of listening, engagement, dialogue and education. Pharma is no exception to this change.  A recent study by about.com outlined in eMarketer points to success with current pharma advertising, but also highlights opportunities for improvement that are consistent with the continued shift in consumer mindset.

Key Takeaways

Following diagnosis from their Physician, most consumers use the web to find more information about their condition, a smaller percent use search engines to better understand treatment options or the particular medication that they’ve been prescribed.  Only 35% trust what the doctor says and fill the prescription without further search or education.

Currently, more than four in 10 Internet users told About.com that pharma ads made them aware of treatment options and educated them about symptom and conditions; 17% felt like they could speak more knowledgeably with their doctor because of pharmaceutical advertising.  Continue reading

Pharma and Marketers: How Do You Elegantly Use What You Have?

Pharma and Marketers alike, as we approach the end of summer, perhaps a little introspection is warranted?

In the latest McKinsey Quarterly, Dan Vasella, CEO and chairman of Novartis, shares his personal approach to management and leadership, and discusses health care reform, the economic downturn, and executive compensation…During the discussion on compensation, he poses an interesting question worth pondering:

“…I think it much more important to ask, ‘How do you use what you have?’ It’s like with talents you have, do you really use them for the best of society? Do you give something? How do you use the money you have? Is it just to have more zeros on the bank account at the end of the year? Or do you do something right with it?”

So in these tough economic times and with healthcare reform looming, might it not be important for each of us to ask:  How does our business, or our brand(s) use what they have?

How do we use our talents to add maximum value?

Continue reading

Pharma: It’s All About a People-Driven Economy, Stupid!

All summer, I’ve been watching a nearby farm’s crop of sunflowers grow and reach for the sun…In taking some pictures this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice all the bees busy pollinating these sunflowers. Interesting, it is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee. (Wikipedia) How does this relate to Pharma and Social Media Networks?

Bees may be solitary or may live in various types of communities. The most advanced of these are eusocial colonies found among the honey bees, bumblebees, and stingless bees.

Eusociality (Greek eu: “good/real” + “social”) is a term used for the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification.

  1. Reproductive division of labor (with or without sterile castes)
  2. Overlapping generations
  3. Cooperative care of young

So where do we humans fit in? How social are we really? Is Social Media a close cousin of Eusociality?

Continue reading

2009: Do you have a ‘Stop Doing’ List to Focus Your Marketing?

As we were developing our website to pay off: “Elegant Prescriptions for Leading Performance”, I stumbled upon Matthew E May and his book The Elegant Solution, and went on to read his two “Change This” manifestos:

Elegant Solutions: Breakthrough Thinking the Toyota Way and Mind of the Innovator.  I was struck with Matt’s insight and unique perspective on Toyota’s ability to continually innovate and produce elegant solutions. I was instantly a fan…

Matt wrote a blog to usher in 2009 that has stuck with me since I read it a few weeks ago–so much so– I would like to share it:  “2009: Don’t Just Do Something.”  It flips on its ear how we often approach problems and life: …always looking for what to do, rather than what to not do.  Continue reading

Consumer Healthcare Marketing- Pursuing Happiness…

Pursuing Happiness  

It’s in our Bill of Rights –

It’s fundamental to the force of American enterprise

And it will drive DTC ROI

So much is shifting in our world.  What’s happening with consumers today is very different than it was a year ago, or even 6 months ago.  The mindset changes run deep – going all the way to peoples’ views of happiness and what constitutes a meaningful life.   

The book Enough. True Measures of Money, Business and Life by John C. Bogle [Founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group] and an article from American Psychologist, January 2000 reveal that:

It’s not money that determines our happiness, but some combination of these three attributes:   1) autonomy and the ability “to do our own thing”,   2) maintaining connectedness with others and  3) enjoying exercising competence and learning.

How we experience ourselves is a common denominator. 

 “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou

Brands that enable people to get what they want win the day.   As Healthcare Marketers, we may be able to provide some of these intangibles…  Continue reading