Pharma Marketers: 6 Key Skills Every Brand Champion Will Possess

In our ever-changing media landscape, coupled with increasingly powerful ePatient communities, a demand for new standards has arisen.  As a result, Pharma [and in reality all marketers] must accelerate their skills in six key areas to separate their marketing communications, and become brand champions. 

Read the full article in DTC Perspectives March 2011: Tough Demands to Galvanize Marketing Communications: 2011 Brand Champions Will Possess Six Key Skills.

Every marketer knows that spurring brand and patient success requires building on wisdom from the past, while honing new abilities to educate, motivate and converse with patients and their families.  Savvy marketers know that the 4P’s – also renamed SIVA [Solution, Information, Value, Access] to provide greater customer focus- have never been more critical.  In addition, 2011 brand champions are challenged to create Michael Porter’s “shared value”, accelerating skills in six areas:

  1. Dynamic listening and action, real-time. Astute marketers take dynamic listening seriously- they know who to listen to, where to listen, what’s most important to take note of, and are eminently geared to take action by responding nimbly to new learning.  Champion marketers know that listening without action is as dangerous as acting without listening. Continue reading

Seven Life Or Death Lessons from e-Patient Dave.

Reading “Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig” is like having a long, wonderful chat, and even a few chuckles, with e-Patient Dave himself.

This is Dave’s story, not only of surviving stage-IV cancer, but of the birth of a cancer survivor now focused on opening the world’s eyes to what is being called “participatory medicine”.  Patients who are—Empowered, Engaged, Equipped, Enabled, Educated—acting as effective partners with their clinicians.

“Participatory Medicine is a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health, and in which providers encourage and value them as full partners.”

-Society for Participatory Medicine, April 2010

 

Seven Life or Death Lessons from e-Patient Dave’s story:

  1. Lesson 1:  It’s up to each one of us. We have a choice. It’s our responsibility to know and accept a certain measure of responsibility for our individual recovery from disease and disability…
  2. Lesson 2:  When your instincts say to scram, scam.  Or if  your doctor  thinks your feelings are your problem, you might want to find someone else — Net, It’s worth traveling far to find a doctor you work well with— We are each responsible for  our choice of doctors.  Make it a conscious decision. Continue reading

Celebrate Rare Disease Day and Peer-to-Peer Healthcare

February 28th is Rare Disease Day , a day dedicated to raising awareness of the nearly 7,000 rare diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans.  In other words, as many as one in ten Americans are suffering from a rare disease.

Globally, rare diseases affect more than 250 Million people. [Read more on FDA’s site for Rare Disease]  Find out how you can support Rare Disease awareness at NORD and EURORDIS

In the U.S., a rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 people. This definition comes from the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 and is slightly different from the definition used in Europe.

Besides dealing with their specific medical problems, people with rare diseases struggle to get a proper diagnosis, find information, get treatment and to connect with others like themselves. As expected, the rarity of their conditions makes everything more difficult.

With the explosive growth of the internet and social media platforms, people with rare diseases are connecting at unprecedented rates.  Rare disease marketing is fast becoming the poster child for pharma’s version of long-tail marketing. Continue reading

Pharma Marketers: Eight Things We Might Learn From Zappos.com

Here’s my take after reading Delivering Happiness:  A Path To Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh CEO, Zappos.com, Inc. While it’s true that Zappos lives in a less regulated business environment than the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, Tony’s standards for communicating with consumers are now part of the context of our work. Patients have come to expect Zappos- level experiences.  This blog accepts that challenge:  what might a pharma company or hospital might look like if Tony were CEO…

Eight marketing insights for Pharma (or any healthcare or consumer business for that matter):

1. Are you sitting at the right table? If not, it’s never too late to change! It’s easy to get caught up and engrossed in what you’re currently doing, and forget that you even have the option to change tables. It’s also easy to overlook that the game starts even before you sit down in a seat… Don’t let inertia win, be sure you’re playing in the right game—one that you can both win at and fulfills your goals.

 While Tony learned this lesson during a phase of heavy poker play, he switched tables quite a few times during his life, and certainly for Zappos, they switched tables when they shifted the company strategy to focus on customer service and experience as a brand differentiator. It caused a shift in their business model from one of drop-shipping to one of carrying their own inventory so that they could be in control of their customers’ experiences…What’s the game your pharma co is playing? Continue reading

A New Reality in DTC Advertising?

The last few months, I’ve been deeply entrenched in “Execution” for an important client. So needless to say, I’ve been thinking A LOT about what it takes to move from strong strategy to superb execution, and more specifically, what it takes to achieve what I call “High Return Execution” (HRE).    Look for more thoughts on HRE in the upcoming weeks… (And my sincere apologies for the resulting lack of blogging and staying connected with many of my friends’ blogs these last few months)

Today, I want to share a personal experience.  Last week my team led an advertising shoot for a prescription product’s new multi-channel campaign we are intimately involved with.  There was much to feel good about – the creative idea tested very well and is strong. We also had a terrific creative and production team, a wonderful photographer who we’ve all worked with before, and we were shooting in a venue that turned out to be magical…not to mention the beautiful picture- perfect, dry sunny days … [How can you  complain about spending two days on an unspoiled 200 acre ranch in northern California?]

But as I flew home from the shoot, reflecting upon the previous few days, I kept feeling there was something even more special … something that I rarely feel after shoots … and then I realized … Continue reading

5 Marketing and Social Networking Lessons from the Dead…

hippieshop.com

In honor of my “Deadhead” hubby and the millions of others out there, and the pending Grateful Dead Archive soon to open at the University of California at Santa Cruz, it’s a great time to recognize the Grateful Dead for their marketing and social networking prowess.

But even if you’re not a Deadhead, the Atlantic’s Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead  is a must read article.

The Grateful Dead Archive, scheduled to open soon at the University of California at Santa Cruz, will be a mecca for academics of all stripes: from ethnomusicologists to philosophers, sociologists to historians.  But the biggest beneficiaries may prove to be business scholars and management theorists, who are discovering that the Dead were visionary geniuses in the way they created “customer” value”, promoted social networking, and did strategic business planning. -by Joshua Green

Why Should corporate America or Pharma and Healthcare Marketers care?  The Dead pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by business and ‘Internet business models’.

Here are 5 Marketing and Social Networking Lessons that I took away from the Grateful Dead’s incredible marketing success. Continue reading

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) Continue reading

Marketers: What Would Jake and Rocket Do? 13 Imperatives for 2010 (part 3 of 4)

What Would Jake and Rocket Do?
This is the third of a four part series for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010… In case you’re just coming in now, here is the first of the series: What Would Steve Jobs Do? And the second: What Would Google Do?

Who are Jake and Rocket you ask? Jake and his trusty dog Rocket have become icons of optimism, and Life is good ® America’s little clothing brand that could-that is trying to spread good vibes all over the world. Having recently returned from a few days of holiday skiing in Vermont, and the proverbial t-shirt buying with ‘my three sons’… Life is good was all around us spreading their optimism and good cheer.

Here are some of Jake and Rocket’s insights that all marketers-Consumer, B2B and Pharmaceutical/Healthcare – may want to pay attention to in 2010. Continue reading

Marketers: What Would Google Do? 10 Imperatives for 2010 (part 2 of 4)

What Would Google Do? What would the fastest-growing company in history and a model for thinking in new ways do? Even this week, Google makes waves with their launch of their new android-based Nexus One (MIT Says Yes).

Welcome to the second of a four part serious for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010… If you missed post 1, read: What Would Steve Jobs Do?  And by all means, I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Would Savvy Marketers Do?

“Once upon a time, all roads led to Rome. Today, all roads lead from Google.” – Jeff Jarvis

What Would Google Do?

1.    Focus on the user and all else will follow. Design with simplicity. Google strives to provide the best user experience possible—from the user/customer’s point of view.  Google often forgoes paying for marketing and instead focuses on creating something so great that customers distribute it—it goes viral. Continue reading