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

Stepping up in 2009: Knowing What Consumers Want- Today

No one doubts that Consumers’ deep feelings and emotions-what they really want -will impact the way they think about your company, brand and category.  Nor that those wants keep changing in response to a tumultuous world.

How can marketers keep nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, and mind both open to change and focused on the deep insights we need to stay relevant?

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A rigorous use of research techniques can help go beyond what Consumers typically say–to what they deeply feel and think in their hearts and minds. It’s there – in their often unspoken emotions – that new “aha’s” or insights are hidden that might drive action and reveal how your brand can uniquely respond.

Let the competition give in to impatience and costly temptations of believing that they already know, that their brand today is that same as last year, or that segments are just like them.  Mining for treasure takes a bit of time upfront, paying off by enabling an elegant solution.  Continue reading

The Rigors of 2009: What Consumers Want Today

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10 Essentials for Marketing to Healthcare Consumers

What happens now?  Change and consumer power are facts of life. How to become leaders of change rather than at the effect of it? How to optimize our brands in the current environment?

Ten thoughts to consider: 

  1. While consumers have generally put medicines over less essential purchases, especially for life threatening conditions, there will continue to be increasing pressure from generics, and consumers will place more consideration at each prescription refill.   Doctors are likely to consider the impact of a prescription on their patients’ pocketbooks.  Continued spread of ‘gap’ impacting patient adherence – not filling on time or not at all – trying to spread the length of time between scripts…i.e. skipping weekends, skipping days,  or taking less when feeling ok….or stopping if not seeing and feeling the value.  Perhaps an opportunity to expand how consumers observe Rx benefits?
  2. People want to learn and hear from others like them, not from the pharma industry.  Marketers can create more opportunities to build community and dialogue. But using social media often involves accepting less control over marketing communications.  It’s a huge challenge for brands to design how to play in this world, and find the right balance to engage the consumer within ever- stricter DDMAC requirements and the threat of a less-friendly political environment.  Continue reading

Stepping up to Change in 2009…Five Marketers’ Imperatives

It’s official:  In December, the National Bureau of Economic Research declared what most Americans already knew: the US economy has been in recession since December 2007.   2008 was a year of enormous change; we’re just beginning to see the effects.

The greatest mistakes we can make – and it will be tempting – is to assume that it’s over or that our brands will somehow be immune.  Marketers are challenged to keep these 5 critical imperatives front and center:

1. Identifying new ways to drive ROI. Ensuring that less can do more is an exercise in elegance.

‘An elegant solution is one in which the optimal outcome is achieved with the minimum expenditure of effort and expense. ‘  – Mathew May, The Elegant Solution.

Elegant solutions will be ever so critical as budgets get the squeeze, requiring razor sharp focus and prioritization.

‘The more complexity there is in the market, the more that something simple stands out.’  John Maeda (MIT Lab)- The Laws of Simplicity.

Elegance requires rigor as well as creativity.  Tried and true solutions are not going to win the day.  Continue reading