Pharma: Are You Ready To Optimize Your Digital Strategy NOW?

Here is my recent presentation, Digital Strategy in the NOW Economy: Proactive and Real-time as presented at The Social Media in Pharma Online Summit Conference.  While this digital strategy presentation is geared to Pharma and Healthcare, it is quite relevant for all marketers with an eye to reconsidering their digital approach in the NOW Economy which demands both new skills and changes in our marketing mindset.

Slide Content Overview:

  • The NOW Economy Demands…
  • Kick-Ass Digital Brand Strategy- It’s not about technology. It is about creating opportunities for the brand/company to build deeper relationships. Digital strategy must integrate into the brand strategy and strengthen the brand’s core promise.
  • Creating and Leveraging a Digital Brand Strategy requires new skills and a discipled, fluid process. Follow these six steps to greater success.
  • Five Imperatives to Boost Your Digital IQ- Concentrate your learning on these five critical success factors for today’s marketplace, starting with 1) designing content strategy, 2) delivering ‘perfect fit’, 3) thinking digital ecosystem, 4) fostering community and 5) getting over ‘lack of control’. Are there are others that you might suggest?
  • Go. Initiate. Enchant.- Health is Social- Try something new!

The challenges of INTEGRATION and how to best keep the brand’s core promise front and center appear to be top-of-mind to Pharma right now.

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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 Steve Jobs Do? 6 Marketing Imperatives for 2010 (part 1 of 4)

What Would Steve Jobs Do? This is the first of a four part series for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010…by taking a closer look and asking ourselves what three incredibly successful people and companies in business today would do…

The genesis for this series first came while reading Fortune’s CEO of the Decade and The Decade of Steve, and thinking about the question that Apple executives asked themselves over and over during Steve Job’s six month leave of absence in early 2009: What would Steve Jobs do? Recently, I picked up What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis (great book)… I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Google Do? And What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Might Marketers Do in 2010?

As you’re developing new products, services and/or marketing plans this year, here’s a question to ask yourself at each major milestone and decision point…

What Would Steve Jobs Do? The threshold for moving forward: Would it pass Steve’s test? In the past 10 years alone Steve Jobs has radically and lucratively reordered three markets –music, movies, and mobile telephones–and his impact on his original industry, computing has only grown. Continue reading

2010 Outlook: 10 Ways to Win With Patients and Improve DTC Efforts

[Full article: 2010 Outlook: Doom and Gloom For DTC? 10 Points for Winning with Patients, published in DTC Perspectives, December 2009]

Despite many gloomy predictions for DTC advertising and the pharma industry overall, there’s never been a better time for marketers to forward their brands and consumers’ lives with new thinking about what constitutes patient marketing in the 21st Century (DTC 21).  Ten prescriptions can help improve focus and strengthen DTC efforts in 2010.  Important media and technology trends are also “musts” to actively consider for those who want to bump impact and value.

  1. Adopt an updated definition for DTC that considers the full picture of how consumers will interpret and interact with a brand TODAY. This calls for attention beyond “big bang” marketing spends, and begs for identifying meaningful levers to drive education and growth. DTC is no longer just an awareness or acquisition vehicle to move “eyeballs” through a linear marketing funnel; it’s every influence and touch needed to bring new information and education, help convert, instill loyalty and inspire advocacy.  Continue reading

Strong Brand Core–More Core Than Ever?

This has been quite a year for pharma and marketers:  big market changes and budget cuts, not to mention a continued explosion of noise, with less time to absorb and respond.

As we head into quarter 4, I’ve been asking myself,

What disciplines would take good care of our brands in this vulnerable moment?

Creativity gives the brand wings.  David Ogilvy is famously quoted, “Give me the freedom of a tight creative brief.”  When the strategic core is strong, it serves as a foundation to produce the richest creative that can make your brand soar.  The triangle’s three points: meaning to consumers; elegance and balance; and rigorous execution act as foundational questions to help marketers check-in with their brand and test new strategies and tactics.

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Two Takes On Brand Promise

On vacation, I was struck by these two very different brand promises for two successful restaurants.  Like any brand, the promise goes deeper than any visual signage, but also takes in the product, touches and surround…the first impression of the exterior, the number of participants, the location etc. For example, one restaurant was in the heart of ‘fried clam country’ (Ipswich and Essex MA) and the other was in a fishing port (Salem MA),  further contributing to the believability of their brand promises.

We ate at the Clam Box, and I can understand how it’s been in business since 1935…awesome ‘chowda’ and fried claims-not to mention efficient and friendly service- And with an exterior that looks like a ‘clam box’,  I dare say that it differentiates itself among the many fried clam restaurants in the area…

We didn’t get to eat at the Lobster Shanty, but we wanted to with a promise of ‘cold’ beer, ‘great’ food and ‘friendly’ people…and of course it was jammed…

How strong is your brand promise? Is it differentiated? Does it come to life with each touch?

Pharma: Is Private-label Media a New Kind of Marketing?

The growing popularity of ‘private-label media’, as Booz & Co. like to call it, is one of the more provocative – and potentially disruptive- developments occurring in today’s marketing and media ecosystems, according to their recent report entitled, The Promise of Private-label Media.  The emergence of private label media represents both a compelling way to engage consumers and yet another challenge to long standing media business models - And the more that is spent on private-label media, the less that may be spent on traditional advertising, especially in the digital realm.

So what is private-label media?

Just about every company and brand has a website.  But today, many marketers are going much further. They are transforming their presence into powerful media channels. Private-label media offerings bring the brand directly to the consumer, and allow marketers to bypass traditional media. The term ‘private-label media’ usually refers to a company’s website and the turning of the website into a powerful media channel.  Online, consumers interact directly with the brand and other consumers, strengthening brand relationship, fostering new leads, testing new products and even negotiating discounts. (Definition by Ed McMann)

These are not digital infomercials; the best private label media connect consumers directly to brands. Consumers can design and test new products, enter online forums to talk to others who may share their perspective, and take advantage of unique brand offers and ancillary services.  Continue reading

Pharma: Should DTC TV Have A Place In Your 2010 Budget?

Everyday it seems that someone is reminding us of the demise of traditional DTC TV and broad based media in favor of the web and social media.

While web 2.0 continues to power health care today–critical to consumer health care information learning and sharing (How Social Are HC Consumers with their Info)–there are many who believe that traditional TV (when creatively executed) can still play a vital role, as part of the media mix, to help ‘surround the consumer’ and drive awareness, education and action, including engagement online and off. ( Trend Report 2009, MedAd News DTC Alive and Well,  May 2009, Magna Forecast, 2009

  • Interestingly, the recent debut and success of Hulu.com’s traditional TV advertising on this year’s Super Bowl has many online leaders, including Amazon, Zappos and Kayak, reconsidering traditional agencies and offline tactics to help create ‘fast’ awareness and define more broadly what they do (Adweek: Online Brands Turn to Traditional Ads)…”What we’ve found is that if we layer in a little bit of off line brand advertising, it improves  the ROI of our online direct response campaigns,” Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said. (Many Pharma brands have also found this to be true; TV helps drive web efficiencies in addition to generating quick awareness and MD requests…)  Continue reading