Pharma DTC At The Crossroads? 2011 Prevention DTC Study Results

Here are six thought starters I see coming out of Prevention Magazine’s 14th Annual Pharmaceutical Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising Study.*

1. Generic growth continues to put downward pressure on DTC ROI’s.

2. DTC continues to positively impact conversations with the doctor, but there is a general decline in patients receiving the prescription drug–a significant drain on ROI.

3. Consumers value Pharma websites, but opportunity exists to improve their value with less focus on ‘benefits-only’ messaging.

4. Consumers are consistently looking for Pharma to provide more information about the safety and risks of prescription medicines.

5. Social Media and Mobile Health are still in their infancy in helping consumers to gather information about prescription medicines and to manage their healthcare.

6. Consumers are interested in new health IT and advanced treatment solutions to help improve their health.

1.      Generic use continues to rise with 36% reporting that they’ve switched to a generic prescription or OTC medicine in the past 12 months to reduce healthcare costs.  With Generic medications now accounting for 78% of all retail prescriptions dispensed (IMS Health), this has sizable potential implications for any brand’s DTC Adverting ROI.  Continue reading

TV Isn’t Dead. Social Media Is Over-Hyped. Highlights From DTCN2011

Here are six themes that I took away from this year’s DTC National Conference, which took place in Boston April 6-8, 2011.  You can also read the tweets from #DTCN2011, Wendy Blackburn’s recap of Day 1, or take in the video interviews  by Pixels & Pills.

1.       Everybody has a story…Major life ‘events’ are what catapult a person, patient or caregiver to step into an active e-patient and patient advocate role. Myrtle Potter’s near tragic medical event is leading her down the patient advocate path and focusing her efforts behind improving patient literacy and engagement.

At WEGO Health , they say that each health activist has a unique story.  However, they become a health activist when they are talking about health every day and offering support and advice to others online—to the tune of  an average online audience of more than 15,000 every month. Continue reading

Keep Your Brand Healthy And Thriving: Complimentary eBook

With 2011 galloping along and 2012 planning just around the corner, we’re excited to share our Brand Champion Health Check  — a complimentary eBook designed to help marketers and business leads assess their company and brand’s health, and to consider what actions will power successful growth.

While the eBook centers on the Pharma and healthcare industry, it is also highly relevant to any consumer brand.

Champions know that staying in top health is critical and that early detection is key to avoiding costly down time and poor performance – can even mean the difference for survival. However, unlike the many patient health screens available or the ease by which consumers can go for their annual physical, marketers do not have ready access to a thoughtful, comprehensive health check-up.

The Brand Champion Health Check screens three parameters

 

 

 

 

 

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Data Visualization And Why All Healthcare Marketers Should Care

In a world where we are bombarded by information, targeted by mass media and social networks, what can we do to make our message heard? How can healthcare, DTC and consumer marketers dimensionalize communications in a way that draws attention and focuses learning to important information and messaging?

Data visualization provides an increasingly powerful means to not only communicate information clearly and effectively, but the wise will consider it critical to help position their companies and brands in digital marketing today.

As outlined by FFunction in it’s report ‘Data Visualization: How To Position Your Company in Digital Marketing’, “The power of visualizations comes from the fact that they stimulate the brain in a different way, by focusing attention on the sensorial and rational sides simultaneously. They act as a discovery game that incites one to focus on the displayed information that might otherwise be left unnoticed.” Continue reading

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

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

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

Pharma: Are Guard Rails Useful To Our Social Media Future?

There’s a reason why there was such a great turnout for the Digital Pharma Unconference this week…Hats off to Shwen Gwee, Jason Youner of eXL pharma, and all the speakers and participants. (#DigPharm)

Before I talk about Guard Rails, here are three other good reads from fellow bloggers: Steve Woodruff’s I Was There (Digital Pharma 2009), Jonathan Richman’s Dose of Digital How Pharma Overcomplicates Social Media, and John Mack’s Pharma Marketing Blog: Pharma Social Media Crips vs. Legal/Regulatory Bloods.  Also check out the tools that Fard Jonmar and Jonathan Richman used in their social media workshop. Or Digitas Health Social Media POV given by Sarah Larcker of Digitas.

So what do we mean by Guard Rails? The Wikipedia definition reads something like this:

Guard rail, sometimes referred to as guide rail or railing, is a system designed to keep people or vehicles from (in most cases unintentionally) straying into dangerous or off-limits areas.”

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Pharma: Dip Your Toes and Other Tips From DTC Perspectives Conference

We’re in the midst of conference-frenzy.  Last week I was able to attend day two of DTC Perspective’s Fall Conference: Reform & Refocus  (For twitter followers: #dtcfall). Here are some of the key themes that I picked up:

  • Dip-your-toes approach. This was said over and over about social media. Get started, and evolve as you learn and your company becomes more comfortable with the effort. (This is also a common theme in Digital Pharma’s conference taking place this week. #digpharm)
  • Remember your overall marketing strategy–Before you clarify objectives  for social media and start running with tactics…
  • Give the team TIME. Initiating new social media programs took many more hours and resources than originally planned. And there is always the unexpected…
  • The Internet is for marketing-not just advertising. This also requires a shift in mindset. (Bill Drummy of Heartbeat Digital)
  • Technology is moving oh soooo fast-Mobile, video, ‘smart’ advertising using behavioral data, gaming and of course social media are musts to be more than experimenting with in 2010.

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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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