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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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

What Will Facebook Lite Mean To Pharma and Marketers?

Just when the broader consumer population is beginning to get comfortable using Facebook, and Marketers are continuing to build out their brand’s Facebook page(s), Facebook Lite launches in the US and India.  (Techcrunch)

Facebook Lite is a faster, slimed-down, simpler way for people to keep in touch with friends…and looks to be moving a step closer to the simpleness of Twitter’s offering…

Originally intended to be used in countries where high speed Internet connections are sparse or non-existent, Facebook realized there’s a real desire among many of its users to have a smaller, simpler, more elegant, version of the service.  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?

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Leadership: The First Unassisted Paraplegic to Summit Mt Kilimanjaro

Think about using only your arms to crank 528,000 revolutions of your pedals to reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro! 

Click to watch the video and participate in helping Chris to reach his dream.

While this blog is usually focused on pharma, healthcare 2.0 and consumer marketing…Today, I’m writing to help out a friend, Chris Waddell, who is undertaking a project to help countless other disabled people [estimated at 600 million globally and nearly 1 in 10]. Chris is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness of the plight, and potential, of the global disabled community.  He is seeking contributions to fund both his climb and the making of a documentary about his climb.  What makes Chris’s undertaking and leadership so compelling is that he himself is a paraplegic.  [Learn more about Project One Revolution]

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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

Can Pharma Marketers Glean Insight From 10 Successful Entrepreneurs?

In a recent article by Inc., a group of visionaries share their reflections on the rise to prominence of entrepreneurship, and how their lives and perspectives have changed over the course of the past 30 years. What insights surrounding innovation and leadership can Pharma Marketers glean today?

1.  Donny Deutsch: There are No Geniuses 

This frees you up to think “I can do that”  ( …We desperately need this kind of thinking in business right now…)

2.  Scott Cook: Why Culture Matters 

“People who suggest the end of the workplace totally misunderstand the social nature of work.  There is a social fabric to work.”  His greatest entrepreneurial legacy has been fostering an environment of open-mindedness and a culture where great ideas are nurtured  (Sound familiar in Pharma’s highly political environment? I don’t think so…)

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How Many Customers Would Bring You Soup If They Knew You Were Sick?

Soup metric…is the number of people in your social network that you know would bring you

soup if they knew you were sick and/or get your back in any other real friend way – to help you feel better OR help your career.

flickr.com/photos/Daniel Greene

In her blog, Tara Hunt writes: “There is a misconception that there is some sort of delineation between your close-knit friends and those who are in your business network. I believe this is the result of extending the concept of bonded and bridged social ties that was first distinguished by Robert Putnum and more recently extended and discussed in business concepts by people like Ronald Burt. Though I see value in both building close (bonded) ties with people while extending the reach of your network and expanding your loose (bridged) ties, I am perplexed by the notion of dismissing the power of those connections closest to you.  Continue reading

Twitter reaches 9.3 Million Visitors…Pharma Marketers Beware!

Twitter seems to be everywhere, a national rage, bolstered by the media and such heavy weights as Obama and Oprah leading the charge…

The latest numbers released by ComScore are astounding–In one month’s time, Twitter jumped 131%, growing 5 million  visitors to reach 9.3 million US visitors in March…

But what does this incredible growth mean for marketers today?

Assuming that Twitter is here to stay– and not a fad– what skills should every marketer hone to be most successful in the Twittersphere?  Continue reading

Neuroscience in Business: What we can’t do while ‘multi-tasking’

The brain does not multi-task. This simple biological fact has huge implications for business…says Marsha Shenk in her blog “Neuroscience in Business: What we can’t do while Multi-Tasking.”

Marsha, long time friend, business anthropologist, and student of leadership in commerce is in the continual search for how organizations and the people in them can do more than succeed, but thrive in today’s tumultuous environment…

So what if your corporate culture accepts-even demands-multi-tasking? (Do you know one that doesn’t these days?)

As Marsha writes, “You’re as sharp as a drunk driver. You will miss-and misinterpret- as much of what is going on around you as someone who could be arrested for DWI…

Not only will you miss important information, you certainly will not generate new questions or solutions. Responsive to market changes? Forget it. Figuring out new ways to deploy resources? Not a chance.”

…Imagine we’re in an economic downturn (sound familiar?)– markets and people are worried, jittery, fearful…”Your enterprise will thrive – or not – based on your ability to:

  • Notice what’s going on-Be curious about what might be valuable in this new reality
  • Generate new solutions for new concerns
  • Provoke Customers’ curiosity about new solutions.

Multi-tasking may be the most dangerous habit we’ve ever allowed,” says Marsha.

“Driving while talking on a cell phone is worse than driving drunk,” says John Medina, author of “Brain Rules.”  Continue reading