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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The Future of Healthcare: An Interview With Futurist Jeff Bauer

For those of you like me who were unable to attend ExL Pharma’s Digital Pharma West (DP West) Conference June 27-30, 2011 (#digpharm),  you missed a fascinating presentation by Jeff Bauer, Ph.D., a health futurist and medical economist, called Forecasting the Future of Health Care: Challenges & Opportunities.

Fortunately, I had a chance to speak with Jeff and delve into his presentation and insights. Trained as a meteorologist, an economist and a medical professor, he is uniquely qualified to “forecast-not predict” the future of healthcare…

To read the full article and five key takeaways that we’d all be wise to integrate into our thinking, click here to go to ExL’s Digital Pharma blog.

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

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

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: 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 Healthcare Games Change The Game Of Healthcare?

Now that the Games for Health Conference is over, I’ve had a little time to reflect on possible implications for Pharma and Healthcare Marketing.

Please read my second guest blog at PharmaExec Blog for the Seven Key Implications I see for Pharma and Healthcare as we move into the “virtual” future of healthcare marketing. Implications range from prevention, diagnosis and awareness to adherence and training.

If you’re new to the concept of health games, based on the conference, health games seem to generally fall into six areas:   Continue reading

How Social Are Healthcare Consumers with their Information?

PEW Internet and California HealthCare Foundation have recently issued a new report called The Social Life Of Healthcare Information: Americans’ Pursuit of Healthcare Information Takes Place Within a Widening Network of Online and Offline Sources (June 2009). While much of the study is confirmatory, there are nuggets for pharma and healthcare marketers to consider:

  • The Internet continues to be a growing source of healthcare information –61% of US adults look online for healthcare information vs. 25% in 2000.–Further, mobile access draws people into conversations about health as much as online tools enable research. Wireless connections are associated with deeper engagement in social media and information exchange. And mobile access is on the rise.
  • American adults continue to turn to traditional sources of health information, even as many of them deepen their engagement with the online world. —  Experts remain vital to the health-search and decision-making process.
    • 86% of all adults ask a health professional, such as a doctor.
    • 68% of all adults ask a friend or family member.
    • 57% of all adults use the Internet.
    • 54% use books or other printed reference material.
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Are you fully listening and absorbing what your customers are saying about you?

If you’re looking for the best “listening platform” to help monitor your brand in today’s marketplace, take a look at Forester’s new Wave report at Visable Technologies  (Courtesy of Peter Kim).

“In response to marketers’ changing needs, brand monitoring vendors are evolving to offer a more strategic and comprehensive platform.”  Forrester defines “listening platforms” as those that deliver insights to shape marketing strategy rather than simply tracking metrics.

A technology and analytics infrastructure that mines a wide variety of traditional, online, and social sources to extract and deliver insights that shape a firm’s marketing strategy.” 

Evaluating vendors across 62 criteria, Forrester found  Nielsen BuzzMetrics and TNS Cymfony to be the two early leaders due to their strong balance of data collection, analytics and consulting services.  Continue reading