Transform or be Transformed. ExL Digital Pharma East Conference – Day2

If I were allowed but one word to describe Day 2 of ExL’s Digital Pharma East Conference #digpharm, it would have to be the urgent need for transformation—the need for Pharma Co’s to work faster than ever to effect internal change and to jump start meeting current and evolving customer expectations.

Throughout both days actually, speakers talked about the industry having to move from brand marketing to customer marketing, to move on your own with change or risk getting moved by others… and creating your own ‘Kodak moment’ or worse yet becoming a dinosaur…

To read the full article “Transform Or Be Transformed.  ExL Digital Pharma East Conference- Day 2 Wrap-up“, click here to go to ExL’s Digital Pharma blog.

Stay tuned for Day 3’s Digital Pharma East- Mobile Day Wrap-up…

If you missed Day 1’s Digital Pharma East Wrap-up, “Loaded for Bear”, click here.

What Zipcar Can Teach The BioPharma Industry: 9 Marketing Lessons

After reading a recent blog in Fast Company called The Zipcar Case: Zipping from Very Good to Magnetic, I started to consider, what would it take for BioPharma and Healthcare brands to not just be liked, but to truly be magnetic?  And what lessons, if any, might Zipcar’s success suggest for the BioPhama and Healthcare industry?

While admittedly, Zipcar still has a ways to go financially, most agree that it redefined the Rental Car Market by offering consumers hassle-free “wheels when you want them”…

With success in hand and a recent IPO in April 2011 valuing the company at over $1 billion, Zipcar offers marketing and branding lessons for Pharma that transend the car rental market:

1. Start-ups create new markets, or they don’t survive. Zipcar didn’t chase the existing car rental market at airports with incremental change, they imagined a new market—car rentals by the hour, 5-10 minutes from where you live or work.  Zipcar didn’t depend on market data (it doesn’t exist for a non-existent market) or simply asking consumers what they want, which often biases companies toward incremental improvements of current solutions.  To quote Henry Ford, “If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” [What Zipcar Can Teach The S&P 500 Business Week and HBR May 2011] Continue reading

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.

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

My 13 Favorite Business Books of 2009

As 2009 comes to a close, I want to share my thirteen favorite biz books from this year that I found myself writing the most “Notes in the Back of the Book“, and stimulating the greatest new thinking and ideas. The list of books covers social media, marketing and new marketing models, and innovation and leadership. For reference, here are also business book favorites by Fast Company, Mashable, Amazon and The Brand Bubble (John Gerzema).

If you’re looking to better understand and excel in today’s social media and web 2.0 worlds, here are four: Inbound Marketing is a must for anyone who wants to be found online, and is especially helpful for anyone who is actively considering how to get started with inbound marketing. Written by the leaders of Hubspot, they know what they’re talking about. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can tap into the power of these networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is essential to building online reputations, those who traffic trust are “trust agents” and key people for any business.  Putting the Public Back into Public Relations shows how to reinvent PR around two-way conversations with traditional and new influencers, bringing the “public” back into public relations. Both are consistent thought leaders in the area of PR. Web Analytics 2.0 by Avinash Kaushik begins to bring accountability to web 2.0 online programs with focus on customer- centered thinking and measurement, and builds upon his 2007 book.

Of course, to participate in our ever changing digital and social world, strategic marketing and a deep customer focus are still paramount.  How is marketing evolving? In Marketing with Meaning, Bob Gilbreath outlines the next evolutionary step in a progression following direct marketing and permission marketing. The book calls for the end of “push and sell” marketing in favor of adding value to customers’ lives. Excelling in marketing also starts with listening…In Listen First. Sell Later, Bob Poole outlines the benefits of listening FIRST. And to remind us about customer- centered marketing, I Love You More Than My Dog by Jeanne Bliss is a great read. Who can argue that companies like Lands End didn’t get it right early on? Continue reading

Pharma: Twas the Night before #FDASM

Twas the night before #fdasm, when all through the blogosphere,

Not a marketer was stirring, due to their fear.

The 62 slide decks were posted with care,

In hopes that St DDMAC soon would be there.

The pharma tweeps were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of facebook dance in the heads.

And legal in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the web there arose such a buzz,

I sprang from the bed to see what the fuss was,

Away to my Google, I flew like a flash,

To find in my search fourteen letters to trash.

Continue reading

Pharma Marketers: Think You Can’t Do Moderated Chat?

Is your brand actively engaging its customers, enabling them to share their stories and opinions, and hear from “other consumers like them”? (In the latest PEW Internet and California Healthcare Foundation study, 68% of all adults ask a friend or family member for healthcare information-second only to asking a healthcare professional at 86%, and 57% of all adults use the internet.) Or are regulatory and AE concerns keeping you from considering moderated chat, even though it could strengthen two-way conversations  and help move your brand closer to building a genuine community?

Asacol, P&G’s prescription treatment for Ulcerative Colitis has recently launched a new Community for UC patients to share stories-and share advice.  Asacol created a moderated chat where consumers can share their stories -if they keep it focused on their experience managing UC – diet, travel, telling others, etc. – and do not mention “Asacol” or other drug treatment options by name. (See their Guidelines for submitting stories.)

In the Asacol Community, consumers are encouraged to provide stories or to ask questions.  Content is carefully moderated per the guidelines, but consumers can rate and vote on story content and answers.  Continue reading

Games: The Next Frontier for Pharma

Wow! The Games for Health Conference has been very exciting–

It’s early days in health gaming,  but you can feel the momentum building and its potential to impact consumer health and behavior.

To read about day 1, here’s a guest blog I did today for PharmExec.  Also for tweeters: #G4H09

More to come…blog 2: potential thought starters for Pharma…