5 Marketing and Social Networking Lessons from the Dead…

hippieshop.com

In honor of my “Deadhead” hubby and the millions of others out there, and the pending Grateful Dead Archive soon to open at the University of California at Santa Cruz, it’s a great time to recognize the Grateful Dead for their marketing and social networking prowess.

But even if you’re not a Deadhead, the Atlantic’s Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead  is a must read article.

The Grateful Dead Archive, scheduled to open soon at the University of California at Santa Cruz, will be a mecca for academics of all stripes: from ethnomusicologists to philosophers, sociologists to historians.  But the biggest beneficiaries may prove to be business scholars and management theorists, who are discovering that the Dead were visionary geniuses in the way they created “customer” value”, promoted social networking, and did strategic business planning. -by Joshua Green

Why Should corporate America or Pharma and Healthcare Marketers care?  The Dead pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by business and ‘Internet business models’.

Here are 5 Marketing and Social Networking Lessons that I took away from the Grateful Dead’s incredible marketing success. Continue reading

Marketers: What Would Google Do? 10 Imperatives for 2010 (part 2 of 4)

What Would Google Do? What would the fastest-growing company in history and a model for thinking in new ways do? Even this week, Google makes waves with their launch of their new android-based Nexus One (MIT Says Yes).

Welcome to the second of a four part serious for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare Marketers looking to tame the rigors of 2010… If you missed post 1, read: What Would Steve Jobs Do?  And by all means, I hope you’ll stay tuned for What Would Jake and Rocket Do? And What Would Savvy Marketers Do?

“Once upon a time, all roads led to Rome. Today, all roads lead from Google.” – Jeff Jarvis

What Would Google Do?

1.    Focus on the user and all else will follow. Design with simplicity. Google strives to provide the best user experience possible—from the user/customer’s point of view.  Google often forgoes paying for marketing and instead focuses on creating something so great that customers distribute it—it goes viral. 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: 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.

Continue reading

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: It’s All About a People-Driven Economy, Stupid!

All summer, I’ve been watching a nearby farm’s crop of sunflowers grow and reach for the sun…In taking some pictures this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice all the bees busy pollinating these sunflowers. Interesting, it is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee. (Wikipedia) How does this relate to Pharma and Social Media Networks?

Bees may be solitary or may live in various types of communities. The most advanced of these are eusocial colonies found among the honey bees, bumblebees, and stingless bees.

Eusociality (Greek eu: “good/real” + “social”) is a term used for the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification.

  1. Reproductive division of labor (with or without sterile castes)
  2. Overlapping generations
  3. Cooperative care of young

So where do we humans fit in? How social are we really? Is Social Media a close cousin of Eusociality?

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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.
  • Continue reading

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

Marketing At Its Best: Creating A World With More Birthdays…

The American Cancer Society just kicked off a new integrated campaign with the objective of better educating and communicating its mission to increase relevance and garner more support.  The new $15 million rebranding campaign kicked off April 21 according to PR Week

The new campaign positions ACS as “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” and seeks to showcase that each birthday of a cancer survivor is a sign of progress and proof that more birthdays are possible…

A World with LESS CANCER is a world with MORE BIRTHDAYS

“This world is not just a dream. Eleven million cancer survivors will celebrate birthdays this year. That’s a sign of progress, proof that a world with more birthdays is possible. Together we’ll stay well, get well, find cures and fight back.”

As part of the campaign, ACS simplified the organization’s offerings into four categories: stay well (prevention and early detection), get well (24-hour call center and clinical trial support), find cures (investment it makes in the science and research) and fighting back(the work it does in the public policy area).

The campaign is unique for ACS because it targets female health care decision makers 35-64 years old (vs. previous campaigns aimed at people in their 50’s) reflecting the growth of health prevention into the mainstream.

ACS asks people to visit www.morebirthdays.com to learn how you can make the ACS the official sponsor of your birthday and learn more about ACS. They’ve also partnered with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to “reinvent” the birthday cake…The CIA is currently gathering recipes with a nutritional focus that will be judged by a celebrity panel in the coming months.

Continue reading