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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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

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

Some of the Best Healthcare Blogs and eBooks of 2009

As we move into 2010, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned this year, much of it triggered by the tremendous number of thought leader blogs, eBooks and white papers that I’ve read this year.  While there is no way to capture all the great work happening 24/7, here’s a smattering of a few (well maybe more than a ‘few’) that you may want to read or re-read as we get ready to step into 2010…

Topics cover a range- from social media and technology, to ePatients and marketing, including implications for Pharma and Healthcare, in the US and Europe. Please feel free to share other posts that you found valuable. Happy reading…  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

Pharma and Social Media: What Role Should Personas Play?

Last Thursday, I attended Business Development Institute’s Social Communications & Healthcare Conference. There were a number of good presentations for Pharma social media. One that stood out was the folksy talk given by Pfizer’s VP/Worldwide Communications Ray Kerins. Ray ingratiated the group by acknowledging that Pfizer still has a long way to go, but promised to listen and try to get it right… Or listen to Rick Wion, VP of Interactive media at GolinHarris, co-creators of McNeil’s two ADHD social media sites, speak about how to work within the regulatory environment.  Jonathan Richman also presented Healthcare and Social Media: Know the Rules.  And for conference takeaways, read Sally Church’s Pharma Strategy blog The Challenge of Social Media in Pharma as well as Steve Woodruff’s Impactivity Blog Pharma and Social Media Progress!.  Or follow the many tweets at #BDIContinue 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

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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