It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since I wrote Marketing Lessons From Our Family Camping Weekend. This summer we spent a week on Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid NY, with three generations, ages ranging from 9 to 87.
Before the blush of summer vacation wears off, here are my key takeaways:
1. Listen like your life depends on it. During our first family rafting trip down the rapids after heavy rains, my listening, and that of my husband and three boys, greatly improved when we knew our safety depended on it! When there was a sense of conviction attached to our leader’s words and we were bumping around not sure if we were going to stay in or get tumbled overboard, our listening improved!
We all know that listening is a critical success factor today, and that there are many services and tools out there to help us do it better. .. But unless you are listening ‘like your life or business depends on it’, the words going in may not be really registering or garnering the necessary action. The river also taught us that if our leader said stop, you had to stop immediately, not one stroke earlier or one stroke later, as that would cause us to over shoot or under shoot our path…It wasn’t enough to just listen, we had to listen and act immediately!
2. Why do we continually forget that working collaboratively and in unison dramatically improves speed and efficiency? Spend any time in a raft or kayak, and it’s pretty evident that working together gets you there faster and with less effort! And if you are sitting in the back, it’s up to you to modify your paddling and approach to stay in unison with the person ahead of you.
3. The use of video/YouTube and mobile can no longer be overlooked. What do you do if you are 13 and unfamiliar with how to use a minnow trap? Seek out or wait for someone older or more experienced to come along and help you? Absolutely not! You take out your smart phone and search ‘minnow traps’ on YouTube!
Marketing Lesson: If you are marketing to today’s youth, you are likely missing out if you are not on YouTube. Lesson to Parents: perhaps we need to look to YouTube for particular lessons we want to teach our kinds? Might they not engage more with a YouTube video than listening to their parents tell them?
4. Fear is in the eye of the beholder. What represents fear to one human is simply not to another and vice versa. And it can be quite hard to overcome our own fears. I know, try as I might, I could not get over my fear of heights and jump 20 feet into the water-- even after my son jumped in right ahead of me! Yet, there were many happy to jump off the 20 foot rock and almost as many willing to jump off of the 30 feet rock…
5. I had forgotten how hard it is to swim against the current. The tide’s opposition quickly saps your strength. Yet how many times do we try to make a person do what’s unnatural to them or assume that we can shift a business trend with nothing more than slight modifications to last year’s plan? Swimming against the tide reminds you that it takes much strength and perseverance to succeed, and even then, it may not be enough.
6. Nature shows us yet again why we should ‘never judge a book by its cover’. Nature provides many lessons when you have the time and space to observe and take in. During a lull in our day, my nine year old and I decided to take a walk with a camera not knowing what we would stumble upon. We ended up watching a family of brown ducks. At first glance they looked like they were just ordinary brown ducks. But after a few minutes of concentration, we saw little bits of a beautiful blue show through…
7. Why is it that humans are generally resistant to learning from their elders and those who have already gone down paths they now face? Is learning equally as effective when you learn from someone else vs. when you learn it first hand? How many times over the week did my boys resist suggestions from their grandmother and parents? What is the best way to teach and learn?
So tell me, what did you learn on your summer vacation? :-)
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."
This is further supported by Dr. John Medina in his work, Brain Rules: Rule#10 Vision Trumps All Other Senses.
Other recent articles: Ad Age Digital's Why Data Visualization is About To Become Very Important for Your Brand by Oren Frank, AdWeek's: Seeing is Believing by Bob Greenwood and NYTimes: When The Data Stuts Its Self by Natasha Singer provide additional support for this growing field.
One has only to watch the animated statistics -developed by Dr. Rosling and Gapminder- to show the disparities in health and wealth around the world to see the power of advanced animation visualization to help viewers spot trends on their own. Dr. Rosling's video clip from the BBC on health and wealth statistics has been viewed more than four million times on YouTube.
As Natasha Singer writes, "Visual analytics play off the idea that the brain is more attracted to and able to process dynamic images than long lists of numbers. But the goal of information visualization is not simply to represent millions of bits of data as illustrations. It is to prompt visceral comprehension, moments of insight that make viewers want to learn more."
"The purpose of visualization is insight, not pictures", says Ben Shneiderman, founding director of the Human-computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland.
The growing field of 'data visualization' (DaViz), beyond its original roots in academia and science, has implications for companies, governments, marketers, agencies...For just about anybody who wants to convey huge amounts of information in visual, interactive displays.
- Can data itself become an asset of a brand and a pillar to visually enhance the brand's story? Can DaViz even suggest a new product idea?
- Can DaViz help garner attention and encourage learning and action? Should it be included in every new creative brief to act as a strong reminder for creative exploration?
- What opportunities can DaViz offer for pharma companies as they think about how to most clearly communicate and motivate consumers, doctors and even sales people? For example, could 'tree mapping' offer unique ways to more clearly communicate and motivate sales reps?
- Does DaViz offer unique opportunities to create next generation dashboards that can help consumers better understand lots of data and increase positive behavior? e.g.: making sense of daily blood sugar scores, exercise regimens, cholesterol numbers etc.
But like anything, there are benefits and risks. With Data Visualization, customers can become more engaged when visuals help them filter information and allow them to make discoveries on their own.
On the risk side, Professor Shneiderman warns that tools as powerful as visualization have the potential to mislead, or confuse consumers. And privacy implications can arise as increasing amounts of personal, medical, financial data... become widely accessible, searchable and viewable.[via NYTimes article]
But given how our digital society is evolving, with data being produced at an exceptional rate, I think it is undeniable that DaViz will become increasingly important to each and every marketer and business person today. It is poised to become an important element of brand marketing going forward.
If you enjoyed this article, please sign up for additional ones via email or RSS feed.
Illustrations: 1) The World of Data, Oliver Munday for GOOD.is, October, 2010; published by A Lapierre and S Pierre 11 25 2010, Data Visualization- How to Position Your Company in Digital Marketing. 2) What is Data Visualization? Infographic explaining data visualization, visually. See below.
In our ever-changing media landscape, coupled with increasingly powerful ePatient communities, a demand for new standards has arisen. As a result, Pharma [and in reality all marketers] must accelerate their skills in six key areas to separate their marketing communications, and become brand champions.
Read the full article in DTC Perspectives March 2011: Tough Demands to Galvanize Marketing Communications: 2011 Brand Champions Will Possess Six Key Skills.
Every marketer knows that spurring brand and patient success requires building on wisdom from the past, while honing new abilities to educate, motivate and converse with patients and their families. Savvy marketers know that the 4P's - also renamed SIVA [Solution, Information, Value, Access] to provide greater customer focus- have never been more critical. In addition, 2011 brand champions are challenged to create Michael Porter's "shared value", accelerating skills in six areas:
- Dynamic listening and action, real-time. Astute marketers take dynamic listening seriously- they know who to listen to, where to listen, what's most important to take note of, and are eminently geared to take action by responding nimbly to new learning. Champion marketers know that listening without action is as dangerous as acting without listening.
- Curating information and content marketing to deliver value to patients, families and their communities. Be vigilant: curating and content marketing require a different mindset than traditional copy writing. The first is more educational in nature and the second, designed to get the reader to take a specific action, is inherently more "salesy." Both are critical for successful marketers today; both can help the other work harder.
- Pinpointing boundary-less consumers at that critical moment of truth--when they are in need or curious to learn. Media planning used to be easy; now there are many more options to consider, each with distinct creative and technical needs, without an easy formula. Should you be actively considering mobile health technologies? YouTube?
- Communicating for an ADHD-like world. Is the Internet Changing the Way You think? edited by John Brockman, shows a continual theme among both the enthusiasts and skeptics; the Internet isn't changing the way we think, it is exacerbating the deceptively simple challenge of "attention management"...the new Darwinian imperative may be "the survival of the focused."
- Relinquishing the struggle for control. Controlled customer communication is a dream from the past. "One result of the Internet revolution is that 'the people formerly known as the patients/audience' became publishers and broadcasters-and pundits and critics". [Lee Rainie, Pew Internet Project Online Health Seeking]
- Catalyzing growing teams of specialists. Keeping a brand, its specialists and partners in lockstep takes new facilitation, integration and leadership skills to insure seamless delivery and a focused brand message, look and feel.
Fair warning; these critical skills won't be best learned by reading a bestseller, taking in a webinar or delegating to a junior team member or vendor; they require ongoing experimenting and doing. As Malcolm Gladwell points out, it takes 10,000 hours of focused practice to become a consistently great performer.
Champions know that there's nothing new about upgrading and honing new skills--it's the practice of a lifetime. For DTC marketers, the task gets more complex every year. Choosing what to learn, where to focus, when to bring in new expertise will be a big part of what boosts the champs over the finish.
Any important skills I might have missed?
Which Pharma companies do you think are working hard to accelerate the use of these six skills? Sanofi-Aventis? Novo Nordisk? Roche? AstraZeneca?
Look forward to your thoughts.
Thanksgiving is here!
What is your brand thankful for?
Thanksgiving is here!
What is your brand thankful for?
Growth and Engagement?
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
What Would Jake and Rocket Do?
This is the third of a four
part series for Consumer and Pharma/Healthcare marketers looking to
tame the rigors of 2010... In case you're just coming in now, here is
the first of the series: What Would Steve Jobs Do? And the second: What Would Google Do?
Who are Jake and Rocket you ask? Jake and his trusty dog Rocket have become icons of optimism, and Life is good ® America's little clothing brand that could-that is trying to spread good vibes all over the world. Having recently returned from a few days of holiday skiing in Vermont, and the proverbial t-shirt buying with ‘my three sons'... Life is good was all around us spreading their optimism and good cheer.
Here are some of Jake and Rocket's insights that all marketers-Consumer, B2B and Pharmaceutical/Healthcare - may want to pay attention to in 2010.
What Would Jake and Rocket Do?
1. Run like a dog. Dream on. High end destination.
Optimism, hope and dreams are crucial for human beings, healthy and/or sick...If you forget what it feels like to ‘run like a dog', take a look at: 19 Seconds of Pure Joy and Steve Woodruff's young dog experiencing snow for the first time! Or listen to Dr. Groopman speak about Hope and Medicine on NPR. You can also read Jen McCabe's blog on the importance of hope.
2. Consider yourself a lucky dog.
Go deep. Think out of the box. Don't knock something, build something. Create your own happy hour. This is not a year to wish you had more. Use any financial or human constraints to innovate...to build something big, to go deep. Constraints are not something to fear, but often spur innovation. Read 37 signals Getting Real: Embrace Constraints; a concept duly noted by Tim Brown and Matthew May's Change This Manifesto on Elegant Solutions (no.6 p 22)
3. Whatever you are, be a good one. Style points count. Get dirty.
Successful people and companies raise the bar, and continually strive for excellence with every move they make...If you take nothing else away from What Would Steve Jobs Do?, think about the bar of excellence he sets and expects for himself and others at every step of the way.
4. Get outta town. If you don't go, you don't see. If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn. Who feels it knows it.
Reading Tim Brown's book Change By Design, I was stuck by this quote: "Good design thinkers observe. Great design thinkers observe the ordinary." How true it is that you have to get out to see and experience what your customers are doing and thinking, and how they're interacting with the world. Yet how many busy executives actually do? And then actually take the learning and insights and share them across the organization and find rightful ‘owners' to turn them into action? (Brian Solis often speaks to this very need of leveraging what you hear in social media throughout the organization by insuring rightful owners.)
5. Mix it up.
We seem to be stuck in a world of X OR Y, TV advertising or web, traditional advertising or social media, facebook or twitter, branded advertising or value-add conversations...when we could be mixing it up and thinking AND...The consumer mixes it up, why don't marketers?
6. The little things in life are the big things.
How true it is that what we most often remember is not the big things or the big/expensive presents, but those little special gestures that let us know that people really appreciate us, trust us, care about us, and know us. (You can also read Linda Kaplan and Robin Koval's Power of Small)
7. Takers may eat well, but givers sleep well. Sometimes the best conversation is a game of catch.
We all know that building relationships is a give and take. What better analogy for two-way conversation than a game of catch? When your catching the ball, you can't be throwing at the same time...it's a rhythm of give and take... While it's never this simple, much has been written about how the new world of marketing is no longer about ‘sell and tell' or ‘push', but give and take (with more emphasis on giving than taking), remembering to listen first - sell later, adding value via marketing with meaning), earning trust a la Brogan's trust agents, and ‘earning' customer love and word of mouth.
8. Hold a true friend with both hands.
This is the year for quality over quantity and this goes for relationships as well. Only those that add value to your life will get your time and attention. Who are your true friends? Who are your most loyal customers? What do they need and want? How can you help? How can you bring them value?
9. The best things in life are free.
If you are around kids, how many birthdays and holidays need to go by before we realize that it's not the most expensive present that people/kids like, but the box that it comes in...The concept of Free is everywhere and shouldn't be overlooked or taken lightly. The web is full of content... so it's critical to create content with value or to organize content to bring value: ‘elegant organization'...Think free or the minimum you must charge or take out of the system if you want to maximize growth and usage. Read Jeff Jarvis' What Would Google Do? or Chris Anderson's Free: the future of radical price if you're still are unsure....
10. Change your perspective.
Experts in education suggest that adult learners should "jiggle their synapses a bit" by confronting thoughts that are contrary to their own..."bump up against people and ideas" that are different. (NYTimes: Neuroscience-How to train the aging brain) If you are a ‘social media' guy, look at the world through other lens...most of the world still doesn't know what RSS feeds are, let alone use them...email is still the most widely used way to send others information...Marketers, look outside your industry for ideas, seek different perspectives that may bring new value to your customers' and patients' lives. Look to other disciplines, from science to design, for new thinking.
11. Write on. Read ‘em and reap. Keep Growing.
They say 2010 is the year that Content is King. We know that Links create value. Creating valuable content and acting as a ‘content curator' are critical new marketing and leadership skills...think "elegant organization".
With the number of emails, blogs, tweets, friends contacting us, more and more it will be critical to simplify and focus on what's most important. Only a few can stand out. Focus on less and make each ‘friend', ‘contact', ‘tweet', 'program' more impactful and valuable...both simplify and 'elegance' are at the very core of both Steve Jobs/Apple and Google's success. Do You Have a Stop Doing List? (Also read Power of Less or Mathew May's The Elegant Solution)
13. Laughter has no foreign accent. We will never know all the good a simple smile can do. Celebrate.
Let's promise each other that we won't overlook a little laughter and smiles in our busy lives this year...(You can also read Dave Murray's 11th Lesson of Life)
Marketers: Which ones are most meaningful for you this New Year?
Which ones would most help spur growth and innovation for your brand and business?
Pharma and Healthcare Marketers: Which ones would most bring growth and innovation to our industry? Which ones would help bring back hope and trust? Value to our patients?
Stay tuned for part four of 4...What Will Pharma and Healthcare Marketers Do? What Will Champs in New Marketing Do in 2010?
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.
2. Don't try to control content and distribution. Instead think about creating open networks that sit on platforms. Think in distributer ways. Go to your consumer whenever and however you can. This is the opposite of most companies (even still) that think centralized and make consumers come to them. They spend large dollars to advertise to attract consumers. Many try to make their home pages into destinations. In sum, while many internet sites think of themselves as an end- Google thinks of itself as a means. While many see the job of their home page is to take you to where they want you to go, Google sees its home page as the way to get you to where you want to go. Google distributes itself. It puts its ads on millions of web pages it does not own, earning billions of dollars for these sites and for itself. Google enables others to use tools as they wish. They know their own needs.
Think of your site as ‘answers for every question you can imagine’.
3. See yourself not as a product, but a service, a platform, a means of enabling others. Help others build value. Google has many platforms to help its customers. e.g.: Blogger for publishing content, Picasa for pictures, Google docs etc.
4. Cede control. Embrace ‘Publicness’ and openness. Transform your relationship with the public in every quarter in the organization. You may extend this new relationship in many ways from blogging, interacting with bloggers, enabling customers to critique your products or services (hard to do in Pharma) and sharing ideas. Overtime, you may even truly involve customers in the real-time design process for products and/or services…
But 'Publicness' is about more than having a web site. It's about taking actions in public so people can see what you do and react to it, make suggestions, and tell their friends. Living in public today is a matter of enlightened self-interest. You have to be public to be found. Every time you decide not to make something public, you create the risk of a customer not finding you or not trusting you because you're keeping secrets. Publicness is also an ethic. The more public you are, the easier you can be found, the more opportunities you have. (For more on privacy (and publicness) read this insightful blog by Jeff Jarvis.
5. Bring them "elegant organization". Ask how you can bring constituents, customers, community-even your competitors- elegant organization. Create value through links. Replace focus on mass market with focus on mass of niches. Understand that the economy is made up of a mass of niches-the aggregation of the long tail. Small is the new big.
6. Extract the minimum value from the network so it will grow to maximum size and value. In other words, charge as little as the market will bear.
7. You don't need to be at your desk to need an answer. Google is looking to fuel greater innovation for mobile users everywhere with Android, their free, open source mobile platform. It sure feels like 2010 will be the ‘year of unprecedented mobile growth'...
8. Move faster-not slower. Most companies say this in reference to making sure they move fast to develop new products and services. Google means this from a user experience because they know how valuable time is to their customers.
9. Do one thing really, really well. Google does search, and in their continuous focus for improvement of search, it spurs other applications and new products/services. But they never seem to forget the role search plays in their business strategy.
10. Great just isn't good enough.... Being great is a starting point, not an endpoint. Ultimately, our constant dissatisfaction with the way things are becomes the driving force behind everything we do.
Is Google the only one who knows how to survive and prosper in the internet age? Stay tuned.
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.
"There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.' And we've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will." - Steve Jobs
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci
1. Know what consumers want. Paint a big-picture vision that will WOW your consumers and competitors. Create new experiences that can change the world...create a story. Create an adversary and a new way to win. In every story there's an antagonist-the hero fights the villain. Introducing the antagonist (the problem) rallies the company and audience around the hero. In Job's case, create and act upon a ‘digital lifestyle' strategy...He was a very successful ‘David' fighting Goliath... iTunes new paradigm, Macintosh launch in 1984 against IBM
2. Make it your business to know everything about your product area and company. Small details matter and are not to be overlooked. Steve is known for being involved in details you wouldn't think a CEO would be involved in. He's also well known for "One more thing".
3. Take full responsibility for the user experience. Apple is about being a system... In 2002, Steve told Time, "We're the only company that owns the whole widget -- the hardware, the software, and the operating system. We can take full responsibility for the user experience. We can do things that the other guy can't do."
4. Design is critical and must be perfect. He's a perfectionist to the nth degree. He has a willingness to be a pain in the neck to what matters most to him. (Time 2005) The company believes in "deep collaboration" and "concurrent engineering" so there are no hand offs...just flawless design. (You may also want to read Inside the Apple Ecosystem and Tim Brown's Change by Design)
5. Master the message. Simplify complex information. The message to the public is always consistent, simple, breakthrough, and expert at bringing the benefit(s) to life. E.g.:it's not just a 5GB iPod, it's 1,000 songs in your pocket; iconic "think different" campaign. Jobs practices the message over and over and only a few deliver it. He is also careful to avoid overexposure, preferring to speak only when he has new products to promote. He crates 'twitter-like headlines'. E.G.: Macbook air. The world's thinnest notebook. iPod. One thousand songs in your pocket. (You may also want to read Carmine Gallo's: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs slide share and book.)
6. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Lessons he learned after he found out that he had pancreatic cancer. "Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the result of other people's thinking. Don't let the voice of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." - Steve Jobs
What if Pharma and Healthcare products/services took full responsibility for the user (patient) experience?
What if Pharma and Healthcare designed the product and user experience to simplify the complex and encourage participative medicine?
What if Pharma and Healthcare mastered the message and dialog so patients and their caregivers immediately and easily understood the benefits and risks and could discuss it with their doctor and family?
Stay tuned for What Would Google do? (WWGD)...
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
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?
Eating the Big Fish still feels as relevant today as it was when it was first published. The 2009 edition is packed with new examples and Morgan's eight credos still worthy of consideration-especially for small specialty and biotech Pharmaceutical brands. In FREE: The Future of a Radical Price, Chris Anderson (Long Tail) argues that in the digital marketplace, the most effective price is no price at all. He illustrates how savvy businesses are raking it in with indirect routes from product to revenue with such models as cross-subsidies and freemiums. But when you stop to think about the real changes in expectations that the web has brought about, this is a book to think hard about.
Tim Brown's Change by Design suggests that innovation in today's world means taking a design thinking approach, and one that is human-centered. The CEO of global design consultancy IDEO offers a guide for thinking and organizing our everyday creative processes. A great book and a nice break from so much focus on social media...
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is a must read for anyone looking to improve their own presentation skills. Why not learn from a master, who is consistently voted the most important CEO of the decade? Knowing how to present is critical today, but this book goes beyond just presentation tips...Power of Less is a very useful reminder to focus (and act) on what is most important and forget the rest. It's simple and direct without the fluff. Born to Run, while not a business book per say, provides lessons in mind and body, and shows the advantages of anthropological learning from others, in this case a special Indian tribe from Mexico.
Favorite Business Books of 2009
1. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs (The New Rules of Social Media) by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
2. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
3. Putting the Public Back into Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business in PR by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge
4. Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity by Avinash Kaushik
5. The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect With Your Customers by Marketing With Meaning by Bob Gilbreath Listen First Sell Later
6. Listen First Sell Later by Bob Poole
7. I Love you More than my Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad by Jeanne Bliss
8. Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands can Compete Against Brand Leaders by Adam Morgan (2009 reprint)
9. FREE: The Future of Radical Price by Chris Anderson
10. Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation by Tim Brown
11. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great In Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo
12. Power of Less The: Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential...in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta
13. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race The World Has Never Seen by Chris McDougall
Other books you think should be on this list?
Books I plan to read in the New Year:
1. Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by A Penenberg
2. Googled: The End of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta/What Would Google Do? By Jeff Jarvis
3. The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarella
4. Chief Culture Officer: How to Create a Living, Breathing Corporation by Grant McCraken
5. Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds (due December 28, 2009)
6. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink (due out December 29, 2009)
7. Lynchpin: Are You Indispensible? by Seth Godin (due out January 26, 2010)
8. Rework by Jason Fried (due out March 9, 2010)
What about you? What's on your list to read?
Other blogs to read related to these favorite books of 2009:
If You Charged For Your Content, Would Anyone Pay? By Jonathan Richman Dose of Digital blog
Marketing With Meaning: Is there any other way? Advertising Age
Pharma: Are Current DTC Ads Meaningful? By Ellen Hoenig Notes From the Back of the Book blog
How Marketing With Meaning Can Save Pharma (3 Part Series) by Jonathan Richman
Book Review: I love You More Than My Dog - Small Business Trends
Pharma: Say NO To More Bullets! and Presentation Tips by Ellen Hoenig
Pharma: Is Your Marketing Designed to Engage and Educate or Sell? By Ellen Hoenig
For my list of top books of 2008 and 2007, click here.
Happy New Year to all! See you in 2010!
Yesterday, I posted my key takeaways from last week's FDA advisory meeting for Social Media and Internet Marketing #fdasm ("Ask Not What Social Media Can Do For You"). Today, I'm providing food for thought for how presenters can improve their impact with an FDA advisory board. This is based on watching the 77 presentations last week, and having recently participated in the FDA Risk Communications Advisory Meeting this past February.
Building on a previous post: "Pharma: No More Bullets Please", here are seven points that can help improve your next presentation to an FDA advisory committee. (These tips will also apply to other important upcoming presentations)
1. Build your story around data. FDA is a data driven entity-it's in their bones. A story without data reference simply lacks punch for any FDA advisory board. It's the "reasons to believe" so essential to any communication.
2. Don't just repeat what FDA already knows; provide clear recommendation(s) including potential solutions, guidelines or unique construct(s) that can help with advancing policy. If FDA is holding the advisory meeting, it means that they largely recognize, and hopefully understand, much of the background and problem, and are looking for ways to move learning and policy forward. Data that leads to a concrete construct is the perfect combination. See if your solution can't work to sell a dream-that can help FDA take a step closer to its mission of better patient education and health.
3. An FDA advisory board is made up of people and people respond best to a good story. We can take some lessons from Steve Jobs, one of the great presenters. Introduce an antagonist. Every presentation is a theatrical experience: "Every great drama has a hero and a villain." Steve Jobs explains the problem and leads the way for the hero...Create a common enemy... lead with a strong beginning, middle and end. (If you haven't watched ABC's video: The Secrets of Steve Jobs, you may want to take a few minutes to do so here).
Spend the time upfront to think about how your data and expertise can lend themselves to a unique and compelling story that the FDA will thank you for. And of course, it goes without saying, that your story must answer their needs and not yours. If you honestly can't answer why the FDA should want to listen to you, don't present!
4. If you've read point #3, and you are telling a good story from the FDA's perspective, and not your own, then you know that this presentation is NOT a sales call or another Biz Development opportunity! Keep your presentation focused on fueling the FDA's learning and research for developing healthcare policy. In other words, add value or die! (not literally of course)
5. Think about "Twitter-friendly headlines". Give your key solution a simple name and a short and concise descriptive headline or sound bite e.g. macbookair-"The Worlds's Thinnest Notebook". Two examples from #fdasm might be Rohit Bhargava of Oglivy 360 with his 3 C's for defining when a pharmaco is responsible for content, or Wendy Blackburn with her Rx Risk red button.
6. Use slides to help reinforce your points, but only if slides are simple and readable! The experts recommend practicing Zen like simplicity - ‘the elimination of clutter'. (From my own experience, I know it's easier said than done.) Unfortunately, more presenters than I can count, including many agency ‘communication experts', used slides that were difficult to read, packed with too much data to take in or read, and too many competing points. If you have to apologize about a slide, fix it BEFORE the presentation! Your written submission is the place for all the data specifics and detail-- not your ten minute presentation and slide support.
7. Relentless practice. It's the only way to connect with your audience and speak most confidently. The best presenters in the world NEVER skip this step, and spend just as much time rehearsing as creating (maybe more). Just watch any Ted presentation...
If you haven't watched Pixels and Pills interview with Tom Abrams, presiding officer of the FDA advisory meeting, watch his video. It will reinforce many of the points above.
Our EXCLUSIVE Interview with Thomas Abrams at the FDA Hearings from Zemoga on Vimeo.
Importantly, if you presented at last week's FDA social media hearing, thank you. There were many excellent presentations that were spot on. Please consider these suggestions as potential input for your next presentation...
Looking to stay current with the latest happenings on FDASM? Visit www.fdasm.com, created by Ignite Health.
I just finished reading Bob Gilbreath's new book "The Next Evolution of Marketing. Connect With Your Customers By MARKETING WITH MEANING." Given my roots in package goods consumer marketing, I found the book and the examples ‘meaningful'...
I whole heartedly agree that the next evolution in marketing is to move from ‘telling and selling' to providing value and ultimately, to improving people's lives. I think too, this is one reason that so many consumer package goods marketers made the move to pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing-to help save and improve people's lives and well being...
What are marketers to do when consumers are not just immune to our messages, but they're ignoring us completely?
Create marketing that's meaningful.
What is meaningful marketing?
When your marketing is meaningful, people choose to engage with you in an exchange that they perceive as valuable. But engagement is only the beginning. Whatever your product or service may be, when your marketing is meaningful, the marketing itself adds value to people's lives, whether or not they immediately buy what you're selling. (This may cause a few gulps...but Bob Gilbreath goes on to promise that this is not just cause marketing...To be sure, making money and moving product are still the goal; if they aren't, it's not marketing.)
The bottom line for consumers is that they expect more from their brands on many levels--and the marketing with meaning model will help bring marketing more into the value equation.
Jonathan Richman at Dose of Digital wrote about some great ideas for pharma brands to consider and explore using marketing with meaning. So I thought I'd try something a little different to spark some further thought and dialog.
I took a look at DTC print ads over the last month to see how they stack up to the book's Hierarchy of Meaningful Marketing. Now we all know that looking at one DTC ad doesn't capture the 'whole brand's story'. The print ad is only one step to driving action to the brand (or unbranded) website for more information and engagement...and a brand can run a 'campaign' of different ads (branded and unbranded), and use multiple media channels to tell a richer story...but it's a start.
And, if "every single interaction between a brand and a consumer is a marketing moment of truth" (Peter Blackshaw), is it not fair to look at what may be a brand's first touch, a DTC ad?
Yet, I feel the need to make at least one caveat. Having sat in many a focus group for pharma brands, I can honestly say that for many consumers with a medical condition, or for their caregivers, learning about a new prescription product that may provide pain relief or prevent damage, is a HIGHLY valuable solution. This is an important distinction when evaluating DTC ads vs other ads for well known consumer goods...Additionally, unbranded ads have an easier time of providing more connected solutions by the nature of their goals and extra space due to lack of fair balance!
Having said that, I looked at the branded DTC print ads running over the last month in a variety of consumer publications (e.g., news, women's service, health, people, teen). I reviewed 35 print ads and attributed them to Gilbreath's three tiers of marketing that are increasingly meaningful to consumers:
Solution marketing. Like the lower levels of maslow's hierarchy of needs, solution marketing covers basic household needs and benefits, for example, helpful offers, money savings, and hard rewards for purchase.
Connection marketing. this represents a significant step toward building a bonding relationship between people and brands. It provides benefits beyond the basics of information and relevance to include something that is of deeper importance in the consumer's mind, ie., social outlets and creative expression.
Achievement marketing.This corresponds to maslow's pinnacle of self-actualization by allowing people to significantly improve their lives, realize a dream, or positively change their community and their world.
Here's What I found:
Not surprising, most DTC print ads fall into the first tier-Solution marketing- by providing information and a trial incentive to encourage the first script. Many only make the first tier with the assumption that they're providing valuable information to help patients with their 'physiological and safety' needs through attribute and benefit messaging.
Of the 35 ads, I bucketed 31 into Solution marketing, of which 14 offered a trial incentive. (Of the ads with trial incentives, AcipHex, BenzaClin, Symbicort and Yaz did the best jobs insuring that interested consumers would see the offer, and others like Concerta and DePuy used a BRC to help drive lead generation and trial offer engagement.)
In my opinion, four branded DTC print ads fell into Connection marketing, having made a stronger step toward building a bonding relationship between people and brands:
Crestor: focuses not just on the pill, but on the Crestor kit: information, tips and trial incentives. They also offer an interactive tour of an artery. (Can more be done to leverage consumer to consumer sharing, provide additional customization opportunities, and to continue to make heart health a wee bit more entertaining/fun?)
Epiduo acne treatment: highlights the interactive 'pathway to confidence' contest where they asked teens for ways that they build confidence. (Website very fresh. Can more be done to leverage this important idea about building confidence in teens which has the potential to be life changing?)
Toviaz: focuses not only on the pill, but the plan that can be shared with the doctor (Can more be done to provide more stuff for consumers to share with each other, more customization opportunities, and more fun, entertaining web interactions?)
Viagra: takes a different approach vs prior ads. This ad speaks to real insights and concerns for men, and speaks less about Viagra benefits and more about how to broach 'the talk' with their doctor. The ad also provides a fresh learning approach that may be able to be further leveraged on their website.
None of the branded DTC ads I reviewed accomplished what I believe Gilbreath was speaking to with his third tier: Achievement marketing...Of course there are other DTC programs in the market place that may have just not ran branded print this last month, or don't use print in their media mix--the subject of another blog...
Click on the images to view examples Ads/PDF download
No doubt, a DTC print ad does not tell the whole brand story, and in many cases, consumers will go to the website where they may find more engagement and connection. Additionally, if the product is new, it may make sense to first communicate the brand's benefits...
Having said that, it looks to me like there is ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. Pharma DTC print advertising can and should evolve to providing more than basic product benefits to providing richer experiences and connections for consumers to share and feel good about. Brands should take an inventory of all of their DTC touchpoints- online and offline- to be sure that each are doing their best to both reinforce the brand promise, and provide maximum value to the consumer.
Time to move from just selling to also helping...
What do you think? Any good branded print examples I missed in my 'non-scientific' point-in-time review, or that you want to share? Other thoughts on creating meaningful marketing?