May 30, 2010

Closed Loop Promotion - Overview, Audience, and Challenges

Last week, my colleague Jackie Sanders from The CementBloc and I sponsored and presented a CBI webinar on pharmaceutical closed loop professional promotion
Click here to access the full presentation slides and video.

We were delighted at seeing 96 registrants across a wide range of disciplines, pharmaceutical manufacturers, drugstore chains, pharmacy benefit managers, agencies, technology vendors, and consultants. This audience truly illustrated how widespread the interest is, and how the professional promotional landscape has been changing.

The key components were straightforward to explain:
- promotional planning, personal and non-personal
- tablet based selling
- digital website portal
- tracking behaviors and the feedback loop
- segmented messaging

However, the hottest topic for questions and comments was the various challenges to overcome: organizational alignment, investment required, coordination between personal and nonpersonal promotion. Yet all of these are solvable, and a phased approach over two years or more is critical.

May 28, 2010

Fish Where the Fish Are -- Not Only Digital IQ

Previously in this Blog I mentioned the Digital IQ report and rankings compiled by L2 (Luxury Lab) and PhD Media . Yesterday our company, the CementBloc had an in-depth discussion group, and we realized that some of these findings must be taken with a grain of salt.

While use of innovative digital channels is admirable, the ultimate goal of media (the report notes 4% of Pharma DTC spend is online) is to reach your target segment, and to acquire qualified leads that can drive conversion to prescriptions.

It is not surprising that the highest scoring brands in the report where aimed at youth (18 to 30) markets, most notably female contraceptives -- for that audience you need to be on mobile, social, and web. Many of these products also have years left on their product life cycle as well.

Also not too surprising that cardiovascular drugs are generally challenged. The target age range is consumers in their 50s and 60s, and many of the drugs have gone generic or are nearing their loss of exclusivity.

Digital IQ is a good concept, but ranking within your category of peers (same target, similar therapies) may make more sense than a global ranking.

We also need to consider specialty products: oncology comes to mind as a very active online category that has its own special digital needs.
So, in considering consumer awareness and acquisition media, consider your target. Do research into the channels and media that your target really consumes. For some therapeutic categories, don't give up on focused print, or focused demographically matched DRTV, or even targeted direct mail or email lists. Digital is one important arrow in your quiver, but not the whole arsenal. Your digital investment and innovation should align to your brand's needs and your target.

Thus, as my friend Jason Ruebel of Bridge Worldwide taught me, when we were working on StrongMoms together, in relationship marketing you have to "fish where the fish are."

May 25, 2010

Consumer Multi-Channel Experiences

What can a faulty commute teach us about relationship marketing?

This morning the New York City number 1 southbound subway train stalled at 116th st, for about a mile. After being stationary for 5 minutes, we passengers got frustrated. The transit system responded with alternatives; a bus to the next free station, a mile south a 96th st.

New Yorkers reacted in alternate ways: some sat and waited, steaming or confused. Others piled into crowded buses southbound. Some hailed an expensive taxi. Finally, a large pack, including myself, saw the bright sunny morning and decided to walk for 20 blocks downtown, enjoy the weather and get healthy exercise.

So too with acquisition campaigns for relationship marketing. They need multi channel response vehicles (web, phone, text, and sometimes even mail?) to allow for alternate consumer preferences for their experiences. The multiple channels also provide backup coverage in case.of a temporary fault.

Of course, efficiency in your CRM system is still a valid concern, as it is for the Metro Transit Authority. Measure each response channel for throughput on its funnels, and monitor for quality control to keep faults and delays to a minimum.

May 23, 2010

Holistic Learning: Optimizing your CRM or PRM Campaigns

When developing a learning or measurement plan for your relationship marketing campaigns, don't stop at the dashboards, charts, and graphs. Be sure to anticipate the potential enhancements you may implement to optimize your campaign, depending on what the results are.

Improvements to RM, whether for consumers or healthcare professionals, can range from the most concrete to more abstract decisions, as itemized below:

* Operational Improvements

* Media Optimization

* Promotional Tactical Changes

* Adjusting Program Elements

* Changing the Offers or Incentives

* Adjusting Segmentation

* Re-Thinking the Campaign Strategy

Certain types of measurement findings are more indicative of each of these required changes, and a combination of insights can "triangulate" or combine to support particular optimizations rather than others.

For these reasons, campaign measurement reviews should be holistic, and should gather data from all facets of your campaign: media, promotion-response, website and call center activity, RM participation, and incremental conversion and adherence.
Making decisions based on reports from one class of metrics is, well, sub-optimal.

May 16, 2010

Twitter Usage and Measurement - Promise and Caution

Two recent studies about Twitter point to its potential promise as a measurement tool, yet point out the limited audience it measures.

The recent Twitter Usage in America Study, 2010, by Edison Research has revealed that awareness of Twitter has exploded from 5% of Americans 12 years and older in 2008 to 87% in 2010 (by comparison, Facebook's awareness is 88%). However, utilization is a different story. Despite equal awareness, Twitter trails Facebook significantly in usage: 7% of Americans (17 million persons) actively use Twitter, while 41% maintain a profile page on Facebook. And what does "usage" mean when the study finds that the majority of Twitter users are “lurkers,” passively following and reading the updates of others without contributing updates of their own.

The study also shows results on frequency and channel of Tweeting: 63% of tweeters do so at least once a week, and nearly two-thirds of active Twitter users access social networking sites using a mobile phone. (I access via both mobile and laptop myself). The age range biases young, not surprisingly: 29% of Tweeters are 12 to 24 years, and 33% are 25 to 34. (Thus I am in the older third...)

Meanwhile, a Carnegie Mellon data mining analysis has analyzed sentiments expressed in a billion Twitter messages during 2008-2009 related to yielded measures of consumer confidence and of presidential job approval. The sentiment results were found to be similar to those of well-established public opinion polls. Although the CMU researchers did acknolwedge the results were quite "noisy."

These study findings will be presented May 25 at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence's International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media in Washington, D.C.

What are the implications of these two studies together? They show at the same time the promise of monitoring Twitter as a rapid, cost effective research tool, and yet the cautionary reality that those being measured are a limited, self-selecting subset of the population.

The same considerations hold for those planning to use Twitter as a relationship marketing vehicle for awareness or acquisition. The reach and demographic of your Tweets will be limited, so please understand that Twitter should be just one component of a well thought media plan.

May 11, 2010

Pharma Digital IQ: CRM Perspective

I highly recommend reading the just-released in-depth study of 51 Pharmaceutical Digital presences , a research report compiled by L2 (Luxury Lab) and PhD Media.

The review is quite well done in having a range of principled dimensions on which to rank a pharmaceutical brand’s online presence. These include:
• Website platform (brand translation, site functional elements)
• Off platform messaging (online advertising, mobile, email)
• Search engine optimization (keywords, search architecture, authority)
• Social media (dabbling in facebook, twitter, youtube, user generated content)

Within the study, products are reviewed by therapeutic category for meaningful comparisons.Note that the emphasis of this study is consumers and patients, rather than resources for healthcare professionals.

Brands are scored numerically, and given competence categories having catchy names like "genius," "gifted," or "challenged." To me, the rankings and categories are secondary, for each brand may change over time. What is important is a systematic process for taking into account the overall consumer pharmaceutical digital experience.

For a CRM perspective, this framework is valuable in that it recognizes that patients seeking healthcare information online are navigating through a broad array of digital channels. This matrix of channels: mobile, search, email, social media, and website must be integrated into an overall experience that provides health education, encourages consultation with licensed healthcare professionals and leads to better medical outcomes.

May 6, 2010

Professional Value and Multi-Channel Marketing.

At this week's PMSA conference in Savannah, new models of professional promotion were featured prominently.

Angela Bakker-Lee of ZS Associates described the success of "Value Based Selling" where representatives listen to physician clinical and practice needs, and helping to achieve these ends up within the rep's goals too. She cited positive examples from technology, airlines, and healthcare.

Richard Greenburg of Inventiv Health gave a thoughtful overview of multi-channel marketing, He noted the challenges of analytics from multiple-channels, requiring data integration, and faster speed of analysis required to be responsive and adapt.

We at The CementBloc had a poster presentation of design and measurement of Professional Relationship Marketing, which really tied the above two concepts together. Physician value can be actually be enhanced and measured through deployment of a PRM system offering a range of services that go with the product information. Furthermore, through online surveys and click stream data from registrants, professional goals can be better assessed, and even brought back to the healthcare company or the sales rep in a feedback loop.

As two examples of this approach to PRM value in the marketplace,
consider Bayer's new Simple Wins Professional as well as J & J Vistakon's Partners in Practice On these company portfolio portals, healthcare professionals can find practice resources as well as product information.

With these portals, healthcare professionals are receiving more value from healthcare firms, who can measure, gather feedback, and be more responsive over time.

May 1, 2010

Facebook as the new homepage - Thoughts on Juverderm

Increasingly, healthcare companies are dabbling with some kind of presence on Facebook. The most impressive execution I've see thus far is the Facebook pages from Juvederm, an aesthetics product from Allergan.

The Juvederm Facebook presence is essentially an alternative home page, with extensive product information, a doctor finder, and before/after pictures. Also included is detail on a promotional campaign celebrity spokesperson (Dayna Devon). There is fair balance as well. Most of these Facebook panel sections actually click through to interior pages on the Juvederm website; making this Facebook an alternative home page, or perhaps thought of as a "landing page."

But the question arises, from where are people landing? That is, what is the beginning of the prospect's user experience that gets them to Facebook? Not clear from browsing around, but here are some potential examples:

* A 40-something Facebook user sees a friend's post and perhaps photos of a friend who describes taking juvederm, or the friend uses more general terms like "dermal filler." This can prompt our prospect to search within facebook, and call up the Juvederm presence

* An offline advertisement (print, TV, in office, out of home) says, "see us on Facebook," prompting a prospect to search there.

*An online referral right to facebook, from a website or even another Facebook presence.

Hopefully we will be able to measure the pathways similarly to how we can measure website referrers.

Thus it seems that Facebook is growing as an acquisition component. 30-somethings and 40-soemthings are using it increasingly. However, marketers are encouraged to not build another island, but think through the experience to get them there.