Aug 21, 2010

Busy time of year...

At our agency, The CementBloc , it is a busy time of year! Which is a good thing. A terrific confluence of 2010 projects coming to a crescendo, new business ideas getting funded for the rest of the year, and 2011 marketing and promotional planning.

This is an optimistic time in terms of healthcare technology, analytics, and relationship marketing.

Aug 12, 2010

Analysts -- play it straight, tell it true

This is a call out to everyone in analytics functions at media shops, advertising agencies, and markeitng communications consultants.

I have heard too many times from clients, manufacturers, and marketers that they like to measure things "in house" or "independently" because agencies have a vested interest in giving their work a positive score. This is a question of our integrity, and we have to fight this.

How to thwart this resistance in our clients? By being honest and straightforward in our analyses. Set a good example for all of us analytics service providers. Our goal should be to improve our clients brands, and continually optimize. Even if it means our creative, tactics, or implementations were not perfect the first time.

Want to stay competitive? Use insights from innovative data mining software tools at KDNuggets , or use industry benchmarks or techiques you learn at PMSA
or other industry conferences.

SO, in the spirit of continual improvement, tell the complete story and recommend to clients how to get better. You know what? If you take this approach, your clients will respect you for it, and we will all be better off, on both sides of the aisle.


Aug 11, 2010

Physician Social Media Grow for Specialists

A recent article in Medical Marketing and Media summarizes the rise of healthcare professional social media and points out the increase in specialty specific networks. Specialists interviewed point out that general purpose communities like Sermo may not get into the depth of investigation they need. Requirements like patient case studies, medical conference reports, key opinion leader discussions, and video vignettes related to those patients.

These networks may grow out of health networks, they may be pharmaceutical industry sponsored, or be affiliated with an association like the American Academy of Opthalmology, 7,000 strong. Also intriguing is the surgical video sharing site for surgeons. A real professional twist on Youtube.

Specialists love to confer with their peers at conventions, and now it is just expanded to the personal space. This can be a real acquisition or awareness opportunity for pharmaceutical marketers, particularly in an unbranded way.

Aug 10, 2010

Sales Reps and Customer Relationships

A recent news item in Medical Marketing and Media pointed out that GlaxoSmithKline will reward its sales reps for the relationships they forge with doctors, and is developing tools for these evaluations.

There are already several approaches to evaluating a company's sales force, such as the Scott-Levin survey of sales rep performance. However, this new approach by GSK is geared toward evaluating individual representatatives. There may be several methods to the tactical measurement:

* The first that comes to mind is a direct survey to a represenative's called on physicians, asking about that rep's performance and added value. It could be conducted online, via phone, email, or even within the sales rep tablet after calls. One challenge may be the busy nature of the physicians' day, which can impact expected completion rates of the surveys.

* An alternative can be development of business plans by sales representatives for their key accounts, including insititutions and group practices. The business plans are scored at year end by achievement of valuable activities with these customers, perhaps correlated with sales figures.

* The more fundamental question is "what is customer satsifaction" for healthcare professionals? The same types of questions come up in developemnt of PRM: often this means helping the professionals grow their practice, handle bureaucracy, manage their time, and better educate their patients.

This taxonomy of healthcare professional needs is a good place to start, whatever the evaluation tool and channel may be.