Oct 22, 2010

Teamwork Triad and the Digital Campaign Launch

What is the benefit of working in a small, focused agency without walls? Multi-disciplinary teamwork and relentless focus on high performance.

My department has three components: analytics, campaign management operations, and media services. All of these are both consumer and professional. In larger agencies, these functions are in different departments, even different divisions or buildings. For The CementBloc, all these functions sit together, literally in the same workspace on the same floor.

The benefit of this has become really apparent to me this year as we launch our series of digital campaigns, complete with media promotion and operations.
Take a look at a few of them:

* Professional diabetes
* Consumer cosmetic dermatology
* Consumer social community for breast cancer

As campaigns like these are prepared, the disciplines work together to prepare promotional planning, insure smooth operations, and design for measurability. Once we are up in market, the energy is palpable. Folks literally running to each other's computers, hovering around the same screen as the hourly results come in. How did the email blast go? What are the search click throughs? Which banners are getting highest response rates? Most importantly: how can we keep optimizing!?!

Nothing like it.

Oct 17, 2010

Benoit Mandelbrot RIP, an ode to modeling complexity

An intellectual giant has passed, and his life and research can be inspiring to all of us, whether a young theoretical mathematician (as I once was in college), or a data-driven marketer (where I have ended up so far). The news came to me rapidly . via Twitter from Analytics Bridge as well as several techy blogs.

Benoit Mandelbrot (see the NY Times Obituary) was famous for developing fractals, that are mathematical models of the complexity of nature, especially growth patterns. These models are of infinite complexity, and usually beautiful to render, like the image shown on this blog post. Read one of his biographies about how Mandelbrot got started thinking about fractals as he investigated a question on "how long is the coast of Britain?" and realized "it depends on how closely you look."

This brings me to the point of online digital metrics, which can be simplified with shallow views like visits, page views, or friend counts. Or, one can embrace the complexity and do full path analyses, understand behaviors, see the patterns in the viral spreading of social networks. The insights of going in deep can lead to brainstorming that turns around a business. Even to beautiful graphics like Mandelbrot fractals.

Oct 15, 2010

Pharma media schedules for public view - wither violence?

It's remarkable to notice how a public advocacy group like the Parents Television Council can influence ED drug makers to publish their television media schedule for Viagra and Cialis. One can see how the two firms Pfizer and Lilly are focused on late night, sports, and news programs, essentially all in the evenings.

As a parent, I can empathize with other parents who may want to avoid certain content. However, personally, I feel more strongly about the rampant violence of commericals during afternoon broadcasts; even for actual network shows. Those seem impossible to avoid.

No see and appointment physicians fairly stable

The latest update of the SK&A physician access survey,as reported by MM&M, , shows some stability of statistics over the past few years. 20 sales rep calles per week for physicians on average (4 a day, is this alot?)

The latest results show 23% of physicians said they wouldn't see reps at all, in June of 2010, not much change from 23.6% in 2008.

The rise has really been in terms of physicians requiring an appointment: roughly half the physicians surveyed said they prefer or require an appointment to see a rep (up from 38.5% preferring or requiring an appointment in 2008),

There are some access differences by practice demographics: smaller practices, Southern offices, and certain specialties (including allergists and orthopedic specialists) are more accessible. Practices owned by hospitals or health systems are tougher to get into than private practices. See the article, or contact SK&A for more details.

What does this mean? While overall access trends may have stabilized, depending on your product specialty, non-personal promotion and PRM should still be a critical part of your healthcare professional mix.

Oct 10, 2010

Blogging on the plane -- abrupt Tysabri landing by AdChoices

OK, while using wireless at 35,000 (first time, thanks Delta), I surfed my personal Yahoo Email and noticed a banner ad at right for Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis medication. Out of place for me given my personal situation. Not sure how I was behaviorally targeted. Learn more about such targeting from Adchoices, click here.

Definitely this was a CRM consumer acquisition media buy. However,
the banner ad brought be abruptly to this landing page. This was a bumpy user experience, I never really learned much about what the drug was, or what the condition was. Just brought me right to the registration form without further explanation.

Lesson learned here? Think about the user experience, and test it in research.

Oct 9, 2010

Analyzing iKyp professional data

I always love analyzing and visualizing innovative data streams, and this past week got to look at the output of an IKyp webkey deployment within a pharmaceutical professional setting.

This webkey is an acquisition device for relationship marketing programs, consumer or profesional. It is a USB drive attached to a packet of educational literature, describing the drug, medical device, or professional services. When the drive is inserted into a computer, it calls up a website, that can be a landing page for a CRM or PRM program. In a professional setting, often sales representatives are delivering them to group practices, encouraging the healthcare professionals to sign up for a value added PRM program.

Interestingly, ikyp webkeys all have unique serial numbers, and they can also be programmed to carry a categorical or cohort code, like a sales territory or a metro area. Furthermore, each insertion is date stamped and recorded as a unique transaction in the analytical datamart.

What this means is alot of great analytic potential:

* One can do basic subtotals of how many devices used per day, or per week, and even subtotals by sales territory.

* One can use these for funnel analyses, from manufacturing, to distribution, to usage, to website landing page visits, to registrations.

* Also, the data enables path analysis that can reveal insights. Like how devices are passed around to different professionals, different computers, and used repeatedly over time.

In summary, this mutli-coded physical acquisition device can help a pharmaceutical company understand the effectiveness of its PRM program in ways not seen before.

Oct 7, 2010

Digital Response Curves are Rapid

Above is the google analytics tracking of visitors by day to this particular blog. As my readers know, I post about once weekly, and then promote each post via twitter, linkedin, and sometimes facebook and email. There are also baseline pointers from referring sites like The CementBloc Website and Gower Publishing.

What does this figure show us? That in the electronic world of promotion, responses are rapid, within a day, two maxiumum. All of the spikes on the chart above are the very days where a new blog post was entered by yours truly. But within two days, back to a fairly low baseline.

Think about this during your email, twitter, or facebook campaigns. You have to keep communicating and keep content fresh to attract visitors. Do not fall into the "build it and they will come" complacency.

Want to learn more about response rates? -- a good place to start is the Direct Marketing Association and its annual fact book. There are breakdowns of response rates by industry and channel.

Happy promoting, effectively and efficiently.

Oct 5, 2010

Social communities: authenticity brings response

Social network communities can serve multiple purposes within CRM: awareness, publicizing a cause, acquisition into a database, or spreading advocacy. However, if you are building a social community, you will get more effect if the social community is authentic.

Very authentic is the new community for metastatic breast cancer from Abraxis,
Share the Little Things. Developed by The CementBloc, this digital community with consumer generated content is groundbreaking. A Facebook presence serves as an alternate portal and awareness vehicle Heartfelt posts by patients, caregivers, family members, and friends show courage and fortitude in the face of this devastating condition. This is a movement, picked up by bloggers struggling with breast cancer.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is a similar looking advertisement,
Get Free Advil. Although appearing as a community at first glance, the advertisement is acknowledged to be models, all in the same stilted pose, pushing samples. Basic product advertising is fine, don't get me wrong, but in Web 3.0, people are seeking communities, and misleading may backfire.