Feb 26, 2011

Wisdom 2.0 - sure wish I had gone here

Reading through my Twitter for news items, I stumbled across tweets from a range of delighted and peaceful attendees of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. Check out the speakers, and the agenda. You can watch live if you are in synch; but I think I missed it.

Anyway, seems to be a Silicon Valley SF Bay Area assembly of high powered software executives, yoga instructors, and people in between. For 3 days, talking about work-life balance, being at peace with rampant technology, and what is real connection in the age of social media.

As our communication and connections become more rapid, global, and superficial, we struggle continually. The pendulum has swung to reactivity, rather than the proactive days of deliberate appointments and letter writing. The ancient ritual of Sabbath days can be a pause to past times, but those traditions are harder than ever to keep. Would have been nice to sit outside with a cup of Java and a biscotti with other nerds stretching to yoga and pondering the implications.

Already thinking about booking for next year...

Feb 20, 2011

Youtube: unbranded health video channels on demand

The increased usage of healthcare videos on Youtube is rampant, it is taking on many forms, official and non, and is as complex a network as the whole Internet itself. The YouTube growth is surprisingly prevalent among both among consumersand heathcare professionals.

A 2010 study of Manhattan Research study reported in Med Ad News notes that "the majority of physicians visit YouTube ... nearly 2 in 3 physicians are using this website for personal or professional reasons."

Youtube healthcare videos include the polished, consumer unbranded health content from the Johnson & Johnson health channel. I get my leads for this channel from promotion by a Twitter feed from Robert Halper

Both consumer and professionals benefit from YouTube channels of major medical institutions like the Mayo Clinic Youtube channel.

More purely professionally oriented videos covering the latest studies and medical conventions are found on the Insider Medicine Channel
and The MD Conference Channel. What is most striking among these are the high volumes of views yet low number of memberships. The metrics are about viewing and downloading.

While there are channels for professional associations like American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American College of Rheumatology, content streams are by no means standardized. There can be:

* association announcements
* clinical cases
* training videos
* career advice
* information for pateints.

Then, aside from all of these "official" channels are thousands of independent healthcare professionals and interest groups generating content they deem valuable for others. Any Youtube search will show you that. For example, many professional journals are not quite on YouTube, but a search for "New England Journal of Medicine" will demonstrate the wide variety of posters.

What is the implication of all this?

* Professionals are on YouTube, posting and downloading videos, but in non-predictable ways.
* Search here is as important as elsewhere on the web.
* The situation will continue to evolve, perhaps consoliating, or remaining de-centralized.
* Advertising models still seem to be forming; some of these links have ads or sponsored links, others not.

Stay tuned.

Feb 16, 2011

Nerds on TV -- the right way -- IBM Watson and Jeopardy

As a computer scientist, trained in artificial intelligence myself, I am delighted to see the development of the IBM Watson parallel computer competing on evening TV Jeopardy! episodes. See this Google search for the plethora of results on the Jeopardy shows.

Heck, as a parent, I love it that my kids are running to me with how awesome the smart computer is doing on their favorite quiz show!

See this great PBS News Hour video to find out more about Watson, Jeopardy,and the artificial intelligence background.

When are computers really "intelligent?" People have been pondering this for at least 100 years. Alan Turing developed a "Turing test" of the computer responding to a person's questions and having the answers be undecipherable from that of another human being. Then in the 1980's came the chess playing machines. First with algorithms, then with brute force statistics, and finally Deep Blue beating grand master chess champions by the turn of the century.

But now having smart computers compete on glitzy evening game shows and educating the world about parallel intelligence of computers? Love it.

See a great write-up by James Taylor on the Smart Data Collective community as to what the IBM Watson episodes mean to Decision Management and Analytics. In essence, computers can now make decisions on the fly leveraging large databases, and continually get smarter in our results.
This is after all what people do in decision making.

Think about that the next time you are creating your marketing and sales analytics systems. Rapid feedback loops, shorter decision cycles,and continual optimization.

Feb 10, 2011

Search Engine Optimization -- feeling the impact

Often I am asked by clients I consult with how to improve their search engine optimization. This is a great question, since data shows that:

* Organic searchers are expressing intent and are highly engaged after landing on the website

* More search clickers find the organic listings than the paid listings

* Google is roughly 90% of search engine traffic and is of particular interest.

* It does not require any additional paid media spend

Put it all together, and organic search is a terrific ongoing strategy to enable acquisition for CRM programs.

There are best practices for SEO, and they apply whatever the size of your website.

Consider this Blog you are reading now. As a small time, twice a week technical blogger, I need to get my blog website traffic from where ever I can. Sure I have a few long standing referrals, like Gower Publishing and The CementBloc. Those contribute some traffic. Lately my order of magnitude of visits has doubled, knock on wood. I see this on my Google Analytics reports. The reason is organic search, one of the most high quality sources of traffic you can have.

How did the organic search to this Blog here grow so much, especially on Google? That is a lesson for all website developers in Search Engine Optimization.

Just try running the Google search of "IMS acquires SDI."
Good grief with all the news wires out there, how did this mid-frequency blog of Healthcare Relationship Marketing get to be a top 5 result (and top 5 gets over 70% of the visits) on such a major news story of an industry? This was not planned, I can assure you, but every day, traffic comes here from organic Google keyword searches on that topic.

* Become search-able. Include textual content on highly searched areas: such as tablets, digital trends, health industry and social media, often. Avoid Flash embedding of key text areas.

* Use relevant meta tags. I think my titles and labels really help here.

* Try to become "authoritative" and have valid factual sources on particular areas.

* Multichannel promotion of the website. -- as I update my website, I Tweet, Email, Linked in, and Facebook others so they can have a path to come back here.

* Get your website pointed to by highly respected and trafficked sources. For this blog, things really took off once I got pointed to from highly Followed Tweeters like Relationship Marketing update by Bruce Brown and Salesforce Daily from Paul M and technical blogger J. Polonetsky. Getting pointed to by industry websites by Kyp and adPharm were tremendous helps in not only referral traffic but in establishing credibility for organic search. a big help

Want to dive into SEO traffic for your organization? Feel welcome to contact me at The Bloc.

Also, there is a website from SEOmoz that can give a tutorial and a blog community called SEOMoz where diehard practitioners of search engine optimization best practices for years have been congregating and sharing best practices.

Feb 8, 2011

New Book and Special Discount

Very exciting! After over a year of researching, writing, editing, proofreading, and the patient support of so many, we are just one month away until the new book is available. Printed books to be out early March; E-books in April.

Whether you are a practitioner of CRM or PRM, a healthcare marketer, or a university instructor, there should be something in this book for you. It is intended as both a course and a reference that pulls it all together in Healthcare RM.

Come talk to me with any questions or interest. This author would be happy to give a guest lecture as well.

Pre-orders can be made now, and below is a special 35% off discount offer valid through March 31st:

Discount 35% off new book Healthcare Relationship Marketing at Gower Press website Enter code G1DLT35 at checkout

Book description below:

Healthcare Relationship Marketing: Strategy, Design and Measurement

Ira J. Haimowitz, Ph.D

In recent years there have been dramatic changes in the pharmaceutical promotional landscape, affecting both consumers and healthcare professionals. One consequence of these dynamics is the need for pharmaceutical companies to plan new kinds of dialogue and relationships with their stakeholders. The evolution has been from mass-channel "push" marketing to two-way, multi-channel relationship marketing. Targeted Emails, webinars, mobile messages, and social networks are expanding in usage.

This book is a practical overview and resource guide for the design and measurement of pharmaceutical relationship marketing (RM) programs. There are descriptions of each aspect of pharmaceutical RM design and measurement, including a running case study with follow-up exercises. The author has also conducted interviews from several pharmaceutical marketing industry experts, each having 15 years or more of working healthcare RM knowledge, and each speaking on their specific specialities.

For newcomers to healthcare marketing, this book can serve as a foundation and introduction that provides framework, details, and examples of both relationship marketing designs and associated measurement disciplines. Healthcare Relationship Marketing will also be valuable to readers currently working in pharmaceutical marketing or sales who may not have exposure to the particular disciplines of relationship marketing and direct response measurement and optimization. Even for the experienced practitioner this will serve as a convenient reference that pulls together all of the program components and measurement frameworks within a single book. This book may also serve as a textbook within a university course in marketing, or a pharmaceutical business program.

Contents: Preface; Healthcare trends and relationship marketing's role; Foundations of relationship marketing; Discovery: situation assessment; Strategy: planning the relationship marketing program; Analytics planning for relationship marketing; Execution: placing in the marketplace; Measurement of healthcare relationship marketing programs; Optimization and the new cycle; Conclusions and the future; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

Feb 6, 2011

Facebook: cost effective, quality CRM leads

Lots of news recently about advertising on Facebook. Online Media Daily cited E-Marketer data that projects Facebook advertising revenues doubling in 2011.

Yet, on the other hand, an Adweek article last week that Facebook click through rate performance is "abysmal" at about 0.05 percent. Furthermore, the article notes that "The worst performing ad category on Facebook, per Webtrends, was healthcare, which generated 0.011 percent click-through rates and an average cost-per-click of $1.27." That Facebook CTR seems too low for what we've seen, but do not let that deter you either way.

Here is a missing piece of the puzzle: We at The CementBloc have seen that in several major consumer female health categories, that the Facebook click-through leads on pharmaceutical websites are fairly engaged and qualified, far exceeding the goal oriented activity of banner ads on behavioral media networks. However, the Facebook leads are less engaged and goal oriented than either paid or organic search.

What do these numbers mean when put together: A compelling short term Facebook campaign in a high volume consumer health category may let you place 100 million impressions; with ever more demographics on Facebook continually, gaining your large impressions is becoming quite easy. Then your campaign (if having a slightly higher CTR than cited for health) would get 20,000 website visitors for about $26,000. If 10 percent of those attain goals, you have 2,000 highly qualified leads (e.g. registrants or screener takers) at about $13 per qualified lead.

This makes Facebook still more efficient than paid search, and indeed worthwhile considering as a small to mid-scale part of your direct-response consumer marketing mix.

Feb 3, 2011

2-D "QR" bar codes

There has been an acceleration of awareness and usage of QR (Quick Response) 2 dimensional bar codes over the past year. A current article in the trade publication CRM Magazine has a QR code overview. This technology is described as an innovative gamble that marketers are taking; it is a low budget allocation, and small but growing awareness by consumers, and readability by smartphone apps. There is even a running blog about 2-D bar codes with very active community postings, including about which mobile phone bar code readers are effective.

A good overview of QR codes and their history is in Wikipedia; they started in auto manufacturing for tracking parts and shipments. Now, an active growth area in QR code usage is in commercial sales and marketing applications.

For an array of pharmaceutical and healthcare advertisements using QR codes, see this link in AdPharm.

At The Bloc we have healthcare clients investigating QR codes for RM related purposes. The primary reason is consumer acquisition, driving from printed offline pieces to a registration website or a promotional offer. The QR codes may in principle be on:

* print ads

* packaging

* patient brochures

* outdoor advertising

All of these are typically a challenge to measure accurately, particularly in a direct response way. As consumer usage of QR codes grows, they may serve as a replacement for vanity URLs which are not always remembered.

Hard data on response rates for QR codes is not standardized yet, but that may be forthcoming within a year or two. In the meantime, this appears a worthwhile experimental healthcare CRM acquisition tactic.