Monday, May 24, 2010

Multi Channel Pharma Marketing Event - Brochure Ready for Download

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The Multi Channel Pharma Marketing Event agenda is now ready for download! Brought to you by the producers of the ePharma Summit, the Multi Channel Pharma Marketing Event is the ONLY industry event focused on breaking down internal silos to achieve channel integration and maximize return on engagement. In order to compete, pharma companies are forced to rethink their approach as traditional sales and marketing techniques have been rendered inefficient and ineffective. Download the brochure today to find out more.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Center for Digital Democracy brings worries to the FDA

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The Center for Digital Democracy has concerns about the future of patients privacy should Pharma marketers be allowed to more fully market using the internet. What lengths will the FDA go to protect their consumers privacy including personal information when it comes to websites advertisers? Read the full article here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How social proof can help you

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Anna Talerico of iMedia Connection recently looked at how the power of social proof can help your users engage in your community and get your products recognized. As individuals, we are more likely to do something if we see other people doing it around us. Whether drinking coffee in the morning, or looking up to the top of a tall building, if others around you are doing it, you are more likely to do it. So, if you showcase to potential customers on your webpage that other customers find value in and are using your product, you can build credibility in your product.

Ways to do this showcasing social media tools include calling users to action with a “Fan This” button or “Follow Me” button both with the number of followers included. Read the full article online here. What other ways have you seen that can showcase the strength of your crowd online?

How initials can help your consumers find your product

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MS, IBS, ADD. All three are common disease names and are more frequently showing up in Pharmaceutical advertising. Acronyms are a driving force in today’s Pharma marketing, as they allow companies to normalize otherwise awkward diseases. Through taking out the uncomfortable stigmas from diseases, Pharma companies are then allowed to educate and treat diseases patients and doctors may not know exist. Read the full article here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies: Pfizer Gives Two Stars to Amazon’s Five Stars

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This blog is co-posted with the Community 2.0 blog.

I had to LOL at Robin Spencer’s (#Pfizer) call out to the “Tambourine” people—folks who just want to connect everything because they can and because everyone else is doing it. Hopefully it’s been (in keeping with the musical theme) drummed into our heads by now that the primary goal of social media is always business problem solving. Yet, the biggest conundrum in social media, says Robin, is often confusion about goals.

Robin shared this Dirty Little Secret with the group: The simpler the task, the less representative the results. The example he used (after some blank stares, I imagine) was that of ratings on—the process whereby users click a star to indicate their level of satisfaction with a product. Have you noticed that a whole lot of products on have 4.5 stars? Users can “contribute to the community” with very little effort or thought. Obviously, then, the opposite of the dirty little secret is true, too: The harder the task, the more representative it is. This is where Chris Anderson’s Long Tail work comes in.

“Watch the tail,” Robin admonished. The people who answer one question each are often more important over the long run than those who answer repeatedly. Large-scale behavior is largely predictable; you’ll find that most of your contributions and value come from the occasional contributors. Don’t bias your system by quantity or reputation; you may exclude your best contributors.

Nice presentation, Robin, but I suppose five stars would be inappropriate…. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies: Making Support Social with Consumer-Generated Answers

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This blog is co-posted with the Community 2.0 blog.

Steve Alter threw out some impressive numbers from Microsoft Answers help community right from the get-go:

· 114 million pages
· 250,000 visits/day
· 24,000 returning visitors/day
· 77% of all questions are answered within seven days

What got more “Ooos” and “Ahhhs”, however, were these stats:

· 31% of all answers come from Microsoft MVPs
· 35% of all answers come from general users

Steve pointed out that top users are scarce and can’t scale – the key is getting one person to answer one question. There are a large group of people who will be engaged at a lesser level, so DON’T just focus on top influencers—make sure you reach out to the pool in the middle. He supported this assertion with these Five Truths of Community Support:

1. One answer goes a long way
2. Hundreds will make ordinary contributions
3. Hundreds of thousands will make single contributions
4. People will take help wherever and from whomever they can find it
5. A post is forever

Steve states that one “myth” of community support is that the community will do all the work now….maybe they won’t do ALL the work, but it appears they can potentially lighten the load.

Follow Steve at @stevealter

One afterthought: My favorite quote from Steve’s presentation (referring to community support) was this: “If you don’t build it, they will come anyway, and they will be really unhappy that you didn’t build it.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Digital marketing shift to professional pharma

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According to MM&M, Pharma marketers are continuing to promote their products to consumers online, but focusing many of their efforts on Pharma professionals. Spending in direct to consumer digital marketing more than doubled from 2008-2009, rising from $132 million to $315 million.

Fred Foard, EVP, strategic insights, at media planning firm CMI stated in the article that he believes there is a growing spend on professional digital marketing because it is easier to track, and can there for provide more ROI.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies: How Open Do I Need to Be REALLY? Charlene Li Responds

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Last week at Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies, many professionals in the social media industry gathered in Boston to discuss how to better leverage social communities for your business. Blogger Read the original blog post here.

I've never heard Groundswell author and Altimeter Group founder Charlene Li speak before, and I'm glad I had the chance today. She makes "social" seem less scary; audience members that didn't speak up before are comfortable asking her the questions that most bother them.

The points she made in sum:

- Focus on relationships. This is about having a relationships strategy, not a social media strategy.
- Align social strategy with strategic goals.
- Support your open leaders.
- Plan for failure - there will be many.

Relationships and planning in advance for failure are two themes that keep popping up this week, so it merits taking special note of those.

Here's what Li discussed in more detail.

A recurring question she gets from companies: "How open do I need to be?" The answer: Have confidence and humility to relinquish the need for control, while inspiring commitment from people to accomplish goals. That's how you stay in command without whipping out the iron fist.

A good rule of thumb if you still feel murky about this "being open" thing: Don't just look at where people are being social; examine to what degree they are being open to one another.

This isn't about complete balls-out openness; this is about cultivating the openness that is appropriate for your strategy. An example she gives is that she walked into a room full of people and bared her soul, it would probably make everyone uncomfortable, and she'd feel weird about it too. But if she's walking into a roomful of her closest friends, it would be okay to do that, and people would get it.

Another nice example is considering Apple: people feel it's incredibly closed, and in a lot of ways it is, but the fact is it would probably hurt more than help if they were more open. When will Apple need to be more open? When it stops designing exceptional products, Li says.

Seven guidelines for moving forward in your relationship strategy:

1. Align openness with strategic goals, say, for 2011. Pick one where "open" and "social" can have impact. Make sure the strategy aligns with one of the five-odd things your CEO truly cares about; if it doesn't, you're toast.

2. Understand value. "We tend to overvalue the things we can measure, and undervalue the things we cannot." - John Hayes, CMO American Express. What's the value of Coca-Cola's five million fans, versus people that are exposed to a Coke ad?

3. Understand how open you need to be.

4. Find and develop open leaders inside your company. You may see four types: worried pessimists, transparent evangelists, cautious testers, realist optimists. Treat and use them accordingly. The higher up the organization you go, the more "worried skeptics" you find. By far, the most effective archetype is the "realist optimist" - they see the problems the company has, but understand the end point and have an idea how to get there.

Cultivate a culture of sharing inside your company, because it's a safe place. If people can't share inside, they won't do it outside. "Mindsets only change if skills and behaviour change," sayeth Li.

5. Prepare your organisation. What areas do your frontlne people need to be ready for?

6. Organise to meet your goals. Try the social media triage:

7. Embrace failure. Wal-Mart underwent at least three major social media failures before it came up with the Check-Out Blog, which hit the right note: saving people money, no longer fabricating user conversation.

Four goals define your strategy:

Understand that the dialog is important, and you can't get to the "support" and "innovate" parts of that graph without it. Learning to create a dialog teaches you what you need to do to support users; with that, over time, you can innovate.

Finally, manage risk with Sandbox Covenants: define the limits of your company's "comfort" sandbox, so it's clear to all participants. As your relationship strengthens with users, the sandbox will expand organically - yielding not just more openness and comfort with different technologies, but innovations, too.

Don't forget users have sandboxes too; consider them. What do they expect from you? Create mitigation/contingency strategies for what happens when a line is crossed.

Li wrapped with a pretty idea: In the future, social networks will be like air. It'll seem quaint that we had to go to a space like Twitter/Facebook in order to feel connected.

Photo via Logic + Emotion, who in turn found it on Waiting for Dorothy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Is Social Media here to stay?

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In a recent video I found at YouTube, they pull together many of the statistics surrounding today's social media revolution.

Do any of these facts surprise you? How have traditional ways of communicating shifted in your company? Do any of them align with the statistics brought up in this video?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Community 2.0 Addresses Social Media Needs

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ePharma Readers,

Our sister conference, Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies is taking place this week. Head over to the Community 2.0 blog to see what is being discussed. You can also follow the Twitter at @Community20 and follow the conversation at #SocialC20.