Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ePharma Session Spotlight: Smaller, Smarter and Faster: How to Launch a Big Brand with Start-Up Resources

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Smaller companies are at both an advantage and disadvantage when it comes to launching marketing campaigns that need to compete against companies with larger budgets. Smaller companies may have smaller budgets and less resources, but they also have the ability to react faster, and upper management tends to be more willing to push the envelope. At ePharma Summit West, we'll address this in a case study featuring XenoPort.  They relaunched a brand after taking it over from a larger company. Hear how they quickly created a big-impact campaign, with the help of Heartbeat Ideas.

ePharma Summit West will take place September 16-18, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda.  Would you like to join us?  As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1856BLOG, you'll save 15% off the standard rate.

Featured Session: Smaller, Smarter and Faster: How to Launch a Big Brand with Start-Up Resources

Featured Speakers: Trey Benson, Executive Director, Commercial Development, XenoPort
Bill Drummy, Founder & CEO, Heartbeat Ideas and Heartbeat West

About the session: Imagine this scenario: You're a small pharma company with investors to please; you've got limited budgets and all eyes are on you to successfully commercialize the company's first
product. No sweat, right? Learn what it took to achieve success from both the client andagency side.
  • Define a unique and differentiating strategy in compressed timeframes
  • Generate uncompromising creative at high speed
  • Motivate a team under intense pressure
  • Bake in measurement at every step

Monday, July 29, 2013

What are some of the challenges of small pharma marketing?

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Recently, Next Generation Pharma interviewed Ayse Kocak, VP of Marketing at Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, Inc to get her standpoint on marketing in a small biotech - and how some things aren't all that different from marketing at a large Pharma company. She points out that the most common items in common when marketing at a Pharma and a Biotech are the missions of the companies, the product development and the regulatory challenges in addition to the changing landscape of the American healthcare system and current troubles facing the drug development pipelines.

However, when it comes to marketing, she sees a more open system in the biotech industry. It's more innovative and flexible and usually has one or two focuses for therapeutic areas. That changes the traditional marketing efforts used at large Pharma, forcing them to find creative and innovative ways to reach a smaller number of physicians who would prescribe the drug.

What's Ayse's key role in marketing at Cerimon Pharmaceuticals?
Currently, my primary focus at Cerimon is the evaluation of new assets that would round out our pipeline and complement our product development focus. For each asset that we evaluate, I look closely at the market opportunity to see if the product will successfully address this medical need specified appropriately and whether these assets are worth bringing to our portfolio.

My other main responsibility is to work with our development team to ensure that our two late-stage product candidates, Simulect and topical diclofenac, are properly profiled while in clinical evaluation. My contribution in this area is to ensure that we stay focused on maintaining our business approach while maintaining a commercial sensibility to meet the needs of most importantly patients, physicians and payers.

I also focus on supporting the development team with effective strategies to improve patient recruitment to our studies. Once these products get closer to FDA approval, my primary focus will shift to building out the commercial infrastructure to ensure successful launches.
Many other small Pharma and biotech firms are facing these challenges when marketing to their consumers. We've specially formulated ePharma Summit West this year to we tailored the event to help small Pharma and Biotechs structure and create campaigns that can have heavy impacts on their budgets. For more information on the sessions tailored specifically to small Pharma and Biotech, download the agenda. If you'd like to join us, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1856BLOG, you'll save 15% off the standard rate. Have any questions about the program? Email Jennifer Pereira.

If you are a small biotech or Pharma company, what's your biggest challenge when it comes to marketing your products?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Are we closer to mHealth App regulations?

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Word has it that we are closer and the Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act sub-workgroup, according to Government Health IT, believes that progress is being made. Through the subgroups discussions they've found that there are many complex topics facing the regulation of healthcare apps - many that could harm the very innovative industry. Current talks also point towards the belief that the healthcare apps would not be subject to regulation before they hit the market. Also being discussed are the registration requirements for an app to be on the market.

At the close of the article,they suggest:
There does seem to be some consensus on transparency, however — such as having a federally-encouraged, private sector-run medical app database where patients and consumers can provide and share feedback.

Do you think the FDA is ready to take this technological step?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Post: Payer Value Messages: Is Pharma Getting it Right in the Digital World?

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Today, we feature a blog post from Dr. Patti Peeples' Blog tHEORetically Speaking - taking an in-depth look at the podcast we featured last week.

Recently, I recorded a Podcast entitled “Don’t Forget the Payer in Your Digital Strategy: What Payers Need and Want from Pharma”, and this Podcast was a follow-up to a Webinar of the same title (download Archived Web Seminar and Slides here). The Podcast addressed some critical questions that continue to plague the pharmaceutical industry as they communicate with Payers to address clinical, educational, and economic information needs while optimizing product access. Is Pharma getting it right with Payers? This question has been discussed for almost three decades, or as I jokingly say, “since the Carter Administration”. But what hasn’t been discussed is how Pharma is leveraging the digital medium to get this information from Point A (Pharma corporate headquarters) to Point B (Payer corporate headquarters). Oddly, the pharmaceutical industry has skipped right over Point B and gone right to Point C (the providers/prescribers) and to some extent, Point D (the patient) – digitally speaking, that is. Didn’t we learn how well ignoring the Payer worked back in the early 90s? It brings to mind Glenn Close’s dictum to Michael Douglas in the movie, Fatal Attraction, “I’m not gonna be ignored!”. No, I’m not advocating phasing out communication with physicians and patients, but it is essential to include Payers in your digital marketing mix. You can’t just ignore them, or your proverbial bunny might get cooked (you really must watch Fatal Attraction). Let’s learn from the past so that we don’t let history repeat itself.

Sure, Pharma has well-established Managed Markets, National Accounts, Health Outcomes Liaisons, and Medical Communications Departments barraging the health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) with complicated non-transparent budget impact models, product dossiers containing only studies that meet package insert labeling criteria, and academically rigorous economic analyses published in peer-reviewed journals and disseminated as reprints upon request. They’ve got a lot of “feet on the ground”, so to speak, pounding on doors. Pharma is still paying lots of money to printers and CD-makers to send out things that don’t get used. They are paying out enormous compensation and incentive packages to Sales Departments based on achieving market access in areas where product formulary attainment would likely occur even without their sales rep sweet incentive deals, and they are overpaying in areas where there isn’t high managed care influence. In this latter case, pharma is trying to drive Mohammed to the mountain when the mountain isn’t very tall. But, across most of the United States, the mountains of market access are Rocky Mountain High, and the Payer is King of the Mountain.

Yet, Pharma is doing precious little to have a dialogue with Payers on what Payers need and want in the digital space. And it’s no longer acceptable to claim that the legal/regulatory issues stop you, or that your organization doesn’t understand digital communication. That worked in 2007. But it’s 2013. Perhaps even more astonishing, within most of the shining Pharma World Headquarters glass and steel buildings, the Managed Markets team doesn’t even have a seat at the table with the eMarketing or Digital team, so they can begin to craft a cohesive strategy that talks to the single most important group in health care controlling product market access. Pshaw, you say? I’ve attended two industry Digital Marketing meetings in the past 6 months, and in both, I asked the question to packed rooms containing a total of 700+ attendees: “What is your company or communication agency doing to craft a digital strategy for Payers who control the bulk of product market access?” After some stumbling and eye-blinking, coupled with a few mix-ups saying “that ‘HERO’ (aka, HEOR) group does that kind of stuff”, these digital marketing gurus jotted down a note to go back to headquarters and “find out”. If you download my Archived Webinar and Slides here, you’ll see what I found out: there are but a handful of examples of digital marketing for Payers.


Never the Twain shall meet.
How should we proceed? First, there must be some internal communication at Pharma between the major internal stakeholders. Right now, this stakeholder communication process resembles a situation characterized by the Japanese idiom, offered with a sigh and a shake of the head, “they are on parallel tracks”, meaning that Never the Twain Shall Meet. It’s surprisingly close to the rationale underlying the Urban Dictionary’s definition of this phrase, jesting that Mark Twain and Shania Twain have never met, and indeed will never meet, because the author of Tom Sawyer died some 55 years before the Canadian country pop singer-songwriter was born. In fact, we’d all be better off if this Silo Mentality would die allowing Digital Marketing and Managed Markets to come together in a room, and while they are there, please invite the HEOR team (who provides the data underlying Market Access) and Marketing (who controls the purse strings).

This is a tremendously huge missed opportunity by Pharma. While you haven’t been looking, Payers are developing customer-centric health portals for their patients and providers to focus on improving outcomes, delivering education, reducing costs, and improving the value of the insurer to these two groups. Doesn’t that sound like something Pharma wants to get a piece of?

HealthEconomics.Com conducted a poll within the recent Webinar, and found that of the 67 attendees responding to the poll, 32% said they indeed do have a digital marketing strategy for Payers, while 68% said they had no road map to guide them in communicating with this key market access customer group. In fact, a 2010 Cegedim survey found that the biggest pain point of pharma CEOs was the “evolving business model, particularly the increased focus on market access”. We have a ways to go on both fronts: addressing the pain point, and using the digital medium as part of the First Aid package. My recent webinar included a poll with attendees, assessing how confident the attendee was that their organization understands the DIGITAL informational, educational, and evidence evaluation needs of Payers revealed the following, where 1=Extremely Confident and 5=Not Confident at All. As shown below, 51% rated themselves in the “Not Confident” range, while only 16% were in the “Confident” rating range.




All of this costs money, and my suggestion is that Pharma doesn’t sit down at the table and craft a “Digital Strategy” but rather, they consider a “Communication Strategy” for Payers, and give serious consideration for how they can use digital to be better and more efficient at market access achievement. What proportion of your digital marketing strategy budget do you think should be allocated payers? I asked this of the Webinar attendees, and found that 48% of respondents wanted 11-25% of the marketing budget to be used for the Payer audience, while 30% thought at least ¼ to ½ of the budget should be used with this important customer access group. More than 1 out of 10 (12%, to be exact) thought that most of it (51-75%) should go to this important group, and only 9% thought it should be ten percent or less. John Mack, a well-connected insider, publisher of the always useful Pharma Marketing News, and pharma digital marketing trendwatcher marketing spend toward Payers is about 2% (source=personal communication). Let me say that again: 2% of the digital marketing budget of Pharma is allocated toward Payers.


So, take a listen to my Podcast. See what’s going on in the industry now, and see if you agree with me about the key stakeholders, information priorities, and methods to optimize market access and reimbursement success by letting digital help. Let’s get started together on a roadmap. If you want to help with a Survey I’m developing to better understand Pharma and Payer needs as it relates to digital information, let me know by contacting me at patti@healtheconomics.com.

Continue the conversation with me, Dr. Patti Peeples, in person at ePharma Summit West this September 16-18. I will participate in a panel discussion alongside other digital marketing professionals:

Tuesday, September 17
The Evolution of New Care Delivery Models & Their Effects on Pharma Marketing

Jeff Landau, Director Strategic Marketing & Corporate Development, Threshold Pharmaceuticals
Mike Strong, Health Systems Manager, Novo Nordisk
Patti Peeples, RPh, PhD, CEO and Founder, HealthEconomics.Com

Register now at epharmawest.com and SAVE 25% off your Platinum Pass.
Be sure to use Priority Code: XP1856HEPOD.

See you in downtown San Francisco this September. And, drop me a comment on this blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Listening to your consumers critical for Business to Business Social Media Marketing

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Last week, we looked at the importance of listening to your consumer in order to be a more effective marketer.  As Pharma marketers tend to work with many other consumers beyond the patients, it's important to understand the mechanics of social media marketing to other business piers as well.

Viral Thaker, Founder CEO of TheSocialPeople, recently looked at how best to connect with the business peers many of today's marketers are trying to connect with socially. One important point he brought up is that unlike with business to consumer social marketers, business to business social marketers aren't just selling to one person but a group of people who make the purchasing decisions. Content marketing is important, but every single piece should be relevant and useful to the audience it's being shared with.

Thaker leaves us with these two points:
  • Understand the purpose of your organization and ensure that you focus 100% on delivering against the experience customers would expect from buying that product or service.
  • Once you think you got it right, never stop focusing on what you can do better. The spirit of continuous improvement is what keeps you relevant, growing, and ultimately creates health and sustainability for your business over time.
What challenges have you seen arise when trying to connect with your business audience online?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Managed Market & Health Care Policy Teams: Download the New HealthEconomics.com Podcast

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According to a recent PwC report, "No matter how many sales reps a company fields or how many samples it hands out, if a new treatment doesn't offer more value than competing therapies, healthcare payers in the mature markets simply won't buy it." We know that payers are having an increasingly large role in deciding what gets prescribed, so their opinions matter now, more than ever. However, while managed markets teams and HCP marketing teams have traditionally worked independently, collaboration is now needed to ensure a strong, cohesive marketing campaign that highlights your product's benefits.

Dr. Patti Peeples, President of HealthEconomics.com, discusses how payers specifically are moving towards a much more customer-centric focus and how this shift may pave a pathway for payers and pharma to achieve their goal of a less contentious relationship.  Download her podcast, focused on digital marketing for payers she recently recorded in preview for ePharma Summit West. 

Patti will be joining us at ePharma Summit West on the panel discussion “The Evolution of New Care Delivery Models & Their Effects on Pharma Marketing” and will be joined by Jeff Landau, Director Strategic Marketing & Corporate Development, Threshold Pharmaceuticals and Mike Strong, Health Systems Manager, Novo Nordisk. For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda.

If you’d like to join us this September 16-18, 2013 in Downtown San Francisco, as a reader of this blog, you can save 15% off the standard rate when you register to join us and mention code XP1856BLOG. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Jennifer Pereira.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Your consumers are talking. Are you listening?

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In recent research, it was found that there were over 82,000,000 searches by over 6,000,000 internet users. Microsoft Research and Stanford University joined together to do this research - much of which we already know. People are having conversations on the internet whether or not your company is there. Shouldn't you know what your consumers are saying? They've provided a list of several free listening tools so that any company can jump in and get their feet wet and see what their patients and consumers are saying online. Not only what they're saying but who is talking? Is it patients? Doctors? Are they talking about refills? Side effects?

Brand Karma Rants recently shared a list of simple tools to get your feet wet in social listening:

Google Alerts - Get emails sent to your inbox whenever anyone mentions the search words you select: medication, refills, brand name drugs, side effect terms, etc.  Whatever you need to monitor will show up in your inbox on a daily basis.

Twitter - This is the place where everyone shares their opinion.  People ask questions.  They share their concerns and worries.  And tools like HootSuite and Tweet Deck have the ability to run keyword searches so that in one easy click of the button, you can see everyone discussing "Heart Disease" or "Diabetes" which can allow you to see a new side of patients that you might not normally see.

TweetReach - We all know the key to a good social campaign is to have someone out there in the online space with authority sharing your information.  Just how far did your tweet travel?  How many people saw it?  Tweet Reach can tell you the exact number.  Along with those using your hashtag most frequently.

Social Mention - Are you wondering what people are saying about your brand on a platform other than Twitter?  Social Mention  brings in links as to who has posted your key words, Faecbook statuses, links to conversations in social and other online platforms.

Google Key Words - Finally - you know what you are searching for, but are there keywords that you're not accounting for that your audience is searching?  This is a great place to find them.

Listening doesn't have to end after these tools.  Do you need to find the current gaps in knowledge to create opportunities for bridging those gaps and determining strategic shifts?  This coming September at ePharma Summit West, Lyndi Hirsch, Former Director, Online and Consumer Marketing, MAP Pharmaceuticals, will be on hand to present Use Social Listening to Identify What Consumers Want. For more information on this session, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us September 16-18 in downtown San Francisco, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1856BLOG, you'l save 15% off the standard rate!

Do you have any other social listening tools you use on a frequent basis?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Panel Perspectives Drive Big Picture Insights at ePharma Summit West

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Dogs or cats. Black or white. Buy or lease. Sometimes you need to assess several perspectives to fully understand the totality of the subject.

At ePharma Summit West, we deliver on this by providing you with varying perspectives through engaging and interactive panel discussions led by life science marketing leaders on some of the most progressive topics so you walk away with the full picture.

The following sessions are just a handful of the many “sides of the story” that you’ll hear to help you grasp the big picture of digital life science marketing:
  • The Evolution of New Care Delivery Models & Their Effects on Pharma Marketing
    • Jeff Landau, Director Strategic Marketing & Corporate Development, Threshold Pharmaceuticals
    • Mike Strong, Health Systems Manager, Novo Nordisk
    • Patti Peeples, RPh, PhD, CEO and Founder, HealthEconomics.Com
  • Social Media: Encourage Customers to Tell Other Customers, Who Can Tell Other Customers...
    • Thomas Panchak, Senior Director, Digital Marketing, Johnson & Johnson
  • Marketing's Role in Accelerating Innovation in the mHealth Space mhealth
    • mhealth Innovators to be announced

This September 16-18 in San Francisco, we invite you to join us for a 360° view of digital life science marketing from multiple perspectives for small or big pharma and medical device. Because regardless of personal preferences or biases, you can’t make informed business decisions to do more with less, without understanding the full picture.  As a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code  XP1856BLOG, you’ll save 15% off the standard rate!

Have any questions about the event or want to get involved? Email Jennifer Pereira.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Out of Industry Friday: When Marketing Silos go Public

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Today, we continue our out of industry spotlight, and will continue along the theme of the importance of channel integration.  State of Search recently profiled NatWest, a UK company, whose traditional marketing channels and digital marketing channels were not on the same page when producing their campaign. They produced TV commercials that wished to share with their audience the ease of working with them and the high odds of getting a mortgage after application. How were you to do this?


The commercial instructs you to search "NatYes".  However, when searching at the time of launch, the only search result that came up was the sponsored search.  There were no organic results to be found.  Due to lack of communication between marketing teams within the organization, this was not realized before the launch.

Do you have any other visible examples of evident silos with campaigns after they've hit the market?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

ePharma Summit West Session Spotlight: Build a Cohesive Campaign to Increase Media Fluidity & Improve Channel Integration

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We all know the data: people watching TV are probably also on their tablet or cellphone at the same time, which is why it’s important to have consistent messaging across channels, and understand which channels your customers are most likely to be using. Ideally, not only will the messaging be consistent, but it will also be customized based on the channel your customer is using.  This fall at ePharma Summit West,  Tara Capalbo, the Consumer Product Director, Botox® Urology at Allergan will be on hand to share how to create an integrated, customized campaign that ensures a fluid experience for your customer.

Today we feature the session Build a Cohesive Campaign to Increase Media Fluidity & Improve
Channel Integration.  To learn more about Capalbo's session and the rest of the program, download the agenda here.  If you'd like to join us at ePharma Summit West this September 16-18 in downtown San Francisco, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1856BLOG, you'll save 15% off the standard rate!  Have any questions or want to get involved?  Feel free to email me at JPereira@iirusa.com.

Speaker Tara Capalbo
Featured Session: Build a Cohesive Campaign to Increase Media Fluidity & Improve Channel Integration

Featured Speaker: Tara Capalbo, Consumer Product Director, Botox® Urology, Allergan

About the session: Have you ever had a website lead you to a video that was no longer up, or seen a commercial leading you to tweet at an account that hasn’t been active in weeks? Building a fluid customer experience (beginning prior to your product launch through your campaign) with consistent
messaging across all channels is something so simple, but is not always done well.
  • Use competitive intelligence to determine which channels your customers use to ensure you focus your efforts on channels they already use
  • Ensure alignment in messaging across your constituents from patients to HCPs to office staff to payers
  • Manage the digital assets when everyone is getting a customized message

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What would you do with an extra $13.4 billion?

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CVS Caremark's research shows that an astounding $13.4 billion dollars could be saved when patients take their medications in a timely manner and doctors prescribe more generics, the savings could be that much.

What would happen if individuals started taking their medication when they were supposed to and completed the regimen prescribed by their doctors? According to a recent article at Forbes, patient adherence and completing a prescription as prescribed is a big part of this.

How much would be saved if patients picked up their medication in a timely manner?  An additional $6.5 billion if 80% of medications were picked up on time.  They've created an interactive map of a state by state analysis of the savings that could be reaped if the measures by patients listed above were taken.

How does CVS Caremark believe they can impact these numbers?  As they are an in-store pick up service, they can connect with their patients when they pick up medication.  The face-to-face interaction and computer data when patients pick up their medication can begin to have an impact on this.

In addition to the pharmacy helping patients increase adherence, what else can companies do?  This September at ePharma Summit West, we introduce the inaugural Patient Engagement & Adherence Programming Summit where we will feature the session Work with Health Plans, Health Systems and Pharmacists to Engage Patients which looks at exactly how you can connect and engage with your consumers at the pharmacy. For more information on this summit and the rest of the program, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us September 16-18, 2013, in downtown San Francisco, as a reader of the blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1856BLOG, you'll save 15% off the standard rate.  Have an questions or want to get involved in the event?  Reach out to Jennifer Pereira.