Great article by on Healthcare Blogging 101 by Angela Dunn @blogbrevity How to: healthcare physician hospital blog, engage online medical consumers, patients.
Click on the headline to read more.
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It is easier than ever to measure and monitor people and machines, but the technology of Big Data is not without its shortcomings.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
Pharma traditionally has horded vasts amount of data. Once it has the data, it stores it in vast data warehouses and onces there is very rarely used in marketing or by the sales force. Information can be a powerful tool for a marketer to deliver communication that will engage and change behaviour. Data when applied to the right communication channels provides the thing that pharma is looking for... impact.
1. Either collects more data it will do nothing with
2. Not record data, driven by the fear of having to monitor 24/7 for adverse events
Closed loop marketing is the seen as the solution, but given the complexity in approving content it means this is often implemented in a watered down way. As digital communication gets more complex, engagement is happening in a personalised way and not just through large segmented messaging. This is the future of communication and marketing, engaging with people in conversations around their needs. To support this pharma needs to look at understanding customer needs on an individual basis. The opportunity to collect this data to do this is there. The challenge that lies ahead is using it wisely.
A nice summary of simple email marketing planning from MarketingProfs
Although email marketing can be one of the most profitable components of your marketing mix, effective and successful email campaigns don't just happen by accident. They take careful planning and an understanding of what works (and what doesn't) when it comes to email marketing.
That's where SmartTools: Email Campaign Planner comes in. This online service is a step-by-step blueprint for quickly creating email campaigns that deliver the results you need. It will help you define your campaign goals and budget, segment your list to target the right prospects with the right message, create compelling calls to action, and evaluate your results.
INCLUDES 8 TOOLS
Conceptualize a high-impact program based on your company's value proposition.
A nice view of the digital app world for patients and HCP's
With technology becoming the norm, empowerment of patients and physcians has changed healthcare as we know it. Instant information and second opinions, means that healthcare standards should in theory be driven up.
A new Facebook app, Circle of Support, provides a rare support community for people living with metastatic breast cancer.
Social media provides a tool to aggregate people with a common cause. After being diagnosed with a rare cancer / disease, connection to group of people in a similar position can provide the support and reassurance that people are looking for.
The internet has removed boundaries and enabled people to find each other. Creating a community of patients for a pharmaceutical brand in social media provides an interesting opportunity for any marketeer. It enables new insights into the group by monitoring discussion and also by mining social media profile data. Social media groups can provide a channel to deliver patient programmes (patient compliance, patient education etc) as well a tool for clinical trial recruitment.
The opportunity of social media and pharma is there. Time to make use of it.
Great to see pharma using new social media tools relatively quickly. Bayer being the first pharma company to use Pinterest what are the opportunities for pharma brands?
Let’s look at the typical demographic of a Pinterest user. Nearly 70% of Pinterest users are women and there are typically 1.36 million users per day. Rather than typical uptake starting with teens Pinterest has got a relatively large uptake with the older demographics.
Pinterest creates an interesting opportunity for brands and specifically pharma brands. It aggregates people around key topics, which immediately mean your target segments can be identified. A little research will give you a full understanding of what topics your customers are interested in. From a marketing perspective these insights gives you an opportunity to engage with customer directly as well as helping you refine campaigns themes to match imagery that grabs attention.
As a tool brands have the opportunity to embrace Pinterest. If you haven’t investigated it, then it may be something you should consider.
Looking for ways you can use Twitter in pharma marketing? This article on the "The 10 Most Important Questions I get Asked About Twitter" can provide some insight.
Written by Jeff Bullas on his blog (click on the headline for the full article) enjoy the read.
Twitter is a complete mystery to a lot of people. Twitter in fact was never meant to be a social networking site according to its founders.
It was initially created as an internal messaging system in 2006 for the pod casting company Odeo in 2006 and broke through into public conciousness in 2007 after winning an award at the SXSW conference.
It has now evolved into world wide real time messaging system on steroids.
Who Uses Twitter?
Twitter is used for a wide variety of online activities by different groups and individuals including:
Journalists use it for monitoring politicians and celebritiesCompanies use it for breaking news in real timeMarketers use it to create buzz about brandsBloggers use it to promote their blogs
So why did I start using Twitter and what have I learnt since sending my first tweet? Here are my responses to questions I have been asked in interviews over the last 12 months.
The 10 Most Important Questions I get Asked About Twitter
1. When did you set up your Twitter account? Do you remember why you did it?
I set up my account in December 2008 after stumbling upon conversations about Twitter on blogs I was reading. It seemed a curiosity at the time with some potential so I started playing for a few months until I discovered its marketing power in March 2009 when I started my blog
2. Do you have your own Twitter strategy?
My strategy is quite focused
I use it primarily to promote and distribute my blog posts to a targeted audience globallyEngage and have conversations with people on Twitter both publicly and privately on the DM channelFor networking with people both online and offline
3. How should marketers use Twitter? Any tips or tricks that work for you?
Know who your targeted audience is and follow them. The secret etiquette of Twitter is that a lot of people will reciprocate and follow you back. Tools that I have found effective for doing this are Twellow.com and Tweepi.comCreate great content on your blog and tweet it to that audienceI use Twitter as a tool to automate the distribution of my archived articles from my blog. Each post is broadcast once every 6 days. Some people don’t like agree with this strategy but Twitter is a tool and I use its reach to market my blog and with 65,000 Twitter followers it is very effective marketing tool.The secret is to not only build a a large quantity of followers but also targeted quality followers.
4. Why do you think people are following you? Is it because you are popular in your field or it is more about the way you are using Twitter?
I believe the reason that people follow me is because of the content I create on my blog which I then promote by tweeting. This has now created such momentum after 2 years of concentrated effort that 3,000 to 4,000 new followers join every month.
5. What are the main lessons you are usually teaching your clients when it comes to Twitter? What are your observations – do they know how to use it successfully?
For most people Twitter is a mystery. I treat it as networking channel on steroids. The main lessons are
Know your audience and provide information that they need by listening to their feedbackGet clear on your goals for Twitter. Eg increase followers, drive traffic to my blog and create new contacts that I can meet in person that create business opportunities such as speaking engagements and consultingUnderstand it also can be a great personal branding platform in conjunction with a blog
6. Do you think that Twitter is a “magical marketing tool”? Or is it a new way of communication that we need to learn how to use?
For me it has seemed magic because I don’t know of any other tool that can get your message out so quickly. It also can seem magical because for most people it is new and exciting. In essence though it is a new way of communicating and marketing that needs to be learned with its own strange vocabulary and quirks including #Tags, DM, and @
7. Can you be influential on-line if you are not doing something substantial off-line?
Online influence can be created without being an offline somebody. There are many influential people on Twitter because they learnt the art of creating online influence. A great tool for measuring this influence is Klout.com What I am experiencing is that online influence can become significant in real life and people start seeking you out for speaking, interviews, and business opportunities.
8. Does Twitter help you to “sell” yourself and to promote your services?
The short answer is ‘Yes’ but to elaborate it opens doors to paid Keynote speaking engagements, consulting and workshops.
In combination with my blog which is my name as a domain name (jeffbullas.com), it has created a very synergistic personal branding platform. What is also important is that my Twitter handle “jeffbullas” is consistent with my blogs name. It is important to have congruent branding across multiple online properties.
9. Have you got a special Twitter story? Something that you still remember and makes you smile/laugh/cry/angry?
I remember being contacted by Scott Monty the Global Social Media Director for Ford about a positive article I had tweeted about Ford and that they had picked up with their Twitter monitoring tools. It surprised me that my little Tweet had been sifted from the ‘noise’ on the web that has led to us now becoming Twitter friends and communicating regularly via Twitter. I don’t know of any other free marketing social media tool that could have achieved the same result in that space of time.
10. Tell us what “success on Twitter” means to you?
Success on Twitter is to be able make a difference by putting educational and original content into the Twitter torrent and to influence a global audience one tweet at a time. It has continued to surprise me with its reach and immediacy.
It has contributed significantly to making my blog a success in just over 2 years with readers to jeffbullas.com now numbering over 140,000 per month in 190 countries.
Can pharma use social media? A common question within pharma, and one that the ABPI has responded by saying that there is nothing stopping them. The challenge is not social media but how you can leverage social media as a tool and stay within guidelines. Regulatory procedures and risk averseness has on the whole meant pharma is a late adopter of social media and hence it is unsure on how to use it effectively.
The most common reasons given by pharm against use of social media are:
Direct to consumer communicationAdverse event reportingOff license discussion of productsLack of resources to moderate
There is an element of risk with these four issues, but these can be easily managed with the right strategy and planning. The real reason for lack of uptake of social, is generally due to a lack is inexperience and lacks of understanding of how social can be used to optimise communication. Being a process driven industry, if social media understanding is not present throughout all key personnel including stakeholders, barriers are created for its use.
How can pharma remove the barriers it faces internally and embrace social media?
Firstly, it needs to understand current capabilities. Having delivered a number digital pharma audits at departmental and company level it has been an invaluable exercise to enable change. Companies need to understand the skills gaps within teams and to review its systems, process and policies/strategies in order to be as efficient and embrace digital/social.
Once fully understood the right interventions can be put in place to enable change within the organisation. These interventions should help define best practice within your organisation. All too often marketers are told what they cannot do rather than what they can. Developing a “social media playbook” for your company/department is a way you can help pharma take the step it needs to use the power of social.
Social media is constantly evolving, so pharma needs to encourage its use by individuals on a personal level to increase awareness and understanding. Regular personal use of social media can help demonstrate how it can be applied to pharma. To enable this, companies need to define social media policies for personal use.
Can pharma use social media? I would say if it doesn’t then it is missing huge commercial opportunity.
Most pharma marketers are fully aware of social media; they just struggle understanding its application to their brands. Often corporate governance and lack of senior level belief in social media hinder any uptake by brands to really engage with their customers and use social to complement their other marketing activities.
With new social media tools appearing all the time there is a challenge not only decide what each platform can do, but trying apply it to pharma marketing (the picture an amusing view of most common platforms). A year ago was a world without google+, which according to recent announcements your participation will be increasing your search engine rankings.
With the rapid evolution of social media, reviewing the social landscape regularly should be an important process to see how it could be used to optimise your brand plans. Use of social media for “the sake of it”, overall tends to be a poor investment (you might actually get lucky and engage customers), instead social should form part of your long-term brands strategic thinking. Gaining customer insights, engaging customers and empowering advocates are the key outcomes for most brand plans, and social media can provide a cost effective solution.
Understanding your customers online behaviours can provide you with direction on where your brand should be. I often hear “do doctors really use social media?” Sometimes pharma marketers forget that doctors are also members of the public, which participate in social platforms like any other person in society. Given their socio economic status, in fact they are more likely to have smart phone and ipads.
Below are 20 social media stats that show how active social media is within society (for full article on these stats click on the headline).
1. One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook ( This number is calculated by dividing the planets 6.94 billion people by Facebook’s 750 million users)
The power of social media is not going to go away, but it will increase in importance (for customers and by association marketers). Deciding how, when and where to use social should be a critical part of your brand plan.
Here are some tips to help you improve the way tablet users experience your website, with just a few simple changes that you can make today.
There are nearly 70 million tablet users in the U.S. alone, a figure that has doubled from the year before. This means that nearly 30% of the country's Internet users are browsing on a tablet device.
Tablet traffic to e-commerce sites grew by 348% from 2011 to 2012, overtaking smartphone traffic for the first time. With the tablet market as young as it is, its footprint is only going to expand.
This trend sends a strong message: If you haven't already, now is the time to prioritize your website's design considerations for tablet functionality. Ignoring this could negatively impact your website's overall conversion rate, return visits, sales and more.What Is Tappiness?
When a website exhibits "tappiness," it's easy -- or even delightful -- to use on a mobile or tablet device. Tappiness encompasses smart use of space, text that is easy to read, logical interaction clues and large touch targets that allow visitors to navigate with confidence.
The large font sizes and wide touch targets in this design offer a positive experience, even when reduced in scale on a tablet.
The opposite experience exists when text is too small to read and navigation links are so close together that unintended navigation occurs. This adds time, complexity and frustration to the navigation experience, which will quickly drive away your visitors.
Small font sizes and narrow touch targets in this design prove to be much more difficult to read and use on a tablet.
While it may be ideal to redesign your website with a responsive layout for all devices, time and cost may inhibit you from a complete overhaul. But you do have other options. Here are some tips to help you improve the way tablet users experience your website, with just a few simple changes that you can make today.How to Improve Your Site's Tappiness
Just a few subtle adjustments to your CSS can greatly improve legibility and navigation dexterity on a tablet.
1. Increase the size and margin for buttons and calls-to-action. The average width of the index finger for most adults translates to about 45-57 pixels. Why make your visitor work harder to find and tap the "Buy" button?
2. Ensure links and calls-to-action look tap-able without hover states. Hover states do not exist on a tablet. Style your text links to use a clear, contrasting color. And don't be afraid to use underlines for the default link state.
3. Increase font sizes for legibility. Bumping up your font sizes by a couple pixels or partial em's can make a difference. A little goes a long way.
4. Increase padding around navigation menu items. Try increasing padding by 5-10 pixels to start -- or more, if your design allows.
5. Increase margins on pages and content blocks. This improvement supports overall legibility and reduces visual complexity. Increased "white space" can result in the impression that your website's content is easier to consume, as compared to a website with crowded content.
6. Increase form field size and spacing. Make it easier for your visitors to tap and enter information into form fields. Improvements to your forms may make the greatest impact to your conversion rate.
As an added bonus, these simple CSS changes will likely benefit your desktop visitors as well. But, as always, be sure to run QA on your changes for all platforms and browsers before committing to them.Great Examples of Tablet-Friendly Websites
Below are a few websites that exemplify tappiness. Try these out on your tablet as well as your desktop. Notice these sites don't employ separate layouts or versions for tablets. Yet the same site looks good and works well on both platforms.
Fitbit uses a healthy amount of white space coupled with large text and generously-sized touch targets.
Comcast's website offers large text and spacing. You'll also notice clearly indicated links, well-spaced navigation and sub-navigation and large, easy-to-use form fields.
While Skillshare could bump up the size of their body text a bit more, they do offer large, easy-to-use buttons for navigation and calls-to-action. There is also plenty of space surrounding content blocks.
It's no surprise that Apple's website has tappiness (after all, they did pioneer the design for hand-held touch screens.
Does your site provide tappiness? Check it out on a tablet device and see for yourself. Your website may be losing visitors, conversions, and money by creating an unpleasant experience for tablet users.
The good news is that you don't need to spend a lot of time or money to make tiny, incremental changes that will vastly improve your user experience on tablet devices. For many of you, that means money in the bank.
A brief description of how much you can expect to pay for developing an app, along with information about how the process works.
Dave Pinnington's insight:
Apps, they're everywhere. You may or may not have seen the rise offree ap creation tools like conduit which can get you set up and running very quickly with an app. The other alternative is taking your website and converting using a range of tools.
For the healthcare market we may want to look at the alternatives to create HCP verification steps. If that's the case how much does an app cost? Typically within pharma we pay over the odds, using traditional agencies that then outsource to smaller boutique agencies. This is a useful guide to help you with your planning.
Do you wonder what an infographic is, exactly? Or how to create one? The Infographiclabs team gets these questions all the time. And they decided—very appropriately—to explain the infographic basics with an infographic.
We’ve all been there. You’re all set to buy something, credit card in hand, but for one reason or another you never close the deal.Maybe the third time you were asked to enter your credit card number, you gave in. Perhaps it was the exorbitant shipping costs. Maybe the site crashed.
The truth is, there are at least seven things that send potential customers fleeing in horror from your website, some of which were chronicled in this perceptive comic from The Oatmeal. If you actually want people to stick around and buy stuff from your site, you may want to take note of and avoid these common pitfalls.
1. Your Site is Too Slow
Every two seconds of load time on your site equals an 8% abandonment rate, according to Gomez, the application monitor from Compuware. If you drop your load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds, your conversion rate actually jumps up 74%.
It’s easy to discern the reason: Do you want to waste your time waiting for a site to load?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of reasons why your site is loading so slowly. Steve Tack, Chief Technical Officer for Compuware, says many ecommerce sites are overloaded with third-party plug-ins for Facebook, Twitter and ad networks — all of which can slow a site down. Another cause is cloud issues: If you’re using a content-delivery network (CDN), your site can slow to a crawl if your service provider is having issues.
2. Your Site is Too Complicated
If you’re asking consumers to take more than five steps to buy something off your site, then you’re asking too much. Compuware recommends the following:
Welcome/cart contents pageBill-to sectionShip-to sectionPayment moduleConfirmation/thank you page
3. Your Credit Card Entry System is Punishing
Here you may also want to take The Oatmeal’s advice about credit card entry fields. Is there anything more frustrating than entering your name, address, 16-digit credit card number and three-digit security code, and then restarting from scratch because you forgot your ZIP code? And yes, if most of your business is in the U.S., why not put the country first on the scroll instead of way down at the end, as it would appear alphabetically?
Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester Research, says that there’s a standard sequence of information for credit card information. If you mess with that order (by putting the credit card number before the name and address, for instance), then users are apt to enter the wrong info because they’ve been trained to log such data in a certain sequence. Says Mulpuru: “Follow the industry standard.”
4. You’re Charging Too Much for Shipping
Mulpuru says that if you’re charging more than 10% of the total cost of the item for shipping, then you’re charging too much. “You’re probably depressing your sales significantly,” she says. “People are more likely to abandon your cart.”
5. You’re Overselling Your Tablet App
If a potential customer visits your website on her iPad, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s keen on downloading your iPad app. “Don’t over-invest in customizing your mobile apps,” says Mulpuru. “Unless there’s a clear value, most people figure, ‘Why bother?’”
An alternative is to optimize your site for the tablet experience, something that few are doing right now, Tack says.
6. Your Site Performs Horribly on Certain Browsers
You may be a Google Chrome fan, but there’s a world full of people who are using old versions of Internet Explorer. Have you tested your site on those other browsers? “Many sites don’t perform well across various browsers,” says Mulpuru, “so people abandon them.”
7. You’re Hitting Your Customers With Irrelevant Offers
Okay, you’ve completed the sale. This person has indicated that they’re interested in what you’re selling, so it’s natural to conclude that they might want to buy something from you in the future. So why not hit them with offers for things that they’re actually likely to buy?
Mulpuru recalls, for instance, that after she bought a bed from Costco, the retailer besieged her with offers for … more beds. While deals on pillows or sheets might have made sense, a bed is something you generally purchase every five or 10 years. Says Mulpuru: “At this point, I’m not in the market for more beds.”
Nearly 18 months after its innovative Psoriasis 360 initiative was launched Janssen has called time on the campaign’s Facebook page.
Announcing its decision the UK pharma company said company personnel had found themselves having to remove an increasing number of posts, with the effect of “stifling worthwhile discussions”.
Janssen told PMLiVE that within the last three months alone a third of all posts to the page had to be removed, the majority because they mentioned prescription-only medicines, but a “significant minority” were disallowed because they included offensive language.
David Keown, senior communications manager at Janssen, told PMLiVE “We are sorry to be closing the Psoriasis 360 Facebook page, and it is not a decision we have taken lightly.
“The page was created to provide a forum for people affected by psoriasis to share experiences and information (as a resource for patients). Increasingly over time, we have found that we are suppressing conversations on the page, rather than facilitating them.
“We are governed by strict rules in terms in communicating with the general public – these rules mean that we are having to terminate some conversations.”
When posts mentioned a specific prescription-only drug by name, or talked about the effectiveness of a particular treatment (or its side effects) Janssen either had to ask for them to be changed or the company had to disallow them.
“The team managing the page had not anticipated the scale of unacceptable comments (from a compliance and regulatory perspective) that users wanted to post on the page,” Keown said.
He said the initiative was set up with “robust processes and contingency plans” to ensure it kept within the ABPI Code of Practice and the company’s own internal compliance rules.
“We have spent a great deal of time on the moderation process and recording details of everything we disallow for audit purposes. However, the over-riding reason for coming to this decision is because we have been forced to cut short online discussions that could take place freely in a forum run by a patient organisation.”
The page was the first in pharma to allow ‘post-moderated’ comments, assessing comments only after they had been posted, something that changes to Facebook’s terms and conditions in August since forced all companies to do.
The campaign was launched in October 2010 and one of the driving forces behind it was Janssen’s digital strategy and social media manager Alex Butler, who left Janssen last Autumn to set up digital marketing communications agency The Social Moon.
Psoriasis 360 won a number of industry awards, including the Hill & Knowlton Award for Innovation at the 2011 PMEAs, where the judges praised the patient engagement provided by its use of social media channels.
In a post to the Psoriasis 360 Facebook page Janssen said “[We are] proud to have provided this forum at a time when they weren't as widespread as they are today. But instead of our original intention of facilitating meaningful conversations, our experience shows we are actually hampering conversations that could take place freely on a page run by a patient organisation.”
Janssen consulted with the Psoriasis Association and is recommending users of its Facebook page migrate to the UK patient group’s page before the page is closed in a few weeks' time. The pharma company also used its closure note on Facebook to highlight other patient resources from the Psoriasis Association, Psoriasis Scotland Arthritis Link Volunteers and University of Manchester Skin Research.
The company said it remains committed to continuing with the other parts of the Psoriasis 360 campaign, which include a central website, a YouTube channel, Twitter account and an iPhone app.
“While we are disappointed to be closing this page, we believe we are doing so for the right reasons,” the company said.
But despite the difficulties the Psoriasis 360 Facebook page encountered, Janssen had not ruled out using the social network again in the future.
“Facebook is undoubtedly a powerful vehicle for communicating with stakeholder groups so we would consider it for other future applications, albeit bearing in mind the insights gained from this experience,” Keown said.
Is digital a viable channel to my customers? With global population of 6.8 billion how much of this audience is viable to get to? According stats 52% of people live in urban locations, there is a 30% internet penetration and 22% of the world is social networking. Now for a stat that should really make you pay attention, globally there are 5.86 billion mobile subscribers globally. A whopping 86% of the global population has a mobile phone.
Some impressive figures, but marketing is all about targeting specific demographics in the populations. In North America internet penetration has reached 77%, 50% of the population use social networks and there are more mobile phones than people (please note by mobile we do not mean “smart phone”). We need to drill deeper and deeper into our data to target specific customer profiles. For healthcare brands trying to target elderly patients, if you’re customers aren’t accessing the internet for information there is a high probability that a close family member will being doing it for them.
What can we conclude from this data?
1. Your customer have access to digital channels
2. Mobile marketing could provide a powerful tool for your communications
3. High mobile usage means that your websites should be optimised for mobile access
4. Social media means that your customers are becoming increasingly connected
Used well digital, communication is powerful tool for your brand in all markets. The internet has provided your customers with instant access to a wealth of free information. They expect to find information on your products and services, and more importantly, whether you like it or not they will talk about you (positively or negatively).
Digital can be a powerful channel for any marketer in any industry sector. In isolation, it can be effective but in combination with other channels, it can be used to amplify the rest of your marketing mix.
Click on the headline for more interesting stats on digital penetration and the full regional breakdown data.
Digital and social media are a channel to communicate with your customer. Like most channels, they work best when integrated seamlessly to give the customer a continuous engaging experience. From a marketing point of view, moving a customer up the “ladder of adoption” to increase usage of your product is what it is all about. Offline activities can be amplified online and online activities can drive calls to actions, we just need to understand how we can leverage our activities and embrace integration. If you want to dramatically increase your social media influence you have to think about all your actions and how you can use them to drive social media discussion and engagement.
Below is a great article written by Rob Pearson (click on headline for the full original). It looks at some of the steps you need to take to make integration of channels possible.
Marketers have a tough job! No juggler's job has ever been as tough. With 13 or so online marketing channels (and just as many offline), the job of cross-channel marketing is difficult. But creating a successful cross-channel marketing organization is possible.
Building a strategy and organization to implement cross-channel marketing usually requires changes in the following:
Marketing strategy and tacticsOrganizational structureTeam skillsIndividual channel manager skillsTechnology and tools
That list may seem overwhelming, but don't stop reading. You can minimize those barriers and build a cross-channel marketing force with greater focus, impact, and alignment.
Building a cross-channel marketing organization requires three processes:
Creating a cross-channel marketing strategy. Create an overarching marketing strategy that aligns with your company's strategic objectives.Integrating cross-channel activity. Create a single point of integration for all your online channels.Measuring a common cross-channel metric. Use of a common metric allows comparison among all channels and campaigns.
1. Create a cross-channel marketing strategy
Many marketing departments transformed their online marketing processes the same way: With each new online marketing technology, they added a new marketing manager, tactic, skill set, and channel-specific metrics. That has created marketing departments with strategies, tactics, and metrics that aren't aligned. Each channel is doing what it thinks it does best, but that may not be what's best for the company strategy.
To build a marketing strategy that aligns all channels and supports the company's strategic objectives, you must first identify your company's strategic themes. Whether you know them explicitly or not, most companies have two (and not more than three) strategic themes, which are complementary.
The following are a few common strategic themes for all organizations:
Build the brand.Be cost effective.Strive for customer intimacy.Be a leading edge innovator.Expand the franchise.Focus on the niche.
Each strategic theme requires a unique portfolio of channels and campaigns.
Marketing is a competitive battle; and as in any battle, you make the greatest impact by aligning and focusing your forces. Just as Hitler and Napoleon found out, despite their initial success, when you don't align your forces and you spread them too thinly, you lose big.
For example, if your company's strategy theme is selling leading-edge technology to teens concerned with style and social status, you need to focus on a teen style-message via Twitter, Facebook, and a "cool" website. If you are a B2B with a long sales cycle and decision process, you should create deep information assets available via webinars, LinkedIn groups, whitepapers, and forums on a deep website.
Each member of your cross-channel portfolio should reinforce the other members by contributing its own counterbalancing set of risks and rewards. Allocating channel resources according to your company's strategic themes makes it easier to decide how to set budgets. Viewing your marketing mix as a portfolio of channel and campaign resources makes it easier to allocate resources while keeping the same organizational structure, people, and skill sets.
But you'll still need a way to integrate all your cross-channel activity and bring together all your online marketing.
2. Integrate cross-channel activity
Having a single point of integration brings all your marketing results together in one location. The right technology for integrating cross-channel tactics will allow you to keep your current teams and skills while tracking all your online marketing results, even if they are from disparate systems.
The easiest and most effective way to do that is to bring all online marketing conversions back to the website. Make the results from email, marketing automation, social campaigns, and webinars culminate in a website conversion.
For example, each social event, webinar, and email campaign should be tied to a campaign code and landing page. To track those conversions, customize Google Analytics or use a Web content management system. Some of those systems can even track people or their businesses via specific channels and campaigns.
Even when you use a Web content management system to integrate all your results, you still face the problem of comparing results from different channels and campaigns. Some experts have estimated that it would take 47 metrics to monitor the 13 or so online marketing channels. How can you compare your channels using so many metrics? You can't. You need a newer, easier-to-use metric.
3. Measure a common cross-channel metric (engagement value)
What you need is a metric that measures how engaged visitors are, no matter which channel they use. You need something that measures engagement the same way engagement in human relationships would be measured. As human relations build, they usually go through four steps:
The current Web analytics measure attraction. You can attract any visitor to your website, and get her to look at pages and download assets. But she still might not be engaged.
Engagement begins at the next step, when communication takes place. By definition, "communication" requires a two-way transfer of information. Downloading whitepapers doesn't count. You and your visitor must exchange information. At the lowest level, that exchange includes her website address and your newsletter. A higher level of communication—such as requesting a quote from a B2B business—might also require a higher level of trust. A quote, for example, requires both sides to share budgets, timeframes, and specifications. For a nonprofit, that higher level of communication might be receiving a donation or gaining members.
Once communication and trust build to a high-enough level, commitment will form. Commitment is the intent to create a purchase or build a long-term relationship. For a website, commitment could be shown via a request for a live demo, a request for a salesperson to call, or a sales order. For a nonprofit website, commitment might be an offer to volunteer for a task or attend a meeting.
Measure each of those transaction points on your website not with a single point, as most conversions are given, but rather with a value placed on each transaction that depends on the level of engagement. For example:
The numeric value of those points isn't important. What is important is the ratio between the values.
By tracking the accumulation of those Engagement Value Points for each marketing channel, each campaign, or each asset, you can easily identify the marketing that adds value. When you know the value attributed to each channel, you know which one produces the greatest return to the business. When you know the value attributed to each campaign, you know which campaigns, no matter the type, produced the greatest results.
Some Web content management software will even allow you to track the value attributed to specific people or all the people within the same company. That gives you insight into how engaged they are and when they might purchase.
At that point, you know the portfolio of marketing channels and campaigns needed for your company strategy. With engagement analytics, you have a common measure that lets you compare the effectiveness of different channels and campaigns. Now it's up to your creativity to put the power of that marketing machine to work.
At the end of last year the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) recently published an editorial that argues standards are sorely needed to help edify the growing number of mobile health and eHealth efficacy studies. The editorial is a must-read for anyone looking to conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of mobile health apps and services.
Here’s our quick summary of 12 of the essential or highly recommended best practices for mHealth RCTs:
1. Be sure to include the names, credentials, and affiliations of the developers, sponsors, and owners of the software, and disclose whether those evaluating the service own or developed it, too.
2. Be sure to detail the development process of the mobile health app and any previous focus groups or usability tests that led to its development. Those will help others to interpret the results.
3. Be sure to mention and revisions or updates that the app underwent during the evaluation period or whether development was frozen during the RCT.
4. Be sure to include information on quality assurance (QA) methods to ensure accuracy of the information provided.
5. This is likely a difficult one: Be sure to include a source code (open source) or provide screen shots of the app that can help other researchers to replicate the study.
6. Be sure to archive the intervention and provide the URL of the app or demo pages that are not hidden behind login screens.
7. Be sure to describe how participants in your study accessed your application, whether they were paid of not, or had to be a member of a particular group.
8. Be sure to include an in-depth description of the app’s content, including the its mode of delivery, components of its intervention and comparator, as well as the theoretical framework it is based on. For example, is it synchronous or asynchronous?
9. Be sure to clarify what instructions or recommendations were given to the user (if any) for how often they should use the app.
10. Be sure to clarify the level of human involvement, for example, were care providers or health professionals a part of the intervention? Did users receive technical assistance?
11. Be sure to note any reminders used, whether they were letters, emails, phone calls, text messages, or other. Include what triggered the prompts and how often they were given.
12. Finally, be sure to describe any co-interventions if the RCT did not include a standalone intervention. Also describe any training given to the participants.
The internet has made information accessible that was locked away in books 10 years ago. Democratisation of information has transformed the way we consume information and work. It has changed our behaviour and can improve our effectiveness. The way we access the internet is changing. People were once tied to desks to tap into this information source and then laptops made life more convenient. Smart phone and tablets have given people instant access no matter where they are.
This article show some interesting figures on smart phone use in healthcare professionals. More of them have them and more of them use them to tap into the World Wide Web. With immediate access to healthcare information, in theory healthcare professionals can improve their clinical effectiveness. Taking this into consideration, pharma marketing should look closely a closer look. When reviewing your online activities have you considered:-
1. Creating mobile friendly versions of your online resources should be standard practice
2. Creating healthcare professional apps. Creating an app based upon your online resources could provide a way to increase usage of your information
The rise of “social networks” has increase the amount of information we share with our peers. Social sharing is something your brand should embrace and should be integrated where possible into any digital campaign including ones with mobile elements. Amplification of your information through third party connections not only increases the number of people who see it but also improves its credibility through third party endorsement.
Andrew Spong article (click on headline to be taken to the article) shows the rise of mobile use in HCPs. An interesting read but a more interesting opportunity for pharma marketers.