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Are You Fascinating?

Posted by | Innovation, New Ways of Pharma Marketing | No Comments
image created by: http://www.sfsignal.com /archives/2013/06/ friday-youtube-every- time-spock-says- fascinating/

image created by: http://www.sfsignal.com/ archives/2013/06/ friday-youtube- every-time-spock- says-fascinating/

It all started when I took this crazy test to figure out how I’m fascinating.

Turns out, I’m a Maverick Leader. Basically, that means that when I am asked to do something requiring unflagging attention to painstaking details, my imagination sees me, slowly, sliding under the table and hoping no one notices while I crawl out the door. My special skill is surprising a room full of people with a solution that nobody else thought of.

This likely explains why I’m a long-time entrepreneur. And also why I’ve built a team that includes some of the most passionately detail-oriented people in this industry. They adore superscripts, they go in for 6-point type and lots of decimal places. They soundly defeat brutally strict Regulatory Review processes. They need me and I sure need them. We work well together.

Here’s the universal rub. Whenever anybody, including you and me, spends too much time doing what we’re not passionate about, our energy drains. We sink into a murky, anxious and frustrating place. Not that I often go around quoting Donald Trump, but I like what he said here:

“If you are interested in balancing work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable.” ~ Donald Trump

Here’s both my point and my epiphany:

  1. Taking this “fascination test” is very gratifying because it gives you permission to be exactly who you are. I recommend it. Find the link [HERE]. At a minimum, use it to better align your energy with your talent.
  2. Many brand teams hire consultants to handle their strategic thinking or higher-level work because they’re too busy keeping up with other tasks.

    Get ready for some of my innovative thinking on display: Hire us to “block and tackle” so you can do what you love and why you took your job in the first place. (You knew it would come back to Franklyn eventually, admit it.) Let us manage the tasks that destroy your ability to concentrate on what you’re really good at. And that’s a problem because these activities– the ones you can barely find time for — are the activities that will, for real, move the needle for your brand.

Some of the largest companies in the world work with Franklyn and have the results to show for it. It’s clear that a team that spends the most time on the most productive activities is actually the most productive.

I made up a simple chart that shows what we have done for others to overcome this “no time” problem from an editorial perspective. If you work for a pharma company, payer, medical device company or established technology firm, [CLICK  HERE] and I’d be happy to send it to you.

Increasing sales in a tough managed market environment with everyday B2B hand tools

Posted by | Innovation, New Ways of Pharma Marketing, Sales Training, Training | No Comments

I read a lot of articles on content marketing, like this one: Keeping Content from Getting Lost. Content marketing is not news across most industries. Do a search on the term and you’ll get 982 million results.

Every time I read an article about Content Marketing, I think of our pharma marketing clients. I see two ways that content marketing applies to pharma: online and off-line. Most people don’t think of content marketing as having non-digital relevance; but I’ve never been most people.

Today, I’m contemplating only the off-line aspect … maybe because over the past week I’ve spoken with 17 DMs, each one for over an hour. My task is to help them increase sales of a particular product in a tough managed market environment. I listen to their challenges, I look at the managed market data for their district, and we discuss how they can bend their curve. Tomorrow.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to drive sales is to stop hard-selling the product and start considering why the HCP needs the product.

“People don’t buy a drill. They buy a hole.”

More than half of physicians and HCPs participate in ACOs or Medical Homes right now. What HCPs need are ways to meet the demands of these new compensation, reimbursement and management entities. The DM and sales team have a huge opportunity to engage with these individuals with meaningful, relevant content.

rogers innovation curve

What does this content look like? It looks like a conversation. It looks like the sales rep discussing with the HCP the quality standards that they are being tasked to achieve, talking about how others are working to reach those standards, and then. Finally. Showing how the pharma product is part of that standard of care.

Is this easy to implement nationwide? No. How do you do it? The only way to convince the masses is to convince a few individuals first. These few then talk everybody else into the idea. That’s why we work with selected DMs who have been identified as Early Adopters. Some call this a “pilot,” but it’s a pilot built to scale organically.

Don’t let me lead you to believe we came up with this highly successful best practice on our own. We simply follow the guidance of top innovation adoption experts like Seth Godin and Geoffrey Moore and Everett Rogers. It’s also the thinking that drives every single KOL program pharma has ever unleashed.

More blog posts: http://www.franklynhc.com/blog/

No good will come from extremes, even when it comes to extremely innovative thinking

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Brad Feldman got an email from a reader that sounds familiar — same story, different business. While Brad’s focus is agile software, the same pattern resounds through pharma marketing: Management will not try anything new until they can see it. And when I say “see it” I do not mean metaphorically.

Is this a bad thing?
In extremes, anything is bad.

risk continuum

No good will come from extremes.

Demanding that every idea be developed to the point that you can hold it in your hands before you’ll even consider it is inarguably bad. You will wind up like the company in Brad’s article: wasting millions trying to fix a wheezing, sprawling, state-of-the-art-if-it-were-1990 approach.

“We were too busy mopping up the floor to turn off the faucet.”

But immediately jumping on every new idea, however sketchy, is what I’ve always called “shiny penny syndrome.” It’s equally bad. You wind up with an ADD-wrinkled bag of fragmented accidental strategies.

It’s really easy to castigate bewhiskered, calcified management in hindsight. But no one knows what they don’t know. In Brad’s reader’s example, it’s easy to assume that the old guard didn’t realize that they could start all over again without repointing their entire IT team to the effort. In their minds, they probably imagined shutting down the business for months, risking their personal careers and fighting off an angry lynchmob of shareholders with tasers and hopeful promises.

To me, the lesson here is trust, communication and process.

  • The establishment needs to hire bold, measured thinkers that they trust to take the business forward, even if they don’t quite understand the technology.
  • And these bold, measured thinkers need to communicate, in the language of the establishment, what they are able to realistically pull off.
  • But it will all be frustrating smacktalk unless the organization as a whole spawns a culture that demands continuous improvement and shapes processes around that core directive.

The pharma brand marketing paradox

Posted by | Health Information Technology, Innovation, Patient Education | No Comments

paththroughswampIt’s not news that traditional brand marketing and selling is becoming increasingly ineffective. EPG just came out with a study, one amongst many, that showed HCPs are, in general, not that interested in what pharma companies have to say about their products. Surprised? Probably not.

But here’s the paradox: Senior management often demands brands sell the brand, after they sell the brand, while selling the brand. Pharma marketers apparently aren’t working unless brand logos are wallpapering America. Is the full-frontal direct confrontation pill-pusher route the fastest way to success?

I say no. I say pharma can no longer afford the luxury of solely pushing its own objectives. 

This is what content marketing or native advertising or product placement (there are many words for the same idea) is all about. The name of the game is to communicate with customers without selling. Instead of pitching products or hard selling services, focus on creating and delivering valuable information that educates prospective buyers.

It’s been well proven in CPG that if a brand consistently gives customers something of value without selling it to them, the brand will definitely earn not only customer trust and loyalty, but also their business.

I’d suggest that today and in the future, brand detailing should be considered one part of a well-aligned strategy based on customer needs.

 

Is a lack of metrics pharma’s wet innovation dishrag?

Posted by | ePrescribing, Health Information Technology, Innovation | No Comments
Rivers of Choices

The fear of innovation is heightened without the clarity of metrics.

Over the summer, we spoke with Joyce, a brand manager, and Paul, a cross-functional digital expert. Both work for big pharma. We showed them our Click-to-Closet EHR-integration program. Currently, Click-to-Closet is not bleeding edge. For over two  years, the program has produced outstanding results for other clients. But to Joyce and Paul’s company, the whole idea of it is spanking new.

Who knows what Joyce and Paul will do in the end, but the road to gain the buy-in of their company has been rocky and discouraging. At the same time that management says they  need more channels to reach prescribers, at the same time that they say they need IDN-centric programs and ACA-centric programs and quantitative ROI … they say this program, even though it meets all their criteria, isn’t “proven by their standards.” So what does “proven by their standards” mean?

I was taking a look at EPG Health Media’s latest multi-channel marketing report and had a little epiphany on page 30:

  • “…Half of all pharma and agency respondent believe that metrics in general are collated but not well understood or given high priority.”
  • “When asked about attitudes towards analytics and metrics for campaigns, more than 50% of pharma and agency respondents indicated that these were not fully analysed or acted upon. Furthermore, not one agency respondent reported that metrics were seen as ‘key to driving future campaigns’ or were ‘integrated across channels’ by their pharma clients.”
  • “The fact that 94% of pharma respondents indicated that ‘experience from previous campaigns’ was a key influencer on future activities, and yet most respondents accept that there is failure to measure, understand and act upon the metrics of those activities, raises questions as to how valuable this ‘experience’ is.”

Aha. So now I understand. There is no ROI yardstick that a pharma brand can carry around the vendor shopping mall and measure new programs against their “control” previous campaigns. In fact, the only programs in the shopping mall may be ones that have been done before, in some form or another.

I guess I understand this. Brand marketers get fired over expensive bad decisions these days and you don’t get fired for buying something you can blame on your predecessor or your boss.

The only problem is that marketing in general is driving off in a fast car. Pharma marketers could find themselves sitting on a horse wondering where everybody went.