Category: Healthcare marketing

Did You Forget Something???

Check this out. What you will see is a “pull through” strategy being employed by Biogen to increase the sales of its Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. Take an unvalidated quiz to see if your concerns about having Alzheimer’s are, well, valid. Whatever your score, the online quiz is programmed to tell you to speak with your physician about cognitive screening. OR. You can enter your zip code and be turfed to a specialist who can do fun things like a spinal tap to determine if you have a buildup of amyloid plaque. 

Bottom Line. Pull throughs like this are not new to the pharmaceutical industry. Raising physician consciousness of an underdiagnosed disease is probably a good thing in most cases. Ditto raising patient consciousness through DTC. BUT. How about here?

My two cents worth is that using an unvalidated quiz to get patients to believe that even the most casual forgetting is Alzheimer’s is iffy. Throw in the optics of trying to get new patients to take a drug that maybe works and maybe doesn’t, but in any event costs the health care system over $50,000 per year per patient, and Biogen has certainly given muck raking journalists something to feast on! 

And FIGS Did This How???

I know that everybody screws up sometime, but how could a major manufacturer of surgical scrubs insult physicians, more specifically osteopathic physicians and women all in one advertisement? 

Check this out. What you will see is the company’s vignette (check out the video nested in Brenna H’s post) showing a female physician holding a Medical Terminology for Dummies book UPSIDE DOWN!!!  The camera then zooms in to show her “DO” identification badge, while showing her dancing mindlessly. Close up of her derriere and all.  

Bottom Line. Wow. Just Wow. However, the company managed to show this ad, it bought them a widespread boycott and a heck of a lot of negative PR.

And well it should!


Micro-moments in healthcare marketing   Picture what happens when Google, McKinsey and Wharton team up to bring you an update on healthcare marketing in the digital age. And then publish the results in an ebook that they offer at the price of $0. Curious? Check it out! (It’s a slow load, but worth waiting for). What you see in this “3D” approach is the imperative that, as an industry, we must Discover what patients are really looking for from us in the digital space, we must Design programs that meet these needs and then we must Deliver them. Consistently! Take the time to read the copy and watch the embedded videos. A ton of valuable insights. For example, read the discussion about Micro-Moments. Great concept. It refers to those fleeting points in time where patients are actually willing to learn, to act, etc. The beauty of the digital media, this report explains, is the ability to be there at just these right moments with just the right message. Bottom Line. As one would expect from the three organizations that put this puppy together, it contains a lot of good direction in terms of what we need to make happen. Finding the organizations/people that have the abilities necessary to actually make it happen seems, based on what I am observing in the marketplace, to be a little bit more challenging. I’m thinking Wharton is not the place where such abilities reside. Excellence in implementation is seldom found in academia. McKinsey can tell you a slick story about what needs to be done, but I seldom see big consulting firms actually doing the heavy lifting. Google? Excellence in a lot of areas, but I’m not sure that they are going to be willing to spend the time and effort on customized patient programs. Unlike Google Search algo’s, such programs can only be sold once. Well then. Who delivers on the excellent vision set forth in this ebook? How about you?

Aw, C’mon Vanderveer! Diapers?

Members Mark DiapersYes, diapers! Or more specifically, the creation of an advertisement for a private label (Sam’s Club) diaper that gained 24 Million views. Went flat out viral. Why? Check out this article from Advertising Age. Bottom Line. I share this with you for two reasons. First, I think it is cuter than hell. Second and more importantly, I want you to ponder the production budget of $1,000 that got this into distribution, divided by the 24 Million views, giving it a fully allocated Cost Per Exposure of about $0. Any chance your marketing programs could benefit from such efficiencies? Not every product, or even most, in our healthcare vertical has such adorable possibilities. But some do. Maybe even more than we think!

Gun Store

Gun Store Kudos to Grey Advertising. While debate rages about “gun control,” they have created the most powerful statement I have ever seen on the topic. Visual. Personal. Experiential. Here it is. Take three minutes of your time and watch it. Bottom Line. I don’t offer this post as a political statement. We all have our own perspectives on guns, and so be it. No, the point of my asking you to watch this video is to get you to feel, yes feel, what a powerful communication looks like. And sounds like. Why do we spend so much time jerking around with words, when a PSA like this can say so much so efficiently? And persuasively! Why indeed!!!

Cures Instead of Treatments?

PharmExec What will happen if (when?) science lets the pharmaceutical industry sell cures instead of treatments? We’ve seen it in hepatitis. What’s next? One thing is for sure. Things are going to change. Check out this article, and scope out the different places where changes will manifest themselves. For patients, for providers, for pharmaceutical companies. Bottom Line. Bachman’s title for this article ends in the question, “Are we ready?” Check out the 8 specific areas of fundamental change he lays out for consideration, and decide for yourself.

Another “No Kidding!”

Cigarettes Check this out. Yes Virginia, a picture is worth a thousand words. More specifically, this piece demonstrates how graphic warnings on cigarette packaging are more likely to get smokers to consider quitting than are verbal warnings. Ironic, since such graphic warnings were required in the U.S. in 2009. A Federal Court that found that such warnings were tantamount to “browbeating” smokers into quitting, however, and threw out that legislation. Bottom Line. Interesting. Browbeating, in judicial parlance, may simply equate to using techniques that work. Time to reconsider this one?

…. Our Industry Needs To Get Real

2016 Check out this piece from a publication focused on the advertising industry. What you will see here is what you might expect. In an era where it is increasingly possible for consumers to dodge commercials and advertisements, marketers will need to get over the notion that enough “noise” will sell product. Increasingly, nobody is listening. The value added here, however, is the data-supported pronouncement that people are happier when they spend their money on buying experiences instead of “stuff.” Bottom Line. Thought question. How do those two paragraphs fit together to provide marketers with a clue as to how they should proceed?

If You Think It Works…

Scientific American A recent study has found that the placebo effect for analgesics has gotten stronger in recent years. BUT, this finding has only been seen in America. Picture the impact of this on clinical trials. If you are a company trying to get a new analgesic product approved, you are having a harder and harder time beating out sugar pills. Bottom Line. Why? It has been hypothesized that Americans, who are the only patients in the world subjected to an ongoing barrage of DTC commercials for analgesics, have become brainwashed to believe that if they take a pill, any pill, that is purported to relieve pain, it will work. Except for the impact of this belief on clinical trials, this might not be such a bad thing! Think about it!

More Semantics

Suneel Dhand In my previous blog, I talked about the importance of semantics in determining the balance between physician clinical judgment and patient inputs. Here’s another physician commenting on the importance of words. “Doctor,” he elaborates at some length in this post, is a term with denotations and connotations that are important in the delivery of medical care. Likewise “Physician.” Much is lost, he argues, when doctors allow themselves to be referred to as “providers,” “prescribers,” etc. Bottom Line. Quite simply, Dr. Dhand believes that physicians should push back on semantic abuse. How? By informing those developing computer systems, telephone menus and other media that they will no longer stand for being peripheralized in the name of equality and political correctness. I think he makes a good point!