Category: Marketing

Buffy the Asthma Slayer

In our previous post, we talked about the need for pharma to be increasingly creative in its “visual storytelling” if it expects to get its message across to jaded consumers in this Zoom fatigued, hyper video streaming world. So here is a great example.

What you see here is Teva going all out to communicate appropriate use of its “smart” asthma inhaler that allows the collection of “objective” data, in an effort to eliminate the overuse, underuse, and misuse of inhalers which is apparently very prevalent among asthma patients. Start with hiring Sarah Michelle Gellar, who last time around was seen slaying mythical creatures. (Remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer???)

Add in a talking pink inhaler, roll it all up into a compelling (quick, clear, accurate) storyline, and away you go. 

Bottom Line. Good stuff! Like I said in the last post, the production elegance is now as important as the message. Spend a minute watching the video, and you will see that this visual story clears that hurdle handily.

Storytelling in a Zoom Fatigued World

Check this out. What you will see is a piece on how pharma needs to work extra hard in 2021 to capture attention. Much of our population suffers from pandemic-induced Zoom fatigue. Virtually everyone is awash in streaming media from hundreds of sources. The result? The bar for attention-grabbing has been raised significantly. What to do? Get over using simple graphics and move on to emotion-grabbing “visual storytelling.” Sophisticated cinematography. Speed, clarity, accuracy. These are all boxes that must increasingly be checked if we are to grab our increasingly sophisticated customers’ attention. As this piece points out, the elegance with which a spot is shot is now as important as the strategy underlying the message. 

Bottom Line. BUT. This is not just art for art’s sake. Powerful renditions, it is argued here, draw people into the story, raise emotions, let the viewer experience what the people in the story they are watching are experiencing. 

Gone are the days of “Pop Pop Fizz Fizz, oh what a relief it is” being all you needed to sell Alka Seltzer. 

Long gone! 

Why “Bother” To Offer That Patient A Clinical Trial???

Several years ago, I made a presentation at what at the time was still PMRG (now Intellus) with a gentleman named Ross Weaver. ( Ross’s expertise is in the area of helping pharmaceutical companies “accrue” enough patients to complete their clinical trials. That’s often quite a challenge, and delays in trial completion are hugely expensive! In that presentation, Ross and I talked about how the principles of marketing can be employed in getting patients to sign up for clinical trials. I thought of that presentation when I read this interesting article. As with so many cases in healthcare marketing, this piece makes it clear that there are two customers here, and a complex marketing case to boot. First, we need to sell the doctor on enrolling in the clinical trial.  Then we need to sell the doctor on actually enrolling patients. Then we  need to help the doctor sell trial enrollment to their patients. Oh, I forgot. Last but not least, and often most challenging, is selling enrolled patients on continuing in the clinical trial to the end of their protocol. Read the referenced article closely. What pops out at me, as is so often the case these days, is the way the principles of Behavioral Economics can be employed here. Note the author’s comment that in some countries, the only way for the cost of a patients’ care to be completely covered is if they participate in a clinical trial. Behavioral Economists call this making trial participation the “default condition.” That makes me wonder, in turn, as to what other BE principles can be brought to the party here. Bottom Line. Maybe it is time for us marketing and marketing research types to visit with our companies’ clinical trials people and see if some of the new principles we are learning about in marketing, like those brought to us through Behavioral Economics, can be brought to their all-important work! Do you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments after reading this post? If so, stop by and leave a comment on the blog!

Facebook And Dry Eyes

Facebook 4 Check this out. What you will see is a success story. A story of Social Media, more specifically FB, being used by Allergan to share patient testimonial videos in support of the use of Restasis for dry eye. The brand needed to be refreshed after 13 years on the market, and was facing competition for the first time. Given that, Allergan’s decade plus reliance on one Ophthalmologist, who herself is a Restasis patient, to communicate the product’s whole marketing story through TV commercials needed to be significantly augmented. Data indicate that patient testimonial videos on FB are doing the trick. Bottom Line. This makes sense to me. Like we discussed recently with endometriosis, my impression is that many patients don’t really know if they have clinically dry eyes or not, and listening to patients’ stories can help them not only to recognize the symptoms of the condition, but also the advantages to be gained by treating it. Well done!

Lego Cuusoo

legoNo, that is not the way to say Happy New Year in Polynesian! Instead, it is a brilliant initiative sponsored by Lego.

Several facets (pun intended) of this program make it brilliant. First, it recruits die-hard Lego fans to be part of a movement to crowd source designs for the next generation Lego product offerings. Not only does it create crowd pleasing new designs cost effectively, Lego Cuusoo gets thousands of people to spend weeks on thinking/writing/photographing in the world of Lego.  The instructions for participation in Lego Cuusoo specifically guide wannabee designers to dedicate such huge blocks of time to their efforts.  Talk about engaging your customers!

As an aside, crowd sourcing and co-creation are hot buttons with me, and I predict that they will gain significantly in popularity in 2013. Watch for it!

Lego Cuusoo also encourages designers to utilize Social Media to enlist the 10,000(!) “supporter” votes necessary for his/her design to make it into the judging process. Wow!  Talk about cost effective marketing.  How many of your customers are trying to convince 10,000 people each to log onto your Web site?

Bottom line. Go spend a few moments examining Lego Cuusoo with an eye toward picking up tips that you can use in your own out of the box  marketing programs.  As you do, remember that Lego sells a Billion Dollars worth of these little plastic blocks every year!!! Find Lego Cuusoo at (where else?):

Real Time Marketing Research

In my last blog, I wrote about the CEO of Twitter’s rant on real time marketing. Creative. Unfiltered. Bottom up. Spontaneous. Engaging. I also alluded to the notion that such real time marketing would require real time marketing research. No more months of focus groups to help to design a top down campaign. But what kind of marketing research do you do with real time marketing? What do you need to know? How do you find it out? Here’s what not to do: Make sure that you press the arrow to view all of the different descriptions of the advertisement from which a respondent (and who would respond, and why?) can choose. “Great” is the only positive response. Five different ways to say you hated the ad. “Broken?” Yikes! I encountered this little piece of methodological elegance as I clicked to view a news video, and wound up seeing a 15 second spot “introducing” a new car by showing it being pushed off a platform and having it bungee into a swimming pool. Then this “questionnaire” popped up. Aw c’mon! Real Social Media techniques will need to be employed. Metrics like number of views, forwards, etc. will no doubt be utilized. But again, how and to what end? Should be interesting!

Advertising In Real Time

Go to: You will find the CEO of Twitter educating an audience in Cannes that unlike the “good old days,” when advertising agencies worked with clients for months to prepare a promotional campaign, some of the juiciest marketing opportunities in 2012 require real time response to unfiltered information. Burberry tweeting photos of models right before they came down the runway at a fashion show. P&G tweeting a photo of its Tide product being used to clean up an oil spill at the Daytona 500 and asking recipients to tweet back possible captions. Long gone are the days when I would crisscross the US, conducting focus groups with physicians to help my pharmaceutical clients to fine tune their advertising messages down to the last word and comma placement. The immediate/relevant/attention grabbing nature of a tweeted message has replaced “jingles.” All of which brings forth new requirements for marketers to deal with unfiltered information with creativity and alacrity. As Costolo says, the conversation is now the canvas. Very different from the usual digital advertisements that Costolo rightfully brands as intrusive, un-engaging and fleeting. Banners, buttons and “skyscrapers” don’t engage, they annoy. To deal with this new opportunity/challenge, different skills will be required of marketers, and different metrics and methodologies will be required from marketing researchers. Significant first mover opportunities abound!

Seth Godin Does It Again!

Go to:

You will see a site/sight that embodies much of what I have always loved about Seth.  Things like:

-A new model for marketing books.  Rather than have a publisher run a huge quantity of books, followed by the author hitting the road for book signings to pimp them, Godin has people buy them in advance.

-But it’s not just advanced book buying.  He is offering multiple subscription packages to engage his “tribe.”

-For the right/write price, you can even have Seth interview you and include at least a paragraph about you in his new book. (Sorry folks!  That one is sold out!!!)

-He combines.  Video and text.  Digital publication and the beauty of a tangible book. His writing and the work of graphic artists.

-He waxes poetic.  Life is now about connectivity.  In a connected world, everyone is an artist.

-He pulls the old charity trick.  Remember the  donation “thermometers” in front of churches, and posters at work for the United Way?  You can watch the level of “pledges” (yes, Seth is asking for pledges!) go up in front of your very eyes.

In brief, it’s elegant.  Go there, look around, and if you are as impressed as I was, go for one of the odd $ amount package pledges that Seth is offering. He describes one package as a “no brainer.”  Is it?

Even if you don’t pledge, you will see a great example of how a marketing expert markets himself.

One Of The Most Important Physicians In The World???

Forget your usual definition of “KOL (Key Opinion Leader).”   More interesting is what happens when a budding young Pediatrician, recently graduated from medical school, becomes Dr./Ms. Zuckerberg?  One would expect that the newlyweds’ dinner conversation,  at least now and then, would include Dr. Chan’s comments as to how Facebook is being used in healthcare and how it could be better adapted to this purpose.

It will be important to see if anything comes of this!

Hot Stuff

I love 2012! Being “retired” lets me spend my time on things that interest me, rather than on meeting quarterly revenue targets, payrolls etc. Things that interest me like new technologies. Clicking on the link above will get you right into Amazon where, assuming (Duh!) that you have a Kindle, or at least the Kindle App on your iPad, you can order and download great books like this one. Instantly! And my favorite part is that now, whether I am reading this book (as I recently did) on my Kindle andor my iPad, the Cloud automatically keeps track of the last page I read, and takes the other gadget to that page so I can begin there. Next time. Yikes. Things that interest me like new ideas. This book provides a clear explanation of the significant differences across the different generations as to how they have incorporated technology into their lives. It’s not about the percentage of Gen X vs. Gen Y using the Internet or carrying a smart phone. It’s about the role that interactivity plays in their lives. For those of us involved in marketing and marketing research, an especially interesting motif of the book is a research-based approach to understanding the relationships that the various generations have with products and their manufacturers. As the name would suggest, specific guidance, in the form of the “CRUSH” model, is offered as to how marketers can take advantage of the knowledge of generational differences to market their products. Seth Godin’s “permission marketing” is used, to my obvious delight, as the philosophical basis of this model, with the book’s message being largely about how to gain this permission from the various generations. This book is seminal! An absolute must read. Grab the Kindle edition and have at it. You will never have to wonder about the role of Social Media in marketing again.