File Under: Random--I'm Still Alive

File Under: Random--I'm Still Alive

Yes, I am alive but the blog has taken a back seat to other priorities in life. Couple that with the fact that summer is nearly here and not much new ground to cover and you get an idle blog-no fun for anyone let alone my faithful readers who want and demand new provoking thoughts and content...

You'll have to live with this for the next day or so.



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Watch & Learn

Watch & Learn

When it comes to social media in a regulated environment I would recommend adhering to the mantra measure twice, cut once.

Via the WSJ: JnJ got dinged by the FDA for posting a video on their pain medication Ultram ER, which was deemed misleading because risk information is displayed only at the end of the seven-minute video.

In this case, the FDA said some statements also "greatly misrepresent" the known effectiveness of Ultram ER by suggesting it can have a positive effect on a patient's mood and interpersonal relationships. Ultram ER is approved to treat moderate to severe chronic pain in adults who require around-the-clock treatment for an extended period.

Duly noted. Watch and learn, kids; and bookend those videos people.

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Coming to a Channel Near You

Coming to a Channel Near You

I like what Sanofi-Aventis is doing. Their YouTube presence for GoInsulin is nice and not cheap starting at 250K USD in YouTube specific ad dollars. It has a widget to boot for iGoogle.

Now they procured the .tv domain and have started a channel. That's not to say that they are going to compete with Hulu, but it is a nice start. I'm pretty impressed.

Aside from the Corp. Communications potential and the rise of video news releases...Imagine a brand doing that as a destination site and then disseminating and promoting all of your products and programs using video through social networks? Again, using the hub and spoke model as a visual I see quite a bit of potential for Rx/Dx.

Will the heads of marketing be able to get it?

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Entering the Conversation

Entering the Conversation

I think many Rx/Dx companies are wrapping their arms around social media and beginning to get into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I haven't seen Ortho companies move there yet, but they eventually will in 2015 or so (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

However, one aspect to social media that I don't know that organizations have fully taken into account is how social media's strength is not just in creating bi-directional dialogue but the impact it can have to market research, competitive intelligence and for customer insights. Companies need to prepare equally to capture this information in some form of knowledge management mechanism in order to get the full benefit from social media and the ensuing conversations. If you're not then you are only talking and not really listening.

Sure, some Rx/Dx companies are going to have some short-term bursts of productivity using social media, but to really embrace the change that it can bring you have to be flexible and modify your course across multiple disciplines. This means your marketing message, market research, product development, future marketing efforts with Facebook as the fulcrum point? Launch a product to your Facebook fans? Develop a loyalty /adherence program exclusively through Facebook? Find your best customer and treat them like royalty? Use the same group to get early product feedback? Build a product (device side mainly) with requirements provided exclusively from social media? Not yet....

This too will change, but not for awhile.

Article from MMM.



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File Under: Running to Stand Still

File Under: Running to Stand Still

Saw this over at mobihealthnews.com:

They have a provocatively titled interview with Google Health Product Manager Roni Zeiger, : The Future of health care is mobile.

Not a ton of info, but it is clear that mobile is the wild frontier of unclaimed health space. I truthfully think everyone is, to use the expression, "building the airplane while flying it" and not entirely sure where things will end up but everyone seems to want to be on the plane even though they know they might die and are not sure where they will land.

I can tell you that technology needs to mature, reimbursement needs to come into play and patients/HCPs need to widely adopt. This is the marathons of all marathons and I'm here to tell you that the last mile is absolutely the toughest and I'd say we're at around mile 4--at best.

The issue I see is that this land grab has been occurring for a while and I'm not sure I see a ton of progress. I can go back almost 10 years that I have been in the space and there isn't much traction other than a lot of VC money has been burned and consumers and HCPs are online. But if you go back 5-6 years consumers were online then too and "silver surfers" were the fastest growing segment going online. The same is true today except the "silver surfers" are now the fastest growing segment on Facebook.

I may be oversimplifying to make my point, but online health care delivery model seems to be more plausible for widespread adoption than mobile and that hasn't taken off so the next logical step is to look for the next distribution channel and stake grand there. I don't know that we have solved the core issues, which I think are reimbursement and patient/HCP adoption. Unless insurance companies pay for it and docs get paid--it's not gonna happen folks.

So much to talk about and so little time. I'll be watching and I would love to have someone call me a liar within the next decade.

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iPhone Apps keep Growing

iPhone Apps keep Growing

WebMD is developing an ad for Medscape as an app for physicians. That's not all that surprising, but I wanted to highlight a quote from this article that I think is key for mobile apps in general and particularly for the HCP market.

"Regarding the potential for targeted marketing opportunities, WebMD's spokesperson said: “We are focused right now on putting quality applications onto mobile devices, and as we build a mobile user community, commercial opportunities will follow.”
This could be looked at a couple of ways:

1) They don't know how to make money yet but want to be out there.

or

2) The money is not important right now as they see the potential for competition and fragmentation and want to build critical mass on their mobile app and then start a paying model down the line.

Either way, I think there is merit to being there first and letting the commercial opportunities follow. In this case as a large brand, well-respected brand to build a following. Apps are popping up overnight literally like mushrooms and very soon you will have to have a strong brand and some strong marketing to get through the clutter. There will need to be a spectacular app from a feature/functionality standpoint to break through the "free" app clutter.

I can't imagine how futile it may be in a year or two when the laggards try to break in after dropping a mint on development of a "me too" app and can't figure out why they aren't getting downloaded.

So it goes....

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Seth + Ted = Nirvana

Seth + Ted = Nirvana

I wish I had more time to read, mostly I wish I had time to read fiction for pleasure. The truth is I don't have time save for the 15 minutes each night before I drift off to sleep and that's not exactly conducive to reading a good story.

My alternative is to read blogs, Web sites and non-fiction business magazines. All of that is distilled into a lot of ideas most of which never see the light of day on this blog. I try to keep this blog about me and my interests in life and professionally.

All of that is a big set-up to say that as an alternative to reading I really, really enjoy searching YouTube for videos from seminars and education classes such as Forrester Research for example or from a site like TED.com.

It's informative, entertaining (if you like to be entertained like I do) and you can use what you learn.

As you know from previous posts, I like Seth Godin a lot. there is usually a nugget of insight in nearly everything that he presents that I can find a practical application for. So for me, Seth + Ted this is nearly nirvana.

Yes, I am nerd.




My alternative education

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Does This Make You Switch Cell Phone Carriers?

Does This Make You Switch Cell Phone Carriers?



Some brand person convinced someone that they needed more cred with the youth. I'd love to see if this is moving the dial at all on actual switches and activations.


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ADHD on Facebook

ADHD on Facebook

Via Medical Marketing & Media

Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Pediatrics launched a second ADHD-focused Facebook page on April 22, this time targeting adults in the US with the disorder.

The Facebook page, called ADHD Allies (www.facebook.com/adhdallies), features ADHD experts serving as online team leaders whom offer “insight, experiences and advice to help other adults with ADHD take on its real-life challenges and realities,” according to a McNeil statement.

This article a good primer for entering social media for Rx/Dx companies as noted by McNeil Pediatrics spokesperson Tricia Geoghegan.

“There is no brand, any brand at all, on the site,” said Geoghegan. “[ADHD Allies] is about people talking to people. It's relational as opposed to transactional.”
Well I disagree on the brand part because you can have your brand out there and not talk about selling product. But I agree with the relational as opposed to transactional aspect she outlines. It's critical. You have to show the human side and let people realize you're not a corporate machine.

Other highlights:

According to the comment wall user greeting, comments that do not directly relate to the event topic will not be posted. Additionally, McNeil will not post comments “about any specific products or treatments, whether they are sold by McNeil Pediatrics, affiliated companies, or competitors.” Users are also prompted to accept McNeil's terms of use prior to posting.

Under the “resources” tab, the community page contains links to patient advocacy and medical groups, as well as governmental organizations. Patients seeking more information about treatment options can use the last link under the tab, which directs them to a page on the National Institute of Mental Health website. That page provides “the entire compendium of treatments [for ADHD],” said Geoghegan.


Seems to be well-thought-out and orchestrated, I wish them luck. I think you'll begin to see more of this in the short-term. It remains to be seen though how well people engage with branded and non-branded Rx/Dx sites. I think if companies stick to the human side and provide value-and lots of it to the users that they will do well. However, if Rx/Dx get greedy and start putting promotions and heavy product information out there I think it will come back to bite them.

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