Change is Hard; Social Media Implementation May Be Harder

Change is Hard; Social Media Implementation May Be Harder

A friend sent me a Harvard Business Review tip of the day. The "tip" was adapted from David Armano's book Debunking Social Media Myths and centers around the perception that social media is fast, easy and cheap to implement, which is timely and mostly true. There are numerous examples of social media going on in the Rx/Dx space.
You hear all kinds of opinions in and out the industry on whether Rx/Dx can be effective at social media. I would argue that with a resounding yes, but you have to fundamentally change your outlook on marketing. The traditional "campaign" mentality that if you build a campaign and run it for a duration of time is no longer true. The notion that social media can be turned into a campaign-like effort is flawed. 
The fundamental question that needs to be addressed is whether an organization can change their outlook on how you reach people. I think the idea that people are tuning you out is hard to take for many marketers and they think they can still engage with them in the same way--only better this time--is absolutely flawed.
So here are some truths I have found:
1) The way you did things before will no longer work
2) Campaigns are dead, consistent and ongoing efforts to provide value are in.
3) People fear what they don't know and kill what they fear.
4) Many people say they understand; few really do.
5) Marketing is suffering everywhere due to the inability to adapt.
That's my take, what's yours?
How To Build Brand Goodwill & Awareness for Disease States

How To Build Brand Goodwill & Awareness for Disease States

As a part of my previous post on consumer driven health and the changes I see for Health 2.0 in the future that I wrote in the past, I discuss the importance of community as an important component and really critical for companies to begin to tap into for good.

The shift in social media requires that companies enter communities and conversations and provide value. There are many ways this could manifest itself but you can provide information value and build trust over time with the community as a trusted source of information and an entity that has the best interests of the community in mind. This would also put a human face on the company and break down barriers with the members of the community.

Good, important stuff to engage in social media, right? I also think the future will hold an increasing amount of cause marketing activities. I saw this example as being a good recent example driven by Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Natural products powerhouse Seventh Generation is teaming up with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on a Website that launches today, letstalkperiod.com. During the month of September (which is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month), visitors to letstalkperiod.com can earn money for research on the disease. For every person who signs up on the site, Seventh Generation will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
I'm not up on ovarian cancer, but I ardently believe we'll begin to see more and more of this type of advocacy and social media driven activity as a way to build awareness, goodwill and provide value to a community and for companies to demonstrate that they value and are interested in the overall health of the community. It will be a "sponsored by" type site have little to no branding, will be a very small social application and perhaps even reside in a social network ala the retail store Gap Facebook page. There is also a hashtag for Twitter #letstalkperiod.

Next in the immediate horizon is for influential bloggers and patient opinion leaders to begin to drive these activities themselves on behalf of a community to raise awareness, research funds, etc. This would, of course, move us closer to the end goal in Health 2.0 and what I termed the health care uprising where patients and communities begin to take greater control of their self-care, health and wellness.

It's happening now so it's not a stretch to say that this will become a centerpiece of marketing rather than a component in the future. I think this will be the way most of Rx/Dx marketing will happen in the future in conjunction with a regular, steady presence in social networks where you continually provide value to the community.

As a sidenote, I don't think it will be a stretch to say that not for profits will benefit from corporations moving in on their territory, partnering, and co-sponsoring as a means to raise awareness. In the end, the goal is cure isn't it?

That's what I think, what do you think? Let me know?
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Portable Social Graphs - Imagining their Potential

Portable Social Graphs - Imagining their Potential

Good overview of the the next "semantic" web. This explains the power social networking and context. It makes current targeting seem quaint. As if online marketing wasn't an imperative today this will crush mainstream marketing approaches and creates micro-segmentation that is very powerful. What will be interesting is to see how Facebook and Google compete to get into this space and whether people will give up their privacy.
Video: This is What I am Talking About

Video: This is What I am Talking About

This is exactly the type of storytelling and compelling video content that I think will become much more prevalent over time. Bear with me a second as I try to explain this point. The idea of storytelling is central to a brand, it is the core value of what that brand makes you feel and how it evokes emotions. The advent of video and particularly the ease of video distribution coupled with brand channels on YouTube makes this type of content not only compelling to watch in short bursts but you also have easy and relatively cheap distribution and a brand channel to to drive people back to.

Now and into the future as more Rx/Dx gets tuned into the storytelling aspect of marketing and more importantly branding, I think you will see a whole different level of marketing. This is more than cause marketing or Corporate Communications, it is creation of a long form story to convey your brand proposition. As a marketer you want to control the message, but social media is actually about you losing control and this type of content and branding is a way for you to get down into the subconscious and evoke an emotion and tell a story.

This help people understand what you as an organization stand for, about who you are as people and not just a big company. It simply puts a face to your brand.



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From Twitter 08-13-2010

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From Twitter 08-10-2010 http://goo.gl/fb/Fk0XW
RT @richmeyer: Want to keep people engaged with your brand ? Update the content http://r6yt7.th8.us #socpharm #hcsm #ehealth
RT @MedThink: Did you know that 74% of physicians want additional opportunities to provide input to your company? Read more http://ow.ly ...
Content is King, Distribution is Queen http://goo.gl/fb/cjduv #interactivemarketing


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Content is King, Distribution is Queen

Content is King, Distribution is Queen

The adage "Content is King, Distribution is Queen" is as true today as it was in the late 90s when the Internet was taking off and everyone was trying to get "eyeballs."

I saw this and it piqued my interest. Bypassing normal distribution channels and going direct to the people. Interesting from a mainstream director and surely one of the first and likely only the tip of the iceberg. This will only increase in the future.



From Twitter 08-10-2010

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On Leadership

On Leadership

I've been thinking about leadership a lot lately. There is application for it in all aspects of life from work, to family to instilling in my daughters that I want them to be leaders. In work, the gap between managers and leaders has never been more evident to me than now. It takes courage to be different when pressure all around you expects you to to take expected path. It's not easy.




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Why Rx/Dx Social Media is About the Patient and Not the Drug/Device http://goo.gl/fb/HXVhB #digitalstrategy
Why Rx/Dx Social Media is About the Patient and Not the Drug/Device http://bit.ly/ashsVL #FDASM #hcsm #hcsmeu


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Why Rx/Dx Social Media is About the Patient and Not the Drug/Device

Why Rx/Dx Social Media is About the Patient and Not the Drug/Device

Via the WSJ Novartis gets dinged by the FDA.

This is why strategically, Rx/Dx companies should focus on the patient and be about providing valuable info about the disease rather than promote a product.

Social media is not about the company or the brand, its about interaction, in a valuable way to people. It's the right thing to do.

In the least, what we learned from the FDA hearings last fall is that you should proactively put risk info 1-click away.

Unfortunately for Novartis it's another lesson for everyone else, however I am glad to see the FDA paying attention. And by the looks of things they be paying even closer attention in the future with some of their recent hirings.







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From Twitter 08-04-2010

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From Twitter 08-03-2010 http://goo.gl/fb/uM7hQ
RT @richmeyer: Spending time introducing physicians to social media http://bzkyx.th8.us
#socpharm #hcsm #fdasm
RT @roskadigital: The #hcsm Daily is out - read this Twitter newspaper http://bit.ly/a5Hz0l (via @jonmrich @jbselz @SocMediaRckStr) #hc ...
RT @oncevision: #quote The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never ge ...
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People, It's Really Simple. Are You Listening?

People, It's Really Simple. Are You Listening?

Everyone wants to make marketing some complex, research driven process whereby you magically unearth the secret for pushing products. Well, I am here to tell you that it is much easier than that. Oh, I've talked about it before. Good marketing is based on good, wait for it, here it comes...storytelling.

Good musicians have it, i.e. Johnny Cash, Springsteen, Mellencamp, Elton John, Loretta Lynn, and the list goes on. It is simply what pulls people in. Nothing more, nothing less. I wish people would get this. The charade that goes on with agencies and research and focus groups makes me ill. It's a shill so the agency covers their ass for whatever they produce whether it works or not.

Seth Godin has been on this for a long time and I read an article in the Chicago Tribune once about Jon Favreau, the speech writer for President Obama, that is worth your time. A quote jumped out at me and grabbed me.

Storytelling is at the core of Obama's public speaking, overriding the modern obsession with the sound bite.

Favreau has explained their joint approach to friends simply: "Tell a story. That's the most important part of every speech, more than any given line. Does it tell a story from beginning to end?"

Folks, that is all marketing is. President Obama is selling his ideas and either you buy them or you don't. So for the people that think they "are being preached to" when they hear President Obama that there is purpose and rhythm in those words. We forget that communication and storytelling still reigns in our text-message, 140 character tweet driven world.

Additional reading on storytelling.

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Attention Crash + Cognitive Surplus

Attention Crash + Cognitive Surplus

Hype not withstanding, Clay Shirky has an interesting take on the media and consumption.





His take on cognitive surplus that TV has sucked up over time is very interesting. He has a point, obviously. I, for one, watch much less TV than I have in the past. People have asked me where do I find the time. First, I make time and I look at blogging as part personal improvement and sharpening the saw and part ongoing knowledge management where my random thoughts can go to become half-baked for posterity. We all have choices.

Take a minute and check out his talk.