The Cognitive Dissonance of Rx/Dx Digital Marketing

The Cognitive Dissonance of Rx/Dx Digital Marketing

In the past I have referenced a few of the reasons why I think social media for Rx/Dx organizations have lagged other industries. However, in my search for the true underlying reasons aside from legal and regulatory hurdles I think I have determined the real reason:

Cognitive Dissonance is a psychological term to explain the tension that can be caused by having conflicting thoughts.

From Science Daily: 
In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what you already believe, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce your beliefs.
Why is that important? Because that is exactly what is happening relative to digital marketing across the Rx/Dx industries.
The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions
Cognitive dissonance is why people aren't buying hybrid cars, drink water out of plastic bottles and don't use solar power for their homes. We don't change until we are staring a threat squarely in the face.

Every piece of research you read and have read for the last three plus years indicates that digital is the right thing to do yet due to cognitive dissonance it has yet to become a primary method of engagement and marketing. So let's be clear, in combination with many of the reasons I have laid out in the past, Rx/Dx organizations will not fully move to digital and social media until they absolutely have to; until it is so patently obvious that it is what they should be doing to reach and engage with people.

That's a shame, because by then it will be really too late (see my post on Push or Protect). The opportunity to show that you have interest, to demonstrate goodwill and build ongoing relationships, particularly when it comes to social media, is long before you have to. That's why I think the chasm that is widening in marketing from the product/ brand to the customer and is becoming harder and harder to bridge.

At least now I figured out the reason why....what do you think? Leave a comment.

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Digital Health: The Opportunities, the Challenges and the Emerging Global Ecosystem of Connected Devices

Digital Health: The Opportunities, the Challenges and the Emerging Global Ecosystem of Connected Devices

The wearable heart monitor that helps a heart-bypass patient send continuous vital sign reports back to his doctor after surgery.

Smart Pills with sensors the size of a grain of sand that can send out or a caregiver a text message when a dose is missed.

A tele-health platform that allows elderly patients to have face-to-face appointments with their physician without dealing with the challenges of distance or travel.

The portal that enables a person to wirelessly send their test results to an app on their phone and to a portal that shares results with their doctor – who can make therapy adjustments remotely.

Such innovations in medicine would have been hard to imagine even just a decade ago. But as the developments of cloud capabilities, device inter-operability and data informatics have converged with the health care and life sciences industry, Digital Health has emerged as the future of health care.
The influence of technology and innovation in the industry has been significant and is poised for a period of unprecedented growth. According to recent figures from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions’ report, “mHealth in a mWorld”  says the market will rise from $1.2 billion in 2011 to $11.7 billion by 2018, at a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent.

Technology is Shaping the Future

The Digital Health revolution that is taking place due in large part to worldwide access to technology, the proliferation of mobile devices and increased use of the Internet every day. We are moving from a point-of-care to a take anywhere health process through mobile devices, apps and dynamic web portals that help people.
Healthcare is one of the last industries that have not been fully transformed by technology…until now. The growth of digital is global, exponential and permanent and it is inevitable that with this unprecedented amount of access, people will use this technology to track and better manage their health.

Economic Forces are Shaping the Future

It is more than just technology that is driving the growth of Digital Health. Economic forces, as we all know, are forcing governments everywhere to find new, more efficient ways to deliver healthcare.
So what does this mean for diagnostics companies? It typically represents an evolution to core business of developing medical devices and it can also mean unprecedented opportunity. This change will not always be easy but smart organizations are positioning themselves to complementary services and solutions to meet the evolving needs of the markets, patients and health care professionals. This will create new opportunities for businesses and enable business models that are not yet clearly known. Diagnostic companies must be able to embrace this change and continue to deliver innovative products in 2014 and beyond that complement core offerings.

Pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies should be embracing this digital health revolution through ongoing strategy and roadmap development, active participation in industry consortiums, building open partnership models and actively working towards solutions to positively impact the ongoing diagnosis and care for health conditions. 

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How Large Corporations Are Playing to Win Against Start-ups in the Digital Innovation Game

How Large Corporations Are Playing to Win Against Start-ups in the Digital Innovation Game

In game of digital disruption, are large corporations doomed to lose?

On the face of it, it would certainly seem so.  Forrester Research released a study showing that the emergence of digital platforms and digital tools allowed innovation to speed up radically in every sector—creating 10 times the number of competing innovators.  How?  By lowering the cost of market entry to 1/10 previous levels, using tools that were 100 times more powerful than previously available. Add to this a healthcare industry that is on a global drive to lower cost, maximize “big health data,” and increase direct patient engagement and you have the perfect opportunity for smaller, more nimble competitors to disrupt markets with new, patient-centric technologies.

In spite of these facts, many large companies are starting to realize they don’t have to be the “disruptees” when digital disruption strikes. They already have the tools to win, if they choose to use them. Their vantage point in their industry gives them capital to invest, easy access to talent, and the digital infrastructure and “boots on the ground” to get products to market faster than their start-up competitors. In fact, some experts estimate that 30 percent of major corporations now have some kind of innovation center set up for quick development.  The key to success  is learning how to innovate quickly, fail fast, and learn even faster.

While many large organizations are just starting to embrace digital disruption, there is much to learn from other companies that have made digital innovation a long-standing, central part of their culture. Here are some of the ways companies have been taking some lessons from the entrepreneurial playbook, and using them to win:

Innovation Divisions 
To succeed in Digital Innovation, large corporations are creating stand-alone innovation divisions—creating space within their organizations to  innovate, test, fail and learn quickly. For instance, software company SAP has created an Innovation Center with healthcare being one of its primary product areas.  The Innovation Center, with two German locations in Potsdam and Walldorf, combines SAP’s programmers with students and research academics from their partner institutions, The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering, the Berlin Universities, the Fraunhofer Institutes, Stanford University and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Much of the output of the center focuses on managing big data in healthcare, such as a new patient management analytics platform and data explorer, in addition to a proteome-based Cancer diagnostics tool, as a start.

Investment Funds & Entrepreneurs-in-Residence
Janssen is well known for Janssen Labs, which provides an accelerator space for new companies that are exploring new drugs and treatments for disease. Entrepreneurs get advice and use of Jannsen’s lab space, while Janssen gets early access to potential investment  and acquisition opportunities.

Even naturally innovative companies like Google and Dell have hired their own Entrepreneurs in Residence, experienced entrepreneurs who can help the company get plugged into the startup scene and identify which new companies are on the rise.

Many companies have set up specific venture funds specifically targeting startups.  Microsoft’s Bing Fund is an incubator program funding companies in the mobile and web experience spaces.   Computer Manufacturer Dell even put up $100 million in financial and scalable technology resources for start-ups as part of its Dell Innovators Credit Fund, to help new companies get on their feet.  American Express announced last year they would invest $100 million in digital commerce start-ups.

Innovation Prize Programs : 
While most people often think of prize programs as a challenge companies offer to external world—such as Qualcomm’s QPrize Competition for digital entrepreneurs-- some of the most successful innovation prize competitions are for company employees only. Hewlett Packard’s Flashpoint 2.0 program, for instance, attracted 152 employee teams of 3-5 people each, all competing to address specific strategic business problems HP was facing.  The top 3 teams advanced to the finals, where their work was judged by venture capitalists, business professors and top HP executives.  The prize for the winners?  $200,000 in seed capital to advance their new business idea in the organization, and paid attendance at MIT’s one-week Entrepreneurship Development Program. 

When consulting company PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) ran a similar program, they expected 100 ideas to come through on the first round, but instead were overwhelmed with 779.  They awarded $100,000 in seed funding to their winner.  But the real prize for the company was program engagement levels at 60 percent for their 30,000 employees internationally.  Ideas generated from the program included a whole new service line for the company and a cloud based “idea refinery” where employees worldwide can collaborate on new ideas throughout the year.

While many corporate innovation programs hover around $200,000 or so a year, it is not unusual for companies to invest up to a million dollars in similar employee-based innovation initiatives. 

Hackathon Events:
Sometimes internal innovation thrives best when a large group of people come together with a tight deadline.  Take, for instance, Facebook, which has sponsored 30 different Hackathons over its short history.  During these events, Facebook puts together a large group of its programmers for a day or two who collaborate intensively against a set of stated corporate goals.  The Hackathons have produced many service innovations over the years, the iconic “like” button being one of them.

Corporate Culture Mandates:
Microsoft’s innovation strategy is more relaxed.  Their corporate campus has a 60,000 square foot innovation garage where employees are encouraged to hang out together after work to collaborate on any new ideas they might have.  3M is legendary for its commitment to employee innovation, drafting a “Bootlegging Policy” requiring that all employees spend about 15 percent of their time working on ideas that are completely new.  This process has spawned many innovations for the company, including the now indispensable Post-It Note.

And that, in the end, is why large corporations are stepping out of their comfort zone, and into the new and unusual partnerships that come with the Digital Revolution.  It’s just good for business.  


"Six Lessons for Corporations Building Innovation Accelerators"

This terrific piece from Insight explains how other major corporations have dealt with the bumps in the road that come from building innovation practices, and have changed their innovation organizations to suit.

"Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital Customer Experiences"

This report from marketing think tank The Altimeter Group talks broadly about why digital innovation is important to companies, and what they have been willing to invest to succeed.

"From Digitally Disrupted to Digital Disrupter"

Get a cup of coffee. This might take some time. This comprehensive, 124-page report from consulting firm Accenture offers a thorough look at the Digital Innovation process, and what large companies have to do to turn their size into their advantage. A great discussion of the digital innovation management challenges with concrete, CIO-level detail on which steps to take to proceed.

"The New Corporate Garage"

Harvard Business Review took a broad look at innovation in large companies here, even venturing beyond just the "digital" disruptive technologies. In order to view and download this report, you have to register with the review. The link above will take you to a page where you can enter your information for a download.

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