New techniques bring new believers
As new techniques enter the market, the "provability" of the digital model is becoming even more compelling. One such innovation
comes from the aforementioned IMS Health, which everyone seems to agree is the 800-pound gorilla in the Rx analytics business.
Traditionally, IMS has been the place to go for analytics because they had the most Rx data. And lately, they have brought
some innovation to the market through their partnership with Yahoo. IMS is now able to cross their 280 million patient records
with Yahoo's 175 million consumer database, coming up with an overlapping group of 100 million patients. That level of granularity
is unprecedented in the industry. Consequently, IMS can provide pharma marketers with more precise measurement of patient
behavior even for relatively small brands. According to Doyle, "We are seeing shifts in spending and increases in spending
because now people know what they are getting for their money."
Finally, pharma marketers are getting comfortable with "evidence-based marketing." "People now understand that they can see
an ROI, and how click through rate translates to actual script lift," Doyle concludes.
One of the most exciting recent developments we have seen in our own work is the ability to use "Big Data" techniques to directly
correlate Rx lift for particular sales territories to a specific campaign. Leveraging multiple data streams, digital's ability
to deliver messages with pinpoint precision on both the consumer and healthcare practitioner sides is finally giving marketers
the proof they need to change the way they market.
Of course, the journey is far from over. Just when we seem to have achieved some clarity about the efficacy of "traditional
digital" (to coin a phrase), here comes social and mobile marketing—about the ROI of which we are freshly clueless. Although
there are sure to be techniques in development as I write this, no one I interviewed knew of a market-tested way for pharma
to measure the effectiveness of social or mobile campaign elements.
He won't be happy about this, but I am going to call Paul Ivans "the father of pharma ROI," and give him the last word: "The
economic environment isn't getting any easier. Measuring ROI is hard, but we need to be persistent about it."
And, speaking for myself, maybe a little less naïve, too.
Bill Drummy is the Founder & CEO of Heartbeat Ideas & Heartbeat West and a member of Pharm Exec's Editorial Advisory Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Promotion Update: Mirror the Customer in Real Time
Making sense of the shifting frontier of digital in pharma requires frequent, healthy doses of feedback—and a willingness
to change course when audiences and technology get ahead of the message. Pharm Exec's sister conferencing organization, CBI, convened its 12th annual Digital Innovation Forum, better known as iPharma, last month,
to assess the current confusing state of play. The theme of the meeting? There is insight and wisdom for the taking when pharma
makes technology its friend and turns its eye to what's happening in other, more e-media savvy sectors of business.
Here is a summary of speakers and some of the best practices they shared:
Don Schreibenreif, VP of industries research at Gartner Inc., explained how all marketers need to develop closer relationships
with IT departments to collaborate in overcoming digital challenges. He also said big data must be harnessed to provide predictive
analysis, and that marketing will increasingly become about taking advantage of real-time opportunities with the consumer,
i.e., via geo-targeting technologies that offer on the spot deals to patients, as they are shopping.
Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer for Forbes Media, advised on content strategy as a way of engaging customers and creating
long-lasting relationships. He suggested some of the following rules: stop selling, use research, "snacks" entice people over
time, make content accessible and sharable, measure ROI, and ultimately, keep your audience satisfied. Above all, fostering
trust is key.
Dan Tyre, director at HubSpot explained ways to leverage inbound marketing to capture the attention of patients and prescribers.
He stressed that, "context allows you to marry the buyer to the right content at the right time."
Janaki Joshi, CEO of Iris Interactive discussed how stalls in workflow between departments of large pharma companies led to
her idea of creating a transparent and fluid cloud-computing solution that allows medical, compliance, legal, branding, and
other pharma company functional teams to view each other's activity in collaborative projects to streamline the process of
producing digital products quicker and more seamlessly.
Jeff Rasp, president of Boomerang US, stressed leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) as a way to drive traffic to a
company's website and increase audience exposure to its products. He noted: "While 80 percent of marketing spend goes to paid
advertising, 90 percent of search clicks are delivered from SEO."
Augustine Fou, PhD, founder and chief strategist of Marketing Science Consulting Group, Inc., was one of the top tweeters
at the conference. He walked the talk in scheduling tweets during his presentation, showing the group that timing is a considerable
element of any digital strategy.
Todd Kolm, director of emerging channel strategy at Pfizer explained that video is an important element of the company to
patient dialogue. He stressed using visual aids to increase exposure, as patients, like all humans, are audiovisual by nature.
Additionally, listening to consumers, monitoring Twitter, and other social media venues is important to gaining valuable insight
into patient constituencies.
Amy West, from Novo Nordisk's patient relationship marketing talked about the company's Cornerstones4Care program, which relies
on digital trials to help users manage their diabetes as a chronic condition. She explained how customizable apps embedded
within the program such as pill reminder schedules help in creating meaningful dialogue between company and patient.
Jim Dayton, senior director of emerging media at InTouch Solutions, talked about media convergence, and how harnessing emerging
trends such as SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile), big data, responsive design, and gamification generate insights and thereby relevant
solutions that foster trust with customers.
Monique Levy, VP of research at Manhattan Research distinguished the digital behaviors of pharmacists, nurses, physician's
assistants, and formulary makers in contrast to doctors. She stated that there are significant opportunities for pharma to
leverage relationships with these emerging audience members, as they are often overlooked in favor of the oft-sought physician.
In summary, as noted by conference participant Wendy Blackburn, EVP of InTouch Solutions, it all comes down to living the
four "c's" of digital engagement: strong content, need-appropriate context, reader customization, and multi-channel convergence. Sounds like a plan.
—Clark Herman, Associate Editor