Anne Devereux, LyonHeart

June 2, 2008

Maybe it's my age, but the fact is that I haven't been to a meeting lately where I'm in a room with no one I've worked with before. Our industry is getting smaller. Brands are getting smaller, too. And with smaller brands (and the current weak economy) come smaller marketing budgets.

Maybe it's my age, but the fact is that I haven't been to a meeting lately where I'm in a room with no one I've worked with before. Our industry is getting smaller. Brands are getting smaller, too. And with smaller brands (and the current weak economy) come smaller marketing budgets.

More and more, the focus is on biologics, specialty markets, diagnostics and devices, and niche brands. Our agency alone, which has launched many of the biggest brands in the industry, now manages very few brands with sales at that level. Instead, we manage a larger number of smaller brands, each one needing the same level of attention as the blockbusters in order to be successful.

Most of our clients have aggressive initiatives in place, led by procurement experts, intended to create efficiencies and reduce costs. The result of squeezed budgets on agencies is that we have leaner teams that are sometimes stretched thin. They work long days and have to rely more heavily on junior staff in order to meet client hurdles for low hourly rates.

Reps are facing greater obstacles in getting their messages across using traditional means. While supporting the detail force continues to be a necessity, agency/client teams that are aggressive about utilizing new technology are likely to come out on top. Closed-loop (interactive laptop) marketing helps reps customize messages for each physician based on beliefs and behavior. Sermo (online, MD-only dialogues that can be used for research, idea testing, and feedback on strategy) is a phenomenal resource for both learning and testing. The development of online KOL-like tools that can be accessed by a broader audience and feature a larger group of physicians expands our reach and facilitates greater brand involvement. Our world is evolving technologically, and we need to take the calculated risk of getting on board.

The Skinny

LyonHeart is a healthcare marketing communications partner that uses the process of disruption to help clients and their brands win a larger share of the future.

Telephone : 212-771-3010

E-mail: adevereux@lyon-heart.com

Web site: lyon-heart.com