Archive for September, 2013

How Scary is Health Data?

As we learn from the media nearly every day, third-party data is ubiquitous. Between financial ratings agencies that track our every purchase and the NSA storing our cell phone activity, there are databases in the cloud that know pretty much everything worth knowing about our personal lives, and then some. Consumers are rightly spooked by the thought that some companies may use this personal data in disingenuous ways.

Particularly in healthcare, consumers are legitimately sensitive to the idea that somewhere there are anonymous databases that contains personally identifiable information (PII) about them and their medical history.

Physicians get nervous too when they realize that not only is there data about them and their practice, but there’s also almost perfect data on which drugs they prescribe. Pharma sales reps have much of that information at their fingertips. When they have a conversation with a doctor, they already know whether that physician is a profitable customer or not.

Pandora's BoxTransactions vs Building Long-Term Relationships
The fundamental question now is not whether this type of data should be accessible or not (Pandora is already out of the box) but how should it be used. How data is handled is directly correlated with the integrity of the company that’s using it.

Companies that flip data into a short-term opportunity to close a transaction may be violating the letter of the law. They are most certainly violating the spirit of confidentiality and trust. By not taking the long view, they harm any trust relationship, often irreparably, through behaviors that will come back to bite them.

Compare this attitude with a relational approach to customers. Companies that use data as a way to create better content, value, and more respectful marketing are taking a long-term approach to promotion. They start with a better understanding of what individual physicians really care about and then build solutions that meet those needs.
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GiveForward: Doing Well by Doing Good

Sometimes you come across a company that truly epitomizes the concept of “doing well by doing good,” and you realize that it’s not just an idealistic dream.

GiveForward is such a company. They are an online fundraising website that specializes in helping ordinary people raise money for a loved one with a medical need. GiveForward has developed an online platform that makes it easy for a friend or family member to create a personalized fundraising website and invite their friends and family to contribute. Their mantra is to “create unexpected joy.”

joySo far GiveForward has helped raise $62 million for medical expenses!

The company is the only online site that has fundraising coaches who provide advice and fundraising ideas for raising money online. The team has learned a lot about what it takes and even publishes their top fundraising tips and tricks.

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Pharma Banner Ads vs. Brand Websites – Where Should You Invest Your Marketing Dollars?

boxing ringA recent study by the online research company comScore offered fresh data on the impact of various forms of digital marketing. What we’re beginning to see is a very interesting and dramatic comparison between the benefit and efficacy of banner ads versus branded websites for pharma and the role that they play in a multi-channel marketing strategy.

Banner Ads
Not surprisingly, banner ads have an effect on unaided awareness. So if you’re browsing the web and you come across a banner ad with compelling content and optimal placement, it’s likely you will experience a modest but still statistically significant increase in awareness of a particular product, or in our case, a prescription drug.

What is interesting though is that the data indicates that banner ads don’t actually translate into product interest or an intent to discuss with your physician. According to this study, banner ads are good for general brand awareness but by themselves do not lead to any new scripts, which if you are a brand manager, is what you need marketing to do for your brand.

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