It’s that time of year again. The nights are getting a bit crisper, the kids are back to school, and American Diabetes Month (ADM) is just around the corner. As part of it’s vision to help create a world free of diabetes and all of its burdens, the American Diabetes Association leads the way each November to raise awareness of this ever-growing disease. ADM includes “programs designed to focus the nation’s attention to the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease,” according to the ADA.
Physician’s Weekly has teamed up with the ADA to help physicians care for patients with diabetes and hopefully prevent the disease in those who are at risk. Our November ADA series of issues—focused solely on diabetes and diabetes-related problems—includes such feature articles as*:
*Although unlikely, article titles and topics are subject to change.
See below to learn how you and your product can benefit from joining up with the Physician’s Weekly November ADA series.
Learn more about our diabetes network today!
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for our upcoming November Diabetes Edition series. Take advantage of our unmatched access and 24/7 exposure at the point of care.
Pull through your message with a peer to peer developed American Diabetes Association monograph direct mailed to high writers in diabetes and the 1400 endo practices/diabetes clinics in the PW Diabetes Network.
Overall opinion of the ADA Diabetes Update publication:
Did you read the advertisement in the publication?
Before today, have you ever seen an advertisement for Brand x (Sponsoring brand)?
Respondent Profile: Primary Care – 49%; CDE’s – 23%; Other Physicians – 7%; Nurses/NP/PA – 15%; Endo – 5%
Take advantage of our newsletter subscriber lists consisting of over 10,000 high prescribing PCPs & 1,200 Endocrinologists with a PW Diabetes edition eNewsletter. Our sponsored newsletters target high prescribers and drive traffic to help boost online exposure to your branded message.
Learn more about our online sponsorship opportunities here!
Environmental factors like the Sunshine and HITECH Acts and new device and formulation technologies have changed how pharmaceutical products are launched and managed throughout their lifecycles, according to Jeff Baker, CEO of Noble. These changes present both opportunities and risks to marketers who hope to obtain access, build loyalty, and balance portfolios for their self-administered agents, he says.
When new products are FDA approved and reach the market, patient and provider choices clearly grow. But adding “value via an improved on-boarding experience with device training, can affect loyalty, market share, and patient confidence with new treatments,” writes Baker. “Physicians are likely to prescribe a brand that is easier to learn, causes fewer errors, has increased compliance and [has] less of a patient drop-off.”
That sounds more easily said than done. However, Baker lists some ways to achieve an improved on-boarding process and patient experience with smart technologies:
• “More consistent and relevant training throughout the patient experience
• Personalized patient support and outreach programs
• Patient kits and training devices that build confidence
• Support for HCPs, with effective teaching tools that reduce in-office training times
• Long-term loyalty programs that engage patients and help them manage their treatment”
These principles and a patient-centric approach are key to marketing a self-administered brand, according to Baker, as they hold the potential to increase patient satisfaction. “Brands that successfully balance patients, product and technology will remain a step ahead of the competition and top of mind for patients and HCPs,” he concludes.]]>
A new report from the global sales and marketing consulting firm ZS Associates indicates that—despite signs of leveling off—pharmaceutical sales rep access to physicians continues to steadily decline. Data on more than 240,00 prescribers showed that only 51% of physicians/prescribers allow access to sales reps in 2014, down from 55% in 2013, from 65% in 2012, and 78% in 2009.
The trend appears to exist across specialties, including those that have traditionally been pharma-friendly. Access dropped from 84% in 2013 to 67% in 2014 for dermatologists, from 63% to 47% for gastroenterologists, 73% to 68% for OB/GYNs, 60% to 45% for pediatricians, and from 54% to 41% for psychiatrists.
This decline in access is occurring in the face of extreme downsizing of pharma sales forces, specifically a one-third cut since 2008. ZS Associates says, however, that this downsizing has actually helped pharma deliver better sales calls, through the elimination of more “infeasible” sales calls. Infeasible calls, according to ZS, are those that can’t be delivered by a “best-in-class” sales rep. The firm says that by reducing the sales force by 30,000 reps, the industry saved about $2 billion annually, which equals about $67,000 per sales rep.
With all that extra money and far less direct access to physicians by sales reps, it certainly would make sense for pharma marketers and brand managers to focus more of their efforts on avenues that do have direct access to prescribers at the point of care, like Physician’s Weekly wall posters.
Physician’s Weekly Point of Care wants to know…
How do you plan to counter the steady decline of prescriber access by your brand’s sales reps?
Access the full report here.]]>
Social Media is a leading industry tool to bring brand awareness to the forefront of markets. More than ever, your business’ online reputation weighs heavily on your success due to the unlimited availability of content published daily online. In a majority of marketing and advertising methods, the communication is a one-way street from company to customer. However, social media is the most engaging, two-way communication medium for customer relations. Because of this aspect, engaging your followers can make or break your brand’s reputation.
When you take the first step into social media, it’s a conscious effort and commitment to practice. Social media is a long-term investment due to the ever changing and evolving world. Unlike a website, where you can technically set it up and leave it be (though you shouldn’t), social media has to be updated and posted to on a consistent basis to be successful and engage your audience. There’s nothing worse than researching a company on Facebook and their last post was in 2012! Once the decision has been made to the longevity of social media, the next step is to focus building an audience to engage.
When starting up on social media, everyone starts on equal ground at a base of zero. Fortunately, there are tactics to building an audience. Organically, self-promotion of the accounts to friends, contacts, and other known sources can help kick-start a new profile into building an audience. From there, the profile can grow and bloom. A different tactic would be to utilize paid advertisements to place the profiles before of target demographics. This can help build the numbers, but building a quality audience does require time and patience.
There are several tips for social engagement that everyone should follow:
Quality vs. Quantity
While it’s important to post regularly, the quality of content will always trump a handful of meaningless posts. Posting useless information or links over and over, not earning engagement, and still expecting results is almost the definition of insanity. Take the time to find a piece of content that provides benefits, insights and value to your audience to ensure engagement. By publishing quality and engaging content, an appropriate audience will be sure to follow.
Five Tips to Quality Engagement:
Share About Your Brand, And Others
While it technically is your page, no one wants to listen to “me, me, me” on a regular basis. Thinking of social media as a social gathering will greatly benefit your engagement and strategy. A healthy ratio for posting content is roughly 40% self-promotion (your products, services, events, news, etc.) and 60% interesting and engaging content from outside sources. Think of this scenario – if you’re at a cocktail party and you’re talking with a person who is solely talking about themselves, how interested and invested in the conversation are you? The answer is probably not at all!
Listening Is Key
It’s not enough to just post content out there and leave it, the monitoring of the posts, comments from users, and suggestions will decide the fate of the social profile. Customers love social media because it gives them a voice. But what good is that voice if no one is listening? Monitor your profiles and respond back to your followers. Also, taking suggestions into consideration – who knows? The next big idea to boost your company to the next level could come from a complete stranger who follows you on Twitter.
When interacting with your followers, personalize your responses so they know you care. Rather than a canned response back, by personalizing them you create a closer bond between your brand and your followers. This personalization expresses gratitude with and makes your brand appear more authentic to those who interact with you.
Engaging your audience and building a community is what it’s all about in the end. Too often, social media is treated as just another marketing outlet by businesses and left to dwindle. Don’t let that happen to yours! Take the time, invest, and foster your profiles – they’re essentially your brands face and personality online, so why not give a little nourishment to them? By engaging your audience, listening to your audience, and maintaining your profiles, you’ll have a social media presence that will lead to success.
About the Author:
Ben Laube is President and Founder of POLR Marketing, a growth marketing technology company. Through the use of content writing, pay-per-click, ethical SEO practices, web design & development graphic design, and strategic planning, POLR Marketing offers the services you need to help grow your business to the next level. To learn more about POLR Marketing, visit www.polrmarketing.com or call POLR Marketing at (407) 712-4836.
Standing on the football field in the fall of 2011, hours before a Baltimore Ravens game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I reached out to shake the hand of former NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol and introduced myself. “Nice to meet you. I’m Gerry Sandusky.” He snatched his hand back, a flinch reflex as if my hand were on fire. Before I could say, “Gerry with a G, no relation to the former Penn State coach,” Ebersol had disappeared into a nearby crowd of people, a safe distance from the awkwardness caused by the sound of my name, an identical sounding name as a convicted child molester. Problem.
Several months later, I stood along the rail at Belmont Park racetrack in the middle of a dozen reporters preparing to do live TV reports. Holding the microphone in my right hand I stared into the TV camera and delivered a live-tease to an upcoming story. “Triple Crown hopes arrive at Belmont. I’m Gerry Sandusky. That story, next.” I could feel the other reporters gawking at me. A conspicuous silence hung along the track rail. Problem.
A year later, I took my family on a trip to Manhattan. At the check-in counter, the agent asked my name. When I told him, his eyes unlocked from mine and scanned the room. He later admitted his instincts led him to look for police. Problem.
The sound of my name has caused plenty of problems. Still does. But it has also given me something marketing experts call “stickiness.” People remember my name. It catches people’s attention. It may have led you to read this article. Opportunity.
Look at the word “opportunity” and focus on the end of the word. The final five letters spell unity. My experience has taught me to believe in and look for the unity between problems and opportunities—even if it takes a little while for the opportunity to present itself. I call that probortunity thinking.
The inventor of 3M’s Post-It Notes used probortunity thinking. In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver set out to create a super glue to improve the adhesive used on 3M tape products. Instead, he ran into the problem of developing an adhesive that worked on paper only until someone pulled on the paper. The problem of an adhesive that didn’t quite work evolved into the opportunity to create a product that has filled office cubicles ever since.
The nature of the problem of my name changed dramatically once I saw the opportunities it could lead to. Along the way, I discovered four pillars that will support anyone’s search for opportunities in the realm of problems.
Probortunity Pillar #1: Don’t Run; Don’t Hide
Accept the problem. Don’t ignore it. It’s there. So is the opportunity it will give birth to. But you can’t begin to see the probortunity until you stop denying the problem.
Probortunity Pillar #2: Choose Your Response
We always have the power to choose. You don’t have to like the problem–who does? But you don’t have to lash out at problems, whine about them or feel treated unfairly by them. You can choose to respond in a way that makes you feel better. It’s hard. I know. I chose not to fight everyone who called me a rapist. I chose not to return profanity to everyone who used it with me on social media. It was hard, very hard. Then I experienced a transformation: I learned the more I exercised power of choice, the stronger it becomes, and the stronger I become. Gradually, I became more powerful than my problem. You can too.
Probortunity Pillar #3: Change the Angle of Your Approach
If you keep staring at the problem you’ll never see the opportunity. You’ve made your peace with the problem; now ask yourself what you can change to see the situation differently?
In the third quarter of Super Bowl 47, the electricity went out in the New Orleans Superdome. Problem. We had no power for the radio equipment in our broadcast booth. Problem. My quick-thinking producer handed me a cell phone that he had dialed into the call-in number. That got us on the air. Opportunity. For the next 34 minutes while the TV booth remained in the dark, our radio ratings soared. Probortunity. When the lights came back on the problem went away—so did the opportunity. Our ratings went back down. Sometimes when your problems go away so do your opportunities.
Probortunity Pillar #4: Be a Lighthouse, Not a Courthouse
Once you’ve identified the problem, stop wasting time figuring out whom to blame. That’s the domain of courthouses, the domain of judges. Instead, ask what this problem can teach you and how you can use it for good. By choosing not to respond to every one who made an offensive comment to me, I ended up having a positive impact on people in ways I could have never imagined—and they did the same for me. A young man struggling with terminal cancer sent me a message on Facebook thanking me for showing him that he didn’t have to lash out at his problem. He said it helped him make peace with his cancer and enjoy the end of his life instead of fighting it. When he shared that with me, my notion of problems changed. What problem did I have? I hoped I might lift someone else and someone else lifted me. That’s the power of probortunity thinking.
Here’s the ultimate power of probortunity thinking: It’s available to everyone—just like problems. There is one big difference between problems and probortunities. Problems always find you. It’s up to you to find the probortunities.
Gerry Sandusky is the play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Ravens, and a speaker, corporate trainer and author of The New York Times bestseller, Forgotten Sundays. He is the recipient of two regional Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Awards for his accomplishments in broadcast journalism. Gerry’s energetic and insightful presentations will impart the value of effective leadership techniques and communication on your audience. For more information on Gerry, please visit www.GerrySandusky.com.
[The following was written with the business manager in mind as the reader. Brand managers reading this who simply replace the word "employee" with "brand team member" will be easily able to apply everything herein to themselves.]
You’ve likely seen the scenario. An employee loses a key client, misses an important deadline, or does any number of common things and the leader responds by demoting the employee, removing responsibility, not allowing the employee to take vacation time, firing the employee, or doing other punitive actions.
Such consequences are really nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the leader … and a missed opportunity for the leader to shine. In reality, how you handle disappointment speaks volumes of your leadership style and your credibility in your organization.
To make the most of a disappointing situation and use it as the coaching opportunity it is, consider the following suggestions:
Learn from Disappointments
It’s human nature to lash out during disappointing times, and because a leader can, he or she often does. But remember that how you handle disappointment reflects more on you as a leader than on the person who caused the situation. Additionally, realize that the majority of disappointing moments are actually coaching moments in disguise. Savvy leaders recognize this and make the most of these situations. So if you want to be viewed as a leader with courage, credibility, and reason, use the suggestions presented here the next time you feel the need to punish an employee for a wrongdoing. When you do, you won’t be disappointed in the results.
About The Author
Alesia Latson is a speaker, trainer, coach and founder of Latson Leadership Group, a consulting firm specializing in management and leadership development. With more than 20 years of experience, Latson helps organizations and leaders expand their capacity to produce results while enhancing employee engagement. For more information on Alesia’s speaking and consulting, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.latsonleadershipgroup.com.
How to Fully Engage Staff in 5 Easy Conversations
Did you know that only a fraction of your staff bring their ‘A Game’ to work every day? According to companies like Aon Hewitt and the Gallup Organization, this number is about one in five. The rest? At best they are bringing their B or C games to work—at worst, their main goal is to keep from getting fired.
This is the employee engagement crisis we now find ourselves in.
Countless companies dedicate a sizeable chunk of their annual budgets to solving their employee engagement issues, when in reality most engagement issues (as well as performance and behavioral problems) can be solved through conversation. Five conversations to be precise.
But most managers don’t talk to their staff frequently enough, don’t know how to talk to them or what to talk about! Managers are unaware as to how to plug into their employees’ minds and figure out what they really want, and what they need to be fully engaged—and productive.
There are no psychic forces at work: getting into the minds of your employees to glean the information needed to increase not only engagement, but productivity in your workforce can be as simple as conducting the following five FOCUSed conversations.
Conversation 1: Feedback
There are two types of feedback that fall under this conversation. First, give praise where praise is due. Studies have shown that a vast majority of employees do not feel appreciated enough for the job they do. Praise, it seems, is a scarce commodity in the workplace. So if your staff is doing a good job, be sure to let them know.
Conversely, one of the key factors in employee engagement is the ability to have your say. Be receptive to your staffs’ feedback. Who knows, they may just come up with a brilliant idea that makes a huge difference for the team or company.
Conversation 2: Objectives
Most performance issues stem from a disconnect between what the manager perceives as meeting objectives and what the staff member perceives as meeting them. To drastically reduce performance issues, managers must both clearly define and articulate expectations. Yet few do.
Your employees need to know what they must do to be successful in their jobs, and how that success will be measured. And you need to have a clearly defined yardstick by which to objectively measure performance. Aligning their expectations with yours will result in less frustration and anxiety—on both your parts.
Conversation 3: Career Development
Many studies list career development within the top 3 factors that employees gauge to determine whether to stay with their current employer or look for another job. Yet, many managers avoid this topic like the plague for 1 of 3 reasons:
• They don’t understand how to manage their own careers
• They are afraid that if they help their staff manage their career better they will surpass them on the corporate ladder
• They are afraid to talk about career development because they don’t feel they can meet the employee’s expectations. This is especially true in smaller companies or niche functions where there is not a lot of vertical career opportunity available.
Helping staff manage their careers makes good business sense. Ensuring that they understand what opportunities exist within your company (something they may not recognize without your help) will inhibit them looking outside of it.
Find out what your employees’ priorities are and have open, honest conversations around how your company can help them achieve them—even with any constraints you may have. Suggest and recommend internal opportunities to learn, grow and develop and they will at least delay—if not avoid—looking for external ones.
Conversation 4: Underlying Motivators
The Underlying Motivators conversation helps to uncover those intrinsic factors—Currencies of Choice— that science has shown to be much more highly motivating than extrinsic ones such as pay and benefits. By tapping into each individual’s Currencies of Choice you will help uncover what they need to ‘go the extra mile’. Conversely, once they do, they need to be recognized appropriately for it. The old adage, “Praise in public, correct in private” is only half true. Many people don’t respond well to public recognition.
Identify the drivers of each individual staff member to unlock productivity and unleash potential. Then recognize them appropriately when they do go that extra mile.
Conversation 5: Strengths
According to The Gallup Organization, teams whose members play to their strengths most of the time are:
• 50% more likely to have low employee turnover
• 38% more likely to be highly productive
• 44% more likely to earn high customer satisfaction scores
Strengths can be defined as the innate abilities or behavioral patterns that are neurologically hard-wired into our brains between the ages of 3 and 15. The context of the behavior will change over time, but the patterns remain the same. So those children who share their toys in the sand box at the age of 5 may very well become 15 year olds who volunteer at the local charity. And 20 years on they may become the 35 year olds who are the most collaborative in the workplace.
Strength-identification also requires a very minor time commitment: as little as two-hours per week can make a world of difference.
If you can help your staff determine behaviors that come naturally to them you will find that their stress is decreased, they become more engaged—and of course more productive.
There is no reason to spend mass-amounts of time and money on ‘engagement’ programs when all it takes is tapping into the minds of your personnel. By first hiring the right staff and then employing the five FOCUSed conversations, managers will significantly increase overall employee engagement.
Communicate with your staff frequently, effectively, and about the things that really matter to them.
About the Author
Kim Seeling Smith is an international human resources expert and author of the newly released book, Mind Reading for Managers: 5 FOCUSed Conversations for Greater Employee Engagement and Productivity. With her expansive knowledge of human capital practices in today’s market, Kim helps companies build healthy work environments and increase employee engagement and productivity in our digitally connected, globally oriented world. For more information on Kim Seeling Smith, please visit http://igniteglobal.com.]]>
Our good friend Richard Meyer (ok, so maybe it’s a one-way friendship, and maybe he doesn’t know who we are) writes about how biopharma companies are far behind the rest of world’s brands in “transforming their organizations into digital marketing powerhouses.”
Discussions that should have taken place 5 years ago, according to Meyer, about who should be responsible for product websites and how to implement global e-marketing strategies are still being struggled with. A large part of the problem is that people are recruited for brand teams who “fit in” rather than who have been shown to be leaders, he adds.
Are all the smart and good people working in pharma leaving in the industry or gone to work as consultants or for an agency as Meyer’s suggests? Are biopharma companies great at weeding out those who put patients first with their actions as opposed to those who just say they do but are simply “good little corporate politicians?” Is pharma as a whole unwilling to accept that patients/consumer are well aware of their marketing scams? According to Meyer, the answer to all these questions is “yes,” and product “websites that have the earmarks of Web 1.0 with content that is great for putting people to sleep coupled with usability experiences that are unfriendly at best speak to the lag in pharma marketing.”
Can pharma marketing evolve? How? Does it need to evolve? Do you agree with Meyer’s perspective that “pharma’s lack of willingness to hire rebels and pirates is going to lead to a trip down the path towards more marketing irrelevance?” Do you see this happening in your company and on your brand team? Tell us what you think!]]>
For far too long, the opportunity to engage and educate consumers through mobile traffic has been treated as something of an afterthought, writes Aryeh Lebeau, EVP, client operations, Remedy Health Media. While mobile traffic will soon overtake desktop traffic, mobile as spending is nowhere close to keeping pace with the growth, especially in pharma.
In fact, almost 50% of health-related Internet traffic is from mobile/tablet users, according to comScore. Health is also at the forefront of new operating systems from several smartphone and tablet developers. “Pharma brands are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage a highly active audience,” says Lebeau. “Numerous key metrics demonstrate that mobile activity is more robust than desktop, including video engagement, ad click rates, and time spent. A study conducted by Digitas Health last year showed that patients who use smartphones in the exam room are twice as likely to ask for a drug by name.”
Yet healthcare/pharma has the lowest mobile budget share of all major industries, at 26.5%, according to eMarketer. And most of that money is spent on search, with little allotted for display. While 17 of the top 20 2013 DTC spenders have mobile-optimized sites, very few brands have ad creative for driving traffic to those sites that extend awareness beyond desktop users, according to Lebeau. He recommends the following to help pharma marketers catch up and make the leap the embrace mobile:
“• Don’t let screen size hold you back. Build creative with cross-platform usage in mind. Advertise on mobile-optimized sites where ads are seen at full zoom. Publishers should employ responsive design to create the best content and advertising user experience across devices.
• Wean yourself off of Flash. It’s time to move to HTML5 to get the most out of your creative.
• Expand the approved use of backup images. In the absence of HTML5 creative, static ads should be seen as an asset rather than a fallback. MLR should consider backups for multi-purpose use upfront. Having some mobile reach, even if it’s not the full-fledged messaging, is better than having no mobile presence at all.
• Go beyond the standard 300×50 or 320×50 mobile default. 300×250 ads adapt beautifully to smartphone browsing. Don’t shortchange your messaging due to limited real estate. Many websites and apps across all industries have already made the move to in-stream mobile 300x250s.
• Don’t assume that mobile engagement is too good to be true. There’s no denying there is an element of fat-finger syndrome in the high click-through rates seen on touchscreen devices. However, with a number of the mobile campaigns Remedy has run, we’ve seen impressive downstream KPI activity that outpaced desktop. So take CTR with a grain of salt, but look deeper to determine mobile success.
• Define distinct KPIs. Mobile-optimized brand sites are generally quite different from their desktop counterparts. Evaluate KPIs differently, focusing on actions people are more likely to take on mobile devices.”
With so much potential to really engage consumers, the time is now for pharma to embrace mobile.
Physician’s Weekly POC wants to know…
Why haven’t you made the leap into mobile? If you have, what convinced to do
An article posted this week in The New York Times reports that about three-quarters of the roughly 10,000 people who contact poison centers each year in the United States regarding confusion over measurement directions are parents trying to administer medicine to children younger than 12. These parents are often confused by options for measuring such as milliliters, milligrams, teaspoons, tablespoons, and droppers, according to the Times article.
Dr. Daniel Budnitz, the CDC’s director of medication safety program, told the Times, “There’s a traditional assumption that Americans are not good with the metric system and that the teaspoon is easier.” But a new study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that isn’t necessarily the case. The study authors essentially concluded that parents who dosed medications in milliliters were much less likely to make dosage errors than parents who gave medicine measures in teaspoons and tablespoons.
Multiple reasons appear to contribute to the issue, including use of kitchen spoons—which come in various sizes—to measure tablespoons, and confusion over the abbreviations tbspn and tsp for tablespoon and teaspoon, respectively, whether it be in recognition of the abbreviations or inability of a pharmacist to read a physician’s handwriting. On the other hand, mL as the abbreviation for milliliter is far less likely to be confused with another measurement.
It is likely for these reasons that many organizations, including the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs and Consumer Healthcare Products Association, have begun recommending millimeter dosing only for liquid medicines.
So, what does that mean to you? That the packaging, marketing materials, prescribing information (PI), PI brief summaries, and so forth for any liquid agents you market have a pretty good chance of seeing a change from the use of tsp and tbspn to mL. Won’t that be fun! However, it could also lead to improved outcomes among real-world consumers and their children who use your products. We’ll keep an eye on the story for you.]]>