Hey, Pharma, Customer Experience is not a add-on, it is at the center of an elastic Brand that wins

Last month, I Chaired a two-day conference called "Mobile Pharam BizTech", which was truly a great learning experience (thank you, Tom Hanley and PanAgora!). Ok, the title might not fall off the tongue, but the content it conveys was just that — the presentations covered the broad and converging swath of pharma's understanding and grappling with mobile usage, mobile technology, the role of content, the challenge of change management (i.e. sales force adoption), and user experience. 

I have attached my opening remarks, which were intended to give context to the conference by taking a landscape view of the mobile and mHealth marketplace :
Download Mobile Pharma BizTech Conference 2013 v3

I have always obsessed about user experience and how often it seems an afterthought in so many digital tactics. I was reading an HBR blog which was discussing a Forrester Report on how mass market organizations are embracing user experience as an integral part of their culture — content worthy of sharing and which should be taken very seriously by pharma/biotech brands. (And I end on some questions all clients should be asking themselves.)

Here is the opening paragraph from the HBR blog (by Karen Bodine): 

"In a recent Forrester survey of 100 customer experience professionals, nearly half of respondents said that their executive team's strategy for customer experience is market differentiation. And an ambitious 13% said that they'll settle for nothing less than having the best customer experience across every industry — in other words, these companies want to be the next Apple, Disney, or Zappos."

Here is the Forrester chart: 


Does ANY pharma/biotech/life science company actually have dedicated personnel to this critically differentiating element of your digital marketing? Do you make sure your Agencies bring it to the table? 

I could write for pages on this, and without trying hard list a dozen examples of pharma/biotech REALLY BAD customer experience — whether at an HCP or patient site, ad unit, sponsored area, email, mobile App, on and on…but I won't. Tilting at windmills, as the saying goes. I want to offer some help. All brand marketers should stop and yourself brands should ask themselves before they start the "We need more digital!" firestorm. 

1. Do you currently weigh the User Experience across each screen/tactic?

2. Do you apply different actions and content to each?

3. Do you apply both holistic measurement to your digital eco-system, as well as unique metrics relevant to the different screens/tactics? 

4. Do you really understand the importance of this topic to your organization?

5. Don't I really want to spend my coveted digital budget on anything on the most engaging experience? 

Good customer experience is not easy to achieve, but bad customer experience is easy to measure. If you are a client, next time you review any digital tactic, pause and ask those questions.


Melanoma has hope at last

Yesterday, I worked at the annual "Run for Cover" 5K run in Philly sponsored by my family's melanoma foundation — Noreen O'Neill Foundation for Melanoma Research…it went well, upbeat, fun; yet, when you look around so many groups running were from families who had lost someone. 

One the major benefactors of the money the foundation raises is the Wistar Institute. The link I am sharing is from Dr Herlyn, the lead researcher and a wonderful, brilliant, compassionate person. He speaks of some unusual aspects of the cancer and a new discovery around diabetes drugs aiding melanoma treatments – http://www.wistar.org/news-and-media/press-releases/diabetes-drug-points-the-way-overcoming-drug-resistance-melanoma.

This disease is really insidious. And it hits the young hard — a generation of sun worship has not helped anyone. I met a young woman, 21, who just randomly had her skin checked and found a melanoma — no, not a skin cancer, a melanoma. 

This is an example of where those of us in healthcare marketing bring the personal mission to our work — knowing we may have the chance to impact lives creates an unerring North Star for your work.

Dr Herlyn spoke of the great advancement in treatment after 20 years of almost nothing — BMS, Roche, others, all working hard to whittle down the deaths. He also made the point that GSK new MEK — says it has potential to be more effective that current treatments in the BRAF family. Here's some news on GSK MEK therapy: 

"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first cancer drug to inhibit a protein — called MEK — that acts in a pathway that fuels tumour growth. The drug, called Mekinist (trametinib), was approved on 29 May for use in advanced melanomas with specific mutations. Other MEK-targeting drugs are being studied in a wide range of tumours, including lung and thyroid cancers.

The FDA approved Mekinist together with another drug, called Tafinlar (dabrafenib), which targets cancer-driving mutant forms of a protein called BRAF. The agency also approved a medical test for those BRAF mutations. BRAF inhibitors, one of which is already on the market, elicit rapid and dramatic responses, in some cases wiping away nearly all signs of the disease. But the responses are short-lived, and the drugs boost survival by only a few months.

Hopes are high that Mekinist and Tafinlar, both made by GlaxoSmithKline, will eventually be approved for use in combination — and that the combination will lengthen patient survival more than either drug would individually."


Visual.ly has a good infographic we all should study, not as professionals but as parents, children, people who care for others health. 


As Summer hits high gear, do yourself and loves one's the favor -- get your skin checked!