An Inefficient Plan for Your Marketing Platform is Draining Your MCM Optimization!

bigstock-frustrated-young-business-man

Now that we are well into Q1 of 2018 with Sales Marketing plans into the implementation phase, each of us our scrutinizing our brands and evaluating how to improve efficiency.  It’s time to be able to quantify your strategies and tactics while adjusting to the unique market changes and fluctuations we are all faced with today.  As we all know, technology has taken pharmaceutical marketing and revolutionized it in the last 5 years. Channels proliferated, and then converged; information turned into a monster in the cloud and MCM expertise and experience has become a premium for all sectors of the marketing economy.

I would also like to address is a persistent misconception associated with our creation and execution of your MCM strategy.   Many say that you can plan to be in multiple important channels to reach your customer without creating or updating your MCM marketing platform.  Any company can purchase a platform.  What I am referring to is a platform that is structured to work within your marketing plan, targeting, tactical execution and finally results analysis.  I don’t want to mention the hundreds of platforms out there available and we all have used some of them but when we implement them; if we don’t also develop the executional excellence driving the use of the platform, your productivity is drained!  A marketing team can be using the most expensive software for execution in your Center of Excellence (CoE) but not have a plan to use the platform properly and the result will be exhaustion, lack of results and failure.

I have led many projects in pharma companies large and small to create a MCM CoEs and have found one of the top 3 strategic elements of this process is the creation of a platform for executional excellence.  I spoke about this important topic at the PharmaForce conference last Sept. take a look at the slides and my speaker notes when you get a chance, here check out the link: Building a CoE.  It should be noted that speed of change in strategy is critical.  For those of us operating in the pharmaceutical marketing space, our experience has been that we don’t have the luxury of quick adjustments in this highly-regulated world.  However, the introduction of Integrated MCM Omni-Channel marketing systems and digital marketing into our space has allowed pharma marketers to increase efficiency and create a more nimble platform for quick change, adjusting and adding to marketing tactics more quickly than we have in the past (so we would hope).  However, marketers are still not reaching the channels and new customers they need.

 

Marketing1-660x330

Over Half of Marketers Can’t Reach New Channels!

In order to optimize, you need the framework to operate efficiently with an integrated platform and the urgency to test/control and execute your digital strategy across all relevant channels.

I have to share the results from recent multi-channel digital marketing report I reviewed which revealed the following statistic: “51% of marketers can’t react to new channels, devices, trends or competitors using their current tech.“  That’s over half of marketers who can’t react at all to market forces due to the inefficiency of ‘tech’! I would argue this is a direct result of a platform being used or not being used effectively.  We can say we understand the dynamics of MCM and how the strategies are implemented but if you don’t have the ‘current tech’ how will you have the platform to execute and MCM strategy for your brand??….at least not one that has a desired ROI – because you probably will end up using your service or ad agency to run all of your marketing, resulting in skyrocketing costs and work that doesn’t contribute to your bottom line.  If your organization has a high-level of trust in its data, then you are the exception to the rule.

Another breathtaking channel statistic – believe it or not: ”Only 14% of organizations say they are currently running coordinated marketing campaigns across all channels.” (CMO by Adobe, Three Issues Hindering Progress In Multichannel Marketing)  This is an incredibly low figure! In fact, many companies that I have consulted directly in the past 5 years did not even have lead capture on their company/brand website or fully automated and/or 2-way connection to their overall salesforce detailing.  Of course,  I can’t discuss MCM without mentioning the importance of content.  We have all read about the fact that content is king, which is true to some degree, however, good content delivered to one channel and a limited segmentation will not yield even close to acceptable results.  It’s known that, “Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads” – DemandMetric.  This quote should also say, “When the system is run correctly!”  In addition, your opportunity to generate leads will be lost if you are unable to track and analyze this content quickly and efficiently using your CoE platform.   You need to define your ‘mess’ as I reviewed in an earlier post: Defining Your MCM ‘Mess’

Apps are NOT Platforms

Another common misconception is that applications are platforms for executing a MCM plan – they certainly are not.  Your company and brand need to reside on a platform integrated into your marketing that connects ALL channels AND apps to maximize learning and ROI.  For example, there are more than 300+ applications dedicated to managing, engaging and measuring for Twitter.  It should be clear that you need to have 1 platform for your MCM that manages Twitter and all other apps residing within your CoE platform that connects ALL of your channels of communication to customer segments.  Easier said than done!

A phased approach is necessary to execute your plan, including clear objectives and costs.  Clearly, developing this platform for your CoE and multi-channel marketing efforts will create a system of executing your marketing with greater efficiency.

Please respond below with your thoughts on this entry and share your experiences with building a MCM platform for success!  What has been your experience in developing executional excellence in MCM?

Subscribe to Neil Keene’s Marketing Blog and receive more MCM content to help you in your marketing efforts.

Analyzing Failure in Your Digital Content Strategy

It will take some disciple to determine your content problem, the ‘beast’, which will lead to your plan of attack, utilizing a new content management framework for success. It probably has been an easy task to figure out where you want to go in your marketing strategy, including content marketing. However, to really map to your planned ‘end in mind’ there has to be a step of discovery that includes a deep analysis of your failure. There is a bit of psychology involved here that works with all things – you don’t know where you’re going until you have figured out where you’ve been as a leader of your marketing or the company as a whole. A simple way to do this quickly and effectively is to ask yourself the 2 questions below and then take a look at the 3 quick fix categories. Then, review, discuss and analyze the failures without pointing at external factors as the only reason for failure. 

Question #1: Did you have a strategy? If you did, what were the metrics of success and did you achieve them. No marketer should be afraid of failure and you won’t achieve success unless you are fearless and not afraid to fail. So, dig into your strategy and figure out where the gaps were and now that you have taken this step to analyze your failure – map it back to your strategy or lack thereof and document how you would do it differently. 

Question #2: Was your content crap? This may sound harsh but the question needs to be asked of you and your team when in the step of analyzing your failure. Your audience is not engaging because it seems like the same thing that is out there and it’s getting lost in all the buzz words and the strength of your competition will drown your message. It doesn’t mean that what you were publishing isn’t important but it hasn’t stood out in the massive amount of noise in the marketplace that is social media and content marketing. Ardath Albee has written a great book on content marketing called, “Digital Relevance, Developing Content Marketing and Strategies that Drive Results.”

content marketing

Author Albee explains, “Publishing content without a strategy isn’t moving the needle. Time, effort, and money are flushed away without a quantifiable impact on business performance.” This is a serious problem for marketers. Their companies expect results. Their jobs are on the line. If not now, then soon.A  I agree and this should always be the 1st part of your publishing strategy.  You can explore common and important topics and subject matters; however, it has to be engaging and stand out. If you feel you need to improve, don’t worry there are a few quick ways to fix this:

Be customer-focused in all topics! Don’t publish items that just interest you or your staff but items that engage your readers, prospects and customers.

  1. Provide insights that create value -Enough said!
  2. Don’t focus on how your customer can do business with you or buy your product. This should be the last thing on your mind when you are blogging or creating content for your readers. Your prospects do not want a sales pitch!

I will go into a great deal of detail and provide exercises in future chapters that you can use for yourself or for your team in later chapters to create these fixes and make sure it becomes part of the new paradigm for you content the business of content marketing on your website, blog or integration into your marketing strategies and tactics for the future.

Chapter 2: Create the new Customer-Value Paradigm: Providing innovation and quality content for and not ‘to’ your customers.

What do you think? – I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment or reach out to me. Part 2 is coming Soon: “Innovating Your Content Marketing System” @neilkeene.

 

Your Customers Don’t Want Your Marketing, They Want Your Innovation!    (Part 1)

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” ― James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

Good to Great was published back in 2001; however, I believe the quote above still serves as an overall guide for marketing organizations’ need to create innovation in driving a new discipline for developing and improving your marketing system. The Content Marketing Institute defines Content marketing as: “The marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” This definitely serves as a solid foundation for a customer-focused content marketing plan.

In fact, I believe it can be very simple to transform your thinking about creating and executing effective content marketing.  It’s now 2017 – Happy New Year! The next generation of marketing is upon us this year, which means something other than your existing marketing framework needs to drive your content marketing/management systems. This should be a new ‘framework’ of customer engagement rather than a patchwork content approaches. Specifically, you should avoid the approach of creating a strategic plan vetting it out resulting in a tactical plan that defines your marketing plan for the next year…which are tactics. I’m suggesting that your strategic and tactical plans need to give way for a customer plan that includes a specific method for engaging your customer through quality content, engagement and overall value. In order for all of us to be successful, it’s still required that this new system of engagement includes multiple channels and platforms both new and old, using multi-channel marketing constructs and plans (we all know this). However, the change to enable is innovation driving how we approach this strategic area of marketing in 2017 and beyond, creating a meaningful and powerful strategic marketing plan.

As Good to Great explains, the difference between failure and success is often a very small and small strategic changes in the content marketing framework will lead to success. Good is the enemy of great and the focus on tactics are the enemy of great content for customer engagement. The core of the current problem in creating and implementing your content marketing is the system of beliefs that content marketing is a task, tactic or strategy. This leads to the analgesic excuse of “At least we’re doing something” – on the contrary this should be new innovation transforming how you engage with your key customers! Content marketing is implemented successfully as an innovation in your system of marketing not in simply creating content as you would a tactic or a marketing plan.

What is meant by innovation is that your marketing approach needs to emphasize the importance of systemic connectivity to your customers and new organizational capabilities. We all know that the successful content marketing system is a success when you are not only able to engage and interact with your target audience but drive profitable customer action. Nonetheless, despite the fact that there has been progress in the direction of content marketing, especially in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, the predominant logic of just creating content without a content management framework still remains one of the primary reasons leading to failure. Unfortunately, the primary focus of attention continues to be just the creation of content and ‘Marketing’ rather than customer-value approaches.

This year, as CMI’s recent B2B report for the year showed, content marketing was heavily on the uptrend in 2016 and our new approach for success is all something we need to master in 2017! In case you don’t get a chance to read the CMI report, here are some highlights:

  • A whopping 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing.
  • Interestingly enough, though, not everyone is using strategy and documentation efficiently – this went down by 8% this year.
  • The most effective marketers allocate 42% of their total marketing budgets to content.
  • 79% of the most effective marketers have clarity regarding the success of their content marketing.
  • 31% of marketers report that sales lead quality is the most important metric they use.

Finally, if we can agree that content marketing really needs to be a systemic task of innovation rather than just content, there are 2 important next steps:

1.     Analyze Your Failure: Determine your content problem (the ‘beast’) which will lead to your plan of attack, utilizing a new content management framework for success.

2.     Create the new Paradigm: Providing innovation and quality content for and not ‘to’ your customers.

What do you think? – I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment or reach out to me. Part 2 is coming Soon: “Innovating Your Content Marketing System” Follow @neilkeene.

Evolving Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategies: Digital as a Key Component of Multichannel Marketing — ReportHive

Report Hive Published a New Report Title “Evolving Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategies: Digital as a Key Component of Multichannel Marketing” on its Market Research Database The pharmaceutical field has always experimented with and adopted technology to provide medical advancements, leading to robotic surgery systems, gene therapies, stem cell treatments, next-generation synthetic limbs and cameras that can […]

via Evolving Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategies: Digital as a Key Component of Multichannel Marketing — ReportHive

The Value of Defining Your Omnichannel ‘Mess’

I like to ask, “What’s your system and how does it work?” In my time studying system thinking with Jamshid Gharajedagi, I transformed my thinking about organizational change for the future. If you haven’t read his book, “Systems Thinking, Managing Chaos and Complexity. A Platform for Designing Business Architecture”, I strongly recommend you check it out: Systems Thinking.   I believe and still adopt today that the 1st step of taking on any project is to define the mess.  Specifically, we need a preconceived understanding of the whole before we attempt to fix all of the parts of our mess.

This process cannot simply be a partial definition as is often thought for omnichannel solutions today, such as software, platform or strategy.  If you only understand 1 or 2 parts of your mess, you will ultimately fail in your attempts to build an Omnichannel system that works for your organization.  In attempts at a quick sales and marketing solution, practitioners often gravitate towards a software solution in the endless complexity of driving towards some demonstration of progress. We are all searching for the most effective way to create a connection with key customers, the intention is always there.  However, the 1st step of this search needs to be understanding and defining the mess to find the optimal solution to implement success.  We all know and have heard about how to achieve success in customer engagement through content management, implemented through system platform and software solutions.  However, none of this can be achieved without understanding your ‘mess’ – a stepwise process that begins with defining the mess will create a pattern of thinking for yielding the ultimate Omnichannel solution we are all trying to achieve.  Think back in your career.  We have all engaged in projects lead by well-meaning consultants where we participate in a discovery process which is quickly turned into the project plan.  A project plan without willing participants and shared values is like a smartphone without an OS.  It makes a good drink coaster…

I knew people who worked at the company known as Bear Stearns, there were some very smart people working at that firm which was in business since 1923.  In November of 2006 Kyle Bass met with Bear Stearn’s entire risk management committee and walked them through a 90 minute presentation related to the risks of their completely over-leveraged holdings.  Check out this interview: I did not want to see Bear Stearns go down

The leadership of very smart professionals listened and really hoped he was wrong.  We all know what happened to Bear Stearns in a matter of days beginning in March of 2008.  There are many other examples in business history where leadership refused to understand the need for change or ignore risks in the face of adversity. It was always understood at BP that you could get fired if you raised safety concerns that might delay drilling: Rig warning signs

The point I’m trying to make is if you don’t think there is a mess, you won’t evaluate how to find a solution and failure is inevitable.  Some good places to start in your new journey:  What are the drivers of your current system?  How are key interactions behaving and where?  Finally, make certain you are not afraid to ask the tough question – Is the architecture of your company department and/or your system, operating optimally for your team to achieve sales and marketing goals?  Ask yourself and your team – How well have we defined our ‘mess’?

7 new movie trailers you need to watch from this past week — BGR

That’s right, movie fans, one more week has gone by, and that means we’ve got a few trailers to watch including a new Bruce Willis movie, a fun Netflix exclusive, and a few new horror titles. In addition to the seven new trailers below, we also have a brand new Batman vs. Superman trailer that teases the…

via 7 new movie trailers you need to watch from this past week — BGR

Re-Think Your MCM Journey

So, where are we now?

I recently have spoken with a few industry leaders at pharmaceutical industry conferences and inevitably they ask “Neil, how can I re-organize the way we do business to maximize my Multichannel and content marketing strategy?” This conversation inevitably leads to a series of specifics about the challenges faced in our industry once implementation is at hand. I’m sure if you’re reading this that you have had many conversations both online and offline about Omni-Channel Marketing and how this new dynamic system is fitting in within marketing throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Companies have now shifted their focus from implementation of applications and software to the strategy of managing and automating marketing, creating a more profitable and effective marketing and communication capability in our quickly evolving pharmaceutical market environment. The Omni-channel approach of evaluating channels, content and messaging within a fast-acting system has become the reality of achieving success. Obviously, the focus on changing and implementing software to improve your marketing system is over. Let’s take a look at this new landscape…

The Shift in Landscape

In my experience, shifts within a business marketing paradigm can be achieved effectively three system change categories:
1.A change in the dynamics of your system
2.A change in the nature of platform and/or
3.A change in the method of execution

Omni-Channel marketing requires a change in all of these categories. The new industry discussion has been how to best become a leader in the paradigm shift from Multi-Channel marketing to Omni-channel Marketing. Pharma and biotech executives are now searching for the optimal way to leverage the success of their legacy multi-channel marketing strategy which has largely been driven by the digital channel only into what I refer to as the Omni-channel ‘system of success’. This includes the physician or HCP with the appropriate and targeted message, utilizing the correct message and the optimal time of impact.

However, thinking of this next generation method of marketing as an extension of the Multi-channel Marketing (MCM) approach will slowly breed failure. How is this you might ask? Because Omni-channel marketing is a system and each marketing system has fundamental principles, with supporting information that inherently will be inefficient without the application of the Omni-channel disciplines. Create and nurture the understanding to support the development of strategies to address a business transition to this new way of effectiveness for implementing the pharma-specific strategies of success (This includes proper advanced measurement which I will review in a future blog). The Omnichannel approach is not just any strategy, but strategies which have a very high probability of working when applied.

In conclusion, if there is not understanding of the true nature of how Omni-channel-marketing and how this new way of operating will help your specific business challenges, you will have a new system that doesn’t address the issues at hand. Essentially, these changes will result in greater costs and less efficiencies. This is can be avoided by defining and organizing how your fundamental marketing works before implementation or what systems thinkers refer to as the process of defining your ‘Mess’.

Next Post: Defining the Drivers of your “Mess” to Create the Omni-Channel Solution

MCM Disruption Fueled by the Burst of New FDA Approvals

We all know that the new Multi-Channel Marketing (MCM) can bring a stronger and more efficient focus for your integrated marketing efforts – regardless of your industry vertical.   In the past 5 years, I have launched several new products in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry and there has been a shift or ‘disruption’ with more focus on how to reach the HCP in every form more efficiently. Also digital has manifested itself more into the drug industry and I believe these factors have unveiled some of the MCM secrets to a successful drug launch

marketing-the-art-the-science

A burst of new drug approvals at the FDA just before Christmas in 2014 which pushed the total to 41 for the year, the fastest pace in the past 18 years and a fresh sign that at least a few of the lead players have learned how to efficiently target new therapies for development and utilize MCM for a more targeted launch effort. Basically doing more with less and hyper-targeting in MCM…Well I hope so! Some recent data to shows this:

Added together, 2014 marked the second highest year on record for the approval of new chemical entities, with 1996 topping last year with 53 recorded FDA approvals.

According to research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), biopharma companies that have adopted a disciplined approach to customer excellence have seen productivity gains of 10 to 25 percent. The gains can be taken as cost savings or reinvested for growth: some companies have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in costs, while others have achieved revenue growth of more than 7 percent annually.

Effective MCM can boost top-line growth by more than 10 percent, reduce costs by 10 to 25 percent—or both. Only those drug companies who realize the benefits of utilizing a MCM strategy in launch while managing to invest and allocate budgets properly will succeed. This goes for the small start-ups and large pharma companies. In a way, this new upturn in innovation and reality of the hard work required to revamp the current model has put the spotlight on real returns. It also embraces the notion that customer excellence provides a competitive edge, and thus is worth investing in, and recognizes that pursuing customer excellence is a continuous effort that delivers high impact both in the short term and in the long run.

Too often in our industry MCM is poorly implemented or put aside as ‘too complex’ to work in the field. One key is to keep things simple: employ practical approaches that are based on deep customer discovery and capitalize on this new upturn in innovation to ‘build-through’ a commercial MCM capability for long-term growth!