Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

3WD Interview–Cheryl Bisera & Judy Capko October 2, 2013

Practice Marketing

Patient-Centered Payoff by Cheryl Bisera and Judy Capko

I had the good fortune of meeting Cheryl Bisera because of her work with a shared client/customer—Dr. Simoni. The first time we spoke, I knew she was as passionate about practice marketing and physician reputation management as I am. I was honored when she asked me to preview her new book with Judy Capko. The case studies are absolutely a highlight and bring to life the best-practice concepts presented in “The Patient-Centered Payoff.”

  • How did you arrive in your current role?

Judy: After working in medical offices for years, I realized how little physician owners knew about business and efficient operations. I decided I could be a resource to improve the efficiency and financial success for medical practices. My medical management consulting firm grew to include marketing, team building and strategic planning. I became a sought-after speaker and author throughout the healthcare industry and then decided to write my first book, “Secrets of the Best Run Practices” and demand for my services skyrocketed. I’m proud to be rolling   out my fourth book, “The Patient-Centered Payoff”, with co-author, Cheryl Bisera.

Cheryl: I discovered my passion for marketing and customer service during my college years when working for a promotional product company. I then joined a healthcare consulting firm where I developed my skills as a patient experience and marketing consultant. Cheryl Bisera Consulting partners with healthcare professionals to grow their business through innovative connections with referral sources, marketing and   increased visibility in their communities and delivering a stellar patient experience.

  • What do you love most about the work you do?

    Judy Capko

    Judy Capko

Judy:  I am a people motivator at heart, I love to get physician owners, organization leaders and staff enthusiastic about a vision of success that they couldn’t grasp before. When I can get everyone on-board and moving in the same direction, the energy is dynamic and the momentum is unstoppably positive. Success always follows and that is deeply rewarding.

Cheryl: When a physician or organization brings me in, there is some faith involved. They have to trust me and take certain steps without necessarily understanding how everything will come together. When they begin to see results and see the payoffs of all our efforts working together, it’s extremely   gratifying. Turning things around for a practice is an incredible experience.

  • Where is the most exotic place in the world that you’ve eaten?

    Cheryl Bisera

    Cheryl Bisera

Judy: I’ve had the good fortune to be able to travel throughout the world with my husband. Besides cruise ships that sometimes feature local fare such as escargot and turtle soup, the most exotic fare I’ve enjoyed was in Thailand. The spices are delicate and provide an indescribable influence on the flavors! I must say, I have had chocolate covered ants too – quite crunchy!

Cheryl: I have not had the same good fortune as Judy, but I do wish to do more travel in the future. I would have to say the most exotic place I’ve eaten is off my kitchen floor, because when you have three children, you pretty much just get what you can – and sometimes that means rescuing a rogue meatball or other hand-crafted goody that took too much work to let go to the dog.

(C) 2013 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

FYI•PHI•TMI July 20, 2013

Filed under: Lisa,PHI,Social media — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 12:57 pm

man w zipped lipsThis post is more of a ‘what not to do, than what to do’.  To be clear, from the start – I am a proponent of social media as a healthcare marketing communications medium.  Social media platforms are used by many disease and condition focused organizations – from research and scientific communities to support and education organizations as well as manufacturers and makers of healthcare products and physicians and providers of healthcare services.

Social media (SM) platforms are vastly more efficient when communicating with large numbers of people, because it is just plain faster.  I believe that one-size does not fit all – the goals of the communication and the intended audience must determine the platform, and that a SM program is most effective if focused rather than scattershot.

I am a big fan of SM platforms that facilitate two-way communication, a.k.a. sharing.  Some of the richest intelligence results in the exchange of questions and answers, clarifying facts and dispelling fiction, and proposing of ideas and challenging of status quo – particularly in healthcare.  In other words – lots of ‘engagement’ by the host of the SM portal and individuals visiting the portal can lead to very good things.

However – yes there is a BUT; protected health information (PHI) sometimes referred to as personal health information, should be, well both of those things – protected and personal!

As the jingle goes – “what goes on the internet stays on the internet” should sound alarm bells in the mind of the misguided individual who shares their PHI on social media platforms.  Never mind that few of us want to know the nitty-gritty details of every little physical malady one suffers, the bigger issue is that sharing of all things protectable and personal puts the individual at great risk of prejudice, predatory practices and exploitation.

PHI is best treated with the same care as ones’ SS#, unlisted telephone number, bank account passwords and if you are a woman – weight!  It’s personal – protect it!

(C) 2013 pH Consulting. All rights reserved.

 

Press Release Distribution Services: Are They Worth It? July 15, 2013

My favorite newswire services

My favorite newswire services

Whether I’m working with a start-up or a Fortune 500 company,with the marketing or communications teams, all of my clients are looking for ways to make their budgets go farthest. So I sometimes get asked if it’s worth it to use a news distribution service, such as PRNewswire or BusinessWire, for your press releases.  And the answer is they’re even more valuable today than ever.

I had one new client recently who, for years, had been issuing a steady stream of news releases.  But when doing some basic internet research, no news came up in Google searches. I learned that the previous PR person never used a wire service, and only emailed them out to her media list. The releases were not being made available online and media pick-up was minimal. Years of opportunity… lost.

Yes, They’re Worth It: These days, the value of a press release is not only about the media that covers your news. It’s also about maximizing your online visibility through search and getting easily found.  In short, if you send out a press release without using a distribution service, the company is missing out on most of the benefits of doing a release, which include:

  • Expanding media coverage online, locally and nationally–PR Newswire is a trusted source of news (as is BusinessWire)
  • Reaching investors and prospective partners, as well as getting your message directly in front of potential customers
  • Increasing traffic to your Web site through search engines
    • What makes press releases valuable for SEO is not the release itself; it’s when news sites pick them up and spread your news
    • News releases issued through the right distribution  services automatically get syndicated to MarketWatch, Yahoo, MSN and other major news sites, and that’s what will enhance your company’s search rankings
  • Enhancing credibility–Your release is more likely to be included on major news sites, and it will be included alongside news from larger companies
  • Reaching social media and bloggers with tools designed to maximize your online exposure
  • These services provide reports that help you measure your reach

Best Practice:  Media relations best practice is to:

1)  Issue the news release over one of the distribution services (I recommend PRNewswire and BusinessWire)

2)  Follow up one-on-one with emails and/or phone calls to your target reporters

Here’s a good example of why:

  • When we issued a release for one of my clients over PRNewswire, we knew it was not the most exciting news, but it was one part of the ongoing story we wanted to tell about the company.
  • The Wall Street Journal Online ran the release, and that outlet was not on our email distribution list for this news.
  • The story also ran in Medical Device Daily and Orthopedics This Week, among other outlets, which came about as a result of our outreach efforts.

Resources:

PR Toolkit: The Benefits of Distributing a News Release

Google Says Press Releases Don’t have SEO Value – Or Do They?

© 2013, Merryman Communications, All Rights Reserved

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Did Kaiser Permanente THRIVE? May 29, 2013

KP - ThriveHave you ever met anyone who doesn’t love Kaiser Permanente’s THRIVE campaign? I haven’t. So when I had the opportunity to hear the insiders’ perspective of the campaign from Angela Zepeda, Managing Director of Campbell Ewald Los Angeles, and Kaiser Permanente’s Lisa Ryan, Executive Director of National Advertising, at a recent Healthcare PR and Marketing Association meeting in Los Angeles, I jumped at the chance. Here’s a little insight into this highly memorable brand campaign.

Kaiser began developing its new brand campaign at a time when HMOs were truly hated. Because the organization stood for the largest example of an HMO, it was often the target of a negative backlash – even though Kaiser defines itself as an integrated delivery network and has hospitals and a physician group (in California, anyway — its models in other states are different).

Research-based Strategic Insights

Kaiser started with extensive research:

  • As in any brand initiative, they first looked internally to what the Kaiser Permanente brand stood for: Health advocates dedicated to your health and well-being. They believed that this legacy is consistent with the organization’s mission and values today — it stood the test of time.
  • They also looked externally:
    • Competitive research showed that, at the time, no company was talking about health vs. healthcare.
    • They learned that what mattered most to their target consumer audiences was the concept: No matter what, I want to be as healthy as I can be. This crossed all stages of life, and the target’s psychographic profile was more important than its wide-ranging demographic profile.

In fusing the internal and external findings together, what came out was THRIVE. By taking a fun, lighthearted approach to talk about all the things you can do to take better care of yourself, Angela and Lisa emphasized that it was a reinterpretation of Total Health.

Creative Delivery

A brand is the accumulation of experiences and interactions with an organization, and Angela and Lisa said they made the care delivery organization align behind and promise to deliver on the brand story they wanted to tell.

The strategic tenets of the campaign are and remain:

  • Reinvent the language
  • Redefine the system
  • Champion the cause

For example, the campaign will never show a doctor in a traditional exam room or hospital setting – that is, if they show a doctor at all. Instead, it’s about the patient, the member or prospective member. For example, in 2007 Kaiser aired a really memorable ad about taking better care of yourself that featured a cute, chubby little boy. It never mentioned childhood obesity, but that’s what it was really about, and about raising healthy, active kids.

While we may remember the TV spots best, the campaign was fully integrated across communications disciplines. From turning pillars in an airport waiting area into giant redwoods to hosting farmer’s markets at its medical centers, THRIVE and the team behind it found creative ways to emphasize what the brand was all about: Total Health.

Results

So, over the years since the campaign launched in 2004, has it achieved the desired marketing results? Angela and Lisa report the answer (and I admire them for sharing the reality), based on continued research and evaluation, as yes and no:

  • Yes, the brand perception of Kaiser Permanente improved tremendously since the campaign began.
  • No, it has not moved the needle much in terms of growth in membership. The research shows that only 38% of respondents would “consider joining” – a number that they still consider low.

Lessons Learned

Here are a few more insights that Angela and Lisa shared:

  • The campaign emphasized behavior change and health advocacy. However, Kaiser and Campbell Ewald learned that care delivery messages have a greater effect on some of the key attributes target consumers value, even though they don’t move the brand. In the future, the THRIVE campaign will focus on both health advocacy and care delivery, but still follow the strategic tenets. They’ll talk more about integration and coordinated care, like they did with this spot.
  • Social media was happening whether Kaiser liked it or not, so now they need to develop a strategy.
  • They see a continued growth in digital ad spend with more sophisticated planning across platforms.

Since its rollout in 2004, THRIVE has successfully helped Kaiser Permanente stand out from the “sea of sameness” that existed. Many health organizations are now focusing on their brands in the age of the ACA, and delivering a wellness message. Kaiser has a huge headstart due to its long-term investment.

Additional Resources

Five Lessons from Kaiser Permanente’s THRIVE Campaign

Campbell Ewald THRIVE Case Study

© 2013, Merryman Communications, All Rights Reserved

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Simply Described: FDA Review of Medical Devices March 13, 2013

FDA Logo BetterWhen I learned about the regulatory process that a medical device goes through to get to market, I learned about it on-the-job from experienced medical device communications colleagues, clients and their regulatory counsel.  Since then, I’ve looked for resources to pass on to other teammates or students to explain the process, which can be complex. I’ve found some really good descriptions of the process a drug or biologic undergoes (one of my favorites is by my colleague Mark Senak), but nothing that really works for medical devices.  (If you have a resource, please share it!)

So, here’s what I’ve developed and shared (with the caveat that I am not a regulatory expert.  I have a lot of experience with FDA-regulated products, and I’m offering this from a communications perspective.)

Devices are can go through two different processes at the FDA: The 510(k) and the Premarket Approval (PMA). Every year the FDA reviews thousands of 510(k) submissions, which is about 10 times as many PMA applications.

510(k) Clearance

Approximately 90% of device applications that the FDA receives annually go through the 510(k) process. This is a premarketing submission made to the FDA to demonstrate that the device to be marketed is as safe and effective (substantially equivalent) as a device that is already being legally marketed. This process on average takes under five months, although it can range from three months to about a year. Because it usually requires no clinical trials or research it also requires less investment and presents less financial risk to investors.

However, changes are underway.  The FDA is now requiring some devices going through the 510(k) process to have supporting clinical data, requiring a trial. This is generally the case when there is a new technology or a request for a new indication for use. When a study is required, it is the same as an IDE study (explained below).

Premarket Approval

A PMA is an extensive application submitted to the FDA to request approval to market. Unlike a 510(k), a PMA is based on the FDA’s determination that “there is sufficient valid scientific evidence that provides reasonable assurance that the device is safe and effective for its intended use or uses.” (http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DeviceApprovalsandClearances/default.htm)

This process generally takes at least five years, and often longer.  Here’s the process at a glance:

  • Feasibility studies are usually animal studies, and may include other kinds of economic and market research.
  • Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) approval is required from the FDA before in-human trials can begin.  An IDE trial can be a small, pilot or proof of concept study, or it could be a large pivotal trial.
  • In the medical device world, a pivotal trial is considered large when it includes several hundred patients, vs. the several thousand that may be included in a trial for a drug or biologic.
  • All PMAs for a first-of-its kind-device require an advisory committee review.  (I’ve never worked on a project going through the PMA process that didn’t have an advisory committee meeting.)
  • Of the three decisions the FDA can make, two are clear-cut: The device is approved or not approved. An approvable letter is a lot less clear-cut.  It means that the review is complete, but the FDA wants the company to address a few things, such as labeling, or setting up an inspection. When the issues are addressed to the FDA’s satisfaction, then the device may be approved.

Important Lingo

  • The FDA clears 510(k) submissions and products receive 510(k) clearance.
  • The FDA approves PMA applications and products receive FDA approval.

Other Good Resources

Mann Foundation

FDA PMA Overview

FDA 510(k) Overview

WSJ: Too Fast or Too Slow?

This information reflects my experience in working with FDA-regulated products.  Please only use this is a guide, and if you need the final word on matters, talk to your regulatory expert!

©2013 All rights reserved. This article may be shared in part or whole with credit given to author and link to Merryman Communications

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Why my toes are blue with stars March 1, 2013

Colorectal Cancer advocacy

Ready for Colorectal Cancer Awareness month and One Million Strong website kick off

March is colorectal cancer awareness month

Blue is the designated color and stars are the symbol for hope.

Many years ago, the National Colorectal Cancer Round Table (NCCRT) began using the blue star as a unifying emblem for Colorectal Cancer advocacy. Dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals show their support by wearing blue stars in the month of March. As you see events in your communities, I encourage you to participate to raise awareness and get screened. This is the most easily preventable cancer and it is also becoming more survivable even when diagnosed at late stages.

In the US, over 1 million people are survivors of colorectal cancer.

To kick off 2013 festivities, I am in Times Square to support the launch of One Million Strong #1MilStrong a campaign created by Fight Colorectal Cancer. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness for prevention, screening, treating and beating colorectal cancer. All day we will be spreading the excitement from these activities:

  • Free yoga sessions by Lululemon
  • Dance class/party with James Darling and music by DJ Jay McElfresh
  • Cancer survivor group photo
  • A strong arm pose-off with a visit from WBO Middleweight Champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin
  • And don’t miss Prevent Cancer‘s Super Colon, an interactive exhibit that offers a close-up look at a healthy (and unhealthy) colon with tips about screening and early prevention

When on the One Million Strong website you can:

  • Make a pledge to be strong, talk to your doctor about screening, be an advocate, urge family and friends to take action
  • Learn more about colorectal cancer advocacy
  • Discover how supporting colorectal cancer organizations improves healthcare for everyone

Fight Colorectal Cancer is one of the leading advocacy groups for this preventable, treatable and beatable cancer. I am proud to be on the team representing:

  • The Colon Club which uses out-of-the-box ways to promote prevention and screening especially for men and women under 50 years old that are symptomatic and/or at risk for developing colorectal cancer. The Colossal Colon and Colondar models will be on tour throughout the year raising awareness in a community near you.
  • Third Eye Colonoscopy which developed the Third Eye Retroscope device to help physicians see behind the folds and flexures in the colon where adenomas (pre-cancerous polyps) like to hide. This breakthrough technology allows physicians to see more of the colon which leads to increased detection of adenomas.

I hope you will follow the fun today on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn and share with your networks so we can “get behind a cure” in March!

(C) 2013 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

Guest Post Part III: Judging Social Media Success February 21, 2013

Filed under: Debbie,Guest Posts,Social media — Debbie Donovan @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Guest Wise Dame Susan L. Brown for Brown & Associates

elephantWboyWguitarROI for social media and communities is the “elephant in the room.” Everyone wants a definitive answer to how to evaluate return on investment. Also how much investment is enough? What are the resources needed? What kind of social media is effective and why?

“The most socially engaged companies typically enjoyed revenue growth of 18% on average over the last 12 months, while the least socially engaged brands saw revenues fall 6%.”

  • The study also showed that social media reach alone may have a positive impact: BUTTERFLIES enjoyed significantly stronger revenue returns than SELECTIVES or WALLFLOWERS. Why? Because more touch points can present a ripple effect, inducing viral marketing, boosting brand recognition and driving sales volume.
  • SELECTIVES delivered higher gross and net margins, suggesting that deep engagement in a few channels can be a rewarding and effective social media strategy. Focusing on depth over breadth present an opportunity to better understand the customer, react quickly to customer demand, and improve satisfaction – which in turn generates pricing power and drives business success.

Key Take-aways:

  • Engagement via social media IS important — and we CAN quantify it.
  • It pays in both revenue and profits to engage meaningfully in social media. Emphasize quality, not just quantity.
  • To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job.
  • Doing it all may not be for you — but you must do something.
  • Find your sweet spot – it is better to be consistent and participate in fewer channels than to spread yourself too thin.

How Companies Judge Social Media Success

The amount of web site traffic generated is the most popular way that companies in this study measure the success of their social media initiatives, followed by engagement with prospects and brand awareness.

Figure 1: Top Social Media Success Metrics

SuccessMetrics

 The next figure shows the bottom two box (Not at All, Barely) and top two box (Well, Very Well) percentages for respondents using each of the success metrics

Respondents were asked how well they can see the impact of company social media initiatives on the success metrics they use today using the following scale:

1. Not at All – Unable to Measure

2. Barely – May or May Not Have the Data

3. Somewhat – Data is There but You Have to Dig

4. Well – Most of the Data is Easily Accessed

5. Very Well – Part of Standard Reports

Figure 2: Ability to See Impact of Social Media Initiatives on Success Metrics

SocialMediaSuccessMetrics

Don’t Miss:

Part I: 6 Key Steps to Determine Social Media ROI

Part II: Social Media’s Impact on Purchases

(C) 03/2011, updated, 1/2013; all rights reserved. This article may be shared in part or whole with credit given to author and link to Brown & Associates

 

 
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