Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

MVP–Most Valuable People: The Practice Office Staff March 26, 2010

Filed under: Debbie,Physician Preparation — Debbie Donovan @ 6:28 pm
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The first question posed about DTC/DTP readiness: “Does the staff know understand the patient population that will call to get more information?”

Dedicate a staff meeting (you are having those right?) to educating your team about the services and procedures you’d like to do more of and the profile of the appropriate patients for the technologies you’d like to use.

Did you just purchase a DXA scanner for osteoporosis screening? Be sure to give an overview of the condition of osteoporosis, common symptoms patients experience, explain the value of screening and treatment plans. Ask your staff to suggest ways to incorporate the use of the DXA into annual visits and new patient intake then engage them to implement their suggestions.

Before you educate the staff, have a friend make a “secret shopper” call (notification to employees might be required prior, check local laws).  Have the friend note:

  • number of rings prior to answering
  • if put on hold/transferred
  • length of call
  • overall feeling they got from the interaction
  • ask for treatments for the related symptom, condition or problem to be solved

After the educational session, have your friend repeat the process and note improvements.

Lather, rinse and repeat as necessary.

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions


Ready or Not? March 22, 2010

Filed under: Corporate Preparation,DTC,Lisa,Market Planning — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 9:36 pm
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DTC campaign here I come!  You’ve sweated the small stuff.  Well, not really small stuff, big stuff actually. And a lot of it. You took a step back and assessed the physician’s needs, your product benefits and your promise to the patient. The focus has been on attending to the physician – rightly so, ensuring they were ready to assume the staff of authority with your product and procedure.

You trained them, encouraged them and supported them. The reimbursement and insurance coverage gaps around the product are closing. Scientific and clinical journals have published clinical data and there are go-to clinicians, who are actively performing the procedure that new customers can contact.  Lastly, you’ve resolved distribution challenges and simplified the purchase process. 

And now you believe your company is ready to launch a DTC campaign.  If that is the case, you can confidently mark ‘yes’ next to the following 10 checklist items.

© Scholastic, Inc. October 1999/ Art by Gioia Fiammenghi

Company Preparedness Checklist                                              

1.    ALL departments agree it is time to launch and are ready to do so.

2.   Regulatory and clinical affairs are available to handle patient and consumer concerns customer needs.

3.   Sales is well prepared to support and manage customer needs

4.    PR, regulatory and legal are in alignment with their responsibilities and messages to address market reactions.

5.   Marketing is ready to support and usher customers, consumers and company personnel through the process of fulfillment.

6.   Manufacturing is able to respond to inventory ebb and flows.

7.   IT has everything online working and significant bandwidth committed to supporting demand.

8.   Customer service knows precisely how to handle all callers and questions.

9.   Finance is committed to releasing funds well in advance of actual media event. 

10.  Senior Management is well versed in the campaign purpose and goal and all employees are aware of their responsibilities.

In addition to the above readiness states, the following conditions also need to be in place.

  • A call center is prepared to handle all reactions from respondents
  • All customers are informed about the planned campaign
  • Referral physicians have been informed about the procedure and know who in their network performs it
  • All patient education materials are downloadable
  • Physician spokespersons have been identified and are prepared and willing to respond to press requests
  • Reimbursement references are available to assist with coding and coverage questions

These conditions are key in preparing the company to support a consumer reaching campaign.  All parties deserve information about the campaign, preparation to support the campaign and continued communication about the progress of the campaign.  Launching a DTC campaign should only be done when you can confidently declare ‘here I come!’

(c) 2010 pH Consulting


Legacy Marketing – If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well March 5, 2010

Filed under: Lisa,marketing — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 9:42 pm
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Legacy is defined as anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. When money, heirlooms, property or wealth are associated with the term legacy it holds a certain cachet.  Conversely, when prior work, earlier preparations or historical marketing activities are described as a legacy, the label can conjure a tarnished image, shifting from cachet to passé.

Legacy marketing is both experiential and influential. It can be onerous when thoughtlessly developed or poorly executed.  Alternatively, it can be masterful when well conceived or skillfully implemented.

Legacy marketing occurs on a regular basis. Someone somewhere for some company is marketing a product or service every day. The execution of marketing tactics and activities create product histories and set brand foundations. That which happens today, influences tomorrow.

As I was growing up my parents repeatedly encouraged me with the phrase ‘if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well’. The unspoken conclusion to this aphorism was, ‘the first time’. I was meant to understand that if I was spending my time and effort to do something, doing it well should be the goal. After all, I was going to be recognized for the work, good or bad.

In my career I’ve had the privilege of working with high caliber professionals. I’ve also worked along side colleagues who were passing through, with little interest in the legacy they left behind. The difference between the two is in the quality of their work. The high caliber professionals produce rich and potent work. Their work creates strong foundations that support a brand. Future efforts benefit from predecessors work. Unremarkable work performed by those with little interest, results in weak and thin foundations, requiring future efforts to retool and rebuild rather than improve upon.

I am a strong believer in declaring legacy marketing as a goal. The kind of marketing that contributes to the future of the brand because strong and vital foundations are created. My parents convinced me that ‘doing it well the first time’ is the only acceptable approach. We all leave legacies; I want mine to be a ‘thing well done’.

(c) 2010 pH Consulting


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