Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

Blessings to my Healthcare Social Media Gurus September 26, 2012

Filed under: Debbie,DTC,marketing,Programs,Social media,strategy — Debbie Donovan @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , ,

[I’ve updated this post from July 2010 because in the past 2-1/2 years a few things have changed.]

I am frequently asked to explain how “social media” works for health care companies and providers. After I answer specific questions and cite examples, the next question I get is a variation of, “How did you figure all this stuff out?”

The answer is pretty simple. Early in my self-guided study I stumbled upon what I can only describe as gurus. They provide a steady stream of examples of creative execution, critical insights on legal and regulatory issues and infinite enthusiasm for this communication revolution.

The big news is that gurus Ed and Lee have gotten together to make sure that Ed’s Hospital social media list has a new home at the Center for Social Media at the Mayo Clinic and title: Health Care Social Media List . It’s a critical resource for anyone selling products or programs to hospital administration.

I’ve learned that the best karma I can give is a shout out to those whose activity I can’t miss:

Namaste!

(C) 2012 eGold Solutions all rights reserved.

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Creating a digital entity step-by-step June 28, 2012

In the past few years, I have needed to create digital identities for a variety of entities–projects, clients, groups, etc. Each time I set up the digital footprint for these entities I’ve gotten smarter about the sequence of steps.

Below is a list of initial steps to take when creating the digital footprint of an entity. These services are all FREE so it’s affordable for a bootstrap situation or a well-funded business.

  1. Establish Consistent Brand: Brainstorm name ideas or brand variations.  Check yor top selections on NameChk.com. This service magically checks all the major, second level and minor level social media outlets (159 at last count) to see if a specific “handle” is available. You can also download the results into a spreadsheet and use it to maintain a list of site registrations and log in credentials.
  2. Create A Master Hub: Create a Gmail account with the user name that cleared the brand hurdle above. The free services offered in Google are astounding starting with their web browser Chrome. My other favorites are Google+, Google Alerts, YouTube, Blogger and AdWords/Analytics.
    Hot Tip: When you initiate your Google AdWords account it will issue a Google Analytics code [UA-xxxxxxxx-1] from within that service. When you build your blog-based website you can embed this code for tracking customers from search to purchase using Analytics.
  3. Get On The Majors: Using your gmail account or GoogleID establish identities on all the major networks and companion services: Twitter/Tweetdeck, Facebook, LinkedIn/SlideShare, Pinterest, Tumblr, WordPress, etc. The advantage of using Google ID is that as long as you are logged into your gmail account (especially when using Chrome) the other services will recognize you instantly.
    Hot Tip:   Every single network and service contains getting started tutorials–use them! You can frequently sign up for a getting started email series.

I have become aware of many of these services by attending free webinars–usually under the heading of search marketing, but also competitive intelligence gathering.

What are your favorites? Share the wisdom.

(C) 2012 eGold Solutions all rights reserved.

 

An Appreciation of DVD Extras January 31, 2012

Filed under: Business,Corporate Preparation,Debbie,Innovation — Debbie Donovan @ 11:39 am

Most in my circle know of my passion for the work of George Lucas, especially the Star Wars Universe filled with fascinating characters, exotically imagined locations and classic good vs. evil plot lines. I adore watching the DVD extras especially those that pick apart how the movie come together:

  • who spoke with who to initiate the project—frequently it’s a small miracle the film was ever put into production
  • how casting and directing decisions were made—great films always feature a palpable chemistry between the players on screen and off
  • how the roles of certain specialty professionals (music, editing, special effects, makeup, costume, sets, props) combine to create the overall look and feel—some elements become characters in their own right to elevate the final experience.

It’s helpful to pick apart and study successful marketing programs both inside healthcare and in the consumer arenas. There are many lessons to be learned and applied.

What behind the scenes programs have enlightened you and what lessons do you remember? Share the wisdom.

P.S Oprah’s Next Chapter interview with George Lucas was wonderful, worth catching on OWN. And yes, I am looking forward to the 3-D versions of my favorite saga on the big screen once again.

(C) 2012 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

A fascination with behind-the-scenes programs December 19, 2011

I was not a regular Oprah show watcher; however, from time to time, if there was a particular topic or guest of interest, I would go out of my way to record her regular show.

In May 2011, I made a point of recording the final weeks of the main show and captured her 25th Season Behind the Scenes program on OWN. When I’m engaged in mundane tasks (e.g. folding laundry), I really appreciate the opportunity to watch the Harpo crew in action. Oprah says her team is the best in the business and I couldn’t agree more.

Getting a “behind the scenes look” at project execution with their level of focus and intense attention to detail makes one appreciate excellence in professional work. Every show, event, campaign that any marketer develops should be approached with the notion that no stone should be left unturned and nothing should be left to chance. Since we don’t really have any control over how events unfold, it’s good to know that you’ve planned the core details and made just-in-case contingencies. Then when it’s time to let go and let “it” happen, you can do so and enjoy the ride. I’ve been experiencing Oprah’s Life Class on Facebook and because I have watched her behind the scenes program, I have a complete appreciation for how the well oiled the team is and how they’ve moved into creating as wonderful experience on-line as they did on the TV show.

Frequently, the Harpo team bites off more than they can chew and it is in those moments that you realize that you can’t execute every great idea–it’s better to do a few things and knock them out of the park. As Lisa says, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

In medical marketing, the devilish details can be similar to an Oprah show—managing talent a.k.a. handling patients and health care professionals. It can also be vastly different—content negotiated down to the word, HIPAA privacy, ethics codes, etc. None of it should be overlooked and they are the parts of any program that contribute to successful outcomes.

What behind the scenes programs have enlightened you and what lessons do you remember? Share the wisdom.

Related Posts:

Great article about what it’s like behind the scenes of Oprah’s Life Class

(C) 2011 eGold Solutions; all rights reserved.

 

Putting a stake in the poop December 1, 2011

Today I began my next adventure as the Director of Marketing at Avantis Medical Systems (Sunnyvale, CA). I will be applying my marketing knowledge and experience to help the Third Eye® Retroscope® become a household name (great branding, right?). Here’s a brief description from the current website (being ever mindful of labeling):

“During a colonoscopy exam, the Third Eye provides a retrograde—or reverse—view that appears on a screen side-by-side with the traditional forward-looking view. Colonoscopy is currently the most accurate test for detection of both polyps and colorectal cancer. It also provides the best means for removing them. However, research shows that some polyps and cancers can be missed during routine colonoscopy, especially if they occur in locations that are hidden from the forward view of the colonoscope. The colon has many folds in its inner lining and contains many sharp turns, or flexures. The areas behind those folds and flexures are difficult to see with the colonoscope. The Third Eye Retroscope provides a way to visualize the hidden areas behind folds and flexures by providing a retrograde view.”

Here’s why I am so excited about this opportunity:

  • As a young marketing communications agency executive, I worked on the Hemoccult® Brand Fecal Occult Blood Test used to screen the colon for hidden blood caused by cancer and other diseases. Back then it was owned by SmithKline Diagnostics, now it’s owned by Danaher. I received two awards for a patient education poster entitled Colorectal Cancer: Facts you should know about its detection and prevention (I know, very sexy stuff). More importantly that work connected me permanently to the lifelong work of my father, Ron. For those of you that know my family, it’s beyond exciting for all of us that I am “back in the poop.”
  • The time has come to put into put a “stake in the poop” and apply all that I have learned about digital marketing, and especially social media. I can’t wait to discover the haystacks of needles, use social capital and motivate healthcare providers to find the power in combined brands. I believe it is possible to drive brand value for medical devices and diagnostics using modern marketing techniques.

I vow to continue blogging to highlight learnings and great resources I stumble upon. Feel free to ask me questions about what’s happening as you begin to stumble upon the Third Eye Retroscope and its contributions to colonoscopy and cancer detection.

Views expressed on this blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

In this season of giving thanks for all the blessings in my life, I want to express my gratitude for the support I have received in the past two years.

  • To Lisa for getting 3WD started and being a great mentor and friend.
  • To Betsy for her most recent colonoscopy post (looks like I get to use the image after all).
  • To my social media gurus for keeping me ahead of the curve.
  • To my incredible network of friends and family maintained on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Ole!

©2011 eGold Solutions. All rights reserved.

 

Physician, Google Thyself* Part I November 11, 2011

[Republished 11/11/11 to expand on an excellent post from Doximity Advisory Doard memberBryan Vartabedian, MD, is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospitaland blogs at 33 charts]

This is the first in a set of posts designed to educate physicians on how their names are being displayed. The education should lead to an evaluation of their current situation and motivation for them to execute basic activities to manage their reputation on-line. Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

EDUCATE:

Excellent reputations spread via word of mouth (WOM) has been and is still the most valuable “referral” marketing tool for any physician’s practice. WOM reputations are spread from health care professionals and the family and friends of patients [1].

The transmission vehicle for WOM referral marketing has changed substantially with the widespread availability of the Internet. Rating and reviewing services for restaurants, dry cleaners, hair stylists and other service-based businesses have popped-up all over the Internet (e.g. Yelp). The ability to review service-based business has been added to map and phone directory listings and these reviews are displayed in search engine results (e.g. Google Maps displays reviews from InsiderPages and Yahoo Local).

In addition to general rating services, there are dozens of health care professional directories. These directories purchase lists from medical associations, state licensing boards, and other data aggregators. Clinical specialty organizations (e.g. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) also publish physician locator services as a benefit of society membership (here’s a directory of directories from MedlinePlus). Healthcare systems, hospitals and insurance companies also maintain on-line directories of service providers in their networks.

The latest entries the internet community are the social media platforms—FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, et Al. These new platforms provide patients with a “global soapbox” on which to tell their story and spread it electronically.

The challenge for health care providers is the lack of control of the content on these services and platforms. Of special concern is the protection of personal health information (PHI) defined by health care privacy laws (HIPAA) [2].

With the current marketing craze around social media, what is a trained health care professional to do? Being aware and managing your on-line reputation is mission critical to maintaining and growing your practice.

Next Up:  Evaluate your situation

Physician Google Thyself Webinar Video on Blip.TV

(C) 2010 eGold Solutions

*************

*Thanks Elizabeth Cooney for the great post title (July 08); great minds think alike.

[1] http://www.hschange.com/CONTENT/1028/1028.pdf

[2] http://mamedicallaw.com/blog/2009/10/19/social-networking-101-for-physicians/

 

Marketing Tool Kits: Exemplary Compliance October 10, 2011

Updated post

In Lisa’s post about legacy marketing, she extols the virtues of doing things well and I couldn’t agree more especially when considering the legal realities associated with industry codes–AdvaMed, PhRMA, CMSS, et. Al. If those acronyms are alphabet soup to you then please take the time to read up and come back, I’ll wait.

Bottom line (and one of my truth’s):

Health care providers must own their reputations and practice marketing.

What that means to companies is that they can supply to all QUALIFIED CUSTOMERS with a DIY Marketing Tool Kit.

The company determines exactly how a customer qualifies as long as those rules are applied consistently across the customer base. Here are some qualifications:

  • Complete product training program
  • Perform a minimum number of cases to demonstrate competency
  • Perform procedures in a specific site of service
  • Have admission privileges to at least one hospital facility
  • Have an active medical/DEA license
  • Agree to make specific dollar contributions to a turnkey marketing program with a third party vendor.

If your management team wants you to just dole out money for customer’s marketing activities without a formal program, push back. Regulators can see the brightly lit money trail a mile away. Here’s an example:

[Newly added 10/10/11]

Here’s a Press Release from Office of the Inspector General about a military cardiologist getting sentencing because of benefits received from a variety of activities including dinners with sales reps.

NPR Story:

Here’s a story from the AP on Massachusetts reporting of payments to physicians. “The report was the result of a 2008 state law that banned some types of gifts outright and required companies to report other types of payments.”

Note how the state has categorized the payments to physicians:

“That’s according to a new report from the state Department of Public Health, which said the payments included speaking and consulting fees, meals, and education and marketing programs.”

Doing it right is more than a compliance issue–it’s a mindset. People value what they pay for and they are more engaged in success when they have skin in the game. Everybody wins when customer marketing programs are both compelling and compliant.

(C) 2011 all rights reserved eGold Solutions.

  • Marketing Tool Kit post series:
 

 
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