Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

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.

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ShareThis is Powering the Sharing Revolution! May 17, 2012

Filed under: Lisa — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 10:37 am

ShareThis is Powering the Sharing Revolution!.

 

The Staircase to Nearly Nowhere March 23, 2012

Filed under: Lisa,Market Planning,Products — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 10:15 pm
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Photo courtesy of Winchester Mystery House

Nowhere on my ‘bucket list’ is the must-do of building anything. However, I am hip deep in a construction project. This activity provided the opportunity to learn new things. Many of which I didn’t know I needed to learn, nor do I know at present, how to make all of the learning’s useful. I am sure it is simply a matter of time before it becomes clear.

Do it right the first time

My father is an engineer and from the school of ‘do it right the first time’ philosophy. ‘It’s all in the planning’ he told me. When repairing or constructing something at home, he spent more time thinking and calculating and planning and documenting than actually doing.  I’ve come to realize that approach saves countless mistakes while steering a direct course to a goal.

Step vs. Leap

Apparently the universe was keen on me taking this tenent to heart.  Recently, I received a call from my contractor about a staircase in my construction project. He asked about my height and athleticism, a curious question I thought. He wanted to confirm my ability to leap upwards and successfully reach the landing sixteen inches above the last step. I asked him why I would need to do that, never mind my abilities.

It happens that the plans included miscalculations resulting in a gap of approximately eleven inches from the top of the last step and the landing. This meant there was not enough space to add the two steps needed to reach the landing. Additionally, the gap provided a straight shot to the floor below – fourteen feet down! He assured me that as long as I could leap and make the landing above, he would continue building per the plan.

 Five steps of planning

This ‘do it right the first time’philosophy is particularly important when introducing a new product to the market, especially important if the product is the first for a company.  I’ve learned there are five key principles that must be included in the planning of new product development if success is the intended goal.  The five principles I’ve learned to include in development planning are:

  1. Economics are as indispensable as ergonomics.
  2. The payer is as essential as the provider.
  3. The patient is as influential as the physician.
  4. Integration is as important as ingenuity.
  5. Outcome is as significant as opportunity.

Using these principles as the guiding framework in the development of a new medical device can facilitate making the leap into the market, without missing a step. 

Stay tuned for more detail on the principles, in posts to follow.

(C) 2012 pH Consulting. All rights reserved.

 

Getting to Know You March 15, 2012

Filed under: Customer research,Lisa,Physicians — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 2:00 pm
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Getting to Know You, The King and IIn my previous post I emphasized the need to know your customer before initiating promotional efforts.  Let’s assume you have a foundation of customer insights in the business plan.  Or, at the very least, tidbits that are collected in the early stages of the product development.

Now you need to develop a full-length picture of your customer. There are a number of ways to uncover key aspects about your customer.  The most useful information comes directly from them.

I’m a big proponent of primary research.  There are some very good research agencies available, budget pending.  I’ll share some of my preferred agencies later.  To make the best use of your resources, gather information about the basic profile of your customer first with lower cost tools and in-house elbow grease.

Start with simple surveys.

Two great resources are Zoomerang and Survey Monkey. Both sites have tutorials, samples and process instructions to help you.  Need a model to craft your questions, try @researchinfo.com for sample surveys with a focused audience. Now all you need is a list of names to send it to.  A quick internet search will provide a number of list brokers to choose from.  Keep in mind that this outbound approach may not yield high returns.

The Home Page.

A better approach is to post the survey on your product or company website or social media content page. Less intrusive as the customer comes to you, however, you may gather responses from customers that aren’t in your target audience.

Need more?

Need larger numbers of respondents and more questions answered? It is time to seek out services that have developed opt-in panels of clinicians who have agreed to participate in research. Three that come to mind are Sermo, Medometry and Epocrates. The benefits of using the research services of these types of businesses include large self-profiled highly targeted participants, trusted platform, easy implementation of the survey and quality reports from the collected data.

Windfall research.

Great resources with good insights can be found already published. Tap into Slideshare, Hubspot and wesrch.  Search the directories of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – AHRQ, American Medical Association – AMA, World Health Organization – WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC. Don’t forget the subspecialty association websites. Published findings are available at these sites for little, if any cost.

Shades of distinction.

Now that you have a good foundation of information that describes your customer, don’t let it languish. Update your knowledge base annually, yes, that often. As you acquire more customers and maintain customers longer, continue to learn about them. Don’t assume you know them because of an association with your company.  Challenge the thinking that defines your customer. With a strong understanding of the central core of your customer base, understanding nuances and distinctions may be needed to increase business among some segments. Consider exploring areas not well understood with experts who know how to mine for those subtleties. A couple of my preferred research agencies are Motivation Mechanics , the Kern Mueller Group and Kaplan Research.

Portrait or thumbnail?

Continued learning about the customer provides the best means by which to serve the customer.  You can never know enough about your customers. Working from a thumbnail image will limit your effectiveness in maintaining your relationship.  Go for the portrait, it is much more telling.

Have some other suggestions of gathering information or great research sources – tell us here!

(C) 2012 pH Consulting. All rights reserved.

 

Left Brain, Right Brain, Slow Start, Fast Forward February 26, 2012

This weekend while observing physicians learning a new technique, I was asked about stimulating interest and accelerating adoption.

This isTHE challenge for makers of new products, especially in life sciences.  After years of work and significant investment, when the time arrives that a company can finally move into the commercialization stage, the foremost thought is how to make everything happen faster.

In my experience, sustained acceleration follows a slow steady start. Taking the approach of learning to walk before you run will reduce the severity of a fall from the inevitable stumble.

Slow start

When I say a slow steady start I am referring to really understanding your customer from their perspective when it comes to buying your product.  The very best way to do that is to conduct research to draw out what they think, what they will respond to and how they will react when you put your offer in front of them.

It seems so straightforward, and surely after having spent extensive time developing your product working with a ‘few good advisors’ the customers reactions should be predictable. However, frequently they are not predictable, and without a sound understanding of their thinking, you will be challenged to get the reaction you desire.

Decisions in the ‘blink’ of an eye

Behavioral research continues to uncover the triggers behind the choices we make. A favorite author of mine Malcolm Gladwell detailed fascinating examples of how we make decisions in his book Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. Apparently we make decisions in the blink of an eye, or in real time terms, under two seconds!

Two seconds is not much time to convince a customer to buy a new product, adopt a new approach or change behavior. To get a customer to do those three things, knowing their thinking beforehand is critical. Mind-reading is truly a gift of very few. Thus, simple clean research of the target customer is the best way I know of understanding their thinking.

Buy button

Roger Sperry, a neuropsychologist/neurobiologist initiated a study of the relationship of the brain’s hemispheres for which he and scientists Hubel and Wiesel were awarded the Nobel Price in Medicine in 1981. Sperry et al, found that the left half of the brain tends to process information in an analytical, rational, logical way. The right half of the brain tends to recognize relationships, integrate and synthesize information and arrive at intuitive insights. These differences are frequently described as the left-brain is logical and the right brain is emotional. The brain doesn’t have a ‘buy button, rather it draws on several different processes when considering a purchase decision. Emotional response is recognized as a strong influence over making purchase decisions – in that two-second space.

Cues that compel

In the case of accelerated growth it pays to understand the thinking of the target customer such that companies can present their offer in a way that compels the customer forward. In a post by Sam McNerney, who blogs for Scientific American on cognitive psychology, he provides examples of written, verbal and visual cues that drive desired behavior (Especially compelling, the ‘fly in the urinal’ example!).

Really learning what the customer thinks before pushing forward with the heavy lifting of sales activities is a step that shouldn’t be skipped if fast forward is the goal.

 

(C) 2012 pH Consulting. All rights reserved.
 

Charge Nurse December 2, 2011

Filed under: Leadership,Lisa — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 8:33 am
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My career started in nursing, when career choices were essentially clinical or management of clinical departments. Less than ten percent of my graduation class was men. They stood out among the sea of capped female classmates. A man choosing a career in nursing was a rarity then. A lot has changed in nursing and in opportunities for nurses.

President Obama is nominating Marilyn Tavenner, a nurse, for the administrator of Centers of Medicare and Medicaid.  She has been the principal deputy administrator under Dr. Berwick, who resigns his role as acting administrator this month.

Ms. Tavenner’s career includes staff nursing, hospital administration and secretary of Health and Human Services for the state of Virginia. Ms. Tavenner is not the first woman or nurse to be the administrator of CMS. Carolyne Davis, also a nurse, served in this capacity in the early 80’s, when CMS was known as the Health Care Financing Administration

In the midst of the current hot debate about balancing the budget by reducing the budget associated with Medicare and Medicaid, test your knowledge of the history of CMS.  http://www.cms.gov/History/Downloads/QUIZ08.pdf

While the number of men entering nursing has increased substantially over the years, the number of women in healthcare management and leadership roles continues to lag. Assuming the senate confirms Ms. Tavenner, women and the nursing profession will have one more role model, thus increasing the percentage of women taking charge.

(C) 2011 pH Consulting.  All rights reserved.

 

MedTech Vision 2011 Conference October 2, 2011

Filed under: Debbie,Lisa,MedTech Women,strategy,Women consumers — Debbie Donovan @ 2:54 am
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THEME: Advancing Care through Access, Cost and Innovation: Opportunities in the New Era of Med Tech

Lisa and Debbie spent two glorious days at this inaugural event. It was incredible to be in a room filled with powerful, successful women all from the MedTech industry. It was a nice change of pace to have the focus just on devices and diagnostics (no pharma or biotech, with all due respect). Speakers from all corners of the industry were featured in keynotes and in well organized panel discussions—each could have gone on for hours. The setting, refreshments and accommodations were spectacular, especially for out-of-area attendees.

Hats off to the catalysts and organizing committee; since you were able to pull off a stunningly successful event, you have a group ready to set a new course for evolving the industry that has captured our hearts and minds.

Quotable Moments–highlights from our notes:

Thursday AM

Thursday PM

Friday AM

Related links

Medtech Vision 2011

MedTech Women

2011 (C) eGold Solutions and pH Consulting; all rights reserved.

 

 
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