Lisa Banket
Cofounding Partner/Publisher
Taren Grom
Cofounding Partner/Editor-in-Chief
Heather Hummel
Project Coordinator
Dan Limbach
Producer, Webcast Network
Denise Myshko
Managing Editor
Kim Ribbink
Features Editor
Robin Robinson
Senior Editor
Marah Walsh
Cofounding Partner/New Business Development

PharmaVOICE Editors' Blog

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don Draper Closes Gap in New Media

Dan Limbach

The Internet started out as a research tool (ARPANET), morphed into a hobbyist/geek/artist playplace, and eventually became the juggernaut we have today. As the commercial applications began to blossom, New Media agencies began to sprout up all over to meet the needs of a tech-hungry business culture. The Old Guard agencies were stuck in the "Mad Men" era, and weren't in tune with digital technology. So they say.

ADWEEK features an article about how the gap between new media agencies and traditional agencies has narrowed. Marketing on the Internet has become less about Flash ads and building websites using the latest technologies, and more about getting people to talk about a product/company using the social tools of the Internet.

Go wide, not deep.

Agencies no longer need the deep tech chops that used to be required to create a complex company website. They need to know how to leverage the wide variety of new tools and encourage other people to use these tools and talk up their clients' products. Any online campaign worth its salt includes a strategy for Facebook, Twitter, and a blogging platform such as Blogger or Wordpress. Select YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and other social tools as side dishes. Add an analytical tool for dessert and you've got quite a meal. None of these tools requires a Ph.D. in technology or a battalion of programmers banging out code 24/7.

A video uploaded to YouTube that goes viral (via email, Facebook and Twitter) can reach more people in a month than the company's website may reach in a year. Think about the ROI of that for a bit.

Marketing on the web has become less about coding and more about facilitating conversations. While technology skill will always be needed in agencies, we've actually come full circle in some ways. Don Draper is probably smiling.

Read the ADWEEK article

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

20 Greatest Social Media Campaigns - Where's Healthcare?

Dan Limbach

We've all seen buzzworthy advertising campaigns. We talk about them at the water cooler. We email them to friends. We Twitter them. As marketers, we revere them. But how come there are no blockbuster campaigns in the life sciences? Social media success and a word of mouth bonanza is not just for glamorous, hip products. If a blender company can do it, an office supplies company can do it, and a bottled water company can do it, why can't a life sciences company do it, too?

The Nasonex bee is kind of fun and creative, but definitely not buzzworthy. ED ads dance around the edges of being clever while not embarrasing, and some of the non-prescription ED ads are somewhat humorous, but they don't provide that magnificent boost we see in the best word of mouth campaigns. Why is this?

Just because an industry is regulated, doesn't mean it's taboo to create innovative campaigns that spread like wildfire. Buzzworthy campaigns do not rely primarily on ad spend. In some ways, huge ad budgets are viewed as the lazy way out. Without a doubt, word of mouth provides the most bang for your marketing buck.

Forbes recently posted a list of "Best-Ever Social Media Campaigns." While some campaigns are recent, others date back to the 90's. I'll bet you will still recall at least half of them. Some campaigns fall more under viral marketing, as they came before the social media explosion, but it's all part of the same general arena. We just have more ways to spread the word now.

Here is the list. Cut to the link below for imagery and a brief explanation of each campaign, including some jaw-dropping ROI stats.

1. The Blair Witch Project (Haxan Films)
2. Will it Blend (BlendTec) -- my personal favorite - pure simple genius
3. Smell Like a Man, Man (Old Spice)
4. Sunservient Chicken (Burger King)
5. Pepsi Refresh (Pepsi)
6. Fun Theory (VW)
7. Elf Yourself (OfficeMax) -- I personally used this one
8. Roller Babies (Evian)
9. Facebook Showroom (IKEA)
10. Hotmail (now under Microsoft)
11. Whopper Sacrifice (Burger King)
12. Bullseye Gives (Target)
13. Vitaminwater (Glaceau)
14. Tea Par-tay (Smirnoff)
15. Why So Serious? (The Dark Knight Movie)
16. Dynamite Surfing (Quiksilver)
17. Cadbury Gorilla (Cadbury Schweppes)
18. 1 Series Graffiti Contest (BMW)
19. Bing/Farmville (Microsoft)
20. Monk-e-Mail (CareerBuilder)

See full slide show with details on

Monday, August 16, 2010

Avoiding Social Media Backlash

Dan Limbach

Social media can be good and bad for brands. Everything is more transparent. Word travels faster. Having a social media strategy does not mean it will work. (Is that a big "duh" or what?) Here's a nice article about strategy and avoiding backlash in social media channels. Motrin is one of the examples cited.

Let me clear up front: If you are going to use social media, you absetively should have a strategy driving your efforts. Totally.

But simply creating a social media strategy and executing it doesn’t mean you are using social media correctly. I can create a blogging strategy for your company and tell you exactly what to do, but that still doesn’t mean you’ll have a successful blog. You still have to follow-through.

Having a strategy isn’t enough, you still have to BE social. You still have to WANT to connect with your customers.

So many companies today are resistant to communicating with their customers. I think in most cases, it’s simply because they never have, and really don’t know how to get started.

But many companies fear blogs and social media because they fear that their customers will say bad things about them. Or worse, that there will be a social media backlash against their brand.

Folks, social media backlashes don’t just happen, they are created. Let’s look at a few examples:
Read full article

Article by Mack Collier

Thursday, August 12, 2010

iPad for Pharma

Dan Limbach

OK. So the iPad is cool. It is selling like hotcakes (or maybe IHOP and Denny's wished hotcakes sold like iPads). Is it a good platform for pharma? Here's a roundup of some of the better recent articles on the subject.

Otsuka Dives Into iPad

June 8 (Bloomberg) -- Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. said it will buy 1,300 Apple Inc. iPads for its sales representatives in Japan to market the company’s medicines.

Read full article

John Mack ponders whether Pharma is embracing or resisting the iPad for sales reps.

Read full article

Motorola Inc, maker of the Droid smartphone, is planning to release a tablet computer based on Google Inc’s Android software to challenge Apple Inc’s iPad, according to two people familiar with the plan.

Dan here: The open nature of the Android OS makes it an attractive package for developing custom apps. While the iPad will always have an adge on the "hip" factor, an Andriod-based pad could become a major competitor to the iPad for business use.

Read full article