Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are You Guilty of Treating a Vendor This Way?

I don't usually post things like what I am about to post, but I'm a sucker for parodies around the agency business. This particular one could be for any client/vendor situation, but it is pretty funny. And while we have all done this and/or had it done to us, it makes a good point. I'm as guilty as the next. But I'll be more mindful next time. Found this on YouTube.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Big Pharma Using Drug Giveaway to Boost Image

Just saw this article in Ad Age about how Pfizer is giving away certain drugs they manufacture to help those who have lost their jobs or insurance. The classic PR stunt, but with a do-gooder spin so popular today. (In the spirit of Hyundai cars allowing people to purchase and then bring back if they lose their job within a year. Only 2 cars brought back at this point, btw.)

I personally think it's all good. I do not care if either company is doing it out of their own selfish motivations for free PR and lots of business from all of us who think, "Ahh, that's a great company, I wanna buy from them." Which is how branding works.

To me, everyone wins here. And maybe that's what this country could use right now. A little win-win. Giving more. When you give, you get, right?

But I am curious what you think. So tell me. And take my new poll to the right of the blog.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How to Use Viral Marketing On Twitter

The New Yorker writer who got the boot after a short stint in 2007, proved viral marketing on Twitter works. Possibly intentional, Dan Baum began tweeting about his experience at the New Yorker a week or so ago (May 2009) and quickly got into dirty details. Soon he had many followers and many opportunities to plug his new book. Great case study.

Biotech/Life Science Marketers: generate better response rates

So how do you, as a marketer, make your audience respond to an offer, to a new product or to an existing one?

Understand people's basic behaviors.

Science has shown us that people's behaviors are driven by an Antecedent (your company asks a target to try a new product) or a Consequence (you will lose money if you don't try this new product). Antecedents and Consequences can be either positive or negative, immediate or in the future, and certain or uncertain.
But the thing that really makes a difference is this: it doesn't matter whether you're using a Positive or a Negative to motivate someone, because people will always respond more to two things—Immediacy and Certainty.

Think about why people have a hard time losing weight, say. Because the food is immediate pleasure gratification. Yummy. And the slimmer body is simply a future possibility—an uncertain one at that. Same with smoking. Why quit when you get your nicotine high NOW and you won't die from it until LATER? And even then you could be like George Burns, and smoke until you're 100 with no ill effects. The benefit of 'now' trumps the far-off negatives of 'later'. The certainty of pleasure 'now' far outweighs the uncertainty of pain 'later'.

So think of making your offers and your marketing calls to action more with Immediate and Certain triggers for your target. (You will certainly be rewarded immediately for such smart marketing by your boss.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Biotech CEOs Can Blog

I was just thinking about how much slower B2B companies seem to be in adopting the social media platforms like Twitter and blogs than your B2C companies are. And there really is no reason for it rationally. So maybe it's fear. Or doubt. Maybe they think they don't have enough time. But I think they have to make time. Social media is hyped, yes, I agree. But it also isn't going anywhere and it is a great way to do a lot of conversing with your target(s).

So I stumbled across this blog written by Forrester Research CEO George Colony. And he had a great article. It was about CEOs and blogging. Give it a read. No matter if you are the CEO of a biotech firm or a basketball net-making firm, my suggestion is to start dipping your toe into new media. A blog is a great place to start.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Biotech/Life Sciences Marketing and Online Banners

Do these 2 mix? Can a company selling to scientists and microbiologists get their attention with a banner ad? Will they click?

Well the answer is yes, AND.

Yes, they will, AND you have to understand the dynamics of why people interact with a banner in the first place. The fact you are trying to reach a scientist isn't the biggest issue. The fact you are trying to engage A PERSON is. Who are they? What keeps them up at night? Makes them tick? Emotionally involves him/her? If you don' t know this, then you have to go find out before you EVER start marketing to them. Emotion connects (yes even in B2B and with scientists) and you have to connect.

Remember, people pay attention based on their terms. Not yours. They don't care that you have lead and sales goals to make. It isn't about you.

So first make sure your media buy is aligned with your creative execution. Ask yourself, why is someone coming to this site? Are they here to get information? Make a purchase decision? To network, chat, connect (as is the case with chat rooms/discussion boards, and other social media) What is the site about? At that point, you can make your creative message match the audience's intent.

For example, if a scientist has gone to website that is primarily chock full of articles and research studies, a flashing banner about buying something is likely to be ignored. However, if your banner states a white paper, then you're more likely to get his/her attention.

The other thing to know is that recent studies have discovered that while the CTR (click through rate) might be lower than ever right now (industry average is 0.2%) you are definitely gaining awareness with banners.

People unconsciously notice brands in banner ads and tend to think of those brands/companies more often when buying. So don't be so quick to judge banner effectiveness by CTR. But DO keep in mind that perhaps banners aren't your lead gen wunderkind. Maybe banners are better left to awareness and brand building while you use trade shows and other marketing tools to garner leads.

But banner ads CAN drive clicks and results. Don't get me wrong. Just consider where you are running, why you are there and why your audience is there and then tailor the message/content of your ad. What about a rich media ad that features a quick video discussion about a white paper or relevant topic instead of just a static banner with a white paper as the offer? ENGAGE your audience.

Or consider contextual or keyword-served ads. So then you are only ending up on a page when it makes sense to be there.

You see banner ads CAN and DO work for reaching the life sciences audience, as long as you know where, why and how. As always, don't hang your marketing hat on any one media channel. The right mix makes all the difference as well as the right creative that reaches out and engages.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Agency Model a Winner With Me

Creative Orchestra, out of the UK, has opened up shop to be maybe one of the first to be legally bound to delivering creative excellence. (Ok, so not sure how you can judge what makes the creative cut since it's subjective, but anyway....) Chris Arnold and Victoria Gallardo, both Creative Directors, started the shop.

They have officially been given the status of CIC (Community Interest Company), which means they are under legal obligation to cultivate creativity and deliver great work--instead of compromising to meet shareholder desire for bigger dividends.

The point that gets me juiced up is the very same reason I opened my business in the first place:

To quote from an article in Creativity about this new agency move: "As for the creative shop-for-hire model, Arnold says the age of the one-stop shop agency is over and clients are getting tired of seeing money get put into administrative costs instead of creative innovation. ....

Kudos and I will be watching them. Anybody out there got thoughts on this? Love to hear.